Writer’s Digest Writing Prompt: Private Eye

Prompt: You’re a private investigator who is down on his or her luck and hasn’t had a client in months. Suddenly the phone rings. It’s a kid. The kid proposes a silly case to you. Normally you wouldn’t take such a ridiculous job (from a kid, no less), but you need the work, so you accept. But what you uncover during the investigation is a much, much bigger problem than the kid (and you) ever expected.


I should never have talked to that stupid kid. I mean, seriously, if I’d known where answering that phone would lead, that I’d be here, I would have just gone on being down on my luck. Maybe I would have gone back to school, my wife always said I should do that. Maybe I would have gone back and joined the force again – well, probably not.

Anyway, it all went pear shaped when that pesky kid took me to the scene of the “supposed” crime. He claimed his friend had been abducted. What he neglected to tell me was that his friend had been kidnapped by means of a portal – yes, that’s what I said, a portal. You know, one of those funny doors you see on scifi shows but never expect to see in real life. Yep, there it was, glistening blue at the back of the dark alleyway. No, I wasn’t drunk or otherwise mentally impaired. It was a real, honest to goodness, portal.

And then the kid just jumped right through it. Stupid kid. What was I supposed to do then, just turn tail and run? No, the kid was gone, his supposed friend too, and there was something strange about it all.

So I jumped in too.

And straight into a cage. Some strange alien-bug thing slammed the cage door shut. Crackling blue energy appeared between the bars and that stuff hurts when you touch it, I’m not gonna lie. The kid was there, except he wasn’t a kid anymore, he looked like an alien-bug too, except with different eyes. Human eyes. They creeped me out.

So now I’m here, stuck in what I can only assume is a research lab. The sun is blue and the moons, all three of them, dominate the sky at night. I can breathe, so there’s oxygen in the atmosphere. But I can’t help but wonder what’s become of Earth. What’s Mary up to?

There’s no escape. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve tried. And failed.

Stupid kid. No, stupid me. Stupid, stupid me.

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