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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: The Case of the Foggy Cove
By Rita Garcia
04/11/07


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The stillness of the night settled in like a haze over the town. I’ve worked the midnight shift more years than I care to count. Tonight is one of those nights when an uncanny feeling grabbed hold about two in the morning, and held tight.

Making my rounds, nothing seems out of the ordinary. My gut is telling me I’m not looking in the right place. Maybe it’s just a hankering for some excitement to liven up this place, I thought.

“Willard, come in.” The crackle of a voice over the radio announced.

“I’m here.”

“A call came in, some kids say they seen something suspicious out at the cove, says it looks like a body.”

“I’ll drive over and check it out.”

“Shouldn’t I call Joel in for back up?” Hank said.

“Yeah, I have a feeling this may turn into a long night.”

I turn onto the dirt road leading down to the cove. The fog, hanging low over the cove, makes me wonder how these kids were able to see much of anything.

There’s Gary Williams beat up truck, and that other car belongs to that new kid in town…what’s his name? Foolery, must be getting old, can’t even remember a name.

Stopping the car, I see the boys walking toward me, ole Tom’s boy is with them.

“Hank says you boys seen something out here?”

“There was this dog running around trying to get our attention, we followed him part way down the path leading to the bottom of the big Rock. About half way Harrison here
shined his flashlight and looks like someone is down there. ”

Turning on my spot light, “Looks like something’s down there all right, it’s apt the fog playing tricks.”

I walked back to the patrol car. “Hank, come in.”

“I hear you Willard.”

“Hank, maybe you better call Skip and get him out here too.”

“The Corner, what’d you find?”

“Just call him, haven’t found anything yet.”

“I’m on it,” Hank said.

“You boys head on home, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“But, Sheriff we found her first. We want to stay.”

“You don’t even know it’s a her, now get, go home.”

No sooner had the boys left, Joel arrived. “Hey, Willard, what’s the situation?”

“Something down below the big rock looks like it might be a body. Let’s get down there, see what we’ve got.”

“Hurry Willard, she’s breathing, but there’s a lot of blood.”

“Hang in there Joel. I’ll call for an ambulance”

The corner arrived as I reached the top, “Hey, Skip, looks like we don’t need you, not yet anyway.”

“What’s going on?”

“We’ve got a female, down below the big rock, still breathing.”

“I’m going down, see what I can do,” Skip said.

“I’ll wait for the ambulance.”

***

“Hi Thelma, I was hoping to catch Doc here at the hospital.”

“Hi yourself Willard, he’s in with that woman you found down at the cove, first room on the left.”

“Hey, Doc, how’s our patient?”

“A mild concussion and a couple of broken ribs, she’s medicated and resting.”

I held her limp hand. “Miss, can you hear me?”

“My baby…my baby?” she mumbled and drifted back to sleep.

“I’ll call you later Doc; I better get back to the cove.”


***

I found a car, I thought might be hers. I checked inside, nothing indicated the woman had been traveling with a child. Closing the car door, I turned and found a beautiful Sheltie watching me. I knelt down to check for tags and discovered he was wearing a bright orange vest, which meant he is, most likely, a service dog for someone who is hearing impaired. I remembered the boys telling me about a dog leading them to the woman. “Come on Sport, I’m taking you for a little visit.”

“You can’t bring a dog in here,” Thelma informed me.

“Looks like a service dog, I’m hoping it belongs to our mystery woman.”

The second the dog laid eyes on his owner he jumped from my arms onto the bed. The woman opened her eyes and softly whispered, “Baby, my baby.”

I felt the corners of my mouth turn up as I watched the tearful reunion. I later learned the woman had stopped to let the dog do his business; she stepped too close to the edge and fell. It was a close call, she was lucky to be alive. Oh, and the dog was a her, named Lady.


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This article has been read 893 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark04/12/07
Nice story, and well written. The dialogue lost me a time or two, but I like the story.
Edy T Johnson 04/12/07
Now, this is the sort of mystery story that I thoroughly relish. Great writing, I'd like to read more.
Julie Arduini04/12/07
Nice scenery description and characters with the "foolery I'm getting old" line. This was a great mystery with a nice ending!
Catrina Bradley 04/14/07
This just has the "feel" of a good old-fashioned mystery story. Great job with the dialog. Could maybe do a bit of work on the punctuation, but a good read. Loved the opening line.
Anita Neuman04/15/07
This story has a really nice flow to it - easy to read. There are a couple of spots where your tense changes and I believe you meant "coroner" instead of "corner". But overall, this was a great mystery story. Good job!
Betty Castleberry04/15/07
I *love* a story with an animal hero. This was a good read.
Jan Ross04/16/07
Oh, what a wonderful story! You grabbed my attention from the beginning ... I wasn't sure where you were taking us but the ending was perfect! What an imagination you have, my friend! Awesome ... it's really my kind of reading where there's emotion, tragedy, and a hero that happens to be an endearing dog-friend. Well done! :)
Jacquelyn Horne04/16/07
Nice story. Good writing. Happy ending. What else is there to say?
Marilyn Schnepp 04/16/07
A great mystery story with a rescue, a foggy cove, and a wonderful dog; I don't believe you were talking about a "corner"...but we'll let that slide since it was a very creative and exciting story -and I'd hate to spoil it.
Jan Ackerson 04/17/07
Great first paragraph, really hooked me. I really enjoyed the unfolding of the story, too. The very end seemed to switch gears in an effort to tie up all the loose ends...easily correctable. Great atmosphere and suspense.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/17/07
I loved your story. The little boys were "real," and the reunion of the woman with her "baby" was special.
Loren T. Lowery04/17/07
Enjoyed the read and the anticipation of the outcome. I like your caring characters, too!
Cassie Memmer04/18/07
Nice story! Lots of characters. I'm glad the coroner wasn't needed, I love happy endings! :o) The style reminded me of reading Jeanette Oke books. A sweet, gentle unfolding style. Good job!
Joanne Sher 04/18/07
Great characterization and detail - I was definitely grabbed! Some grammar/editing stuff, but it didn't deter from the intrigue.
Sara Harricharan 04/18/07
This was a foggy case! (In setting!) The mystery was crystal clear and very much enjoyed by this reader. You tricked me with Lady being the 'baby' though. Nice trick-and good writing! ^_^
Michelle Burkhardt04/18/07
I liked the relaxed character of the sheriff. A very believable story and a happy ending. Nice job
Sandra Petersen 04/18/07
This story had a real 'crime scene' feeling to it. You set the scene so well I got chills thinking of the fog over the cove.

Watch your verb tenses carefully. The first paragraph was in past tense, the second in present, then you switched to past. It got a little confusing.

At first, I thought the sheriff was going to find the kids were playing a prank. A really good story about a 'mystery' woman and a spooky night.
Shari Armstrong 04/18/07
Very nicely done - I liked the ending :)
Cheri Hardaway 04/18/07
I loved the development of your characters, especially Willard. And I like the description in the first paragraph, of the eerie feeling grabbing hold and not letting go. Nice.

Your dialogue is great, but I think I would like to see a little bit more of a balance between dialogue and description, especially since you also do a good job with the description.

Also, as has been suggested, watch to keep your story in one tense, past or present. One is not necessarily better than the other, but it needs to be uniform to avoid confusion.

Good work,
Cheri
Val Clark04/18/07
Delightful ending. (I'm a sucker for dogs.) The journey was good to. Well done.
Joanney Uthe04/18/07
Great job creating the suspense and with the characters. Made me miss living in a small town where everyone knew everyone else and their vehicle.
Tabiatha Tallent04/19/07
Nice work, you kept me in suspense and I was glad for a happy ending.
Sara Harricharan 04/19/07
Congrats on your highly commended! ^_^
Edy T Johnson 04/20/07
Congratulations, Friend, on your placing! I suspected you had a winner, here. I also want to thank you. I spotted your recommendation to readers on the message boards to read my mystery entry (a "multi-faceted gem" I think is what you called it). What a buddy you are---and I wouldn't have even known you did it, except I went to look for the lists of top placers. You are the real gem, Rita!