Feb 072018
 

I am participating in NYC Midnight‘s Short Story Challenge 2018. At the start time for the First Round of the Challenge, we were given a genre, subject, and character for a 2500 word short story with 8 days to complete and upload it. I was assigned horror, a checklist, and a gatecrasher. Horror is not a genre that I typically enjoy, however, writing out of my comfort zone proved to be challenging and educational. I’m hoping to move on to the second round at the end of March by placing in the top 5 out of the 32 in my heat. Wish me luck!

Update: Although I did not make the cut for the second round of the Short Story Challenge 2018, I did receive an honourable mention. Considering horror is not my strong suit, I was pleased with this result.


Cat Scratch Fever

“Rebecca’s still not answering.” Lily huffed and dropped her hand to her side, her phone clutched in a tight fist.

“Stop being so paranoid.” Jeremy hissed, bored with Lily’s incessant worry. “She’s probably too busy having a good time with Ben to take your calls.”

Lily didn’t believe that for a moment. Rebecca always answered her calls or texts. Her skin itched with a sense of dread.

“Let me see that.” Lily snatched at the crisp sheet of paper in Jeremy’s hand, but he lifted it above his head, out of her reach.

“Let’s go to the car and plan out our strategy where no one else can hear us.” Jeremy herded her to his beautifully restored 1965 Dodge Rambler, away from the sign-in desk for the Shade University Annual Car Rally Scavenger Hunt.

He read their checklist of fifteen items, each one to be accomplished by one or more team members and documented with a cell phone picture. The first team to return with the least errors or omissions, won a cash prize, not that Jeremy cared about the money or even winning. The thrill was in the chase.

“A picture of a phone booth?” Jeremy sneered. “Phone booths don’t exist anymore. This is 2018, not 1999.”

“Oh! There’s one at the Reference Library.”

“Get out. Really? Cool.” Jeremy flicked his weighty golden bangs out of his eyes. “Photo of an out of state licence plate. We’ll hold off on that one and keep our eyes peeled while we work on the rest.” He read the list to himself for a moment. “A video of one team member Gatecrashing a party and having a drink. This one’s easy. There’s bound to be parties at any number of the fraternity houses on campus.”

The horn sounded, signaling the start of the three hour event. Jeremy shoved the checklist into his back pocket and started up his Rambling Rose. She roared to life, all shiny black and gleaming chrome with an abstract rose decal in the rear window.

Thirty minutes later, with three of the fifteen tasks completed, he pulled over at the Reference Library and Lily snapped an image of the graffiti ridden phone booth. Four down, eleven to go.

“Frat house next,” Jeremy said as he shot back out to the road. “While you gatecrash a bash, I’ll explore the campus parking lot for out of state plates.”

With a shrug, Lily stared out the window, still a little annoyed Jeremy wouldn’t show her the stupid list. His controlling nature tended to feed her ire.

Jeremy cruised down a tree-lined street with old two storey abodes on either side, the Rambler rumbling like a purring kitten. University students occupied most of these homes. He parked at the curb in front of a red brick monstrosity with loud music vibrating from inside. Squeezing Lily’s hand, he furrowed his brow. “In and out, Lil. Take the video and haul ass out of there.”

Lily smiled at the worry in Jeremy’s tone. “No sweat.” She leaned over and brushed a chaste kiss to his cheek – a reward for his concern. Jeremy rubbed his face against hers in a feline like gesture.

“What?” He grinned when she pulled away. “Don’t like my whiskers?”

“Whiskers? Who says that?” With a laugh, she opened her door. “Be right back.”

Bending over the seats, Jeremy stared up at Lily. “I’ll find a licence plate and be back in five minutes.”

* * *

The wind kicked up and the gnarled branches of an old elm tree in the yard creaked as they swiped close to Lily. She hit record on her phone, holding it up facing the house. Her long chestnut hair whipped around her face as she pushed the black iron gate on the fractured path. It groaned in protest before clanging shut behind her. Glancing up, she glimpsed the bright, full moon through the swaying branches and a shiver ran down her spine. She didn’t bother knocking on the dark steel door, considering she was gatecrashing this shindig. The music blared deafeningly when she eased the door open – some hard rock band screaming out lyrics of cat scratch fever. Not her cup of tea.

The place reeked of a mixture of cat piss, sweaty gym clothes, and raw, rotting meat. Ew, why were men such pigs? She would have been smarter to suggest a sorority house for this task. Lily scanned the rooms off the foyer, but saw no one. The raunchy song burst from the room on her right, a living room with mismatched dated furniture and an old vinyl stereo system against the wall. A red and green plaid couch with stuffing bulging out between strands of shredded fabric sat in the centre of the room. She backed up with the hair on the back of her neck standing at attention.

As she reached for the doorknob with a trembling hand, the music came to a screeching halt. She peered back into the living room at a man looming over the stereo. Silver threaded through his thick tawny hair. This guy was way too old to be a student.

“Hello. Can I help you with something?”

“Uh … sorry, I-I must have come to the wrong house.” Lily wrenched the handle, but the door wouldn’t open. She tried again, her damp palm slipping on the glossy globe. Gripping harder, she twisted and yanked, but the door refused to relent.

“You can’t leave. Unless I let you, of course.”

The raspy voice came from directly behind her and Lily spun around to face the man wearing a crumpled grey t-shirt with a dark, crusty stain down the front, filthy jeans, and bare feet. Well, now she knew where the vile gym clothes odor came from. “Can you open the door, please? My f-friends are waiting for me.” She held her cell phone at her side, hoping it captured him on the video.

He snickered and Lily thought if the university offered a dental hygiene class, this freak missed it. A rusty brown stained his teeth. Gross.

“I don’t think so.” He padded forward, stalking his prey.

The same reddish-brown caked the corners of his lips, cracked and peeling like dried blood. Lily pressed herself into the door while her eyes darted all around, scanning for an escape route, for a weapon. “Listen, mister, let me out of here now or my friends will call the cops. They’re waiting right outside.” She should run to the back of the house and find the back door, but, God help her, she couldn’t make her legs move.

The man lunged for her and yelled, “Aaaah!”

Lily jolted, a shrill howl ripping from her lungs. Shocked into action, she sprinted around him, raced to the back of the house, ricocheting off drywall and doorframes. She stuck her phone in her pocket as she neared the back door in the kitchen, wrung and pulled the doorknob with both hands, but it denied her efforts.

A sinister cackle echoed from the hallway. “This is fun. I tell you what, little girl. Run and hide. I’ll find you.”

Jesus Christ! Lily foraged for something to throw through the window until she noticed the steel bars on the other side of it. Shit. No way in hell was she going back out to the hall to try for the stairway to the second floor with that creeper out there. That left this floor or … damn. The basement. How many horror movies had she watched and shook her head at the idiots who went into the cellar? But, she needed to buy herself enough time to call Jeremy to come and rescue her. She pulled a door open and found a walk-in pantry. The next door opened to a set of rickety stairs descending into a pitch-black abyss. She reached around for a light switch. Nothing.

The music came back on, blaring out the same hard rock crap, the base reverberating through her entire body.

Lily closed the door behind her and used the flashlight app on her phone to guide her down the dilapidated steps. The pungent rancidity of rotten meat and cat pee singed her nostrils and made her eyes water. She lost her footing on the last step thanks to her rubbery, quivering legs and her phone skittered across the cement, disappearing under an old pine workbench before plunging her into complete darkness. “Oh, God.”

She lumbered over the floor, her hands outstretched for the bench, then lowered to her hands and knees. Her right hand slid in a dense, slimy substance. Grease? She wiped her hand on her pants and reached under the lower shelf of the work table, sweeping her hand back and forth, praying there were no rats or creepy bugs under there. The tips of her fingers met the edge of the phone and she inched it out, turned the flashlight app back on, and lit up the deep red, congealing puddle in front of her as a coppery taste filled her watery mouth.

A sharp pain slashed through her chest as she struggled to contain the terror-filled scream crying for release. Hold it together, she told herself. She needed to find a hiding spot and call Jeremy. Fast. Her rasping breaths came in short gasps as she flashed the light around the room, searching for a place to conceal her curvy body. A blue plastic tarp hung like a curtain from an exposed pipe in the ceiling, blocking off part of the room. Whatever horrors hid behind it, Lily didn’t want to know. She went in the other direction, wedging herself behind a stack of cardboard boxes. Her hands shook so bad, she tapped Jenny in her contacts on the first attempt, missing Jeremy’s name. She managed to select the right name on her second try and held the phone to her ear. She couldn’t hear if it rang over the blasting music and her pulse throbbing in her ears, so she checked the screen. The call wasn’t going through. No reception. Her heart plummeted from her chest.

Lily frantically scurried out from her meager sanctuary, probing the cinderblock walls for a window. Nothing. To inspect the rest of the place, she had to go behind the dreaded tarp. A tremor creeped up her back, over her scalp, and goosebumps prickled her cold, clammy skin.

The music upstairs stopped, cloaking her in silence except for her own whimpers. No footsteps, but the creaking of the floor above her moved closer and closer to the back of the house, closer and closer to the door to the basement, to her.

She took one stiff footstep towards the tarp and froze, her arms pulling into her chest, her shaking fingers tightly grasping her phone, its glow aimed at the dreary curtain. A droning hum grew on the other side of the flimsy wall.

Creak, creak.

Lily whimpered. A slice of light beamed down from the top of the stairs, widening inch by inch, and Lily stumbled forward. She nudged the edge of the crinkly sheet aside, shining her beam ahead of her. Hundreds, thousands, of flies swarmed the confined space. Her brain took several seconds to register what she was looking at and her face solidified into an obscene silent scream.

“Lily? Lil?”

She registered Jeremy’s voice, but couldn’t respond, couldn’t tear her eyes away from the gruesome scene before her – the mangled bodies, sliced and torn to shreds, the grisly flesh ripped from bone, strings of tendons and muscle hanging grotesquely out of joints. A sea of maggots gorged, their tiny forms moving together in sickening waves. Vulgar smears, splatters, and pools of coagulated crimson covered every surface. And the funk. Oh, the foul stench.

Lily bent forward, the contents of her stomach spewing out and spraying a horrid blanket over the repulsive display of wasted life. She caught sight of long, blonde hair matted with blood. The face was obscured by slashes and bloody stains, but she recognized Rebecca and howled.

Jeremy grabbed Lily’s shoulders and pulled her back, turning her before he wrapped his arms around her. Hysterical sobs heaved her rigid body. “I’ve got you.” His glowing yellow eyes drifted to the massive, tawny wildcat on the stairs and he smiled, displaying a row of small teeth bracketed by broad, sabre like canines. “I’ve got you,” he whispered with a purr. He didn’t know why he got such a kick out of luring these tasty treats to his father’s door, but he supposed he enjoyed playing with his food as much as his father did.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave me your comments below. How’d I do with the horror theme? Do you think I have a chance of progressing to the second round?

Dec 022015
 

Here’s another writing assignment that I wanted to share with you. It could be the beginnings of a new novel or even a new series. Enjoy.

______

imageThe CN Tower stood tall and proud, a sentry watching over the city, its spire lost in the grip of dark, ominous clouds. The alternating colours of its decorative lights reflected off clouds, sleek skyscrapers, and the dome of the Rogers Centre at its base. Far below the Tower’s Observation Deck, traffic whizzed over wet roads as an ear-piercing siren echoed off buildings like the metal ball in a pinball machine.

No matter how majestic, the Tower didn’t protect against the evil lurking in its midst. That was a fact that Detective Frankie Gallagher knew all too well as she crouched in the dim side street, red and blue squad car lights dousing the white tarp covering the victim’s abused body. Rain pitter pattered on the protective tent above Frankie which did little to keep out the cold.

With gloved hands, Frankie peeled back the white tarp and shuddered as the scent of death merged with the damp air. She recognized the work – the young, innocent face with its eyes sewn shut, the road rash from being dumped here out of a moving vehicle, long blonde hair that was now wet and matted. This young woman made victim number three in a matter of weeks.

Frankie replaced the tarp, flicked her long chestnut ponytail over her shoulder and closed her eyes for a moment. Just a moment, to tamp down the woman and bring back the cynical, dark eyes of the cop. She released the former on a long, slow breath that turned to steam the moment it met the cold night air. Wet leather and spice drifted over death’s fetor and Frankie opened her eyes to find Jaysen Bennett – all biker bad boy with his five o’clock shadow, faded blue jeans and beaten up leather jacket – staring at her over the body. She hadn’t seen those deep blue eyes, that silky black hair, that sculpted face, hadn’t felt the rasp of that shadow against her skin for five long years. She’d thought he was about to propose as he took her hand over a candle-lit table. Instead he’d explained that he was too young for a committed relationship. He wanted to travel, experience life. And then he’d literally disappeared from her life.

“Sixteen year old Kaylee Dunn,” he said. “Parents reported her missing three days ago.”

Frankie gave him a scowl in greeting. No hello, no how are you? No apology for mashing her heart into a pulp? If he hadn’t left her all alone … She couldn’t let herself think about it. Not now. Not here. She swallowed the lump clawing its way up her throat. “What are you doing at my crime scene, Bennett?”

Jaysen pulled out his ID and held his badge up for her to examine. “Detective Bennett. It’s my crime scene, too.”

She pushed to her feet, turned and walked away, approaching the closest uniform. “Who was first on scene?”

Jaysen inserted himself between Frankie and the constable, flipping through his notebook. He wasn’t afraid of her, despite being warned of her reputation as the department’s fire-breathing dragon. He knew Frankie Gallagher too well. She was no dragon. “Already talked to her. Witnesses report –” He stopped talking when Frankie stomped off again. His jaw dropped open. “Hey,” he yelled and stormed after her. He stepped in front of her so that if she took another step she’d end up in his arms. She stopped abruptly.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” He watched her eyebrows rise, her eyes widen and damn if that didn’t draw him into those deep brown eyes. He wasn’t sure if she’d grown even more beautiful than the last time he’d seen her or if he’d just forgotten how beautiful she was. That had him wondering if her long, lean body and ample bosom were as he remembered. Powerless to stop himself, his eyes travelled down the long length of her and then slithered back up to linger at her chest. The loud smack and burning sting on his left cheek caught him off guard. It was then, with the street light shining down on her at just the right angle, that he noticed the faint white scar slashing through her brow, over her eye, right down to her sharp cheek bone.

“If you want to talk to me, you can damn well look me in the eye.” She darted around him, searching for a familiar face. She made it about two steps before he gripped her arm and flung her around.

“You need to get over your issues with me so we can get on with doing the job.”

Frankie’s nostrils flared, her chest tightened around her pounding heart. She yanked her arm out of his grasp, freeing herself, and pushed her face up to his. “Have you even worked a homicide before?” Her fists clenched tightly at her sides, every muscle in her body taut.

“I know what I’m doing, Detective.”

“Do you have a problem answering questions, Detective?”

“Yes, I’ve worked homicides. I didn’t realize I needed your approval before working a case.”

Pointing back to the road, she growled, “Do you see the body of that poor girl lying in the street? That’s on me. Because the last time this bastard dumped a body, I didn’t find him. So back the hell off and let me do my job without having to babysit.”

Jaysen let her go. This wasn’t the same Frankie that he remembered. She used to be such a bright, shining presence. Her smile could light up the entire city. Her laugh, deep and throaty, surrounded you like a blanket, like a warm hug. What had happened to Frankie that had snuffed out her light?

Frankie approached a uniformed officer with sandy blonde hair tucked up under her cap, its mirrored patten leather bill decorated with dewey drops. “You were first on scene, Constable Sloan?”

“Detective Gallagher.” Sloan rolled her eyes with an exaggerated sigh.

“Give me your report, Constable.”

“I just gave it to your partner over there.” Sloan nodded her head behind Frankie. “Detective Hottie over there. Don’t you guys communicate?”

Frankie glanced over her shoulder to see Jaysen standing where she’d left him with his arms crossed over his chest, glaring at her. She frowned and turned her attention back to Sloan. “No. Your report?”
Sloane huffed and pulled her notebook out of a pocket in her vest, but she didn’t open it. “911 call came in at twenty-three eleven. We were on scene at twenty-three thirteen. My partner and I secured the scene and then located two witnesses. We separated the witnesses. The first, Sheila O’Hare, was the 911 caller. All she saw was the body lying in the street.

“Second witness is your golden boy. Eli Kramer was walking his dog just after twenty-three hundred. He stated he noticed the car because the door opened and the car didn’t even attempt to slow down. Kramer was on the opposite side of the car, so he didn’t see the body right away. He described the vehicle as a high end black sedan with dark tinted windows. A Mercedes or BMW perhaps. Just as the body came into view, the sedan sped off.”

“Why is he my golden boy?”

Sloane grinned. “He memorized the license plate number.”

Frankie couldn’t stop the edge of her mouth from curling up. “Where’s Eli? I’d like to speak with him.”

“Yeah, thought you might.”

Sloane released Eli Kramer and his fluffy little white dog from the back of her squad car. Kramer straightened and gently placed the dog at his feet. Frankie would run Eli Kramer through the system, but he looked like a reliable sort. Short white hair peaked out from under a black knit toque that looked like his wife had made it for him. The deep lines mapping his face gave him character, as did the rubber slip ons that covered his black dress shoes to make them waterproof. “Mr. Kramer, I’m Detective Gallagher.”

“When can I go home? Am I being detained for some reason?” Frankie had to bend in closer to Kramer to hear him over the traffic on the cross street cutting through wet pavement.

“No sir, you can leave in a few minutes. I would appreciate it if you could give me your story again.”

Kramer was flamboyant in the manner he used his hands when he spoke, but he looked Frankie in the eye and spoke confidently in a nasal tone. He was so specific with the details that Frankie could only think of a couple of questions to ask him.

“Which door opened, Mr. Kramer?”

“Oh, it was the driver’s door.”

“The front driver’s door?”

“Yes.”

Frankie tried to play it out in her mind. The best she could come up with was driving with the vic bent over in his lap, her butt to the door. Open the door and the weight distribution of her body might have her sliding out on her own.

“Did you get a look at the driver?”

“No, I’m sorry. The windows were tinted black and it was dark.”

Frankie gave Kramer her card. The back of her neck prickled with heat, goosebumps trailed down her back. Getting the licence plate number could be the break Frankie had been searching for. The car or the plates could be stolen, but Frankie didn’t think so. Not with the buzz she was getting.

______

What do you think? Is this the beginning of a new novel or series? Do you want to read the rest of Frankie and Jaysen’s story? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Wendy-signature

 

 

Copyright © Wendy Hewlett – December 2015

Sep 012015
 

Here’s a short, short story that I wrote for my creative writing course. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to leave a comment.

Wendy-signature

 

1798200166_a4f70df418_oShe loved her job, but getting called when you were so nicely cocooned in a warm, comfy duvet really sucked. She dressed quickly, pulling on as many layers as she could without losing mobility. On the way out the door she double checked her equipment – weapons, cuffs, flashlight, notebook, and a pencil because pens were useless in subzero temps.

The drive to the crime scene only took fifteen minutes and five of those were spent going through the Timmies drive thru. Still, the scene was in the middle of nowhere – a little-used dirt road surrounded by farmer’s fields.

Raven parked on the shoulder behind two OPP squad cars with their lights flashing, like anyone was going to see them out here. With her coffee in hand, she bravely exited her vehicle. The wind sliced in from the north, cutting deep into every inch of exposed skin. Ducking her head against it, Raven made her way to the closest squad. Bastard! He rolled down the window instead of getting out to speak with her.

“Evening, Detective Bowen,” he said. “Nice bed head.”

“Closer to morning,Tate” she growled back, absently running a hand through her short black hair. Probably should have looked in the mirror before running out the door. “Want to show me where the body is?”

He pointed toward the ditch on the other side of the road. “Snowmobilers found her. Guy stopped to take a piss and nearly shit his pants instead.” Constable Tate’s head rolled back with laughter.

Constable Warren, who sat in the passenger seat, no doubt enjoying the heat blasting out of the vents, leaned over Tate. “Sorry to hear about your mom, Detective Bowen.”

“Yeah, thanks.” Raven didn’t know how to respond to that. She wasn’t close to her mom. Losing her, making the funeral arrangements, and surviving the horrid day of the funeral hadn’t bothered her nearly as much as what her mother had said to her from her death bed. And how she said it because Raven hadn’t been anywhere near her death bed.

Raven’s mom was Wiccan, which is how Raven ended up with the embarrassing name Raven Sage Bowen. She was also psychic. A psychic Wiccan. It was bad enough having to live her life as Raven Sage never mind the whole town knowing what her mother claimed to be. Raven had been rebelling against all of that hokey crap since she was in her early teens. And now she couldn’t get her mother’s last words to her out of her head. You have the gift, Rave. You’ve only to open yourself to it.

“Yeah, right,” she said to herself as she crouched down at the edge of the ditch, her flashlight pointed at the form below. No footprints around or near the body, which was half buried in snow. This girl had been here for some time, preserved by the icy temperatures. She was face down, left arm extended up over her head. Long, red hair fanned out around her, tangled and knotted.

At the sound of crunching snow behind her, Raven glanced over her shoulder, surprised to see Warren approaching. She was relatively new with less than a year on the force. Probably her first murder scene. She crouched next to Raven.

“No outstanding missing persons reported in Huntsville or the surrounding area in the past six months.”

Raven smiled ever so slightly then sipped her coffee. It was the first thing she would have checked. “Tell me what you see here,” she asked, intrigued by the rookie now.

“Appears to be naked and frozen solid.”

A low rumble of laughter quickly blew away in the arctic wind. “That’s it?”

“Ligature marks on the left wrist.”

“You’re only telling me what you see with your eyes.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Raven thought again of her mother’s words. Was the old bitch right? Had she been using her gift all along?

“She’s been there for a long time. Is that what you mean?” Constable Warren looked to Raven for confirmation and then continued. “This was just the dump site. She wasn’t murdered here. But, we need to see what’s beneath her, what’s buried in the snow.”

Raven looked over her shoulder again as a set of headlights approached. Here came their forensic unit which consisted solely of Constable Mark Mainguy. “It’s time to find out just what is under there,” she said as she rose to her full height. “Are you up for some digging or are you going to keep your ass warm in your squad like Tate over there?”

Warren was grinning from ear to ear as she stood. Raven wondered how she wasn’t giving herself one of those ice cream headaches. “I’m up for it, Detective. I’m no pussy, like Tate over there.”

For the second time in the span of a few minutes, Raven laughed a deep, throaty laugh. Damn, she kind of liked this kid.

* * *

After hours spent under a makeshift tent, delicately extricating the body of the young woman from her frozen grave and collecting what little evidence had been secured under the snow and the body, Raven had felt an unexplainable need to go to her mom’s house. She hadn’t been inside the house for years, yet it was just like it had been the last time she’d been there. Dried flowers, plants, and herbs hung above windows and down from the ceiling all over the kitchen giving it a spicy aroma. The way the morning light speared into the room brought back a flood of before school memories. Breakfasts gobbled down at the huge kitchen island that was now covered in books, pestles, bottles, and pots as if her mom was in the middle of cooking a meal. Except it wasn’t meals her mom cooked here. It was spells and potions and God knew what.

What was she going to do with this place? To get it ready to put up for sale was going to take a lot of work. And time, which she didn’t have a lot of.

It’s yours now, Rave. Please, don’t sell it.

Raven looked around the room, expecting to see her mother. Was her mother talking to her from beyond the grave now? That was just too creepy. She turned towards the door, fully intending to leave, but her curiosity got the best of her. She just had to find out what her mother had done with her room. She headed up the creaking wooden steps that had made it impossible for her to sneak in late back in the day.

The door was open when she thought her mother would have at least closed it off, sealing the bad memories away. She got a shock when she peeked around the door jamb and found her room exactly as she’d left it some twelve years ago.

Oh, sweet babe! I’ve always loved you.

“Will you stop doing that?” Raven yelled, spinning around, looking up, down. She waited in the hall for a few minutes and when she didn’t hear any more, she convinced herself she’d imagined it. People didn’t talk to you after they died. She stepped into her childhood room with its pink walls and white canopy bed. It was like walking into a fairy tale. Raven had hated it. She wasn’t the pink, princess type. Sports were her thing back then, not tea parties and pretty dresses. She still hated dresses.

Dragging a finger across her dresser, she was surprised to find there wasn’t a speck of dust on it. Why would her mother still be cleaning this room?

Because I always hoped you’d come back.

“Stop that!” Raven covered her ears like a spoiled brat.

You asked.

“I also asked you to stop that!” She’d gone stark raving mad. She was talking to a ghost! She quick stepped to the stairs and fled down them. Before she could get out the door, she heard her mother’s voice one more time.

Check Orillia for missing persons. That’s where you’ll find your frozen girl.

* * *

Raven sat down at her desk to wait for her computer to boot up. Sleep. That was the problem. She’d put a few hours in at the office and then try to get a couple of hours of shut eye. She was just about to lean back in her chair and pop her boots up on her desk when Constable Warren’s head appeared in the doorway. “Got a minute?”

“Didn’t your shift end hours ago?”

“I wouldn’t have been able to sleep, so I figured I’d just keep checking missing persons.” She held up a file folder. “Seventeen year old Emily Kathryn McMurtrie. Reported missing last November. Out of Orillia.”

Told ya!

Oh, sweet Jesus! Her mother wasn’t going to wait for her to open herself to the gift.

 

Copyright © Wendy Hewlett – September 2015

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