Saturday 18 June 2022

'Who Dunnit?' by Julie Flattery

Not the tea-stained sky, dirt-patched snow, or disappearance of holiday lights, leaving endless gray days ahead, dampened our spirits that February morning when people arrived downtown, mittened and upturned-collared, to discover the bedazzling of ramshackle Railroad Avenue.

Cold came late that year in Bellingham, Washington and dug its heels in—snow pouring like powdered sugar, frosting everything, white mounds from harsh winds blocking doors and windows, holding our sans-snowplow-town hostage, causing us to batten down hatches and stay put…and put…and put until soup and games around crackling fireplaces ceased to be charming and, on that morning, we ventured out.

Drawn by shiny objects ahead, freshly steamed lattes in hand, citizens gravitated towards the spectacle to find Railroad’s barren trees wrapped with knitted scarves, a guerilla art exhibit to behold.

They stood tall and proud in their dashing ensembles, myriad patterns—seed stitch, stripes, garter stitch, drop stitch—in the loudest colors imaginable—tomato red with fuchsia, fiery orange with sunshine yellow, amethyst with turquoise—beautiful chaos dazzling those who gazed at the magic for as long as shivering bodies allowed before heading home, a bit lighter of foot and spirit, to sit again in front of the fire and make a game of who-dunnit.

Though no one admitted to this cheerful crime of passion that never again occurred, speculations abounded—from the women who weaved at the farmer’s market, to the jolly man who swept the sidewalks sporting his own kicky scarves, to the mayor who knitted with a gaggle of men at the pub—the day arrived when everyone agreed that the mystery was part of the beauty.

As for the scarves, the icy winds picked at them until they were reduced to bits of frayed yarn, allowing glimpses of unfurling leaves that signaled spring was certain to arrive…someday.


  1. Julie, you continue to amaze and delight us with your wonderful stories. Please keep them coming.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this gripping flash fiction piece! The author did an excellent job of building suspense and keeping the reader guessing until the end.
    how long is a business day
    Thank you for sharing this fantastic piece of writing!


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