The message – a short scene


The image accompanying this short crime genre scene was generated using ChatGPT4 with DALL-E. It’s not exactly how I envisioned the house in my mind, but it works. With more finessing, I’m sure I could make it more like I imagined, but as a short exercise in AI art generation, this one is interesting. It’s a keeper. Now, on with the story…

The message

Reg climbed out of the police car and strolled towards the front door. This was unusual. Walking into the office at 7 am, they hadn’t even had time to make coffee when they were sent to deliver a death message. The 20-year-old had driven his elderly neighbour’s car into a tree during the night. That didn’t end well.

He’d delivered many death messages, but Reg felt uneasy about this one. At least he’d won the coin toss and was going to tell the neighbour while Barry destroyed the lives of the dead kid’s family. A wry smile spread across his face as he watched Barry saunter away, muttering under his breath. Sometimes, the small wins were the best.

As he approached the house, the sweet aroma of jasmine filled the air. It smelled like lilacs but was sweeter and more pronounced, with a smell so thick you could taste it.  The flowers were all open in the neatly trimmed garden, enjoying the warm spring sunshine.

Getting closer to the house, Reg saw the front door was slightly ajar. Unusual. It was still early, but the day was heating up, so maybe the old man had been out to water the plants. Brightly coloured butterflies flitted around the jasmine, but the dozens of blowflies buzzing around the door unnerved him. Slowly, the sweet scent of jasmine gave way to the coppery smell of blood filling his nostrils.

“Anyone here?” he shouted. Nothing.

“I’m coming in!”

Rod pushed the door fully open and stepped inside. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, the smell was overwhelming. Lying on the floor just inside the lounge room was an old man. He was sprawled on his back and was clearly dead. His throat had been slit the entire width of his neck. Blood had bubbled near the wound, frothy and thin, as it ran like a torrent onto the now-stained carpet. His eyes were wide open and pleading as the maggots fell from the gaping wound.



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