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“Wet Detective”

“Now, for the next ten minutes, write down whatever comes into your mind,” our Education teacher said to us all. The clatter of twenty-five keyboards reminded me of a waterfall. I don’t think this is what she meant.

We open on the detective’s office, which is behind a waterfall for some reason. Everything in the detective’s office is wet.

Their desk is wet. Their typewriter is wet. Their chair is wet, and the leather squeaks at the slightest move of their wet body. The paper is wet, in a newspaper, in a book, in a file, it’s wet, and it’s a miracle anything still holds ink or even shape. The detective’s shoes are wet. Just absolutely sopping wet, like somebody poured two glasses of water into them before they put them on. The detective’s socks are wet. Their feet? Wet as it gets. Their trousers — clean, tightly pressed, with a firm crease exactly where it should be — are wet. Their feet, their knees, every hair on their legs, and the legs themselves? Wet. Their underwear is wet. Their lower half squeaks slightly as it shifts, uncomfortable from wetness, in their wet chair.

Their shirt is wet. Their long trenchcoat is wet, as is the coat rack it’s hanging on. And just as the detective starts, briefly, to consider the poor choices they’d made that brought them here, to this wetness, there’s a knock at their door. Which, you’ll realise, is wet, because it’s behind a waterfall, which is not traditionally a place that keeps things dry. Wait, is it traditionally a place that has doors? No, it’s not, is it. Maybe the knock is at the waterfall instead of at the door. Knock knock. Splash splash. Wet wet.

God, everything is wet. It’s so wet. Why did the detective accept this posting from the agency? What made this seem like a good idea? Should probably open the door. No, not the door, the waterfall? Splash splash. Come in, the waterfall is wet.

Wet footsteps. It’s not a wet dame or a grizzled wet business man. It’s a firefighter. A wet firefighter.

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