Dissimulation Crime Flash Fiction By Jason Smith

Dissimulation: Crime Flash Fiction By Jason Smith

In Dissimulation by Jason Smith, James was walking home when the first bullet missed him. 

A gunshot hit the brick, masonry dust lifted up in the air. It didn’t matter where I ran, the gunshots kept coming. I turned around to the sound of screeching tires.

He was aiming at me when the truck plowed into him, his body turned into a mangled bloody mess, a gun lay in a dismembered hand nearby. Why was he shooting at me?

The police interviewed me at the scene.

“Have you fallen out with anyone lately?”

“Do you have any known enemies?”

I answered no to every question, the detectives wondered if it was a case of mistaken identity.

The police gave me a ride home. My wife Tammy was there with her friend, Isabella.

I told Tammy what had happened and she was shocked. Isabella excused himself and left. I told Tammy the whole story as she held my shaking hands and wiped away my tears.

The next day I was talking with my friend Greg.

I told Tammy what had happened and she was shocked. Isabella excused himself and left.

“Are you kidding me? Seriously?” Greg asked.

“I know, it’s unbelievable, like something out of a movie.” I replied.

“It must have been a case of mistaken identity. Either that or someone really doesn’t like you.” replied Greg.

“I think Tammy’s friend Isabelle doesn’t like me.”

“Why do you think that?”

“She’s always standoffish with me. She was with Tammy when I got home last night.”

“Maybe she wants Tammy to herself and she’s trying to get you taken out.”

We both laughed.

Later I read an article about the incident, I kept thinking about Isabella. She really doesn’t like me. She’s always with Tammy when I’m not around, as soon as I arrive she makes excuses and leaves.

I walked downstairs to the kitchen. Tammy had gone to a yoga class with Isabella. She’d asked if I wanted her to stay home but I felt I needed space to breathe and told her to go.

I needed to destress. Running was my best tool for that. As I ran, I could feel my stress lifting. But I was scared, what if it happens again?

Later as I walked into our home I could hear Tammy and Isabella laughing.

“Hi.” I said as I walked into the kitchen.

“Hi Honey, how are you?.” replied Tammy.

“Good, I bought dinner. Isabella there’s plenty if you would like to join us.”

“No, I’ve got things to do. I’ll call you later.” Isabelle said to Tammy.

“Are you sure you won’t stay?” replied Tammy.

“Yes, I’ll call you later.”

Isabella left without saying goodbye to me. I waited for the door to close.

“She doesn’t like me.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Just a feeling I get.”

“You’re being silly.”

My phone rang before I could reply.


“Mr. Zeigler, it’s Detective Massey. I was calling to let you know how the investigation is going. It turns out the gentleman who was killed by the truck was a Robert Donovan, does that name mean anything to you?”

“No, I don’t know anyone by that name.” James replied.

“…I was calling to let you know how the investigation is going. It turns out the gentleman who was killed by the truck was a Robert Donovan…”

“We still don’t know if he had mistaken you for someone else. Are you sure there is no one you have fallen out with recently?”

“No Detective, I don’t know of anyone I have ever had a problem with.”

“Mr. Donovan had no criminal record. We’re going to try and track down his relatives, I’ll be in touch within the next forty eight hours.”

“What did he say?” asked Tammy.

I told Tammy what Detective Massey had said.

“It just makes no sense.” said Tammy.

I thought about what Greg had said about Isabelle.

“Work said I can take some time off. Do you want to go to the coast for a few days, maybe rent a beach house?”

“Yes, I would love that.” replied Tammy.

The next day we drove to the coast. Later we sat on a quiet beach, around a fire, drinking cocktails and listening to the distant roar and crash of the surf.

“You know what you said about Isabella?” said Tammy. “When I spoke to her on the phone earlier, I told her we were going away and she became very upset.”

“Did you tell her what I said?” I asked.

“I was going to but she didn’t give me a chance.”

“Greg thinks she wants you for herself.”

“Greg is an idiot!”

“Have you heard anything from her since?”

“No, I can’t get ahold of her.”

It was late and we decided to call it a night. I was drunk and tired. I noticed as we walked back to the beach house that a light was on downstairs. When we entered the house, Isabella was waiting with a gun pointing at me.

Isabelle shot James in his chest, he died instantly. The police report said that Isabelle had become infatuated with Tammy. Tammy shot and killed Isabelle immediately after Isabelle had shot James. Isabelle is suspected of hiring Robert Donovan to kill James Zeigler.

What nobody suspected was this had been Tammy’s plan all along. James had a top executive job with a great life insurance policy, Tammy would get a huge payout when James died. But Tammy didn’t want to wait, life was for living and she wanted the money now.

Tammy had been cheating on James for years. When she met Robert and Isabella she convinced them both they should kill James. When James suggested they go away, Tammy knew Isabelle would get jealous, so she gave her the address where they were staying. She told Isabelle they could make it look like self defense and Isabelle agreed to kill James. The plan worked, immediately after Isabelle shot and killed James, Tammy shot and killed Isabelle.

Tammy waited for the police investigation and press coverage  to cool off. After receiving the money from James’s life insurance policy she moved to Amsterdam and met a Dutch couple named Kim and Thomas. Thomas has just taken out an excellent life insurance policy.


If you’ve enjoyed Dissimulation, you can visit our free digital archive of flash fiction here. Additionally, premium short fiction published by Mystery Tribune on a quarterly basis is available digitally here.

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