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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Frank let a hand slide from his forehead back to his bald spot where it came to rest. "Boy, this deductive dact...dactl...the stuffs over my head."

In spite of his unappetizing appearance, Chris Thomas’s smile betrayed a certain satisfaction in that his brain was still able to function. I had to hand it to him. In the same situation, I’m not so sure my own thoughts would be worth the coppers from a cadaver’s eyeballs.

"Look at the facts I’ve given you," said the teacher. "There are four students, right? Luis, Ned, Dinah and Karen--each to be assigned a locker in a row of twelve. Since the aliquots of twelve have been preassigned, this eliminates lockers number one, two, three, four, six and twelve."

Frank held up a finger like a lightning rod that just took a hit. "Because all of those numbers are aliquots of twelve, meaning they can all be divided equally into the total number."

"Correct," said the teacher. "Now, of the remaining lockers, numbers five, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven, we know that Luis gets ten. It can’t be Ned because his name has three letters and so does the number ten. Since two boys cannot occupy adjacent lockers, Ned can’t go into nine or eleven either. We also know that Dinah’s locker is lower than Ned’s, and she can’t go into numbers seven or eight--"

"Because their are five letters in the name Dinah, and likewise in the numbers seven and eight," said Frank. I could tell he was actually getting into this math nonsense. "She must be in number five then."

"Right again," Chris Thomas plunked his empty Styrofoam cup down on the edge of my desk. "Karen can’t be in numbers seven or eight either. Five letter in her name too, you see? Therefore Karen must be in locker eleven, which is the last available locker in that row."

"Well, I’ll be darned," said Frank with a chuckle. "Of course, our time would be better spent in locating the whereabouts of Professor Lightning, alias Nigel Greene."

"Of course," said the teacher, extending his hand across the desk in my direction. "I’ll relieve you of that five now, Detective Friday."

"Are you sure you won’t let us put you up in a clean room somewhere?" I asked.

"I’ve been living these past months relying on my own wits, Detective Friday. If you and your partner aren’t quick enough to grasp one of the professor’s more elementary problems, I fail to see why I should trust you to protect me from such a man."

I handed Thomas the five without comment.

He shoved it inside his jacket pocket like a squirrel burying a nut. And pushing himself up onto his crutches with practiced ease, he left my office without looking back.

I lugged the Diecast City phone directory out of my desk drawer and started thumbing through it for the number to Diecast University. When I located it, I laid the phone book open on my desk blotter and was reaching for the phone when I my gaze fell on the teacher’s coffee cup. An invisible hand started to tighten into a fist inside my chest. In place of the plastic coffee stir, I saw a jagged brass lightning bolt winking at me like a two dollar hooker at a dance party.

Instinctively, I turned to the window. The teacher was waiting across the street below, smiling like twin sets of piano keys that just ate the pianist. He released his grip on the crutches and let them fall to the pavement. Then he planted an exaggerated kiss on the five dollar bill and waved it in the air. Thunder rumbled somewhere overhead as I got to my feet. Lightning flashed white in the street below, turning the passing pedestrians and vehicles alike into long thin shadows that floated down the concrete canyons as if they were phantoms out of Dickens. When the light returned to normal, only the Thomas’s crutches remained. Like Tiny Tim, the teacher learned to walk free of them.

"Looks like the professor was playing Keyser Soze."

"Why go through such an elaborate act?" said Frank, joining me at the window. "Why risk coming up here just to taunt us?"

I lowered the blind. In spite of all the rain, Diecast City felt like a garage mechanics handkerchief after a twelve hour shift. Thunder rattled the building, mocking me.

"Because the professor wants us to feel small, to let us know he’s smarter than we are. That he can do anything he likes and there’s not a blasted thing we can do about it."

Sadly...no one won that round. But don’t feel bad, the professor stumped all of us on this round with a plot twist. The victim...I mean participant...in the next round will be chosen at random. Who will meet Professor Lightning? And what shall be their fate? Stay tuned until next time. :devil:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As a sidebar to this thread: I once bought a copy of Raymond Chandler's "The High Window" in a used book store, and when I opened to page one an ace of spades playing card was inside the book. It's still in there too.

For anyone not in the know, Chandler was one of the original hard-boiled writers from the 30's, and creator of the famous detective Philip Marlowe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
DaCustomizer said:
oh! whats your favorite book?
I have quite a few favorites, from the classics to the modern. I started out with guys like Stephen King, (I grew up watching every horror movie ever made but didn't read anything but comic books until I got a little older). Then I really got addicted to mysteries. Sherlock Holmes is still a favorite. But the last few years or so, I read more straight fiction. The subject doesn't matter as much as the author's word. If have the right combination of words that make me feel something, I'll read anything. They say a good writer doesn't tell you it's raining, but gives you the feeling of being rained on.

Plus I like suspense that's drawn out over time, but not a lot of boring description for the sake filling up pages and putting people to sleep. Modern writing is about writing visually and having less to stand for more. I think people who don't like to read is remember all the 19th century stuff they fed us in high school. Not that all of it's bad, but a smart writer finds a way to keep the story going and weave the description in...not bore your pants off telling you every detail of a room before one of the characters says anything.

Now I bet you're sorry you asked me about this :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
carnut2256 said:
This is some of the best writing I've ever seen on the board. Great job, DS :thumbsup:
Thank you, carnut. This has been an exercise in writing quickly for me to see how it turns out...and of course, to keep us all amused (I hope). I've been working on more serious writing endeavors in my spare time, but needed a break from it and hopefully kick start my thinking about it from another perspective when I go back and make revisions. They say writing is rewriting, and the best writers redo it many times before it gets published. Hopefully I'll be on the bookshelves next to them one fine day.
 
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