A Fragmented Tale #blogbattle #shortfiction

This month’s #blogbattle prompt, here, is ‘fragment’. Please join in…

‘Yes sergeant?’

‘Got the forensics back on the fragment, sir.’

Inspector Pertwee Chillblain leant back in his chair and allowed his stomach some room to distend. ‘Go on.’

Sergeant Beige Undercoat coughed and flipped open her notebook. ‘I was proceeding in a westerly… no, hang on, wrong crime.’ She flipped a few more pages. ‘Apparently it is a glass slipper and…’

The jelloid belly rippled with a certain insouciant laziness, breaking against Chillblain’s belt. ‘Knew it,’ he said with just the appropriate amount of smugness. ‘Charming?’

‘No sir. Apparently Charming, the Prince formerly known a right tit, has an alibi.’

‘Who’d give that skunk-breath little royal an alibi?’

‘One of the Ugli sisters. She says Charming, the Prince formerly…’

‘Drop the honorific, Undercoat.’

‘Sir. Seems Charming and Gruesome Ugli are an item, sir.’

‘Takes all sorts, I suppose. So no matches on the fragment?’

‘No, sir, we got a match. It’s…’ the sergeant swallowed and looked out of the Inspector’s window at the Magic Castle.

‘Don’t tell me it’s the bloody domestic? What’s her name? Cindy Bellyache?’

‘Cinderella, sir. Yes. There’s no doubt she was the last one to wear the slipper.’

‘Not even a small soupson of a question? A scintilla of an uncertainty?’

‘Sorry, sir. The Prof said it was as slam dunk as he’d even seen it.’

‘God, why is it always the cleaner who robs her employer? Such a cliche. By the way, what’s a slam dunk, Undercoat?’

‘I believe it references a particularly aggressive way of dipping your tea time biscuit in your beverage du jour, sir.’

‘How is that relevant? Never mind.’ Chillblain began the laborious process of standing up, his stomach following slowly in its own wake. ‘I’m getting too old for these woke rewrites of fairytales. When I started out, your underlings were properly downtrodden, virtuous and pretty bloody dull. Now they have to own their own teeth…’

‘I think they own their own truth, sir.’

‘You sure? I was certain it was denture based? Oh well, if you say so. She has to have a morally ambiguous backstory, a determination to beat her gambling addiction…’

‘That’ll be she has to overcome the odds, sir.’

‘Isn’t that what I said? She doesn’t gamble?’

‘I think you’re confusing her with the Peep girl, sir.’


‘Bo Peep. Works with the Ovine Brotherhood, sir, producing disguises for Wolf and his cohort. She gambols a fair bit.’

‘Yes! That was it. It remains the fact that, once we arrest Bellyache…’


‘Whatever… when we arrest her, she’ll start bleating…’

‘That’s Peep, again sir.’

‘Moaning then. And she’ll get in one of those Influenzas to provide the right filter…’

‘Influencers, sir. I don’t think she’s likely to trigger a pandemic.’

‘I’d not put anything past her.’

‘We’ve always got the victim, sir. She said she’d recognise the perp.’

‘We can hardly put the fairy godmother before a jury and…’

‘You can’t call her that, sir. Not these days.’

‘Really? What’s wrong with fairy…’

‘Gay, sir’


‘The mafia prefer Capo, sir.’

‘The Gay Capo? You sure?’

‘It’s in the handbook, sir.’

‘So we’re effectively screwed?’

‘Not necessarily, sir. The victim’s complaint has been nuanced, sir.’

‘Is that a thing?’

‘Probably. See she complained her property had been stolen, but the property has been recovered and made a complaint of their own.’

‘Another of those wooden dolls with extendable noses, eh?’

‘Not exactly.’



‘Surely you can’t call dwarves property?’

‘Not dwarves. Mice.’

‘Her mice have complained?’

‘Victims of modern slavery sir. Held against their will, no pay, regularly subjected to bodily distortions…’


‘Changed into coach horses, sir. Apparently two never got their tails back, one lost its ability to twitch its nose and several no longer squeak, but rather neigh. It’s pitiful, sir.’

‘Goodness. Well done whoever found them.’

‘Constable Piper, sir. Pied Piper. Good rounding up the kiddies, too.’

‘Sounds a bit dodge, Sergeant. But I’m sure you know best. In fact, it sounds like you’re on top of everything. Carry on, Undercoat.’

‘What will you do, sir?’

‘Me? I think I’ll go and iron my stomach.’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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20 Responses to A Fragmented Tale #blogbattle #shortfiction

  1. V.M.Sang says:

    This is hilarious. So clever. I love the way you mix and distort the fairy tales. Oops! Sorry! Gay stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG. This is hysterical Geoff. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Darlene says:

    Very clever and oh so funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great, Geoff. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of fun going on here. Clever take on quite a few fairy tale characters. My favorite is Bo Peep working on disguises for the Wolf. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  6. George says:

    Excellent satire, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. aebranson says:

    Amusing mess of fairy tales here! My favorite bit was the comment how it is Peep who gambols (great pun), and usual there is plenty of wry commentary on the days we live in. When Constable Piper was mentioned, however, I thought I smelled a rat…. 🙂 Fun read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Fragment | BlogBattle

  9. The Influenza filter was my favorite part. What a fun and whimsical tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Very witty! I love the humour bubbling behind each sentence. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gary says:

    Mad as a hatter Geoff….witch is no bad thing or it would be off with your head… contagious commentary… that bit was cast up by the influence filter…no, influenza filter. I digress…

    Highly entertaining as always!


  12. Bridgette says:

    This was wildly fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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