Help Unwanted

Darlene watched as the FBI agents speed-walked to their car.  Myrtle sat in silence, which was not characteristic of her.  Two car doors slammed and the engine rumbled to life.  Darlene stared at the empty curbside and contemplated what the message meant.

“What was that about?  Mulroney seemed happier than a cat in a henhouse,” Myrtle said.

Darlene glanced at Myrtle.  She leaned forward, eager for a tidbit of information.  “Oh, uh, it was just a paper I found.”


Darlene shook her head.  “It doesn’t matter.  Well, I have some errands to do.”  Darlene stood and headed toward the door.

Myrtle didn’t budge.  “You’re hiding something and I’m going to find out what it is,” she said with a crooked index finger pointed at her.

Darlene sighed.  “Okay, I found it in Jeff Weissman’s pocket.”

Myrtle gasped.  “Why, that man’s been dead for eight years!”

“He’s alive.”

“He’s dangerous.  I heard that he and your daddy-  Can I see the paper?”

“He and daddy what?”

Myrtle shook her head.  “May not be a shred of truth to it.”

“I gave the paper to Mulroney.”

“I know you kept a copy.”

Darlene studied Myrtle for several seconds.  She couldn’t possibly know.  She had to be bluffing.

“It’s in your pocket,” Myrtle said and nodded toward her outstretched hand.

Darlene slid the paper out of her pocket and Myrtle’s bony fingers snatched it from her.

Myrtle read the paper.

Talked to AMY and MEG is ready to be courted.  SAM will greet this BOY.  TTL.– JAW

“It’s a coded message,” Myrtle said with an edge of excitement in her voice.  “I want to help!”

“Oh, no, no… I couldn’t possibly drag you into-”

“This is the door for me to get back in.”

“You’ve worked an investigation before?” Darlene said, doubt hanging on every word.

“Well, just my scoundrel husband-”


“I caught him red-handed with Betsy Williams.  He never saw me coming.”

“Please tell me you didn’t…”

Myrtle winked.  “Rockford Peach, 1954.”


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to the Trifecta weekly challenge, which is to write a 33 to 333-word response (mine is 332) using the following word/definition:  DOOR:  a means of access or participation : opportunity <opens new doors> <door to success>

If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site.  Happy writing (and reading!)

Oh, and this is a community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 8PM eastern time.


This continues Darlene’s story.  I finally created a separate page so you can read all of Darlene’s story in one sitting.  (Thanks for the suggestion, Widdershins!)  Click here for Darlene’s Story page.


75 thoughts on “Help Unwanted

  1. Imelda April 29, 2013 / 9:02 AM

    Uh-oh! I’d be wary of her help, too. Now,this segment made me even more curious about Myrtle. I look forward to the next.

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:36 PM

      Thanks, Imelda. I hope the next segment doesn’t disappoint 🙂

  2. nrhatch April 29, 2013 / 9:23 AM

    The plot thickens. Keep stirring! 😀

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:36 PM

      I appreciate you continuing to follow the story, Nancy!

  3. Widdershins April 29, 2013 / 10:56 AM

    Myrtle had to play professionally with a swing like that! … this is such a good story! … new page looks great.

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:38 PM

      Thanks for your encouraging comment, Widdershins! She did have a good swing 🙂 I’m glad you suggested setting up a page for the story…the set up wasn’t as involved as I thought it would be.

  4. pattisj April 29, 2013 / 11:39 AM

    I don’t think Darlene can trust anyone at this point.

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:38 PM

      I think I’m making readers paranoid, Patti 🙂

  5. ann bennett April 29, 2013 / 11:55 AM

    Oh my, these are some complicated gals. I wonder what they do next.

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:39 PM

      There are some skeletons in the closet (and things to be uncovered, too.) Thanks for reading, Ann!

  6. Jennifer Dillon April 29, 2013 / 12:30 PM

    The second line: Myrtle sat in silence, which was not characteristic of her. Made me laugh and I love that Darlene seems to be under the illusion that she has any choice about whether or not Myrtle is going to help her.

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:41 PM

      I think you have a great understanding of Myrtle, Jennifer! Myrtle will probably find her way into it one way or another 🙂

  7. judithhb April 29, 2013 / 1:06 PM

    How will she stop Myrtle getting involved?

  8. philosophermouseofthehedge April 29, 2013 / 1:50 PM

    Don’t mess with Myrtle – force to be reckoned with.
    (You have such a nice vocabulary – rare, today – makes reading so much fun)

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:42 PM

      Myrtle is a tough old bird 🙂 I appreciate you following along with the story – and your kind words made me smile – thank you, Phil 🙂

  9. Sam Edge, Writer April 29, 2013 / 3:01 PM

    That’s quite the alternate universe you’ve created – nice job

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:44 PM

      Thanks, Sam! This story has been fun to write 🙂

  10. Valerie April 29, 2013 / 4:53 PM

    Myrtle is in a league of her own! I love her!!

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:44 PM

      I’m glad you’re rooting for her, Valerie – I’ve been surprised at how she’s developing!

  11. Debbie April 29, 2013 / 5:26 PM

    All right, Janna. You keep spinning, and I’ll keep reading! Can hardly wait to see where this is going! Good idea to put all these Darlene stories together, too!

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:46 PM

      I hope you’ll keep reading (and I hope I don’t mess this story up- writing it on-the-fly like this makes me very nervous :)) Widdershins suggested the page several weeks ago, but it’s taken me this long to act on it.

  12. Brian Benoit April 29, 2013 / 7:45 PM

    Ah, the unlikely tag team. I love it. Glad to see Myrtle will be hanging around for a bit!

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:47 PM

      Glad you enjoy Myrtle. She is turning out to be more of a character (in more ways than one) than I anticipated. Thanks for reading, Brian!

  13. Draug419 April 29, 2013 / 7:57 PM

    I love her eagerness to help–like an excited kid 😀

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:49 PM

      Sometimes the elderly feel like they’ve been put on a shelf because the younger generation pushes them aside. Myrtle sees this as a great opportunity to feel useful again. Thanks for reading, Draug!

  14. trifectawriting April 29, 2013 / 8:32 PM

    Yes, him and her daddy what indeed? These teasing little details are the hooks that will yank us back each time.

    Thanks for linking up! Remember to come back to vote!

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:54 PM

      Too soon to reveal Myrtle’s gossip 🙂 Thanks for running these challenges…it’s making me write this story instead of procrastinating.

  15. Eric Alagan April 29, 2013 / 8:43 PM

    There’s more to Myrtle than nosey-parkinson.

    “Rockford Peach, 1954” – ? Hmmm.

    It gets thicker than porridge, me reckons 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:57 PM

      There weren’t enough words left to add to the Rockford Peach comment. This references back to a couple segments ago where Darlene found out (after Myrtle smashed the intruder’s head with a baseball bat) that Myrtle had played professional baseball in 1954 with a team called the Rockford Peaches (I think this team was also featured in the movie A League of Their Own.)

      Thanks for continuing to read the story, Eric. It is getting a bit complicated 🙂

  16. diannegray April 29, 2013 / 9:10 PM

    Myrtle is a very cunning lady! 😉

    • jannatwrites April 29, 2013 / 9:57 PM

      She has a way of getting what she wants, Dianne!

  17. piratemanagua April 30, 2013 / 1:48 AM

    The story now is very intriguing. The 1950s….a very good touch.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 9:35 PM

      Thanks, MG. I appreciate you stopping by!

  18. KymmInBarcelona April 30, 2013 / 6:51 AM

    Those two seem a highly unlikely team of sleuths. It’s fun to see them being forced together. (Go, Rockford Peaches!)

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 9:36 PM

      Thanks, Kymm! They are an odd pair, but fun to write 🙂

  19. Michael April 30, 2013 / 7:58 AM

    Ooh, a coded message. And I’m really liking Myrtle. 😛

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 9:37 PM

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Michael!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 9:38 PM

      I’m glad you like her, Becca! Thanks for reading 🙂

  20. joetwo April 30, 2013 / 2:43 PM

    My! My! is there anyone in this story not hiding something!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 10:20 PM

      🙂 not anyone who is still alive, it seems, Joe!

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 10:22 PM

      She may be 82, but she has a lot of spunk, HT 🙂

  21. Sean April 30, 2013 / 5:13 PM

    hmmm. The way I read it, the transition from Myrtle being shocked by where the note is found to relaying that he is dangerous is puzzling. Almost like she knows more than she should but being a nosy neighbor, she probably does. Oooohhh, I know, Myrtles husband was running around with Darlene’s mom so Myrtle’s investigation turned up information about all this. I think it was the gardener that did it. Take care and keep up the good work.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 10:28 PM

      Myrtle has her sources 🙂 She keeps up on the area happenings- she has nothing but time on her hands. I see you’re having fun guessing the plot, Sean! That is more messed up than what I came up with 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 10:29 PM

      Depends on the next prompt, RogRites 🙂 thanks for stopping by to read it!

  22. Lumdog April 30, 2013 / 6:24 PM

    You are killing me. Just tell me where I can read the rest. I won’t say a word. Now Myrtle is a player. You keep adding these twists. Like a great old fashioned detective story. Love it.

    • jannatwrites April 30, 2013 / 10:33 PM

      You’re comment cracked me up, Lumdog! I wish I could give you a sneak peak, but I’m not writing ahead on this one… It all depends on the prompts. Thanks for continuing to follow the story!

  23. Sandra April 30, 2013 / 11:37 PM

    More twists and turns than a politician… looking good.

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2013 / 6:45 PM

      Haha, good one, Sandra 🙂 Thanks for keeping up!

  24. Suzanne May 1, 2013 / 5:21 AM

    Love it! Myrtle just gets better and better. And I love the “doubt hanging on every word” line. I can totally picture their interaction. Keep it coming!

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2013 / 6:47 PM

      Thanks, Suzanne! Myrtle was wrestling for more story time, and since I’m having fun writing her, she won 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 1, 2013 / 6:53 PM

      I hope no one chokes on it, Bjorn! Thanks for following along 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2013 / 9:23 PM

      She’s had many years of practice, Linda!

  25. Tina May 1, 2013 / 8:21 PM

    Myrtle will be the one who solves everybody’s problems. Whether they want her to or not!

  26. Paula J May 2, 2013 / 7:17 PM

    Last line made me smile.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2013 / 9:32 PM

      True enough, Jester Queen! I know which one makes for a more interesting story 🙂

  27. atrm61 May 3, 2013 / 2:09 AM

    Janna,am just loving the way you are adding to the character Myrtle-she has so many facets:-)Looking forward to the next with bated breath

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2013 / 2:34 PM

      Thanks, Atreyee! I have written another scene but I’m not sure if I’ll post it or save it for the long version of the story. I have a few days to decide 🙂 I appreciate you following the story!

      • atrm61 May 3, 2013 / 3:11 PM

        Great-keep it for the long version please?Love the way it is moving:-)

        • jannatwrites May 5, 2013 / 7:53 AM

          Thanks for sharing your vote, Atreyee 🙂

        • atrm61 May 5, 2013 / 8:30 AM


  28. lyssamedana May 3, 2013 / 3:39 AM

    I really enjoyed this and I am marking my place to come back and find out more about Darlene LM x

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2013 / 2:36 PM

      Thanks, Lyssa! Darlene’s Story is its own page so the whole story is in one place if you do decide to check it out 🙂

  29. Sandra May 7, 2013 / 12:58 PM

    I made sure I’m reading Darlene’s story in order as not to spoil anything! Sorry it’s been a while, but I’m back. May is a crazy month for us, so I’m catching up a bit. Myrtle is turning out to be an important character, I see!

    • jannatwrites May 7, 2013 / 5:39 PM

      I’m honored that you took the time to catch up on reading my posts today, Sandra! I can sure relate to falling behind…it’s a constant state for me, it seems 🙂

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