Mysterious Photograph

Each issue features a Mysterious Photograph. Readers are invited to submit a 250-word (or less) flash fiction story based on the photo. The person who invents the best mystery story receives a prize of $25, and the story is published in a future issue.

The Story That Won the May/June contest:


© / Karamysh


by Michael J. Ciaraldi

“I’m the financial expert, but you’re telling me that this golf trip today is tax-deductible?”

“Sure, Charlie. Look at us: college friends, Silicon Valley whiz kids, partners. Me, the head of Research and Development, demonstrating my newest invention to you, the CFO. Pure business.”

“I guess. We’ve made it to the third green in your self-driving golf cart. It can follow the path automatically; what else can it do?”

“Watch this. I’ll use the app on my phone to call the cart to me.”

“How does it work?”

“WiFi and GPS help it home in, and ultrasonic sensors provide collision avoidance.”

“Ultrasonic? Too high-pitched for humans to hear? Like an old-fashioned ‘silent’ dog whistle?”

“Right. It’s like sonar. As long as there are no other ultrasonic sounds, the cart can steer around anything in its path. Stand by the flag.”

I clicked on my phone and the cart moved forward, picking up speed. I turned away as I raised my hand to my lips. There was an awful squishing sound as the cart plowed into and over Charlie.

As the sole surviving owner of the company, I would have to accept responsibility for this “tragic accident.” But it was a small price to pay for inheriting Charlie’s shares and getting rid of the man who had been sleeping with my wife. I put the dog whistle back into my pocket.


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