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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: First Floor Vic
By dub W


Nan started to put a pencil in the barrel of the handgun at the victim’s feet.

“Nan, leave that alone. They’ll jail you for obstruction.” Nan’s friend Sheryl stepped over a stream of blood edging its way across the floor.

“Oops.” Nan stood up quickly.

The officer in charge turned around and glared at Sheryl and Nan. “You reporters get back in the doorway.

“It’s a Glock 23, 40 cal ya know.” Nan pointed with her pencil.

The officer looked over his glasses. “Might be, but if you moved it the investigation team will use it on you.”

“Oops again.” Nan blinked. Two investigators walked past Sheryl and Nan and into the room.

One of the investigators nodded toward Nan. “Get them out of here; how’d they get here before us?”

The officer motioned to push Nan and Sheryl out of the room. “Their office is on the fourth floor. City office of the Herald Bagatelle.”

“No matter, throw them out and close the door.”

Sheryl and Nan backed into the hallway just as the officer pulled the door shut.

“Okay, now what?” Sheryl adjusted the bag on her shoulder.

“I guess they weren’t interested in the fact that we knew the vic.”

“Sheryl tapped Nan on the shoulder. “And, they won’t if we stay out of it.”

“Hey you.” The officer opened the door and yelled at Nan.

Nan pointed at herself. “Me?”

“Yeah, and bring your friend.” The officer leaned against the door. “So, how did you get down here a second after I did?”

“Scanner.” Sheryl pointed up.

“Oh.” The officer made a note on a small pad.

“So any idea who this guy is?”

“Uh, huh.” Nan shook her head up and down.

“Why didn’t you tell me that when you were in the room?”

“You didn’t ask.” Nan bit her lip and pushed a lock of hair back off her forehead.

“So, who is he?”

“Otis.” Nan spoke quietly.

“Otis who?”

Sheryl took a turn. “His name was Otis, I think something like Jones, or Smith, one of those common names. Anyway, he hung around down here usually talking with the candy vendor or parking lot guy.”

The officer seemed to be watching Nan. “See him today.”

Nan nodded affirmatively. “Uh huh.”

“I didn’t till now.” Sheryl interjected.

“Give me some names.”

The two women each gave the officer a business card.

“Okay, uh, you Nancy, stay here a minute, and you madam,” he indicated Sheryl, “go away, but be where I can find you if we have more questions. You, Nancy, come with me.”

“Oops.” Nan made a pouty face and waved her fingers at Sheryl. Then, Nan and the officer went into the open room.

The officer motioned to one of the investigators. “This one saw the vic today.”

The investigator seemed familiar to Nan, but she had spent much time in the police department and had met many of the investigators.

“Ms. Mac chow, isn’t it?” The investigator approached Nan.

“McHough, yes.”

“Well, tell me what you know.”

“I saw Otis earlier today in the parking lot talking to a group of people at the gate. I drove in and waved. He didn’t wave back.”

“You didn’t recognize any of the men he was talking to?”

“Not all men, at least one appeared to be a woman. But, no I didn’t positively recognize anyone of the group.”

“You might have recognized someone?”

“Street people, after awhile they all look about the same.” Nan hoped her vague answer would do.

“Think you would recognize them again?”

Nan knew that her answer would put her in the police department looking at pictures, and a chance to get story information. “I don’t know.”

“Hmmm.” The investigator appeared to be thinking.

Nan broke the mood. “Who discovered the crime?”

“Anonymous tipster.”


The investigator touched Nan’s arm. “Let’s get away from here and go to the department, I think you need to look at some books.”

“Do I get a story out of this?”

“Don’t write ‘the end,’ yet.” The officer chuckled.


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This article has been read 625 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/22/10
Very curious to hear more of this story! You definitely had me engaged.
Celeste Ammirata01/25/10
I enjoyed this. But, I too, am curious about "the end". Maybe you can write the sequel for "HUH?"
Janice Fitzpatrick01/26/10
This was engaging with just a bit of humor in it to make it a "want to read." I agree with the others, I want to read more, pleeeeeeease.:0) Well done.
Carol Penhorwood 01/26/10
I think you have the beginning of a book here...I want more!
Michelle Knoll 01/26/10
So... where's Chapter Two? :-) Very engaging story, right from the beginning. Had me wanting more!

A thought about logistics: if the officer opens the door and yells at Nan, then they should be away from the door somewhat. They backed into the hallway, but were still outside the door. Perhaps as Sheryl is adjusting the bag on her shoulder, you could say something about them walking back to the elevator, or stairs?

Once again, great piece!
Carole Robishaw 01/26/10
I'd like to read "the rest of the story" as well.
Enjoyed this, I love mysteries.
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
You had me interested, but left the question unanswered, "who done it?" Do we get a Part 2?
Lyn Churchyard01/26/10
Okay, now that was totally unfair! You string us along with a great story, and then suddenly, we're dangling over the cliff of 'Huh? That's it? What do you think you're doing?" Good visuals, but I want some more.

George Parler 01/27/10
Good story and dialog but a nasty suspense hanger at the end. WE NEED MORE INPUT!!! ~ LOL

Great job.
c clemons01/27/10
The oops and the "uh huhs" were a bit of a distraction. I was not engaged enough to wonder what will happen next because the two MC's nonchalant attitude at a death left me uncaring also. If mystery writing is going to be your forte, keep practicing.
Jim McWhinnie 01/27/10
I love the detective stuff ... but who arrived on the scene first? the women or the officers?

Looking forward to the rest of the novel.
Catrina Bradley 01/27/10
I love a good police mystery - can't wait to read more! (hint)

The plot error? First you have the ladies arriving first, then later you say the officers did.

And me thinks Nan knows more than she is saying.... hmmmm...
Jan Ackerson 01/27/10
The thing that always strikes me about your writing is your deft touch with dialog. Love it, and also the swift pacing.
Barbara Lynn Culler01/27/10
My first thot was why Nan would put a pencil in the barrel of a gun? Everyone should know not to tamper with the scene of a crime?
Ruth Brown01/27/10
Clever little mystery.
Joy Faire Stewart01/27/10
Enjoyable entry, especially the opening sentence. I see it as the story beginning with an "oops." Clever!