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The Coors Accident or Murder …Flash Fiction Mystery Challenge

Updated on January 8, 2019
And the Band Played On
And the Band Played On | Source

The Challenge: end or continue this story.

My fellow Hubbers are challenged to write a solution to this mystery about a young man who dropped dead after downing a beer.

There are no rules other than my story cannot be changed, it is purposely left open-ended for you to write the next chapter and continue or end the story.

The invitation

Jessica “Jess” Jean Rutland was relieved to be home, she made herself a sandwich, her favorite mesquite smoked turkey breast and a cup of coffee.

Still dressed from Siemens’ office get together earlier in the day…. in a long form fitting skirt, with horses printed on it which made it look western, but classy western, and her cowboy boots which were almost covered by her skirt, it was a comfortable outfit, but Jess was home and intended to get even more comfortable, she would put on her blue silk pajamas and just relax, having not eaten at the get together she was famished and looked forward to having her sandwich, coffee and was looking forward to reading her book “The Carriage Driver” by Mike Friedman she had received a few days ago, but her dreams of a nice quiet evening at home without interruptions or having to attend some meeting or function, vanished with the ring of the doorbell.

Derek stood waiting with his finger still on the bell when Jess opened the door. Still wearing his tight blue jeans, heavily starched cowboy shirt and highly polished cowboy boots, and that smile that made her heart flutter, said “I thought maybe you would like to go to a BBQ with me this evening.” “You sure do look pretty and I have missed you!”

Jess replied; “It has been six months and I thought you wanted to take a break from ‘US’ and date other people.”

Are you saying no? Derek asked. I am not saying no, I’m just surprised that’s all, Jess replied. Hurry up then and let’s go.

Jess wrapped her sandwich in Saran wrap dropped it in an oversized paper bag with a couple of napkins folded it over several times then dropped it into her shoulder bag, she was not going to waste her favorite sandwich and she was not particularly fond of BBQ. Jess was thinking, why am I even going, as she hurried out the door ignoring the foreboding feeling that came over her.

At the Barbecue (BBQ)

Derek and Jess arrived at the BBQ found a picnic bench and sat with their back to the gigantic patio where the band was tuning up their guitars and plugging in their mics, amplifiers and speakers and she thought, maybe this would turn out to be a really good evening. They turned around on the bench when the band started and leaned back against the table.

The band leader said this one if for you Jess and the female singer sang one of Jess’s favorites.

Jess smiled at Derek and wondered how he knew about the song, she did not recall mentioning it to him.

Archenemies face to face

Beverly had warned her son Kyle and his friends to stay away from the booze. She was hosting this shin-dig and did not want any trouble.

Beverly brought a single bottle Coors, and set it down behind Jess “here is a beer for you” she said between clinched teeth! “Where’s mine?” Derek asked. You can go get yours from one of the ice chests, only the ladies get special treatment. As Derek darted off to look for one of the ice chests Jess looked over her shoulder, intending to say, I don’t drink, but when she came face to face with her old nemesis and almost got hit by the darts being shot from Beverly’s eyes Jess just said thank you instead and thought I will give this to Derek, who just came back from getting a beer for himself, he popped the top on the can and set it down as they watched the band an listened to the music. If Derek saw the look of hatred on Beverly’s face for Jess, he did not indicate it.

Why had Derek brought her here? Jess thought he must have known that she and Beverly were/are bitter archenemies, had she not told him. I guess not she thought. They stopped dating when Beverly started working for the same company and she heard rumors that he was dating Beverly but, saw no indication at work and she and Derek had not dated in the past six months but, thought it was just that, a rumor, but Jess still felt the sting of tears welling up in her eyes and fought to get her emotions under control, before Derek noticed.

Warning ignored

Kyle stood with his three friends all fifteen years old, and anxious to have a taste of liquor. They stood watchin the BBQ attendees seeking their chance to grab a beer when no one is looking. Kyle said make sure it is a bottle of Coors, they have the screw off caps, and you don’t need a bottle opener, or pop-top cans.

Kyle sauntered up to the table while Jessie and Derek were watching and singing along with the band and quickly picked up the bottle of Coors and quietly and quickly unscrewed the cap, put the bottle to his lips and drank deeply, Jessie turned in time to see him set the bottle back down on the table.

Each of Kyle’s friends had also secured their own beer and hurried to meet up to see who got the highest high, but before the fifteen year old could reach his friends and as Jessie watch Kyle stopped and retch then pitch face first into the grass.

Jess quickly dumped her sandwich from the paper bag took her napkin picked up the beer bottle placing it in the paper bag placed the bag between her feet on the ground.

What are you doing? What is wrong? Derek asked Jess.

Hand me that empty Coors bottle from the table next to you and call 911, Jess answered.

Handing the empty Coors bottle to Jess, Derek asked again, what is going on? Jess said something is wrong with that kid, he just grabbed my beer drank it then collapsed, as she sat the bottle down where the one in the bag had been.

Derek called 911

Kyle’s friends ran to him, laughing and joking that he was the first to pass out, but when they reached Kyle they realized that he was not breathing, and other guests ran to see what had happened.

Upon hearing the commotion, Beverly who had been out of sight when Kyle collapsed, came running from the house, but instead of running to Kyle she ran to the bench where Jess and Derek were sitting and screamed at Jess you gave my son your beer, reaching out for the empty beer bottle on the table, stopping short of touching it and stood to wait for the answer to the 911 call, instead of going to the side of her collapsed son.

Derek had called 911 and Kyle’s friends also called 911 when they realized that he was not breathing.

As soon as the female detective arrived on the scene Beverly started yelling that Jess had given her son Kyle a beer and afterwards he passed out pointing to her son and here is the beer bottle right here on the table.

I did not give anyone a beer, Jess said as she explained how she turned around in time to see the young man drinking a beer that had been meant for her and she sat the paper bag on the table.

Jess told the detective that the young man had not finished to beer and when she turned around and Kyle realized that she caught him drinking it he sat it back down and ran out across the lawn, started to vomit and fell on his face.

Beverly Fergurson swiped at the brown paper bag to try and turn it over, the swing missing as Jess lifted the bag, and Beverly had to be subdued by an officer. She started to scream when she realized that the para-medics were putting Kyle in an ambulance and ran to him screaming that they needed to put him down and fainted when they told her he had died.

At the Police Station

Because Kyle Rutland had died under suspicious circumstances Jess, Derek, Beverly and several other guests were asked to come to the station for questioning. Jess and Derek were questioned together.

Until now Derek had been silent, until he was asked how long he had known Kyle Rutland and Beverly Fergurson, when he told the officer that he had been dating Beverly nine months prior to the BBQ. It was like a punch in the face to Jess and suddenly the past came flooding back.

Derek had been dating both of them for three months and wanted to breakup when Beverly came to work for Siemens Manufacturing and have each of them date other people. Jess wondered why Derek asked her to go with him to the BBQ and she wished she had follower her instinct and said no.

Jess became nauseated, Derek had known Beverly for nine months, which meant he had gotten Beverly her job at the same place they both worked.

Celebrating Mike's promotion

Jess was thinking back fifteen or more years when she had been dating Mike Styles for a couple of years and he also worked for Sensata.

When Beverly Fergurson started to work at Sensata and Jess found out she had no place to stay, Jess invited Beverly to move in with her until she could get on her feet and find her own place. A week later Jess invited Beverly to join her and Mike Styles, out to celebrate Mike’s promotion.

The following day neither Mike nor Beverly showed up for work. When Jess became aware that neither was at work she went home for lunch. Mike’s car was parked in front of her apartment, she climbed the stairs quietly and unlocked the door she removed her shoes walked down the hall to the bed room, Mike did not know she was there he was so engrossed in what he was doing, but Beverly looked Jess in the eye and winked and just as quietly as Jess walked in she walked right back out and went back to work.

Meeting Brandon Rutland

Brandon Rutland an outside vendor that had been doing business with Sensata for some time could see that Jess was upset and ready to cry asked her what was wrong and if they could go for a drink after work. Jess said let me see your hands and he held out his hands see, no ring he said. Do you have a girlfriend she asked, when he said no she agreed to go out for coffee, telling Brandon she did not drink.

When jess got home she told Beverly that she was going out for a while and to be gone when she returned…Beverly smiled and sarcastically said I already moved out and handed Jess the key.

Mike came into work the following day and headed to Jess’s office demanding to know why she stood him up the night before. Jess calmly looked up at him and said I had a date and I don’t want to see you anymore. Mike was shocked and thought “oh well I still have Beverly” and went straight to her office. When he walked in as if they had been an item for a long time and told her he would pick her up after work. She said no, I have a date tonight. Mike said what about yesterday? Oh that was just a onetime fling Beverly said.

Jess and Brandon Marry

Brandon and Jess became inseparable, but Beverly began taunting Jess, when Brandon was not around she made sure that Jess did not see her and she would call Jess and tell her that they were together and when Jess ask Brandon about it, he told her that he would never do to her what Mike did and ask Jess to be his wife and asked her to go away with him for the weekend.

Monday after Jess and Brandon’s fabulous weekend Beverly came into her office and was telling her what a fun time she and Brandon had. Jess gave her a blank look and said nothing. And Beverly thinking she had ruined another of Jess’s relationships pranced out of Jess’s office…

Jess and Brandon married and when Mitt Romney sent Sensata Technologies to Japan the Rutland’s took advantage of the loss of their employment to move to Los Angeles, California where they both were employed by Siemens Manufacturing. Jess thought she would never have to see Beverly again, but Jess did kept in touch with friends from Sensata...

Brandon has a heart attack

Brandon had a heart attack and passed away five years after their move to Los Angeles. The day after the funeral the doorbell rang and at this most tragic time in Jess’s life she was shocked when she opened the door and Beverly stood there. What do you want? Jess asked. I wanted to see what my son stands to inherit.

What? Jess asked again. You heard me Beverly snapped back. I have a five year old son and Brandon is his father and Kyle is entitled to an inheritance. Jess slammed the door in Beverly’s face.

A few days later Jess was served with papers that Beverly was suing her on behalf of her son Kyle for a portion of Jess’s inheritance. Here was Jessica Jean Rutland, a grieving widow at thirty-eight with no one to lean on and an old nemesis trying to take what little she has. She knew that Brandon did have a son, from a previous marriage, but was not the father of Beverly’s son, if she even had one. Jess would never give Beverly the satisfaction of knowing how she knew that Brandon was not the father.

Jess hired an attorney and a DNA test on Brandon’s son, and served Beverly with a court order to have a DNA test on her son Kyle, and Jess counter sued and Beverly had to pay for Jess’s lawyer and all court costs, after which she disappeared for the next 11 years until six months ago when she turned up working at Siemens, today was the first time Jess had seen Kyle and did not know that he was Beverly’s son, until Beverly came running out accusing her of giving him a beer.

Having given their statements

Derek and Jess were told they could go home.

Walking toward the door Jess suddenly without a word went into the ladies room and Derek took the opportunity to go into the men’s room. Jess waited about one minute the peeked out saw that Derek was not there and ran out to the front desk and asked an officer to take her home….

Later that night when the phone rang and Jess saw that it was Derek on the caller ID, she did not answer….

© 2016 Shyron E Shenko


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