The “Pitch” Perfect Crime: A Vocabulary-Boosting Short Story

New to Vocabbett? In a nutshell, I create stories that painlessly boost your vocabulary! You read one below, or download the printable version, with definitions, here.

Fat Amy sneezed.

Her fellow Bellas, singers from the premiere a cappella group at Barden University, shied back in a way they hadn’t since THE GREAT SOPHOMORE FART. Their motivation, however, wasn’t prompted by a mere desire to avoid the malodorous emission, as it was then.

No. A sneeze in December meant something far more sinister: germs, the kind that cause your throat to go scratchy, your nose to go stuffy, and your chance at beating the Treblemakers in the semi-finals to dissipate into nothingness.

“It’s nothing,” Fat Amy sneezed again. “Back to the riff-off everyone. Poppin bottles in the…”

“Ice, Ice, Baby,” Becca chimed in uncertainly. “Vanilla Ice, Ice…”

“Baby got back,” Aubrey, the snooty blonde and co-captain of the Bellas finished, holding up a hand for silence. “Fat Amy, this is serious. How could you let this happen?”

“I don’t know,” she said, wiping snot from her nose with the back of her hand. The other Bellas discreetly stepped further back, and Amy continued, “unless…”


“I’ve been going to the library,” Fat Amy confessed, in tones one might use to admit stealing gum from a store.


“Well, nothing good happens in a library, does it?”

“I literally have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“’It was the butler in the library with the candlestick,’” Amy air-bashed a ghost over the head. “I’ve been sitting at the same table each night.”

Becca interjected, “Are you suggesting someone tried to get you sick? That some elaborate scheme is afoot?”

“Not someone,” Fat Amy said. “Bumper. We’re on the outs. It was Bumper in the library with a tissue. A soggy tissue, smeared on my desk before I got there. I’m sure of it.”

The faces of the Bellas contorted into various expressions of disgust. 

“In that case,” Aubrey said, “we have some revenge to plot. Bellas, gather round. Fat Amy, go sit in bleachers. Holler down any ideas.”

Fat Amy gave Aubrey a look of withering scorn, sitting down on the gym floor. “Fine here, thanks. And just think, if I weren’t so brilliant, this could’ve been the perfect crime…”

“The pitch perfect crime, more like,” Aubrey snapped, pointing to the bleachers. “And unless you want to get pitch slapped, I’d get moving. Bellas, hand sanitizer, then vengeance.”

Want more? Audio of this story can be found in episode 19 of the Vocabbett podcast!

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