Darlene sat up on the sofa, confused. She didn’t remember laying down. Her mind raced to reorient her. Black Lincoln… nosy Mrs. Crawford…
“Ma’am, are you okay?”
FBI agents… Father. Sure enough, the agents sat on the loveseat to her right. “Oh. Um, I guess.” She’d fainted. They must have put her on the sofa.
“When was the last time you talked to your father?” The taller agent with darker hair and graying sideburns spoke.
He doesn’t waste time. She furrowed her brow and shook her head. “I don’t know. Maybe eight months ago?”
The younger, shorter agent tilted his head. “Interesting. He lives in town doesn’t he?”
Darlene raised an eyebrow. “The FBI doesn’t know the exact distance between our homes?”
The other agent suppressed a laugh.
“Okay, so 12.4 miles, give or take,” he mumbled. “Why haven’t you spoken to him?”
“He didn’t agree with some of my life choices.”
Like it’s none of your business, Darlene wanted to say. Instead, she asked, “What do you want with my father?”
“Your father disappeared four weeks ago.”
“Does the FBI normally handle missing person cases?” Darlene asked.
“We do when the person is the subject of a long-time investigation.”
Darlene slumped into the sofa cushion. “Investigation for what?”
The agents exchanged glances. “Mulroney?” the shorter agent said to the other.
Mulroney cleared his throat. “We can’t divulge details in an open case.” He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a long white envelope. He handed it to Darlene.
Darlene accepted it and slipped her finger under the sealed flap. “What’s this?”
The agents stood simultaneously. Haversill, the shorter agent, responded, “It’s a subpoena for your financial records.” They made their way to the door. “We’ll be in touch.”
Darlene watched them leave and caught sight of Myrtle Crawford still staring out her window. Her smile confirmed she’d witnessed everything.
Darlene couldn’t dwell on the imminent neighborhood gossip. Not while the FBI nosed around, anyway.
This is my response to the Trifecta challenge this week. It’s supposed to stand on its own, but if you’d like more background on the story, check out the previous writings:
First Part (Dead Flowers) Second Part (Investigation) Third Part (Unknown Path)
This week, the Trifecta editors asked that we use the following word/definition in a 33 to 333 word (mine is 329) response:
DWELL: (a) to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon<tried not to dwell on my fears>; (b) to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon<reporters dwelling on the recent scandal>
If you want to read the other entries, or if you want to try one yourself, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site.
SO GOOD Janna! I liked the language of this, it was believable.
the plot thickens..I love it. Seems dear old dad had secrets of his own. 😉
you wrote a very engaging scene.
Thanks for your supportive comment, Kir! I wanted to do more description, but there was too much that needed to be revealed through dialogue…ran out of words (again!)
but it was GOOD Janna. Sometimes what people are saying is better than the descriptions..hey I like both, but this was very good. 🙂
Thank you, Kir. You are so nice!
just honest…and I love your writing. 🙂
Thank you, Kir 😳
Keep using those prompts to move this story forward, Janna. I’m loving it.
Thanks, Nancy! I had written another story that I was going to post for this prompt instead, but someone reminded me that I left this hanging. Writing a continuation does add another dimension of challenge to the challenges, that’s for sure!
Oh, I love this. Dialogue seems so real. Watch out Myrtle!
Myrtle is a pain in the neck, but I have a feeling she might end up on the other side of the gossip one of these days. Thanks for reading, Phil!
So glad you decided to continue with this fascinating story,Janna-I love intrigue & suspense & you are doing a fab job-loved the dialogues:-)Keep it coming
Thanks so much, Atreyee! I appreciate you keeping up with this story and sharing your comments 🙂
:-)enjoying it Janna
Oh no, now I *have* to know what her dad and husband are up to! Good job writing a story that keeps you engaged and wanting more.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who wants to know what’s going on, Muse 🙂 Seriously though, this story would be much easier to anticipate if I just knew the prompts early. I heard the Trifecta editors like chocolate….
I love this! The plot thickens….:D
Thanks, Dianne! I have no idea where i’m going with this, but I’m glad you’re along for the ride 🙂
I’m glad you’re continuing this! But would the FBI need a subpoena for someone’s financial records? I figured they’d just go through them without even telling you. Maybe I’m just paranoid! lol
Haha! I’m sure the FBI has already snooped around, but they have to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to prevent a case from being thrown out in court over a technicality. Nevermind that they went the legal route after the fact 🙂 (Not that I’m paranoid, either!) Thanks for reading, Bee!
I am getting drawn into this – hopefully, you’ll continue.
I appreciate you following the story, Eric. I will continue it until there is some sort of ending.
I need to get caught up on reading!
🙂 Luckily each part is very short, Patti!
more… ^^ i’m beginning to loathe that nosy neighbor of hers ^^ can’t wait to see what happens next ^^
I’m glad the story captured your interest, kz. I have a couple of story ideas, depending on the next prompt!
Oh good… the story continues. the agents sat on the loveseat to her right… what a mental picture!
I’m glad that helped with the scene, Tedsrutz. I had to cut out much of the description because the piece was too long 😦
JannaT – Said it before, but worth writing again…your dialogue is perfect. To make characters come alive without much exposition or description is the most difficult aspect of writing to learn, or to teach, in my experience. You got it down…good for you. Lovely.
Thanks so much for your comment, Coyotero. It is good to have affirmation that the dialogue is believable. Stilted dialogue, or data dump conversations bug me (I found this out by reading my own stuff out loud. If a response turns into a monologue, it isn’t real. Usually after a couple sentences the other person is ready to jump in!)
It shows. I’ve also commented on how your characters cut each other off, or speak in incomplete sentences, or lose their train of thought, like real converstaions. I use punctuation in ways it wasn’t meant to be used to get converstaion looking like the jumble that they usually seem to be. And, then sometimes we want characters to be Alphas, the ones who ALWAYS have their complete say…another characterization. Why am I telling you this? You seem to have it down…maybe I’m reminding myself.
Punctuation can help. I especially like ellipses for pauses (I have to be careful not to overuse them :)) Characterization is a good thing to keep in mind in speaking patterns so they don’t all ‘sound’ alike. I definitely am not an expert in dialogue, so these tips are good reminders for me as well, Coyotero.
If you ever get a chance, read Celine. He used elipses in nearly every sentence. I think it drove people crazy at the time. I love them…use them all the time, as a matter of fact. All the best JannaT !
I’m not familiar with Celine…I’ll have to check out his writing. I like semicolons too; Vonnegut hated them. To each his own, I suppose 🙂
This gets more interesting with every read.
Thanks, Kelly! I appreciate you following along.
Her financial records? The plot thickens! I like that she pushes back against the FBI agents (who are kind of being jerks) — I’d like to think I’d do the same, although I’m not sure I’m not too chicken for that.
Looking forward to finding out what this is all about!
Man, if FBI agents were in my living room, I’d probably forget my name! More details will fill in during the next few posts. Thanks for reading, Annabelle!
Your dialogue is spot on. It flows so naturally.
I have a ‘Myrtle’ in my neighborhood too. Kinda creeps me out.
Thanks so much, Tara. I wonder if everyone has a Myrtle? Wouldn’t it be funny if we could move all the Myrtle’s into the same neighborhood so they could just gossip about each other?
Perfect counterfoil, the nosy neighbour, really builds on the tension – a very nice touch to a good tale coming..
Thanks for reading, Yerpirate! I’m glad you stopped by to follow this story.
can’t wait to hear what happens next…
If all goes well, I’d like to add more on Friday, HT!
Good job, Janna. You’re building a very interesting story here!
Thanks, Debbie! I think I remember you writing mystery/suspense…you can tell me when I goof up here (it’s bound to happen because I’m winging it :))
The neighbor you wrote reminds me of my neighbor. I am really liking this story!
It seem many people have a Myrtle. Who knew there were so many of them! Thanks for reading, Deanabo 🙂
Love it! I think I really like where this is going.
I hope so, Jennifer…but if it takes an odd turn, feel free to say so 🙂
Good continuation! Nicely done!
Thanks, Joe…I appreciate you reading it!
I liked this continuation as well. I’d faint to in the circumstances. Great job!
Thanks for reading, Tessa! I’m sure I wouldn’t do very well in the situation, either 🙂
I love this story. I can’t wait to read more. Your descriptive words about the agents’ appearance and demeanor are perfect!
Thanks, Lumdog! I’m glad the descriptions worked here…especially since I cut much of it out.
Definitely have a page turner here!
Thanks for reading, Agjorgenson. I hope it continues to hold your interest!
The plot thickens….dear ol dad seems to be a person of interest.
Who knows what he’s up to, Katie (except the FBI…I think they have a pretty good idea.)
What a suspenseful write, Janna. I just wander if Darlene is as nice as Ellie, the young lady. I look forward to the next piece.
Ah, you remember Ellie….I haven’t visited her in a while. I do need to get back to finishing her story in novel form. We’ll have to wait and see about Darlene. (This isn’t foreshadowing…I really don’t know where this story is going :)) Thanks for reading, Imelda!
I’m kinda antsy–I want to know what’s going on!
Love the dialogue juxtaposition with her inner dialogue. I was completely caught up and have a feeling that Darlene will not let you go until you tell the rest of her story. I hope so anyway. Bravo, Janna!
Great writing filled with suspense…..
I’m glad you continued this and I look forward to more. The dialog is spot on, as are the descriptions of the agents. And Myrtle is a great comic relief – if comic is the right word. I have one in my very rural neighborhood. They’re everywhere.
And the plot thickens. Like the way you’re building up the suspense. Good work.
Nice couple of digs at the FBI!