This is my #storycraft flash fiction contribution this week. My main character, Sommer Seybold, was inspired by photo #1 here. It's a mystery solved in record time. Enjoy!
Sommer Seybold stared down the cliff at the car below, lodged on the rocks and sand. She wrapped the trench coat she had randomly grabbed on her way out tighter around her body. It was May in Newport, Rhode Island, and warm for the time of year. But the Atlantic wind still cut right through her halter gown to her bones.
Sommer and about three hundred others were guests at her cousin's wedding on the lawn of a mansion a few hairpin turns away. The car at the bottom belonged to the groom, David. And their only witness and possible suspect was the bride's brother, Chris Stevens. They'd found red paint transfer on the back of David's car. She looked back at Chris, leaning against a red convertible, his shirt untucked with the sleeves rolled up. She'd heard through the rumor mill that Chris and David had fought before the wedding. Her three inch heels clacked on the blacktop as she walked up to Casey McCormick, her colleague. He had a square face and wore silver, wire-rim glasses. Sommer smiled at him then focused on Chris.
"What did you and David argue about earlier?" Sommer said to Chris.
He raised his eyebrows.
"David was nervous and flipped out over something I said. That's all."
"We found red paint transfer on the bumper of David's car," Casey said. "And there's paint missing from your front bumper."
"And I have the only red car around?"
"You're a convenient witness to what appears to be more than an accident," Sommer said, tucking a strand of red hair behind an ear.
"Look. David disappeared from my view up this curve," Chris said, pointing, "and when I caught up, he was going over the cliff."
"Why did David leave after the wedding?" Sommer said.
"Just got cold feet and needed to clear his head," he said, shaking his keys in his pants pocket.
"He was already married."
"Then maybe he needed to get away from all the people. I don't know."
"Red paint on David's car," Casey said, "red paint missing from yours, and no other cars on the road when he flew off the side. That's quite the mystery."
Something Casey said triggered a memory and Sommer nearly gasped. She scuttled to the driver's side of the convertible, studying the inside. She pushed on the bottom of the seat, two pearl beads rolling forward. Casey leaned over and picked one up with a gloved hand, examining it in the light.
"Nicole's wedding gown has beading," Sommer said, her eyes narrowing. "And she drives the same car as you. You didn't drive after him, did you? She did. And then you followed her. Nicole pushed David off the edge. You told her to go back to the reception and she took off in your car by accident."
Chris swallowed and looked away.
Sommer nodded to Casey and they hurried back to the wedding reception.