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

TITLE: MIW -- Missing In Writing
By Allison Egley


I sat at my computer refreshing the screen repeatedly. "It's not there." I tried one more time. "Something's wrong," I said aloud, even though I was the only one in the room. I quickly opened my instant messenger program.

Me: Robin, something's wrong. It's not there.
Robin: What's not there?
Me: The new topic. That's what.
Robin: Calm down, Alex. It's a whole two minutes late. No freaking out allowed until it's over thirty minutes late.
Me: Ok, ok. Fine. But if thirty minutes goes by...
Robin: We assemble the team.

**** Precisely 29 minutes later ****

Robin: Let's assemble the team. Send out the distress signal.
Me: No need. The boards are already on red alert, thanks to Sarah and her peanut throwing skills.


We assembled the team and made plans. "How quickly can we all be in Australia?" I asked.

"Shouldn't we let our Aussie friends take care of that? I mean, no need to overreact," Annie stated.

"No," I answered. "We're going. Besides, if Dawn posts the new topic before we get there, we have an excuse for a vacation in Australia. If my calculations are correct, it's about midnight in Australia right now. She won't post the new topic for a few hours. Casey will join us down there to help us find her house."

**** Hours later, somewhere in Australia ****

"Ok, team. Here we are outside of Dawn's house. Is the perimeter secure?"

"Yes. The smell of my peanut bombs would have brought anyone out of that house."

"Thanks, Sarah. Those peanuts work wonders. I hope you have some left for the room to room check."

"Alex, when am I ever without peanuts?"

"Good point."

Casey found the spare key, and we walked in.


"Ok, we've done the room by room sweep. What do we have?"

"I found this note," Casey said. Just two words long. 'Gone. Later.' What could it mean?"

"It's obvious," I replied. "The topic list is gone. She'll post the new topic later."

"No, Dawn is gone and she'll be back later," Robin suggested.

"Well, analyzing the sign language for this, I have an entirely different interpretation," Annie replied. We all turned to her. "She knows we're here. She wants us gone, and she'll deal with this breech of security later."

"We'll figure it out shortly. Any other clues?" I asked.

"I found this little umbrella in an empty glass," Annie offered.

"I found this seashell right in front of a poster of the ocean," Dan replied.

"Wait!!!! Hold everything!!!!!" Sarah exclaimed while jumping in the air, flinging peanuts everywhere. "Dawn just posted on the message board!!!!!!"

"I'm sorry, Sarah. Iím going to have to cite you for excessive use of exclamation points," Dan stated. "Your punishment is to wait one extra day for anti-hinging and hinting," Dan replied, while handing Sarah a pink slip.

"No! It's too harsh," Sarah lamented.

"What does the message say?" Dan requested.

Sarah stared reading. "Hi gang. I'm doing great." There's an excessive amount of smilies too.

"Intriguing," I replied, stroking my chin. "Think. There's a note that says 'Gone. Later,' a small paper umbrella, a seashell, a picture of the ocean, and a message from a very happy, perhaps even delusional Dawn. What could possibly make her this happy?"

"No challenge," Robin stated.

"No thinking about the conference," Annie replied, shuddering at the word "conference."

"No editing," I reasoned.

"Wait. I've got it," Robin replied, unenthusiastically. "I would say this with more excitement, but I'm afraid of an 'exclamation point violation' from Dan," she explained.

"Well? What is it?"

"She's on the island of Tonga. I read about it in one of my history classes in college," Robin deduced. "She's not worrying about anything FatihWriter's related, so she's happy. The seashell, poster, and umbrella are obvious. For the note, we failed to look closely at the capitalization. Being writers, we corrected it while reading. Look."

Robin handed us the note. "GONe. lATer."

"If we rearrange the capitalized letters, they spell out Tonga," Robin clarified.

At that moment, Dawn walked in the house and stared at us.

"What are you all doing in my house?" Dawn inquired.

"Just trying to figure out where you were and why the new topic hadn't been posted."

"Oh, sorry. I was on the island of Tonga taking a much-needed break."

We all looked at Robin with admiration as she smiled broadly.

"So, what's the new topic?"

"Write in the 'mystery' genre," Dawn replied smugly.

Author's notes:
[1] Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Or, in this case, the not so innocent.
[2] The author apologizes to all board members not mentioned in the story.
[3] The author takes no responsibility but apologizes for defamation of character due to a person's portrayal in the story.

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This article has been read 1232 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini04/12/07
This was a gem and it could have worked for this week as well, how humorous! But it works as a mystery just as nicely, what a creative mind working here!!
Catrina Bradley 04/12/07
Too cute! And I have no idea of who the characters really are. (wink). A few misplaced quote marks - but a great mystery read!
Kate Grey04/13/07
You had me laughing out loud!
Lauren Bombardier04/13/07
HA! Absolutely hilarious!
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/13/07
The author's notes take the cake! Haha! I figured out who everyone but Alex is, and I have a guess I'm fairly confident in as to the author. We'll see if I'm write, er, right. Too fun!
Sheri Gordon04/13/07
Well I certainly don't know who each of the characters represents -- but this is great anyway. I've been hanging around the boards long enough to realize the truthfulness of this picture. You guys are too funny -- and whoever the author is did a fabulous job.
Val Clark04/13/07
A fun read from beginning to end. Glad I live a long way from 'Dawn' can't stand midnight invasions. :-) yeggy
Donna Powers 04/13/07
Loved it! I laughed out loud and enjoyed trying to figure out who each "person" was. Very enjoyable mystery.
Anita Neuman04/13/07
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

(And a couple extra !!'s just for good measure.)
Joanne Sher 04/13/07
!!!!!!!!!!!(and running for cover)Entirely TOO much fun.
Shari Armstrong 04/13/07
That is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!! :) (Ooops - guess I'm going to get a pink slip ;) )
Patty Wysong04/13/07
Too Fun!!!! I had a Blast reading this! :-) :-)
Venice Kichura04/13/07
Funny, funny!
This would make a great entry for this week's humor theme as well.
Rita Garcia04/13/07
Wonderfully Fun and so well done! Love it!!
Loren T. Lowery04/13/07
I thought this was supposed to be a fictious mystery.
What a hoot. Great job and enjoyable read.
CeCe Lane04/13/07
What a hoot!
Sara Harricharan 04/13/07
LOL! This is too funny. I can hardly stop laughing. This must have been a ton of fun to write. Great mystery and kudos to such a creative take on topic! ^_^
Deborah Porter 04/14/07
What a hoot! Of course, only Board Dwellers will get this, but what a treat of a read. Speaking as "Dawn," I have to admit that Tonga sounds VERY nice. No challenge, no conference thinking, no editing ... NAH! What would I do with myself? ;-)

Thanks for the chuckle ma'am. I know who you are, and I probably shouldn't have put you on duty as a judge for the humor week.

Love, Deb (aka Dawn)
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/14/07
I loved every bit of this! How clever!
Helen Paynter04/15/07
What fun! Glad I found this one. Thanks for the laugh today.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/16/07
Since I was Johnny-On-The-Spot on the Boards when this MIW MYSTERY happened...I was going to accept the Author's #2 apology...but realized It was this PAST week that I was the most vocal regarding this MIW; thus no apology needed. Very creative entry!
Sue Dent09/01/07
Sarah *scratching chin* hmmmm . . . .She throws peanuts! I like her already!!!!!!!!! *yikes pink slips*
T. F. Chezum09/19/10
LOL ... Great read ;-)