by Alexis Kypridemos
Detective Richard "Dick" Tuggs' partner, Detective David "Davie" Croquet, handed him a piece of paper. Tuggs looked at the paper. It was blank but for a straight line running down the middle.
"Yang seems pretty steady on the polygraph," Tuggs said, referring to the murder suspect they had arrested and questioned, Yang Yang.
"Yeah," Croquet said. "But the fingerprints we got off the crime scene match Yang’s."
Tuggs looked up from the polygraph sheet.
A minute later, Tuggs and Croquet burst into the interview room. Yang sat handcuffed in the chair.
"OK, give it up, Yang," Tuggs said. "We found your fingerprints at the crime scene."
"But I’m innocent," Yang said.
"Damn!" Crocket thumped the tabletop. He turned to Tuggs and said in a low voice so Yang couldn't hear, "If we can't find anything fast, we have to let him go."
They returned to their desks, and reviewed the case files, looking for some new piece of evidence, some new angle that would prove Yang guilty of the murder. With just a few hours left before Yang was to be released, they raced against time.
The piles of paper on the floor beside their desks grew as they went through the case files. Their faces became more haggard as the fatigue and tension built.
After some hours into the process, and with little time left before Yang was to be released, Tuggs put down the sheet he was reading, and said to Croquet, "OK. OK. Can you hear me out on something?"
Croquet put down his papers and looked up tiredly.
"Sure," he sighed.
"I’ve been going over the crime scene reports," Tuggs said, "And I’ve been thinking, the body was like this, right?"
Tuggs made room on the floor and lay down, approximately the way the murder victim was found.
"And the gun shot wounds were over here, right?"
He held two fingers on the left side of his chest, consistent with a right-handed assailant.
"Yeah, but how does-" Croquet started to say.
Tuggs sat up.
"The murderer had to be left-handed!" he said.
"So, if Yang is left-handed, that makes him the murderer?" Croquet asked.
"How are you going to establish that?"
Tuggs walked over to his desk, opened one of the drawers and took out a tennis ball.
They returned to the interview room. Croquet walked behind Yang and leaned against the wall, forearms crossed over his chest. Yang looked up.
"What? You’re not glad to see us?" Tuggs said, and bounced the tennis ball off the wall.
"I tell you, I am innocent. In less than one hour, I leave here and there is nothing you can do about it."
"Well, you’re almost right about that one, Yang." Tuggs bounced the ball again. "Except that we’ve been going over the evidence again."
"Well, it’s just that, we’ve come up-"
Tuggs threw the ball. Yang made no move to catch the ball with either his left or right hand. The ball bounced off the table and hit Croquet in the groin.
Croquet clutched himself, coughed, and kneeled. Tears swelling in his eyes, he slid to the ground.
"Bullseye," Yang said.
Author Notes: "Bullseye" is part of "Fiction Fix," a collection of 46 short, funny stories, plus 196 bonus micro fiction budget stories, available at http://www.fiction-fix.com.