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CONTEST: Mr/Miss/Mrs (Blank) Lives for a Day
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Violet Parr
Violet Parr

Jan-30-2010 07:30

(Creative Writing Contest)

In the wonderful spirit of giving and universal oneness Sleuth is showing, I have decided to host a contest I have wanted to do for a while. The premise of this contest is inspired by a charming little movie I watched a while ago called “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”, whereby in the course of twenty four hours the character of Miss Pettigrew is introduced, developed and, by the end of the movie, gets her romantic destiny achieved.

The contest is this: Write a creative piece in which you introduce a fictional character to the reader, develop it as much as you can with interesting detail and have it fulfill some sort of destiny within the course of one day in the character’s life. The rules are as follows:

1. The character has to be fictional -it can be your detective’s or another one that you’ve created.
2. The piece you submit is limited to 6,000 characters (i.e. 3 posts as a maximum.)
3. Your piece must be entitled: “Mr/Miss/Mrs (insert your character’s name) Lives for a Day”.
4. The entries will be judged on writing, creativity and entertainment value.

The judging will be done by yours truly. I promise to endeavour to be as fair as humanly possible.

The winner will receive a 6-month gift subscription to Sleuth Noir. There is also another optional prize if the winner is a role player and would like to start a new thread on the stage: I will offer to join his or her story as the Violet Parr character or as a character of the winner’s choosing and design.

All entries must be submitted by the deadline of Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at 23:59 hrs, Sleuth Server Time.

I encourage everyone to give this contest a shot, enjoy writing and have fun!


Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Feb-5-2010 19:51

But he didn’t look angry. He was smiling. “Hi, I’m Matthew. Matthew Johnson. I think you dropped this?” He held out a pack of breath mints. I blushed deeply red, horrified.

He laughed kindly. “I’m just joking. I saw you this morning at the bookstore. Actually, I see you there every morning, always with your head buried in a book.”

“O-oh,” I stammered, “I do like to r-read. And my n-name is Amy. Amy James.” I smiled unsurely. I had always had the worst luck with people. I wasn’t really a social person to begin with, and being around a handsome man wasn’t helping my confidence at all.

He walked and stood right in front of me, and lifted my chin with his finger. “You know, you have a very pretty face,” he whispered. I almost stopped breathing.

“How would you like to go out sometime?” he asked, flashing me a smile.

“I-I’d love to,” I answered sincerely. My goodness, I could not believe that this was happening to me. Me of all people. Was I dreaming? No. I wasn’t. A big smile spread across my face. For the first time in my life, something was going my way. And I was more than willing to let fate take me wherever it would.

Anais Nin
Anais Nin

Feb-6-2010 00:46

Mrs. Coleman Lives for a Day

She stared at the horizon as the sky slowly lightened from the bluish-grey of night just before dawn to the orangish pink of the sun rising. Another sleepless night, another sunrise witnessed. Alone.

Her wrinkled hand ran along the smooth grain of the wood of the porch swing as she took another deep swallow of her strong, smooth coffee. Darrel had carved it. It was his present to her after twenty five years of marriage. And it was still here. What Darrel built lasted, even if Darrel did not.

A small smile tugged at her lips as she saw in her minds eye her eldest son get down on bended knee while the woman he loved sat in happy shock on the swing. She saw her daughter sitting on the swing telling her proud parents she was pregnant with twins. She saw the army officer walking up to her as she sank onto the swing and was handed the flag and was told her youngest son was never coming home.

Tears leaked down her cheeks, but she didn't wipe them away. She let the memories assail her. She needed to remember, to feel again. It had been so long she had felt anything but numb.

The sun was up now. Still low in the sky, yes, but rising steadily and taking on a yellowish hue. The sky turned the light blue of a cloudless sky and birds sang.

With effort, the woman heaved herself off the swing and tottered inside. She rinsed out her mug and forced herself to toast some bread. How long had it been since she ate? She couldn't remember. Not since the last of her children and grandchildren had left her a week ago. They were worried, she knew. She wished she could find some way to comfort them, but she couldn't. She had seen her son and daughter with their heads together, whispering like naughty school children sneaking glances at her. She had pretended not to notice them, pretended that she would be alright.

But nothing was alright. Darrel was gone. Nothing could ever be alright again.

Darrel. They had been together so long that she could hardly remember a time without him. When she had moved into the house next doo

Anais Nin
Anais Nin

Feb-6-2010 00:47

Darrel. They had been together so long that she could hardly remember a time without him. When she had moved into the house next door to him when she was all of nine, she had declared to her thirteen year old sister that Darrel was the man she would marry. Angie had laughed at her, telling her she was too young to make such statements. But she had known it was true. Darrel was her other half. They immediately became best friends, not caring for the teasing they received. In high school, they started dating. The cutest couple, they had been named. The two years in which Darrel had gone off to college and left her behind in high school had been some of the worst in her long life. On her eighteenth birthday, Darrel had taken her to the fair. At the top of the Ferris wheel, he asked her to be his. They almost fell out of the basket, she remembered with a sheepish smile, when she had squealing thrown her arms around him.

Seventy three years they had lived as man and wife. Now he was gone.

Restlessly she wandered the house they had lived in for fifty three years. Her children and grandchildren had been after her and their father to move into a retirement home. She snorted. "And leave my home?" they had always replied. Since Darrel had gone, her family was more insistent. She stopped at the front table and looked down on the pile of literature about Spring Village and other such nonsense places. A brief flare of anger took her as she swatted the whole pile to the floor. Never.

She wandered to the living room and turned on the television, hoping the mindless drone would help her stop the memories from coming. She didn’t want to remember now. It hurt too much. The numbness was what kept her from tearing apart. The senseless plot of the soap didn’t help. It made her think of her family, her life. It made her remember. She turned it off and wondered what she would do.

She didn’t know who she was, not without Darrel. She still expected to find his warm, now wrinkled body in bed beside her when she lay down. She expected to see him out in the garden w

Anais Nin
Anais Nin

Feb-6-2010 00:47

She didn’t know who she was, not without Darrel. She still expected to find his warm, now wrinkled body in bed beside her when she lay down. She expected to see him out in the garden when she looked out the window, to hear him call out when he came in, she expected…

At times, she could swear she did hear him. Feel his presence. But that was silly, she knew. He was gone. Dead after a long, rich life. Dead before her.

"YOU PROMISED ME YOU WOULD NEVER LEAVE ME!" the cry ripped out of her. "You promised," she whimpered as she pulled her shawl tight around herself.

She fell asleep finally, noon day sun high in the sky. She dreamed, fitfully tossing in Darrel's armchair, remembering even in her dreams.

When she woke, it was to the phone ringing. "Mama? It's Abigail. How are you?" her daughter asked anxiously on the other end. She placated her daughter and promised that she would go eat dinner before finally getting off. She shook her head at her daughter mothering her.

A short time later she sat in the swing again, this time with a PB&J, and watched the sun sink low in the sky. The light blue of day turned orange and pink and yellow and purple and filled her with peace. Peace. That was what she wanted, craved. She was tired of living, the daily struggle to survive. When Darrel was alive, she lived for him. But he was gone, and she was tired. Her life had been good, not without the rough patches, but the rough patches made the good times all the more sweet, she thought to herself as she sat and watched the sun's top most edge sink below the horizon.

The first stars started to twinkle in the early evening sky. She wished on the first star she saw. She wished, with all the conviction, all the love, the hope, the need within her, to be with Darrel.

Wishes do come true.

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Feb-6-2010 16:56

Miss Phaedra Lives for a Day

Saturday Night Fever - men and women reveling in the spirit of weekend partying, most unaware of danger on the prowl. Watching, waiting for a chance, an opportunity, the right opening, evil lurks.

The sky was clear, the air was warm, the smell of the sea blended with flowery perfumes. Inside, the strobe lights flashed, the music pounded and pulsed, the crowd swirled and spun, couples in unions of motion. This was Phaedra’s passion. This was what drew her out this weekend night. This was what thrilled her. Nothing in her 25 years compared to these nights. The music reached for her, it melded with her body, and she succumbed to its embrace. Her partners were only important if they added to the experience. Most did not. The rest only filled the time until the next great song. Never one to run with the pack, never one to allow attachment, never like those silly, insecure girls running to the bathroom to gossip and share their not-so-secret secrets, Phaedra found them tawdry and boring. She was there to enjoy the music and to dance.

Too soon, the inevitable time for closing comes and Phaedra returns alone to her car, still carrying that excitement which gives her so much vitality. Suddenly, she is rushed by three gang members who kidnap her forcibly, thrusting her into their vehicle, brandishing guns and knives. But it is not those weapons which capture her attention (for she cares nothing of death), but the baseball bat and the promise of pain and deforming injuries " injuries that would forever steal her ability to dance, and with it her will to live. Meekly, almost willingly, she does not resist. She is merchandise now, for they speak of selling her at auction. Key West is their destination, and one of the many yachts in a very exclusive marina. Throughout the area, other young women are being collected and assembled for the pleasure of those rich enough and powerful enough to feed and consume the basest of human commerce.

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Feb-6-2010 16:57

Unusually youthful in appearance, the kidnappers had figured her for a runaway. That, she thought, might be her salvation. Allowing them to think of her as young and gullible, Phaedra feigns excitement at the prospect of a yacht party and pretends that she is enjoying the prospect of a new adventure. Later she would think about how she deserved an acting award, but for now she is feeling like a caged animal - hoping, waiting, and searching for the right moment to make her escape.

At one point, as they were driving down the highway, a police cruiser came up behind them. The radio was playing “Celebrate (we’ll have a good time tonight)”, an unsettling irony. Aware of the law officer behind them, the men warned her not to try “anything stupid”. She just tossed her head back and laughed, telling them she was enjoying the music. “Turn it up!” she said. Then reaching back, she started tapping out the familiar Morse code dots and dashes of S.O.S. on the back of her head. If only he would notice…! But “Serve and Protect” was oblivious to her silent plea, only interested in checking the vehicle’s plates.

Hours later, they arrived in Key West and she was taken to the prospective buyers - ruthless traders of humanity cloaked and hidden in their opaque luxury. Two vicious Doberman Pinschers patrolled the deck of the yacht, discouragement to passersby and peering eyes, and to any who might try to leave unescorted. The haggling and negotiations followed, and although Phaedra couldn’t quite hear all that was said, she sensed some disagreement. She remained ostensibly unconcerned and disengaged as she peered at the video collection in the corner.

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Feb-6-2010 16:59

Abruptly they left, and drove to a posh and secure inn. One of the men got out and obtained a room, strategically located near the back door. This clever detail allowed them to secrete her into the room without concern for any attempt on her part to call out or run. The men were relaxed; the deal was all but done. The transfer had been postponed to a later time and that would come soon enough.

Wanting to rest, they had to make sure that the "merchandise" was knocked out first. When they told Phaedra she was going to have to take a Quaalude, she contrived gratitude and hopped directly onto the bed. Laying on her side and facing the wall, Phaedra salivated from the corner of her mouth, not daring to swallow, allowing the drug to run out onto the pillow. For 15 minutes (an eternity), the men noted her rhythmic breathing before deciding to pop their own “'ludes.” They passed out quickly, but Phaedra waited. Endless time passed before she was certain they were asleep.

The door, though only a few steps away, could have been miles from where she stood. Freedom was separated from her only by her own will to reach for it. Quickly, quietly, she moved to and then through the door. Once in the hall she ran, flashing past unwelcoming doors as the blur of room service platters passed by, on the longest run of her life.

Peter O'Neil
Peter O'Neil
Old Shoe

Feb-6-2010 17:18

Finding herself at last in the lobby, she was surrounded by blue-haired ladies and mink coats. (But even in that perilous moment, it struck her " mink in Key West?) She rushed through them, her tousled disco dress, rumpled hair, smeared makeup, and lack of shoes (left behind for the run) a stark contrast to the group. To the startled desk clerk, Phaedra gasped and struggled to explain: “Call the police. Kidnapped. They have guns and knives. They’ll kill me. Hide me. NOW!” The clerk stared at her, mouth agape, so that Phaedra just wanted to shake her. At last the clerk came to her senses, hotel security was called, and the police, who had to wake the drugged mongrels up, arrested her tormenters, obviously without resistance.

Miss Phaedra lived that day, and Miss Phaedra lives today.

*Word shows 5757 characters. I guess in editting for the MB I over ran the 3 post yardstick. Hope this still works.*

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-7-2010 00:08

Mr. Nevaeh Lives for a Day

James Nevaeh had no idea why he should be here, but he was.

The hustle and bustle on the busy platform at daybreak astounded the musician. He hasn't been out on a morning for a long time. Trains whistled here and there, and travelers tend to run him over if he walked a bit too slow. James picked up his saxophone case and left Victoria station. He needed to find lodging soon. The man was exhausted.

Call it a change of scenery, or giving himself a go at his dream, but the truth was, James was hiding. New York didn't work out for him, not because he wasn't talented. The proud man could never work with anyone, and even a solo artist needed to play along with others. Perhaps a new city would make all the difference.

He wouldn't know when he would start playing again, so he watched every cent he had. The flat he picked was overrun by rodents, but nothing a little rat poison couldn't do. James slept right away. By the time he woke up, the day was still bright. The dreary London sky looked grey all the day, so he didn't know the time until he looked at his watch. Tea time. This would be a great hour to brave the bars for getting possible gigs.

James descended the stairs just as a boy and two girls ran up. The boy rammed right into him almost knocking his instrument case out of his hand.

"Watch where you're going, are you blind?" James yelled. Just then he realized the pupils of the boy was half glazed, and was on the edging of blindness.

"Sorry sir. I'm really sorry." The boy apologized quietly. James didn't know how to react, so he continued to descend the stairs.

He quietly went for a black coffee, and headed for the bar area with his instrument in his hand. One after another the venues turned him down. Business was bad even on this side of the ocean. The sun had already set and James still haven't found one single gig.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Feb-7-2010 00:38

Finally at a more prominent hang out by the river Thames, James found an owner who appreciated his playing. "You can start tomorrow. Come me with to the office to get some paperwork done." The bar own said. James felt his luck just changed.

As they entered into the small office James could see a lady in a shimmering turquoise one piece lying on the couch. She looked strangely familiar. "Honey, this is James Nevaeh. Our next saxophonist..." The man said to middle aged lady.

"Oh I know who he is!" The woman smirked. James then realized who he was looking at. Dolores Donaldson. They had a huge fight once. James even said that she wasn't fit to lick a stage. "If you wanna hire this man, I'm gone."

James knew exactly what that meant.


James could usually hold his liquor, but tonight he puked after the fifth shot of Scotch. His feet were wobbly and he almost didn't recognize how to get back to his new flat. A rat pass across the street and James wanted to smash it to pulp with a stick, but he tripped and fell flat on the pavement. "Perhaps a new city wouldn't make any different after all." He muttered.

As he hauled himself up the stairs, he could hear a trio playing Mozart behind the doors. It came from his neighbor downstairs. The violin was bittersweet, the piano playful, and the cello was deep and steady. Everything matched. James was not a fan of classical, but the music somehow drew him. He couldn't resist but to peek through the window to watch them play.

It was the kids who ran into him earlier in the day. The boy who was going blind made the violin soar. It didn't matter that he couldn't see much longer, it didn't matter that the world will go dark for him. His soul was on fire. Just then, the young girl pianist missed a note and lost her track. The other two didn't stop or scold at her. They continued.

"Come back at bar 52." The cellist stated assuringly. The girl nodded and a few moments later the music continued as if nothing happened.

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