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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)

TITLE: The Locket
By dub W


Nan sat alone at the gray, gunmetal desk waiting for the detective to come back. He had promised her a cup of coffee, but as yet had not shown up with a steaming cup in his hand. On his desk were stacks of papers and notes, mostly in disarray. Nan peeked over her glasses trying to read one of the reports. Reading upside down was a skill she had developed as a reporter for the Herald Bagatelle. The paper was a competing newspaper in New Orleans. The paper’s “claim to fame”, was that it reported the more sensational side of the news.

A hand ripped the report from under her prying eyes. “Hey, you’re not supposed to read that, it’s police business.”

“Grrr, I was looking for something interesting.”

The detective sat a Styrofoam cup of black liquid on top of a yellow pad. “Yer coffee, didn’t have any creamer, but I put sugar in it.”

Nan cringed. She hadn’t used sugar for years, and never sweetened her coffee, but always used creamer. She swallowed hard. “Thank you, I think.”

The detective flopped into his rolling chair and put his elbows on the desk. “So, we called your boss, and he says you were in a staff meeting when the scanner went off; and that you had been in the staff meeting since three, and at your desk from noon on.”

“Cool, then I can go?”

“Not yet.” The detective tapped his pencil. “The coroner hasn’t told us when the vic was shot."

Nan felt her eyelids open wide. “Coroner? I thought he was alive.”

“Died in route. And, you’re still the last person he pointed to when the EMTs had him.”

“Hey, you know I didn’t hurt that man.”

The detective halfway grinned at Nan. “Let’s let the finger print people and coroner determine that.”

“What? Determine what? I was in a staff meeting, you said so yourself.”

“Yep, you were. But, the victim may have been shot earlier in the day. Like I said, the coroner can tell us about when.”

Nan winced. “Am I under arrest.”

“Nope, just having coffee with your friendly neighborhood detective.”

“This is irritating.”

“So, we have been told.” The detective seemed to be reading some of the papers on his desk.

“How long do I sit here?” Nan could feel the cold steel chair pressing on her back.

“Well, you could sit over there in the holding cell.” The detective pointed at the metal bar box in the corner. “Course in a couple of hours all of the usual suspects will be arriving, tends to get a little crowded in there.”

Nan pushed a lock of hair from her forehead. “Thanks, I guess I will just stay here.”

"Good choice."

An older woman walked up to the desk. Nan recognized her immediately. Mattie Swartz was an attorney from the firm which served the Bagatelle Newspaper. “Steve, are you going to hold Ms. McHough much longer?” It was the first Nan knew of the detective’s name.

The detective looked up from his desk. “No Ms. Swartz, soon as the coroner calls she can go.”

Mattie walked over to Nan. “Don’t worry, you’ll be back at your desk in a jiffy.”

Nan’s heart was beating harder than usual. Sheryl must have called the lawyers.

Just then the phone rang and the detective answered. He turned his head away from the two women and seemed to be nodding. The only words they heard were “uh, huh; and oh.” He hung up the phone and turned to Nan. “The coroner’s office said that in his right hand he held a tiny gold heart with the initials NM carved on the surface. Do you have a charm like that?”

Nan had no bracelet on her wrists and held her hands up to show the detective. She had a locket at home with a small heart, a gift from her fiancé, but it was in her jewel case. "Not on me."

The detective looked up at Mattie Swartz. “We’re turning this over to the D.A.; while we aren’t charging Ms McHough right now, she is a person of interest.”

Nan slammed the table with her hand hard enough that the detective jumped back just as the coffee cup tipped over. “What?”

Mattie patted Nan on the shoulder. “Let’s get out of here before they accuse you of starting Katrina.”

Nan shook her head. “Grrr, this isn’t right.”

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This article has been read 511 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisha Hunnicutt02/06/10
This was fun to read a continuation of a prior entry!
Ruth Brown02/07/10
Intersting left us needing more. Good writing.
c clemons02/07/10
This installment was the best of three entries. Although try as might I really don't recall people saying grrr!, as much as I have read it in this entry and others for this topic. That was the only thing I had a problem with. With Nan's grrring, the detective might have thought she was a wolf or something :) Overall good job.
Mona Purvis02/09/10
Nothing like a detective story to hold one's interest. Mickey Spillane?
Keep telling the story.

Jackie Wilson02/09/10
Good job tying your entries together. Definitely a tantalizing read!
Carol Slider 02/09/10
I'm glad you've decided to continue the story of Nan. I'll be looking forward to the next chapter!
Loren T. Lowery02/09/10
I've said this before, this is definitely your genre. You are able to hold the suspense skillfully.
Lyn Churchyard02/09/10
You really are trying to string us along aren't you. Well, it's working. I might have written the bit about Nan waiting for the coffee a bit differently, but that's the only slightly red ink I could find. I'm enjoying this adventure very much. Can't wait for the next instalment :-)
Joan Campbell02/09/10
I enjoyed reading your entry. I find your detective a particularly strong character. I like the crime-lingo he uses, it makes him very "believable".
I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a conclusive end, but I see from other comments that I'll have to stay tuned!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/10
I, too am looking forward to hearing more. I'm also going to see if I can find the other articles it ties in with. You've piqued my curiosity.
Carol Penhorwood 02/10/10
Can't get enough. Keep it coming.
Lollie Hofer02/10/10
Cool, a sequel! And a well-written one at that. I'm enjoying the suspense and your strong character development. Can't wait to see how you tie in the "Ohhh."