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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: Decidedly Dead
By CeCe Lane


I have always been the sort to make decisions quickly. Some have said my decisions were too quick and impulsive. Iíve heard I should show some restraint. I say they are a bit daft. I just know how to make up my own mind. Admittedly it has gotten me into trouble, but even that is only because I opened my mouth.

I have been known to say, ďThe only way Brent would be any good as a human is for him to be a dead human.Ē I have thought, ďIíd kill him if given half a chanceĒ, and I did put on my blog a couple of days ago, ďIíve decided to kill my boss.Ē But that doesnít mean I decided on murder. I was in a fit of anger when I posted my death threat. Truly, I never intended on killing him.

Unfortunately, it appears I am not the only one who wanted him dead, only the other person was a bit more decisive than I am. Let me back up.

Shortly before dawn on my Wyoming ranch at the base of the BigHorn Mountains, I awoke, grabbed my coffee cup, Bible and went out to start the day the best way. Just God and me. At least that was my plan.

As I sat huddled under a blanket in the chill morning air on my porch, the sun was just cresting the eastern horizon. I saw the golden rays being thrown carelessly over the vast prairie. The only things obstructing my view were a few pieces of scraggly sagebrush. Not a fence post or tree in sight.

It took me a moment this morning to notice there was something a lot bigger than a sagebrush blocking my view.

I approached the body-shaped lump slowly, not really sure I wanted to see it, but I had to. Imagine my horror when I was close enough to see it clearly and saw it was Brent--a very dead Brent. Iím sure he wasnít pretending to be dead just to annoy me. He was really dead. I saw the dark red splotch on his starched blue shirt about where I would guess his heart to be. I rushed a few steps away toward the house, where I promptly lost the entire contents of my stomach.

I certainly did not invite a dead body to my quiet time with God. Iím pretty sure God didnít either.

It was then I noticed my missing bread knife. It was two steps from the body as I headed back to the house. My bread knife wasnít as clean as when I last saw it as I put it in the silverware drawer last week. The knife wasnít dirty because it spent the night outside, nope; it was dirty with some dark red sticky substance that smelled remarkably like blood.

I had discovered the murder weapon. I quickly put two and two together; my boss is dead in my yard. He was killed with my bread knife, which, I am sure, had my fingerprints all over it. Things were not looking good for me. Even in my mind I knew I was to be the prime suspect.

I ran as if my life depended on it and who knows, maybe it did. I had no clue who killed him and if they were waiting for me. In my shock and horror I didnít think straight, if they were lying in wait for me, I would have seen them. Not a tree graced my property, at least not within firing distance should the boogey man be hiding out looking to kill me as well. There was nothing to hide the person who had killed Brent and there was nothing to hide me, except the inside of my house.

I stampeded across the porch, swung open the door and slammed it shut. I locked it tight and then checked and double-checked each window. I sat down to think and decide what I would do with the body. I sure wasnít calling the police. The murder was a little too horrible for me. I knew I would look guilty to anyone investigating. I tried imagining myself in a bright orange jumpsuit and once again emptied my stomach.

I had to uncover the truth before someone uncovered the body. It was up to me to discover who killed Brent before anyone else in town knew he was dead.

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This article has been read 750 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Burkhardt04/12/07
I wasn't sure if this was fiction, at first. I loved the first person voice & would love to read more....Nice job.
dub W04/12/07
yeah, this clicks, write on...I gotta know the rest of the story.
Nathan Perkins04/12/07
I was spell bound. I want to read the next chapter. Great work. I noticed a small typo in the word STAMPEDED. You may have meant STAMPEEDED. You will probably keep and build on this story I hope my imput helps.
Lauren Bombardier04/13/07
Nope, STAMPEDED is correct.

I really liked this and I want to read more. Keep going with it!
Connie Pilston Shoemaker04/13/07
This was great. It definitely sounds the the beginning of something much longer...Should the chill air be chilly?
Jacquelyn Horne04/13/07
This is good as far as it goes. There's no solution here. Maybe if you started out with the damaging e-mail and left out the other part in the beginning, you would have more space (I know space is small) to finish the story.

The writing is good and so is the story.
Kate Grey04/14/07
Very good story! When you write the book, I want to read it. :)
Catrina Bradley 04/14/07
Yah, you got the mystery genre down good! Chapter two please! I'm sorry you didn't have room to solve it, but when you finish I'll buy a copy! I love the touches of humor - I even snorted once. Nice!
Betty Castleberry04/14/07
Ooh, I love a good crime story. Your descriptions are very good. As others have said, I want to know more.
Rhonda Clark04/14/07
This was good. You did a great job, and wouldn't be surprised to see this finishing close to the top. You kept me riveted to the end.
Myrna Noyes04/17/07
I don't know if you meant us to guess an ending, but I have an idea in mind that, if correct, would be extremely clever. Oh, well, even if you intended no ending, it is still very well-written! :)
Jan Ackerson 04/17/07
Excellent writing, definitely master's quality. I like that you left it open-ended.
Joanne Sher 04/18/07
Excellent detail and intrigue - finish this before I send a possee after you! ;)
Loren T. Lowery04/18/07
When I first read your title the Munchknis songs in the ?Wizard of Oz" ran thru my mind. "She is not just merely dead, she is most assuredly, really dead." Anyway, after getting into your story all thoughts of the Munchkins left and I was glady lead down the your mystery's intriquing path - now, pray tell, who dicededly did the deadly deed?
Rita Garcia04/18/07
MORE! MORE! Masterwriting!!
Sara Harricharan 04/18/07
Decidedly Dead indeed! Wow-this is certainly the beginning of a twisted tale of mystery. I SO want to know what happens next...great job with fitting so much into 750 words. Really awesome mystery, the first person POV was great and especially the dialouge to herself in the beginning. I especially liked the sentence with "daft" my sentiments exactly, she seems like a regular Nancy Drew. ^_^
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/18/07
This is a truly wonderful mystery story. So much is left to the reader's imagination. Please give us more! I like your descriptions, too.
Julie Arduini04/18/07
You have suspense, intrigue, great humor, awesome POV, and a whole bunch of readers drooling to learn more. You could not have done any better! Great work!
LaNaye Perkins04/19/07
What a clever and well writen story! Great job of writing. So tell me, who did kill Brent?