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The Barbecue Murder Mystery -- Flash Fiction Murder Mystery Challenge Continues

Updated on January 8, 2019

The continuing story of the investigation into the death of a teenage boy who died after drinking from a beer bottle that was clearly intended for someone else.

The Barbeque Murder Mystery

The continuing saga of what happened to Kyle Rutland.

The awakening

The Los Angeles Times he had been holding slid to the ground and the bench on which Trent Leland had fallen asleep seemed harder than the last time he had fallen asleep there.

Why didn’t he just go home to his apartment? His second wife had left him two months ago; she should have been grateful that he married her, Trent thought to himself, he considered himself a perfect catch, it never occurred to Trent that she was tired of cleaning up after him when he came home drunk every weekend, that is whenever he bothered to come home, the same as his first wife, and he blamed both of them, neither of them were good enough for him.

Here he was again, alone and hung over and tired of working for the insurance company that hired him fifteen years ago after Mitt Romney sent Sensata Technologies to Japan. After all this time he was still bitter about having to train his replacement at Sensata who was brought to the United States from Japan for that exact purpose.

Was it fate or Coincidence that Trent picked-up the Los Angeles Times amd saw a familiar face?

Trent Leland, was a good looking man with reddish blond hair and a deep tan, tall and muscular fifteen year ago, and he had not changed that much except for the beard, and his name of course, having convinced a judge to allow him to legally change his name to Trent Leland by telling him that the Chicago mob was after him and he needed to be in a protection program, he was good at playing mind games and play acting.

Reaching down to pick up the Los Angeles Times newspaper business section Trent saw a familiar face as he read Jessica Rutland promoted to Director of Research and Development at Siemens Manufacturing. Now that is who he should be with, who he should have married. Why did she break up with him? He was much better looking than Brandon, at least in his own mind.

Was it fate or coincidence that he had picked up the LA times?

Trent thought maybe it is time for me to move to Los Angeles and see what life is like for Jess and Brandon, maybe they are divorced, and for the first time in a long time he felt a glimmer of hope.

Los Angeles or bust, seeking old friends or not

Monday Morning Trent went to work at the insurance company and quit his job, went to his apartment packed a few belongings into his car, sublet his apartment to a friend and headed for Los Angeles.

Within a week of his arrival in Los Angeles Trent had landed a job at Siemens, and began looking for Jess, but he was shocked when who does bump into literally, almost knocking her off her feet as he was walking fast out of his office. Beverly was also walking fast when to two collided. She did not seem to recognize him, she was inviting co-workers to the barbeque she had planned for the following Friday, and she included Trent.

Siemens was having an office get together earlier the same day as Beverly’s barbeque and he thought maybe Jess would attend one or the other of the functions and he also thought Jess and Beverly were friends.

At the office get together Trent saw her, Jess was surrounded by friends both male and female and he could not tell if she was with one person or alone in the crowd. He decided to approach and when he started in her direction she disappeared. Then he caught a glimpse of her going into the ladies room and decided to wait nearby where he could keep an eye on the door and catch her when she came out.

Did you lose her again? He heard a familiar voice ask. Trent turned and there was Beverly. What? He asked. You still looking for Jess she asked. Oh so she did recognize him he thought. No, he said, I was looking for you to apologize for bumping into you; I am Trent Leland he said. I know who you are, she replied. You are coming to my Barbecue later, right? Yeah, right.

At the barbeque Trent wondered if Beverly recognized him.

Trent arrived at the Barbecue an hour early and Beverly ran to him and hugged him, oh you are a God send she said, you can help me get set up and we can catch up on old times, Trent! He wondered if she was being sarcastic or did she really know who he was. Did you ever wonder why Jess broke up with you? She asked. Trent whipped out his wallet and showed Beverly his driver’s license. Oh I am so sorry; I thought you were someone I once knew and to change the subject asked, do you want to help me fill the coolers with beer?

Trent was filling the coolers with beer and placed the coolers where the guest could have easy access. Beverly caught his attention when he saw her staring out the window and he glanced out and saw Jess with a guy arrive. Something wrong he asked her, just that witch with my boyfriend and looked at Trent for some sign of recognition. He busied himself with putting ice in one of the coolers, but he was paying close attention and said nothing.

Hand me a of bottle of Coors Light, would you please? Beverly said, I may as well give her one to let her know that she is in my domain.

Wow, she must have done something pretty bad for you to hate her that much, Trent remarked as he fished out the bottle of beer from among the cans in ice water and fished for more information about Jess.

She bewitched every man I ever wanted, except for the one that I took from her, the one I mistook you for.

Once Beverly got started talking, she could not stop and spill all her deep dark secrets about how she told Jess about her escapades and how Jess knew about the man Trent use to be.

Trent was furious. In his mind he could picture his fist smashing into Beverly’s face, he now knew how Jess found out about his tête-à-tête with this vile woman, and felt sick, the one good thing he also knew from Beverly’s blab was that Jess was single again.

Tears slid down the face from the pair of eyes that watched as the bottle of Coors beer was placed on the table for Jess, then quickly turned away just before the young man picked up the beer.

At the LAPD

After the commotion when Kyle drank the beer and Trent along with other guests were ushered to the police department for interviews.

Trent was looking for Jess and did not see what room she went into. After giving finger prints and a DNA sample, he asked about Jess and was told she had gone home, he left the police station.

As the Investigation continued

At the Los Angeles police station the investigation was well under way into the death of the fifteen year young old man, they had two sets of prints on the beer bottle one belonged to Beverly Fergurson and the other set of prints to Kyle Rutland, the young man who died after drinking the beer obviously meant for someone else, and Beverly Fergurson became the number one suspect.

The LAPD continued to interview guest, workers and the musicians from the barbeque.

Jess was thanked profusely for her quick action to save the evidence bottle then she and Derek Morrow were interviewed and sent home.

Beverly became more of a suspect when she told the police that Derek was Kyle’s father and he had attended her barbecue with Jess. Jealousy is a motive for murder. Strange that Derek did not mention that it was his son who died.

The LAPD brought Derek back to ask him why he had not told them that Kyle was his son. Derek jumped to his feet “WHAT” he yelled. I met Beverly nine months ago and I have never been to Illinois. His DNA sample had been taken along with the other samples from the folks and workers who attended the barbecue. If not Derek, who was Kyle’s father?

When the DNA sample results arrived, the female detective let out a yell for everyone to hear, “Derek is not the father of Kyle,” but Kyle’s father had attended the barbeque.

Police were sent to pick-up Kyle’s father from the address he had given them when the guest were being interviewed and he was not there and never had been. His prints and DNA were not in the National CODES, and there was no trace of him anywhere, as if he never existed.

There wasn’t a trace of any poison in Beverly’s home and no charges have been brought against her to date. She was left to bury her only child, but she could not bury her grief. She had not realized how much she really loved her son.

Chris Mills (a.k.a. cam8510) answered the challenge

When Chris answered the challenge he was the only one and I can understand why there were no others to accept the challenge after the superb job that he did with "An Ideal Venue For Revenge: A Response by cam to The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge."

I thought I would put a new twist on my original "The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge"

So here Goes!

© 2016 Shyron E Shenko


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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 months ago from North Texas

      Back to post this excellent story on AH & FB.

      Eye sight is improved, but I still haven't been able to get new lenses as they're so expensive. Looks like winter has arrived. To be mid 20s temperature-wise at night. Hope all is well with you. Blessings dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      16 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you so much for the comment. I hope that you are able to see by now I know how it is as I have had the cataract surgery also.

      Too bad that hp does not have the compassion to understand that not everyone can stay on here 24/7. Praying for your speedy recovery, Blessings dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      22 months ago from North Texas

      I do like this story and will post it on FB again.

      I understand what you are saying in your most recent comment to me. Sometimes it's hard to put all the time in here that some people would like us too. I have had trouble seeing for nearly 8 months. Even now after getting started with the eye surgery, it won't be finished until some mid or late August. Still very hard to see since my first eye had a new lens installed for distance and the other eye not yet addressed sees all but nothing. My good eye is a great improvement, but not for close up. And there are other issues that prevent me from spending most waking moments on this site.

      Hope all is well with you. Blessings dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      23 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comments. I don't know if I want to publish any more where I am treated the way I am. But it is a good idea to expand this story.

      I thank you and Blessings my dear friend.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      2 years ago from North Texas

      I find this story intriguing and I think if you were to flesh it out and pubish it here in chapters it would be something a lot of people would look forward too. Sharing this on FB.

      To be a hotter day today mixed in with cool ones most of the week. 82º is moderate for North Texas, but not for this old Yankee. Hope you and John are having a good day. Blessings and hugs dear friend . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Minnetonka Twin, I appreciate you, really I do. It has been suggested that I make this into a novel and who knows, maybe.

      sorry it took so long to get back to you.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      3 years ago from Minnesota

      Nice job on the murder mystery. Thoroughly enjoyed it and will look forward to more on this.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, thank you for the comment, sorry it took so long to get back to you, my tinnitus has become worse again and with vertigo, John wants me to go to a different doctor, and maybe I should and maybe I will. The weather has been so great in the last few days, I had to work outside, today I had to replace a sprinkler head that John mowed down and some other repairs.

      I do hope that all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Anita, thank you so very much for the comment, I really appreciate your visit.

      Blessings and hugs dear friend.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      3 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Hi Shyron, really as an amazing plot. I think the beer plus the poison was meant for somebody else. Have not got much time to think. At the moment I am trying to do 2 posts a day for my numerous blogs. As well as 1 article a week. So easy when you set up a working plan for the week. Not so easy to achieve with all the social media sites you also have to visit from time to time. Carry on the good work.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      You really should be writing books I think. Will be interesting to see how this ends when you get to it.

      Hope you are enjoying our nice day because tomorrow it will be freezing and dipping down around 12º F. Brrrrrrr.

      Blessing my dear friend, to you and John. Stay warm and take care . . .

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Anita, thank you for the comment, I really appreciate you.

      Perhaps you are right maybe it was by accident, but how did the poison get in the beer and for whom was it intended and that would not have been an accident but an accident by attempted murder.

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Peggy W. thank you for the comment and complement, I am so happy to see you my friend.

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • Anita Hasch profile image

      Anita Hasch 

      3 years ago from Port Elizabeth

      Must say the Coors murder story is puzzling. Very well thought out. I think it was an accident?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Ah...a murder mystery. That is certainly a departure from your normal writing but I can see that you have a talent for it. I have been too busy writing on my own website and checking the hundreds of HP articles that no longer have eBay capsules to be writing more...thus the seeming absence for a while. I am not quite halfway through that project! Nice hearing from you and hope all is well.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Frank, thank you so very much for the compliment and comments.

      Blessings to you my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Ruby, Ruby, my gem of a friend

      Maybe you could add pick up the characters

      And carry on the hymn.



      Thank you for the comment.

      Blessings and hugs my dear friend

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Mike, thank you so very much for the comment and compliment. Yes my muse pushed me to work and HP kicked me down.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 years ago from Shelton

      Your writing style has become crisp and non-influenced.. and I love the story bravo.. you come a long way hard.. and creative :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Peg, thank you so much for the comment, compliment and for sharing this, I do appreciate you.

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Bill my dear friend, I knew you would be here first, thank you for that. I appreciate the visit and the comment.

      My to do list is our of control and it will kill me, I hope you have a tight rein on your.

      Yes Chris is great and this one will add to Chris's. Chris is a superb writer like you and all my Hubber friends.

      Blessings and hugs always.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Each time I read another installment I get the feeling there is much more to learn about this story. Well written and the mystery is still unsolved.....

    • Shyron E Shenko profile imageAUTHOR

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you Larry.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Shyron. This is just what I needed this morning. A little mystery and a little barbecue. Glad to see your muse has put you back to work.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great read.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Fascinating story, Shyron. You really captured my attention with the mystery and the characters. Interesting twist of fate or of the bottle cap...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      This was riveting, Shyron. Nice work!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shyron, the challenge will just have to go on without me. My to do list keeps growing and it discourages me. I'll just have to enjoy the challenge reading the fine works of you and Chris, and hopefully others.




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