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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sad (07/26/07)

TITLE: The Third Request
By Caitlynn Lowe
07/31/07


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Amelia Robertson had checked into the backwater motel hoping to find someplace quiet to perform the deed. She brought no luggage with her. Instead, all she took inside the decrepit room was a notebook, a pen, and a handgun with a single bullet.

She sat down on the stained mattress and opened her notebook. Something didn’t feel right about ending it all silently; she needed to write out her farewells. She thought about everything that had led her to this point as she put the pen to paper. The death of her precious baby daughter, followed by the decay of her marriage and the subsequent divorce--all of it contributed to her sinking lower into depression, until finally even the medicine stopped working. Left with nothing, Amelia felt as though death was her only option. Those were the thoughts that had driven her here to this empty motel room, and those were the thoughts she tried to put down on paper one last time:

To who-so-ever may find me,

Do not pity my death; pity my life. Many events have brought me here, and this is my only option. I have but three requests:

First, please bury me beside my daughter, Anna...


THUD!

The loud crash startled Amelia out of her writing. She got up and cautiously opened the door. No one was around in the hall. The surrounding rooms were empty as well--not only were all the lights off, but she had specifically requested a room surrounded by vacancies. After a few moments of uneasy searching, Amelia resumed her dreary task:

...Anna Grace Johnson. She was my greatest and truest joy in life, though my time with her was short.

Second, please inform my ex-husband--Jeremy Johnson--of my death. Please let him know that I never stopped loving him, and that I’m sorry for how things turned out between us. After our daughter, he was my second greatest source of happiness.


Tears began pouring down Amelia’s face as she continued to write. Deep inside, a part of her really didn’t want this...but the pain was just so great...

She paused before writing her third and final request. She was shivering all over now. Was it fear? No, it was just cold. Glancing over to the thermostat, she noticed the temperature in the room had dropped significantly. Why was it getting so cold? She shook the question off...soon enough, it wouldn’t matter. Turning her attention back to the paper, she began to write again:

Lastly, for my third request, I ask that...

CRASH!

Again, loud noises startled Amelia out of writing. This time, however, her face immediately turned white with fear upon looking up. Before her stood a man and a woman, both dressed in sixties’ garb...but there was something especially peculiar about them. They did not appear as flesh and blood; rather, they were pale, see-through forms. And though they seemed to be arguing with each other, Amelia could hardly hear a word being said.

A cold sweat came over her now...these couldn’t be ghosts. They didn’t seem like ghosts should. Their actions seemed less like they were happening presently and more like they were actors in a movie. No, these weren’t ghosts or spirits coming to haunt her--this was an imprint in time itself, of an event so dramatic that the walls absorbed its very substance and were replaying it in front of Amelia now.

She watched in wide-eyed anticipation, both terrified and transfixed. The two argued heatedly, when suddenly, the man hit the woman, sending her flying to the ground. The vaporous woman lied there as her male counterpart continued to beat her. Finally, the man dropped something in front of her and left, disappearing into nothing.

Amelia’s breath evaded her when she saw what he had dropped: a gun. She could now hear the other woman weeping--it was the loudest, most vivid noise she had heard all night. Amelia tried unsuccessfully to break her gaze when she saw the woman slowing put the gun to her head. She wanted so badly to scream, but she was frozen in place. And then, with tears streaming down the faces of both women, the trigger of the ghostly weapon was fired--BANG!

Immediately after hearing the shot, Amelia fled, leaving behind her gun, her lone bullet, and her suicide note--the third request, forever unwritten.


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This article has been read 812 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg08/04/07
Unusual, but interesting. I thought maybe she would be solving a long ago murder. Wonder what the 3rd request was.
Linda Watson Owen08/05/07
You had me hooked from the first sentence! I, too, would love to know more. Was she seeing her parents? Who were those people? I vote to give you 250 more words over the limit! ;-)
Jan Ackerson 08/05/07
I loved the first 4/5ths or so of this...you masterfully set the place and the mood, and every word was gripping.

It was only toward the very end that I felt it faltered. I like the open ending, but I lost the mood. And here: The vaporous woman lied there ...unless she was telling fibs, I think you meant laid there.

Very well-written, and quite mysterious. I like it.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/07
This is a good mystery story. I'd like to know more.
Dee Yoder 08/06/07
I vote for 250 more words, too! Boy, I love mysteries and this seems like a really good beginning for a great one. If you expand this, I'll HAVE to read it!
Joanne Sher 08/07/07
Very, very intense. Great job of setting the scene. I also would have loved some more words - hope you'll write them and point me that way. Great stuff.
Sara Harricharan 08/07/07
WOW with capital letters! This gave me goosebumps. I was not expecting this ending and you thoroughly surprised me. What a great read, the detective in me wants to know what happens next if she tells anyone, what the 3rd request is and what happens next. This is a definite favorite of mine this week!
Janice Fitzpatrick08/08/07
GREAT JOB! Wow is all I can say mainly. From starting off as a sad piece to turning this into a mystery for sure. I was relieved that the main character had left, without gun intote. Very good writing here! I like this alot!
Betty Castleberry08/08/07
You held my attention throughout. This would be great expanded. I'd like to know what happens next.
One small thing: you have "slowing" in the next to the last paragraph. Did you mean "slowly?" I read through it a couple of times and wasn't sure I got it. Nice work.
Lynda Lee Schab 08/08/07
I agree...very mysterious indeed. The message was unclear to me, though. I'd love to know your thoughts behind it - it might make the meaning more clear. But overall, clear, concise writing. Definitely wanted to know more at the end.
Seema Bagai 08/08/07
Mysterious. A bit confusing. This piece left me wanting to know more.
LaNaye Perkins08/08/07
Ohhh, I love suspense and mystery! This was great!
Kristen Hester08/08/07
This is so intriquing. I, too, would like to know more. Very good writing.