A Story by ElizabethAmBurns

A conspiracy theorist drags his sister into his puzzle, much to his regret. Contest entry.


Simon stared at the string and paper plastered across his wall. He paced up and down the small room, biting his pen until ink bled across his lip.

“It doesn’t make any sense!” he growled, He flipped through the books and magazines on his desk at random, hoping for inspiration. Nothing.

“Hey Si.” A vibrant redhead poked her head into the room.

“What?” the boy dropped the manga he had been holding at an angle.

“Nice crazy. Watchu doing this time?” she asked, wandering through the room. She plucked a piece of string.
“Don’t touch that!” he pulled her away from the wall. “It’s part of the answer!”

“Oh, great, wonderful.” She pushed the books off the desk casually. “So there’s this party…”

“What?” Simon scurried to pick up the books.

“…and I need a ride.”

“Mmhm.” He stacked the pile precariously. “What?”

She grabbed him by the collar. “Ride. Party. You. Me. Now.”

He blinked and shook his head furiously. “Not until I get the answer!”

“The answer is 42.”

“No it isn’t!” he pulled her over to the board. “Look Kiki! It’s words!”

Kiki tilted her head and read the circled words. “Indoor pools, outdoors cats, underground rooms. What the hell is this?”

“It’s part of the answer! I’ve been at it for hours but all I’ve got is IP, OC, UB which rearranged is PUBIC O…” he blushed.

“There’s your answer. Let’s go.”

“No! I’ve got to know!”

“Why? Why is this so important?”

“Because it’s driving me insane!”

“You’re driving me insane. Now drive me to the party!”

The pair glared at each other.

“I will drive you if you find the answer.” Simon said adamantly.

Kiki spun on the spot paced back and forth in front of the wall.

“Okay… okay…” she bit her lip. “Okay. I think I got it.”

She turned on the spot.

“Just one question.”


“What was the question?”

Simon’s jaw dropped.

“Uh… question?”

Kiki slapped her forehead. “There was no question, was there? You just saw some random words and thought they had some great mystical conspiratorial meaning. Again.”

Simon bit his lip. “Maybe.”

“Great. Here’s you answer then. It’s the same as the question. NOTHING. Now drive me.”

“Okay…” Simon grudgingly went to get his keys.

“You know," Kiki called hurriedly after him, "for a conspiracy theorist, you’re pretty clueless!”

© 2013 ElizabethAmBurns

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Author's Note

Entry for "Indoor pools, outdoors cats, underground rooms". Can't say I put much effort into this one.

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Added on March 15, 2013
Last Updated on March 24, 2013
Tags: conspiracy, theory, theorist, sister, puzzle, clueless, underground, cats, rooms, indoor, pubic, pool



Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wants to be the author of a sci-fi classic. Instead, is the author of Zombiism and Other Lies, so going to try her hand at fantasy next. Now on twitter at more..

Cold Cold

A Story by ElizabethAmBurns