Sarah's Requiem – The (Shipped) Gold Standard

Totally stealing Mur’s idea of writing a flash fic for They Might Be Giants songs. But I’m doing it for Fall Out Boy’s Folie à Deux album. Borrowing the ideas of the songs. All of these fics will fit into the novel series I’m writing called Sarah’s Requiem. Think of the stories as a prequel to the novel. So you’re getting a sneak peek of what’s to come.

Sarah Doyle is a consultant to the Downtown Chicago’s Police District, mostly it’s homicide division. She lives and works with her best friend Iyana Jones, who is a journalist and wanna be Romance novelist. Sarah’s unique quirks make her disliked by all at the police force, except a few close friends.


The (Shipped) Gold Standard
You can only blame your problems on my world for so long
Before it all becomes the same old song
– Fall Out Boy
by Tabitha Grace Smith

The door creaked, but Sarah didn’t turn around. “I brought you some coffee,” Iyana said. “Aren’t you cold out here?”

Sarah looked around at the twinkling lights of the city. The balcony of their condo offered a view of the winding Chicago river and the skyline. She turned to Iyana, “not as cold as it’s gonna get.”

Iyana nodded and sat in a chair next to Sarah, handing her the coffee as she sat. “Wait, did you mean metaphorically?”

Sarah smiled and sipped the coffee.

“‘Cuz if you meant metaphorically, I was going to raz you about leaving the florid prose to me.” Iyana grinned slyly and cupped her mug of hot tea and looked out to the skyline. She could see the orange lights of the John Hancock. The colored lights at the top changed with the season, and now it seemed to be celebrate Halloween. The Wrigley Building had probably changed their colors as well. “How long are you planning on staying out here?” Iyana said after sipping her mug.

“Until my nose freezes I think.” Sarah motioned to the mug in her hand. “Which will be a lot later now that I have this.”

Iyana sighed exageratedly. “I’m such a bad influence on you.”

Sarah laughed, the sides of her eyes wrinkling as she did so. Iyana joined her with a giggle. “Okay, it wasn’t that funny.”

“I haven’t had a lot of sleep lately, everything is funny.” Sarah said.

“True, I wonder why lack of sleep makes things funnier.”

“Probably because lack of sleep is akin to alcoholism. After 36 hours you should be declared legally drunk.”

“You haven’t been up that long have you?” Iyana grinned. “Let me know now and I’ll take away your car keys.”

Sarah laughed again. “No, not that long.”

“What have you been thinking about with all your lack-of-sleep time?”

“That I should quit being a consultant with Chicago PD.” Sarah said running a finger around the edge of her mug.

Iyana blinked. “And do what?”

“Become an accountant.” Sarah said with a twinkle in her eye.

“Oh, that will be wonderful. You’re lousy at math, Sarah.” Iyana shook her head. “Seriously now. What would you do?”

“Seriously? I don’t know. Live off my best friend, the writer?”

“Ha!” Iyana barked with a laugh. “The day my paycheck for freelance writing pays the bills around here, I’ll dye the Chicago River purple.”

“Kind of steals the thunder of Saint Patrick’s Day doesn’t it?”

“Like I care about a bunch of drunk Irish men.” Iyana said. She sighed softly. “Why would you quit being a consultant? You love your job.”

“Job doesn’t love me.” Sarah sipped her coffee and set the mug aside. “And I’m tired of the cold. We could get our passports renewed and go to Mexico.”

“Is this about talking to the dead people?” Iyana put a hand on Sarah’s arm. “If so, why don’t you just stop?”

“I can’t Iyana. They’re right there. It would be rude.” Sarah sighed and rubbed her eyes. “I know they’re not real. I know they’re not ghosts. I just… I can’t think without talking to them.”

Iyana patted Sarah’s arm reassuringly. “So not doing the one job you love is the answer? Sarah, I know you, you’d be miserable everywhere else.”

“Maybe we could move back to California. I miss palm trees.”

“I’ll plant some by the lake.”

“Better hurry before it gets cold.” Sarah stood. “No one likes me Iyana.”

“I like you.”

Sarah rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean.”

Iyana nodded. “I do know what you mean. But it’s not because they think you’re weird Sarah, it’s because you push them away while you’re weird. I mean Freddy alone would –“

Sarah waved a hand in the air as if pushing Iyana’s words away. “Freddy, Ortiz, the Lieutenant… none of them like me.”

“They would if you gave them a chance, Sarah. You’re afraid of being their friend. Since Jeremy –” Iyana traild off. “SInce Jeremy, you just haven’t been yourself.”

“There’s no resolution, Iyana. I can’t say case closed. I can’t put Jeremy to rest. We can’t find out why he betrayed me. Why he almost killed you. Why two months later he exploded in his car.” Sarah looked over the edge of the balcony. “I can’t end it.”

Iyana rose and stood beside Sarah. “Stop blaming the world for you not moving forward, Sarah. And stop punishing the people you work with. If you want to quit, fine. We quit. But don’t make this about them when clearly it’s about you.” Iyana turned and started for the door.

“Iyana?” Sarah said softly.

“Yes?” Iyana paused at the doorway.

“I’m glad you’re my friend.” Sarah said. “I’m…”

“Apology accepted my friend. Don’t stay out here too long, I don’t want to defrost you tomorrow.” Iyana smiled and stepped inside, closing the door behind her as she went.

Sarah stared out into the city. Somewhere out there someone knew the truth of Jeremy’s death. Someone who wasn’t her. She was tired of not knowing, tired of solving other crimes but this one, tired of not being able to say she loved Jeremy. How could she love someone who betrayed her?

Accountant was looking more enjoyable every minute.


Creative Commons License Sarah’s Requiem Flash Fiction by Tabitha Grace Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at

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