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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: The Choice
By dub W


Ten hours after they arrived Nan and Mattie walked out of the metro Police building. “Sheesh, that was horrible. The same questions over and over.”

“Good thing you weren’t the one they are investigating; we’d still be there.”

“I was beginning to wonder.”

“I’ll give you a ride,” Mattie said. “Cabs are tough down here this time of night.”


Streetlights sparkled in the mist and fog. Nan and Mattie inched their way along the sidewalk, seemingly walking in the opposite direction of a crowd of tourists. Eventually, they reached the parking garage where Mattie had parked her car.

“Plans for the weekend?” Mattie pressed the automatic key lock on her key chain. The dome light popped on and the doors clicked open.

“Church with Rosa. Then probably work at the Bagatelle; we're moving back to town from the plant.”

They drove in silence out of the parking lot. Once they were clear of pedestrian traffic Mattie turned down the radio. “You know you have to surrender the disc to the police. I am going to check the books, but I don’t think the intellectual property contained on that disc is protected by the first amendment, and there certainly is no reporter privilege.”

“They said they would get a warrant anyway, if I didn’t bring the disc in.” Nan opened her purse for a tissue.

“I think it would look better for the paper if you simply delivered the disc.”

“And then William dies.” Nan wiped her eyes. “Will the police protect my sister, my parents, and William’s parents?”

“I don’t know.” Mattie stared down the street. “If you fail to deliver the disc or turn it over, you will be in violation of the warrant – that is to say you will be guilty of hiding evidence. Plus, since the disc is on company property, the newspaper stands some criminal liability too, and probably seven or eight more civil charges.” Mattie turned the car onto Ramparts Street. “Give the police the disc now and save us a world of trouble. Nobody has to know.”

“But, if the guys holding William know I have involved the police, they will kill him for sure. And, I would be putting a lot of other people in danger.”

Finally, Mattie and Nan pulled in front of the Bagatelle building. Mattie looked at the nearly empty parking lot. “No guard.”

“I thought Lee’s security force was going to start tonight.”

“You want me to wait for you?”

“Naw, I’m going to run over to the employee entrance: twenty five steps and a cloud of dust.”

“Okay, but Nan.” Mattie leaned over and touched Nan’s arm. “Consider what we talked about.”

“I’ll pray on it.”

“Good idea.”

Nan hopped out of the car and walked briskly up to the employee entrance, opened the door and waved at Mattie.

Mattie honked the car horn, then pulled down the street.

Nan turned to enter the building when the door suddenly slammed shut and a long gloved hand passed over her mouth.

She started to struggle but a large arm encircled her waist. And then, someone grabbed her hands and she felt herself dragged around the corner of the building.

“Where’re the discs?” The voice was gravelly and sounded to Nan like a heavy smoker’s.

She tried to speak - muffled, “I don’t have them.”

“You been talk’n to police. Which one of your relatives do you want to die?”

“Nan’s heart sank. “I’ll get the discs and bring them to you tonight.”

“Don’t try anything. We are watching all the time. “ The man holding onto her laughed. “Like, your sister is having dinner right now at a diner on 42nd Street, in New York. If you are interested in her having breakfast, then bring the discs to us. We’ll call you. No police, no other copies. We are watching.”

A garbage bag was suddenly pulled down over her head and arms and the ties pulled tightly. Nan felt helpless, then a big hand pushed her down to her knees.

Oh Jesus, here I am on my knees. If this is my last breath I ask forgiveness for those who have done this to me, as well as my own…her prayer was cut short with the roar of two motorcycles.

Nan struggled to get out of the bag. “I’ve gotta get to the plant and get the discs.”

She tossed the bag aside and ran to her car. “Lord forgive me.”

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This article has been read 738 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Hollums01/10/08
What a story line! But it seems to leave me hanging. Could you continue it somehow later?
Joanne Sher 01/10/08
Great build-up of the suspense. The tension was absolutely palpable. Darn that word count.
Sara Harricharan 01/11/08
This sounds like the beginning of a first chapter in an Adventure novel. I wish I knew what happened next! great story! I like how you showed the difference her choice would make and why she had to make it anyway. ^_^
LauraLee Shaw01/12/08
Wow, talk about leaving us on the edge of our seats! I almost fell off mine! Good job drawing us in....
jodie banner01/14/08
What happens next? Great story, had me drawn in from the beginning.
Debbie Wistrom01/14/08
Loved the tension! Squirmed the whole way through.
Temple Miller01/16/08
What about the tourists, the plant, William, the disc, the family, the bad guys, the good guys, Rosa? Yep, you set me up good and left me hanging. I hope this is just a first installation, and you give us more each week, so at the end of the quarter, we have the full story!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
You can't just leave us hanging in midair like this...more please.
Dee Yoder 01/16/08
Oh rats. I was waiting and waiting for you to post your link and now...well...rats. I want to read the WHOLE thing. Is this a trick?! Where are the hidden spy cameras aimed at taping your readers faces when they don't get to read the ending laid out nice and neat and tied with a bow?. Yes, it's suspenseful and well-written which is why-oh...you know.
Julie Ruspoli01/16/08
Hmmmm. I know the ending is actually in here. My summation is that she is going to give the kidnappers the disc to save her family. That is why she wants forgiveness from God and why her heart 'sank'. Will I ever know if I am right? Like always, I get lost in your stories and forget about reality while reading. Sequel please?
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
Is there possibly a dilemna here, not giving the evidence saves her family...but God understand and forgives her for not following the law? I'm not sure, but I sure liked your writing style.
Beth LaBuff 01/16/08
Way to create suspense for the reader -- from your first sentence to "the ending on this page" Yes, I was wishing for more too! Ethical questions -- I wish I had answers! Great writing.
Rita Garcia01/16/08
Really like your style,how do you pack so much storyline into 750 words? Enjoyed the mystery.
Maxx .01/16/08
I always love a good Dub story. You've got a great imagination! The storyline was quite catching! Great job, as always!
Tim Pickl01/17/08
Wow! You hit another one out of the park, Dub! It reads like a screenplay for tv or movie...
Janice Cartwright01/17/08
You may add my kudos to the heap even if you don't play fair.
Suzanne R01/18/08
And then what happens?

I love the way you use ... what are they called ... speech tags? You've made it perfectly clear who says what but haven't got all those 'she said', 'he said' etc. Expertly written.