Ideas for stories come from the most unlikeliest of places.
Cluedo (or CLue, as it is sold in the US) is a whodunnit board game. The board is a room plan of a stately home which players have to travel round in order to guess who killed Mr Black, in which room and with what weapon. I’ve played the game only a few times. It’s not really my thing, however, when I entered a 200 word competition where the prompt was Library, this is what came out of me head:
A fading torchlight beam flowed across row upon row of shelves revealing nothing more than… books. A bad night getting worse for Constable Black; first an empty ballroom broken into and now this library. He’d joined the force to investigate real crimes, not fictional ones. With a torch whose batteries… The room plunged to darkness. He called the station.
‘No forced entry. Someone probably left the door open.’
‘You’re bre—king up.’
Black terminated the call, cursed the chunky Met-issue phone and used its dull screen to inadequately light his way out this biblio-maze. A rope barrier cordoned off the aisle and as he stepped over didn’t see the water pipe protruding at head height.
Seeing stars, the policeman backed into a stepladder sending a wrench, left on the top step, clattering across the floor. Along with his phone. On his knees in the pitch-black, he searched for his mobile. Instead he found a knife. A yellow candle flame flickered into life. The pale ghostly female holding the candlestick spoke.
‘A proper whodunnit, don’t-cha think? The clues were all there.’
‘What?’ PC Black wished he hadn’t but did indeed work it out: Mrs White, in the library, with the gun.
P.S. the story was runner-up
BTW – the title DDC 823.364 is my take on the Dewey Decimal System, it does, or should, mean something; answers in the comments box, please.