Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Accustomed To Solitude
By Noreen Ophoff


Rosemarie Corden read her copy of the police report. She wanted more details than it gave her. It was signed by State Police Trooper C. J. Linstein. In tiny handwriting Linstein had written: “Substance congealed on tile entry floor. Brown droplets obvious on tan carpeted stairs leading to the basement. No evidence in lower level. Walk out door ajar. Awaiting lab testing.”

Someone pounding on her front door had awakened Rosemarie at 2:07 a.m. The time shone from the digital clock on the antique highboy dresser. She was frightened. Briscoe, her Australian Shepherd, growled, then barked with a menacing tone, while standing at her bedroom door. The knocking ceased after two minutes, but Rose punched 911, explaining her fear.

The Dispatcher informed her there was no law against rapping on a door, but said a car would be sent and an officer would walk around her home.

Noises kept startling her. Wooden chimes on the back deck clinked, yet no breeze crept through her second-story boudoir window. Briscoe paced the room, momentarily resting his enormous black head on the cream linen sheets, wanting her hand upon him, then he roved again.

Red and blue lights flashed against the green bedroom walls. A cruiser was out front and the homeowner could see a person’s shadow against the lawn. Briscoe growled again. Rose didn’t go downstairs, but when her phone suddenly rang, she jumped. “This is Dispatcher Dave, Ms. Corden, our officer has walked through your yard and around your house. There are footprints in the flowerbeds beneath each window, but no person is there now.”

“Thank you.” she said in a crisp manner, replacing the receiver.

“I may as well get up,” she murmured to herself and her furry companion, “I won’t sleep anymore tonight.”

Walking to the kitchen to brew her favorite Mediterranean mocha java, she froze at the front doorway. A blue glove was stuck in the closed door and what looked like blood drops were on the floor making a trail downstairs. She sprinted to her bedroom, to call 911 again, and dressed hurriedly.

Officer Linstein arrived in less than 3 minutes because he had hardly left the dark, new housing development. Rosemarie closed the dog in her walk-in closet, then ran to open the front door, but held up her left hand to halt the tall officer from stepping in what she also was avoiding.

“Someone was in my home.” Rosemarie whispered. “I’m new to this neighborhood, and now I’m scared to death.”

The trooper took photographs and scraped globules into specimen packets. He took down her name, address and phone number. In a reassuring gesture, he put his left hand on her right arm, and squeezed a little, saying, “Don’t worry, we’ll figure this out.”

The 57-year-old woman caught a glimpse of herself in the gilded mirror in her studio. As a sculptor she was accustomed to solitude and often worked in a trance while completing an art piece. This incident rattled her senses, making her unsure of her decision to live in this quaint area.

It was then, for the first time, she noticed her hair. The strawberry blonde hue was overtaken, again, by interfering white hairs. She tried to defy their advances...then she had an embarrassing thought.

Rosemarie reached for the Victorian phone on her workbench, dialing the number for the detective squad. “I know what the droplets are in my home, and I”m so embarrassed.” she stammered. “They are hair dye, I dripped them there myself yesterday. I work at an incredible pace and the world stands still when I’m creative. I had forgotten I was dying my hair as I was sculpting, and oh my, I can’t believe all this. I wear blue gloves when I work in my garden. How silly I am.
I must have just forgotten to close the basement door too. Please forgive me for the trouble I’ve caused having your officer come here twice.”

Sergeant Michaels chuckled as he took her statement, noting the incident report file number. Then, reading through the officer’s report, he asked, “What about the person knocking on your door?”

“Oh.” remarked a shuddering Rosemarie, “That’s still a mystery, isn’t it?”

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 525 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst07/31/08
OOOO, I love mystery stories & I was wondering about the knocking too! Well done.
Scott Sheets08/01/08
Build the suspense, bring resolution, then end with the unanswered. Nice Writing!
Marlene Austin08/02/08
Your details are very sharp in this piece. Nice suspenseful ending. :)
Mary Hackett08/04/08
What a good story! An elderly woman living alone is the perfect target for a housebreaker. One little nit-pick, and that's all: "In less than 3 minutes" would usually be written "In less than three minutes". In typing class they said all the numbers up to 13 should be written out the long way instead of in numeral form. I'll be very interested to read more of your stories! Good writing!
Mary Hackett08/04/08
P.S. I didn't mention before that your character development of Rosemarie (even within the word limit) was excellent.