‘Hell of a way to start the new year.’

Samson looked round the room. Everything was red. Decorations, walls, the clothes on the victim, the pool of blood on the floor, the spatter of blood on the wall.

‘It’s the contradiction, you see?’ Cheng explained. ‘The colour red. Chinese New Year is celebrated with the colour red. 2017 is the year of the Rooster, the Fire Rooster. Red is an unlucky colour for Fire Roosters.’

Samson shrugged. ‘It sure was unlucky for this guy.’ He motioned to the body. ‘We got a name yet?’

Cheng consulted his notepad. ‘Mr. Dingbang Kam. Owned this place. Born in 1957, the last year of the Fire Rooster. Married, three daughters.’

Samson knelt by the body. He noticed something sticking out of the mouth. A feather? Rigor mortis had set in. He managed to prise open the jaw.

Samson recoiled at the sight of the rooster’s head stuffed inside the mouth.

An officer came down the stairs looking pale and shaken.

‘Sir, I think you need to take a look upstairs.’


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© Singledust

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story, in around 150 words based on the weekly photo prompt. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

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55 thoughts on “YEAR OF THE FIRE ROOSTER

  1. This was very clever and I must say you added such local flavour to it, like you were here in 1957 on Jonker Street and watched the kongsi’s fight for power. It was called Hereen Street back when my grandma lived here, all houses had a well in the middle. Fire Rooster! You did your research well Iain – I am impressed. No its not a good year for the roosters especially earth and wood roosters but its a good year for those born in the year of the rat and ox! I will let you figure that one out. Love the take on this. Befitting that PJ uses this photo as the Lunar New Year is this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and the prompt photo. Glad my research was good enough to make the story believable and you got the atmosphere I was looking for. Only sorry it wasn’t a happier tale to celebrate the new year with, maybe I’ll try and do a happier one before the weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you did it nicely! the new year is loud and boisterous not necessarily happy as family ties get tested around this time but yes a happy tale would be appreciated as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh god, what was upstairs Iain, dare I ask?

    That cliffhanger aside, I enjoyed your take on the photo. I liked that you made it into a crime scene, and the details were spot on! Fire Rooster reference was a nice touch .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not a reader of crime stories, but I was impressed by the detail and back story – and fearful for his family. Great writing Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Michael, I love a good crime read, although I don’t write too many crime stories, but I decided to head in that direction with this one. Thanks for reading.

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  4. Well, that’s a cracking opening to a crime novel – suitably gruesome and mysterious. Vivid descriptions and well paced – you held us right in the palm of your hand there, Iain. Very well done

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such great atmosphere here, and suspenseful too! Great job doing your homework on the cultural significance of the various clues. And I’m with the others — I’m scared to see what’s upstairs. What’s downstairs is bad enough!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Please, don’t! Although maybe you should. It almost couldn’t be as bad as what I might imagine. Or maybe it would be. (shiver) I’m going back to “please don’t.”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Frightening take and as many say above, not a good start the the Chinese New Year. I liked learning you researched this, about some kind of turf war, being the motive for this guy’s death, nitro mention he’s a rooster and that’s unlucky. The detail of the roosters head in his mouth was particularly gross and finding about the daughters and upstairs . . . Well done, I’m feeling a “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” vibe here, gruesome scenes and fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a great story. The smart, snappy style fits the crime scene and investigating officers so well. Great use of colour – not to mention the use you made of your research into the Year of the Fire Rooster. The cliffhanger leaves me with thoughts of an even more gruesome scene upstairs.

    Liked by 1 person

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