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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: Mates
By Steve McClure
02/06/14


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…Amy ran out the door, climbed into her car, and raced downtown. She located the pawnshop, parked her car, ran to the shop and burst through the door. “Do you have it?”

“Who’re you?” perplexedly responded the man in the cage.

“I just talked to you about the bronze bookend. Don’t you remember?”

“Oh, you must have talked to the owner. He’s gone home.”

“Well, do you have it?”…


Alicia’s cell phone chimed. The ID read: Marcie. “Hello, Marcie,” Alicia answered.

“Hi, Alicia.” Marcie sounded upset.

“What’s up?” Alicia asked.

“One of my horses is gone.”

Alicia chuckled. “How will you hold your books up?”

“It’s not funny. I remember cleaning them…. The black one’s here, but the white one’s gone.”

“Maybe he’s galloped off to catch bad guys.” Alicia laughed out loud.

“Cute. Did you see them when you were here yesterday?”

“Can’t say I paid much attention.”

“Ohhh,” groaned Marcie. “Pray that I find it.”

“I’m sorry, Marcie. I’ve been cruel. Of course I’ll pray you find it. By the way, do your horses have any hidden messages on them?”

“Not that I know of. Why?”

“Oh, ironically, I’m reading this little book that’s all about some mystery message on a bookend.”

“What’s it called?”

“The Bookend.”

“How original,” sarcastically responded Marcie. “So, what’s the mystery?”

“Don’t know, yet. I’m at the end and the girl’s just about to find out.”

“Well, I’ll let you get back to it.”

Alicia put the phone down and picked up the book.

…“Well, do you have it?”

“Actually, no. I just sold it to a guy with a lotta cash.”

“Just sold it?!” Amy exclaimed frantically. “How could you! It’s taken me months to find the mate.”

“Like I said, he had a lotta cash.”

“What was his name? What did he look like? When did he leave?

“We don’t do names in this business. He was wearing a blue windbreaker. You probably passed him on your way in. But I don’t think he’ll part with it – he was really glad to get it.”

“I just want a look at it.”

Amy rushed outside and looked up and down the street. No blue windbreaker. She ran to the parking lot…not there, either. She ran back to the street…. Nothing.

She ran into the pawnshop. “Do you remember the writing on it?” she pleaded.

“Naw. Some sort of jingle. Not important.”

“You remember anything at all?” she pressed.

“Can’t say that I do. Some little line about the mate, I think. But I don’t remember any more. Sorry.”

Amy left. A small tear welled up in one eye. Now, she would never know. “It was a silly pursuit, anyway,” she thought.

She got into her car, started the engine, and drove home.


“What a crummy ending!” Alicia shouted out loud. “Now she’ll never know,” she mimicked. “Well neither will I. Crummy! Just crummy!”

She thought about Marcie and her lost white horse, and mouthed a quick prayer. Marcie loved those horses. She found them…where? At a yardsale, or something. They were cast in some shiny stone, captured at full gallop, manes flowing in the wind. Lord, do help her find it. It’d be a shame to break up such a majestic pair.

Chimes…Marcie.

“Hello, Marcie.”

“I found it…in the laundry hamper, of all places.”

“Well, at least you found it, praise the Lord. My book had a crummy ending…without solving the mystery.”

“That is crummy. You know, I thought about what you said. I had to get a magnifying glass, but there is some writing etched into one of the hind legs.”

“Really. What does it say?”

My stride is long, endurance great; but the end of the line is with my mate.”

“That’s it…that’s it!” Alicia exclaimed. “Well, not exactly. The words are different, but it was a rhyme about the mate.”

“How interesting.”

“So, what’s it say on the other horse?” Alicia asked, intrigued.

“What do you think it says?”

“How would I know? I just read a whole book trying to find out.”

“Well, think about it…the end of the line….”

Alicia thought. “Line of what?”

“Line of books, silly,” Marcie chided. “The black horse reads the same as the white horse.”

Silence…. Then, both girls laughed out loud.


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This article has been read 62 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 02/11/14
Interesting . . .
I was confused about what was going on until I realized she was reading a book. I had to go back and read the beginning over again. Perhaps you could have had Marcie turn a page or something to show the reader that it was a book.
I like how you tied it all together at the end.
Laury Hubrich 02/11/14
Cute little mystery story. I like how you tied the book into real life:)
Camille (C D) Swanson 02/12/14
You had me guessing and thinking and you held my interest...nicely done.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/13/14
Congratulations on ranking 11 in your level. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.