Ties That Bind

Darlene broke into a sweat as the man she’d tied up came to. Instinctively, she grabbed the nearby Glock, never looking away from him. Once she felt the cold metal in her palm, she realized the absurdity: she couldn’t bring herself to step on a spider- could she really pull the trigger? In her heart, she knew the answer.

“So, Jeff Weissman, why are you snooping around my cabin?” Darlene asked.

Jeff blinked several times. “Dolly? I can’t believe it’s really you.”

Darlene’s spine stiffened. “The only one person who has ever called me ‘Dolly’ died eight years ago.”

“It’s me. That situation was… complicated.”

Darlene pulled the slide back on the gun. The click echoed in the room. “It’s time to simplify it.”

The man she once knew as ‘Uncle Jeff’, now barely recognizable dressed as a beggar, wriggled but couldn’t free his wrists from the shoelace. “Can you untie me, please?”

“No. Start talking.”

He studied her for several moments. “Your father wanted me dead. I wouldn’t sell my half of the business, so he started skimming and shortchanged several customers. Of course, he blamed me and half a dozen other people pledged to bag me.”

“So you did what any chicken liver would do and faked your own death?” Darlene said with contempt.

“It wasn’t like that.”


“For eight years, I’ve been tracking your father, gathering evidence so I could turn it over to the police.”

Darlene laughed. “And they’d believe a dead man? Why are you really here?”

“Your husband is a major player in Andrew’s business.”

“Impossible. Father hated Scott. He never-“

“Wake up, Dolly! Your father isn’t who you think he is!”

His shout startled Darlene and she pulled the trigger. She hunched over and closed her eyes. After several seconds, she looked and found Jeff staring, wide-eyed but unharmed. She couldn’t tell if she felt relief or disappointment.

“Jesus,” Jeff muttered.

“Maybe I’m not who you think I am, either,” she whispered, hands shaking.


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to Trifecta’s weekly challenge, which is to write a 33 to 333-word response (mine is 332) using the following word/definition:

TIME (noun):  (a) an appointed, fixed, or customary moment or hour for something to happen, begin, or end <arrived ahead of time>;  (b) an opportune or suitable moment <decided it was time to retire> —often used in the phrase about time <about time for a change>

This continues Darlene’s story (if you haven’t read the other parts and are curious about what has transpired so far, here are the links:)

First Part (Dead Flowers)    Second Part (Investigation)     Third Part (Unknown Path)

Fourth Part (Missing)     Fifth Part (Facing Memories)    Sixth Part (Hunted or Hunter?)

Seventh Part (Indecision)

107 thoughts on “Ties That Bind

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2013 / 10:21 AM

      Thanks, Renee! I appreciate you stopping by to read it 🙂

  1. Sandra March 11, 2013 / 9:55 AM

    Yup, I’m liking how this story is unfolding.

  2. tedstrutz March 11, 2013 / 9:59 AM

    Wow, I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone called a ‘chicken liver’… I loved it! Lots of complications for Darlene. Looking forward to your next installment.

    Nice write up on our ‘featured Trifection’.

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2013 / 10:24 AM

      Well, Ted, my first thought was something else, but since I keep this blog “G” rated (and my ten-year-old son has managed to find it,) I keep it ‘clean’ (kinda like Leave it to Beaver – “Gee, Wally.” :))

      Glad you liked the Featured Trifectan…Deana and Lance did an awesome job!

      • tedstrutz March 12, 2013 / 9:04 AM

        Ha! Well, that kept it clean. I know what you mean. It was a food interview… to learn more about the girl behind the camera…

        • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:28 PM

          Thanks, Ted. That reminds me….I need to take more pictures…waiting for inspiration, I guess!

  3. TimW March 11, 2013 / 10:02 AM


    However, on a technical note, you can’t “cock” a Glock. There is no external hammer. If loaded, it’s already cocked. If unloaded, it can be cocked or not, depending on if the trigger has been pulled…


    How’ve you been? You working again/still?

    • jannatwrites March 11, 2013 / 10:08 AM

      Thanks, Tim – I didn’t think that was the right word, but what’s it called when you slide the metal piece on the top toward you to load the bullets? I tried to Google search, but can’t find what I’m looking for (and I’m probably being investigated by authorities as I type :)) I changed it to ‘pulled the slide back’… hope it’s more accurate.

      Still working…no Powerball win yet 😆

  4. coyotero2112 March 11, 2013 / 11:01 AM

    Fantastic opening line. So neglected in writer’s drive to exposition first, story second. And it moves from there…like the dialogue too – very “real” in it’s exchanges. The Glock thing caught me too. Weird little technical items like that pass many people by, but those who know, there’s a catch in the flow. Had a woman in a writing class arguing about how much blood would come from a .25 caliber wound…saying she’d never been shot, but… I interjected, “I find that hard to believe.” She was annoying. Good to see the trike on my list of followed today.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:21 AM

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your reaction to it Coyotero! That Glock wording bothered me that it didn’t feel quite right, so I’m glad Tim (and you) called it out. I hope the slight change in wording makes it flow a little better.

      Too funny about your comment to the annoying woman. She probably didn’t even get it 🙂

      • coyotero2112 March 12, 2013 / 9:38 AM

        You’re right…it didn’t slow her a bit.

  5. Scriptor Obscura March 11, 2013 / 11:37 AM

    Wow. This is great. Lots of action, drama, wow. You really built up the tension here really well. This flows really fast, excellent story! 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:21 AM

      Thanks so much, Scriptor! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  6. Scriptor Obscura March 11, 2013 / 11:41 AM

    You really should turn this into a book, a novella. This’d be great on Amazon, people would buy it. You should really look into self-publishing. lulu.com is one you should check out to publish with, I used them myself. There’s also Createspace, which is an Amazon-owned company, or you could use Smashwords…You probably already know about all these places already anyway, so why am I telling you. Anyhow, you should really turn this into a novella.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:26 AM

      You really think so? I’m kind of…well, um….a chicken liver, I guess! I can walk across a rock ledge, cross a creek on slippery rocks, zip line over trees in Hawaii, but the idea of self-publishing scares the wits out of me! I have this paralyzing terror that what I’ll put out there will be ‘crap’ and it will ruin my chances at publication forever (over-dramatic, no?)

      I’m not aware of the options, no clue actually, so I’m glad you took the time to mention a few. I think it might be about time to do something. Thank you 🙂

      • Widdershins March 12, 2013 / 1:13 PM

        … here’s the thing about publishing, of any sort. We are NOT going to please every one who reads our work, that’s a given … an look at books that are screaming successes and are really badly written. (looking at you Fifty Shades of Grey!)

        … on the other hand, everyone who has commented on this story has loved it. The odds are in your favour that of the gazillions of readers on this little blue planet of ours, a whole bunch them are going to want to read it too.

        … doing research on self-publishing is the fastest way I know to educate yourself about the publishing industry, self/indie or traditional. You’re going to have to have that knowledge, because unless you land a contract with the Big Four, you’ll have to do a lot of it yourself anyway.

        … it is scary, scarier, scariest! … but it won’t kill you, maim you, require surgical removal of a limb, or demand you relinquish your favourite comfort food! … it will challenge you, stretch you, move you so far out of your comfort zone you won’t even be able to remember what it looks like.

        . . . and the most wonderful about it all is you’ll love the view.

        • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:33 PM

          Well, I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey – I heard enough of the hype to know it wasn’t for me. I do agree that we won’t please everyone all the time, and I wouldn’t take that personally because that’s just the way it is!

          When things settle down here, I just might look into things a bit more. I always thought I’d need an editor, but maybe I’m getting better at catching things myself the more I write. Thanks for the advice/encouragement, Widdershins. You are awesome!

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:26 AM

      Really? Wow…Thanks for the nudge, Widdershins!

  7. nrhatch March 11, 2013 / 12:13 PM

    Janna . . . this keeps getting better! Each question answered raises ever more interesting avenues of inquiry. Love the last line. 😀

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:27 AM

      I’m glad it’s keeping your interest, Nancy! It’s getting long enough, I’m getting a little concerned that I’ll trip up a detail…especially since I really don’t know where this is going 🙂

  8. Carolyn March 11, 2013 / 1:49 PM

    Oh my Lord, waiting for the rest of the story! That is so unfair, girlie. LOL, thank you, this was amazing to read!

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:28 AM

      Your comment made my heart soar and brought a smile to my face, Carolyn. I’m so happy you enjoyed this part of the story 🙂

  9. Draug419 March 11, 2013 / 3:30 PM

    I bet Uncle Jeff just soiled his pants xD

  10. deanabo March 11, 2013 / 3:55 PM

    I cant wait to read more. and I love that she called him a chicken liver.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:29 AM

      Thanks, Deana! Chicken liver sounds a little nicer than chicken sh** 🙂

  11. Debbie March 11, 2013 / 4:36 PM

    Darlene is stronger than she thinks! I bet she’s going to be glad down the road that she didn’t kill this man. Who’s Andrew, though (sorry, I just don’t remember any Andrew appearing before now)?

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:32 AM

      She still has a chance to kill him, Debbie…but between you and me, I don’t see that happening. That doesn’t seem in character for her.

      Andrew is Darlene’s father. I actually had to go back and look at the name I picked – it was in part 3 when the FBI came to her house – Andrew Moritz. The only reason I did that was I felt like there were too many “father” uses in that part of the story and I’d hoped the lines following would clarify….looks like that was a stretch 🙂

      (It’s so hard to write, read and follow these when the parts are spread out over several weeks!) Thanks for following the story, Debbie!

  12. Kelly Garriott Waite (@kgwaite) March 11, 2013 / 6:24 PM

    This is great – Every week it gets better and better. I went to a local gun shop to ask all sorts of questions for a novel I was writing. Then sent me home with a gun lock.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:34 AM

      Thanks, Kelly! That gun shop visit sounds hilarious! And the gun lock – perfect 🙂

  13. Eric Alagan March 11, 2013 / 6:45 PM

    Ooooooh! The plot thickens. You’ve left me wanting more.

    Please Ms Janna – can I have more.

    More! Did you say more?

    Yes, (gulp) Ms Janna.

    Okay Eric, next week or perhaps sooner 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:37 AM

      Thanks for continuing to read the story, Eric! Comments like yours make me want to write more of the story. (I’m limiting postings to Trifecta challenges so parts of the story won’t get missed by those who only read my Trifecta posts.)

      I will write more to this story either on Friday or on Monday. Weekend prompts only let us use 33 words, so I don’t know if that will happen 🙂

  14. diannegray March 11, 2013 / 7:58 PM

    Oh so intriguing!! I’m loving it and can’t wait for the next installment 😀

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:38 AM

      I appreciate you reading it, Dianne! Thanks 🙂

  15. Imelda March 11, 2013 / 8:10 PM

    Paraphrasing little Oliver, I say “Please, Ma’am, is there some more?” 🙂 I really like this story. You are good with suspense, among others. 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:40 AM

      Oh, Imelda, thank you! I am a fan of Mary Higgins Clark (Queen of Suspense) and I’ve always wanted to pull off suspense, but have never been completely sure I could. Your comment is encouraging 🙂

  16. Sandra March 12, 2013 / 12:20 AM

    Developing beautifully.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:40 AM

      Thanks, Sandra! I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

  17. Michael March 12, 2013 / 2:09 AM

    I agree with the comments above. This should definitely be a novella. 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:43 AM

      I already wrote “Really?” to the other comments, so I’d better think of something new. Darn it…if enough people make that comment I might actually have to quit being lazy and check out how to go about doing that! Thanks, Michael 🙂

  18. Tom Martin March 12, 2013 / 3:42 AM

    I love it, interesting to see from the perspective of the person with the gun, not the ropes.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:44 AM

      Thanks, Tom. I think most people who have guns have enough heart that shooting someone would be terribly traumatic.

  19. joetwo March 12, 2013 / 3:46 AM

    Nicely written! This just keeps on getting deeper and deeper!

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:44 AM

      Thanks so much, Joe. I appreciate you reading it!

  20. trifectawriting March 12, 2013 / 4:27 AM

    Oh wow. If we ever dip below 60 entries per challenge, my goal is to come back and read these in order. You’re doing a great job.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 7:46 AM

      Looks like you won’t be going back to read them 🙂 I think 60 entries might be a thing of the past!

  21. Jennifer Dillon March 12, 2013 / 10:10 AM

    Ooo! He lives! I was torn if I wanted him dead in the end or not. I loved, loved the idea of an accidental death under what would of course look like premeditation from the outside.

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:29 PM

      Thanks for reading, Jennifer! He may still die, but I really think he’s better for the story alive, right now 🙂

  22. pattisj March 12, 2013 / 10:22 AM

    What a tangled web you’re weaving, Janna. Suspense!

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:30 PM

      Thank goodness real life isn’t so exciting, Patti 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  23. Tara R. March 12, 2013 / 1:59 PM

    Whoa! Good thing she’s a bad shot… or is she?

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:33 PM

      She might be a better shot when she’s not all jittery, Tara 🙂 Right now, he’s alive at least!

  24. Lumdog March 12, 2013 / 7:17 PM

    As I said, I love this story. Can you please just go over the word limit so we can get more?

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:36 PM

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the story, Lumdog! You think the Trifecta editors would realize if I sneaked in 1,000 words instead of 333? 🙂

  25. barbara March 12, 2013 / 7:18 PM

    ooooooh – sequel, sequel, sequel!

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:36 PM

      🙂 Thanks for stopping by to read this one, Barbara!

  26. agjorgenson March 12, 2013 / 7:19 PM

    A real page-turner! Oh, there must be a web equivalent…

    • jannatwrites March 12, 2013 / 8:37 PM

      I’m seriously considering expanding this as others have suggested (yes, I might be caving into peer pressure :)) Thanks for reading, Agjorgenson!

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2013 / 11:37 PM

      Oh, thanks so much for reading, Amy! Hehe, I don’t know how much peace can be had with a loaded Glock, but if all goes well, everyone lives 🙂

  27. DonettaS March 13, 2013 / 5:11 AM

    This is great! Scared me a moment when the trigger was pulled. Shew. I am definitely hooked on this.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2013 / 11:49 PM

      🙂 I’m glad you got into the story, Donetta. I appreciate you reading it!

  28. Amanda Melendez March 13, 2013 / 1:20 PM

    I love the characters, makes me want to learn more about them. Good work on the atmosphere of this piece, too!

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2013 / 11:54 PM

      Thanks so much for stopping by to read this part, Amanda!

  29. Annabelle March 13, 2013 / 6:59 PM

    Poor Darlene. She clearly needs to know what’s going on, but it sounds like she’s not going to be happy with what she finds out! Loved the accidental firing of the gun; great for showing how on edge they are.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2013 / 11:58 PM

      Thanks, Annabelle! No, I don’t think she’s going to like it at all, but there wouldn’t be a story if she didn’t find out anyway 🙂

  30. Meredith March 13, 2013 / 9:41 PM

    That’s awesome! You really know how to get it going.

    • jannatwrites March 13, 2013 / 11:58 PM

      Thanks – I appreciate you stopping by to read it, Meredith!

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2013 / 1:53 PM

      Thanks so much for the nomination, Eugene! I appreciate you thinking if my blog for this.

  31. ramblingsfromamum March 14, 2013 / 1:49 AM

    Mystery – intrigue and hopefully this weekend I shall get time to read up the others I have missed. Re Amazon/Lulu – I used a guy at Lulu to do all the formatting and setting up and didn’t have to really get involved only give him the picture for the cover (which is my gravatar) email me if you want his details, he’s pretty brilliant. 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:23 PM

      Thanks, Ramblings! I just might get in touch with you for more info on that person. Haven’t even thought about cover art yet, either. So much to consider 🙂

  32. Ritu KT March 14, 2013 / 7:33 AM

    Gripping story for a first time reader like me. I will read the whole series to understand the story better but this post is good enough as story. Loved it!

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Ritu! I’m glad you enjoyed the story enough to want to read prior installments 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      I’m glad you came back to read more about Darlene, Katie. Thanks!

  33. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) March 14, 2013 / 8:08 AM

    Great story.. my hand started to sweat.. didn’t quite get that she missed, could have been the gun clicking as well. But it really doesn’t matter for the action.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:25 PM

      I think that part could be clearer – there was a lot to pack into the end and I was running out of words to do it 🙂

  34. steph March 14, 2013 / 8:52 AM

    I will only sound like that proverbial broken record – well done! I too wish the word limit was twice as long. Great tension and mystery.. what the heck is going on? Like everyone else, I will stay tuned.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:27 PM

      Well, Steph, her life is kind of a mess 🙂 I hadn’t been planning this one out, but I may have to sit down and figure out the blog version of this story…the one I have in my head might be too complicated unless I make this a forty part series 🙂

  35. KymmInBarcelona March 14, 2013 / 9:12 AM

    The shot that surprised everyone! Nice pacing, Janna.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:27 PM

      Yep, I don’t think anyone expected that to happen, Kymm 🙂

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:28 PM

      Thanks, Jennifer – I appreciate you stopping by to read it!

  36. Christine March 14, 2013 / 3:35 PM

    Janna, this is fantastic. Really, REALLY great writing. The last three paragraphs had me literally holding my breath.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:34 PM

      Thanks so much, Christine! Good thing the challenge only allows 333 words…that’s a lot of breath-holding 🙂

  37. Dayle Lynne March 14, 2013 / 7:05 PM

    I really enjoyed this! I’m definitely intrigued by your characters. I’ll have to check out the other parts of the story!

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:34 PM

      I’m glad you found them interesting, Dayle – thanks for stopping by to read it!

  38. Kitty Sarkozy March 14, 2013 / 7:08 PM

    I love how all these stories are part of a much bigger story. I am looking forward to the next one.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:35 PM

      🙂 Thanks, Kitty! I always get nervous before prompt time because I wonder if it will work with where the story is going. I guess that’s why they call it a challenge, eh?

  39. C.S. Severe March 14, 2013 / 7:29 PM

    Wow! What a treat! The ending had me laughing out loud. The tension is spot on and as always, I’m left wanting more.

    • jannatwrites March 14, 2013 / 11:36 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read it and share your reaction, C.S. Your comment made me laugh!

  40. thefictionvixen March 15, 2013 / 3:06 AM

    Love it.. I have to read more.. This has amazing potential.. Gorgeous blog also.. Nice one Janna..xx

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2013 / 10:52 PM

      Thanks so much for reading and for your encouraging comment, Fiction Vixen 🙂

  41. barbara @ de rebus (@de_rebus) March 15, 2013 / 7:06 AM

    Ooo! I also love… what a complicated plot and great character… I think I will have to read more!

    -barbara @ de rebus

    • jannatwrites March 15, 2013 / 10:54 PM

      I appreciate you stopping by to read the story, Barbara!

    • jannatwrites March 16, 2013 / 12:27 AM

      That is a mighty fine question, H.L…I honestly have no idea! Let’s see what the next prompt is 🙂

  42. atrm61 March 15, 2013 / 1:06 PM

    This is getting better by the second Janna!Loved this too:-)So,are you going to take the proverbial bull by the horns?Looking forward to that day when you decide to publish & ofc to the next installment:-)

    • jannatwrites March 16, 2013 / 1:47 AM

      Welllllll, I’m thinking about it, Atreyee. I still have a fear of self-publishing, but I think the best way around that is to do just that 🙂 Thanks so much for following this story!

      • atrm61 March 16, 2013 / 6:48 AM

        I understand Janna-easier said than done but nothing ventured,nothing gained-wish you all the best,am sure it will be a success:-)

        • jannatwrites March 17, 2013 / 9:18 PM

          Thanks, Atreyee 🙂

        • atrm61 March 17, 2013 / 9:49 PM


Leave a Reply to Michael Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s