Beautiful Shattered Glass

Randal Ruffley’s showroom was a mess. Glass of a thousand different colours had been scattered along the ground, making for a dazzling – albeit horrific – sight. I’d never gotten to see this famous art installation in person, but I’d seen the pictures. Who hadn’t? What was once a brilliant sculpture of decorative glass was now a jagged ruin along the stone tiles.

“Haven’t seen a smashing this bad since the Glass Smashing Bandit was active,” I said, almost impressed by the scene. “Boy, did he manage to anger just about every glazier offering service near Melbourne. Even if they did get a lot of business, it hurt them to see their beautiful work destroyed.”

“So, what do you think?” asked Chris Ruffley, who stood with his arms crossed, his long coat dripping water onto the floor.

“I’ll have to speak to the glass to find out,” I said, kneeling down.

“You talk to glass?”

I gave him a sharp look. “They don’t call me the Glass Whisperer for nothing.” Looking through the shattered glass, I found a piece that might have a story to tell. “I don’t actually talk to it, per se. I can see visions of the past by being in contact with the glass.”

As my fingers made contact with a sharp piece of orange glass, the world around me faded away. I don’t know how long I remained in the trance, seeing clear images of what had happened.

“The butler did it!” I said when I came out of the trance.

“What? We didn’t have a butler.”

“Oh, sorry. Force of habit. You know, nine times out of ten the butler did actually do it, particularly when the case involves high-quality Melbourne glass balustrades. But you’re right, that’s not the case this time. Unfortunately, the installation didn’t actually see who exactly destroyed it.” I lifted my unlit cigarette to my lips and pretended to inhale. “However, it did hear them whisper ‘dad’ as the deed was done, which confirms our suspicion that the installation was destroyed by someone within the family who held a grudge.”