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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)

TITLE: Quandary
By Ruth Brown


Heather flipped her fiery red curls over her shoulder and did a quick glance around. Her lips quivered as she whispered a prayer for protection and understanding. Her green eyes darted to either side, Is someone watching me?

Her diary was missing from her locked desk drawer. She discovered it when she returned from lunch. Heather fled to the park as soon as she made the discovery. This bench, this oak tree, was her place to sort out problems.
Her mind buzzed with suspicion. Her brow wrinkled in bewilderment She believed this had to be someone who knew her routine.

I've never told anyone about the diary. Did someone think I would write my formulas in a diary? Or were they looking for them? I keep my laptop with me, though I've deleted the important things. The formulas are secure in a safety deposit box, thank God.

Heather found her God- given talents, as a scientist, most humbling.My work is important to the world, no forgetting that.

Heather's hands shook as she pulled out her notebook. She wiped sweat from her hands, thought about the facts, and began to write:

Who would steal my diary?
Did it involve my formulas?
Who had opportunity?

 I have no enemies at work. Everyone is helpful, and kind. Right? I thought so. She shivered as doubts seeped into her mind. Her confidence, that she actually knew anyone, faltered. Her assistant, Eric Potts, was young, brilliant, trustworthy, and ready to learn. Wasn't he?

Another fact floated in her mind. Since the diary yielded no information: what would they do next?

She trembled as she dialed her director, Alan Reeves' cell.


"Alan, this is Heather. Something has come up, I need to talk to you immediately. Meet me at
Kelly' s Diner. I'll be in the back booth."

"Okay, Heather, I'll be there in ten minutes."

When Alan arrived he went directly to the last booth. Heather, must be late. After thirty minutes, He grew anxious. Heather would be here by now, after calling me. He believed Heather's research and the trials proved revolutionary. His heart beat faster, something was very wrong.

Where was she when she called? He thought Eric might know. He punched his speed dial,

"Hello, Heather Casey's office. Eric speaking, How may I help you?"

"Eric, this is Al, Where was Heather an hour ago? She called me about something important, and wanted to meet at Kelly' s. She didn't show after half an hour."

"Gee Alan, She ran out of here, seemed upset about something. I went into her desk and the bottom drawer was wide open. She usually keeps it locked."

"Where does she go when she's upset or thinking on something?"

"She has a favorite spot in Fourth Street Park." Eric said.

"Meet me there, ASAP."

Alan hurried through the park, walking in a zigzag line: checking bushes and around trees. Near the middle of the park he heard a low groan to his left.

He spotted red hair. Heather moaned, and he was beside her.

"What happened, Heather?"

"My head is throbbing. She gingerly touched her head. Someone hit me in the back of the head and grabbed my bag. It had my computer and my purse in it."

Eric, ran up, as Alan bent over Heather. Catching his breath, Eric asked, "Heather, are you okay?"

"I think so."

Alan pulled out his cell and dialed 911.

"Miss Casey, we'll get your statement at the hospital. Right now it is imperative that I investigate. I'll check with people in the park and business people on the perimeter."

The detective spoke to the ambulance driver, before Heather was taken to the hospital, and Alan and Eric updated the detective.


The doctor shined a light in Heather's eyes and noticed how green they were. "Miss Casey,
it's a concussion. Probably used a rock, he patted her hand. I'd say your guardian angel is banged up pretty bad. You'll be staying overnight."

Heather shuddered, "I could have been killed."


Later the detective entered, "I'm Lieutenant Scott, remember me?"

"Yes of course." Heather answered.

"A policeman saw a man, carrying a laptop, ditch a purse. The suspect was picked up. He works for another drug manufacturer."

"What are you working on?" he asked.

"Do I have to say?" Heather whispered.

"Afraid so," Lieutenant Scott smiled.

"A cure for Alzheimer's Disease."

"Wow! " the detective let out a low whistle.

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This article has been read 453 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Philippa Geaney 09/09/10
This could well make a great novel as there is much foundation for development.
I couldn't let it go until I found out the conclusion. That is surely what the reviewers term 'riveting' Cheers P.
Mildred Sheldon09/09/10
Thank you for an interesting story. You covered the challenge perfectly. Good job and keep writing.
Johnna Postic09/09/10
I agree with the first comment. This idea could be developed into a novel. Good story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/11/10
You managed to get a lot of details in so few words. Suspense is my favorite genre, I hope you keep writing and even develop this into a novel.
Gina Fifo09/13/10
Full of suspense. Enjoyed this very much. Just one suggestion. Instead of using diary all the time, you could also use journal, especially when they appear close together. But excellently written and captivating. Keep writing!
Sarah Heywood09/15/10
I found myself skipping words in my hurry to get to the ending - excellent writing! This had believable action and dialogue and kept the reader guessing - great job!
Lynn Wallace06/24/11
Dear Ruth, I agree with the comments. You have the talent to write a great novel. I write nonfiction; I'm a terrible fiction writer. I don't want to get my characters into a lot of trouble. If I do, I don't know how to get them out. You have that ability. Go for it!