Thieving a Thief

Before I start today’s post, I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to read my weekend Trifecta challenge response, Idiom Inspired.  The Trifecta editors selected it as the third place entry.  There were so many great responses, I’m honored to have placed – thank you to everyone who stopped by to read it!

This week, I’m back to Darlene’s Story.  Since it’s been a couple weeks between segments, here’s where the story left off:  Darlene visited her eighty-two-year-old neighbor, Myrtle, in jail.  In a coded conversation, Darlene figured out that the key to a safe deposit box was in the bag of cat food.  Darlene is off to find that key.


Darlene burst through her front door and ran to the kitchen, where she’d left the cat food.  She skidded to a stop and stared in disbelief.  Gone!  How? 

Her heart raced as she dragged her leaden feet toward the counter.  She ran her hands along the surface to make sure her eyes didn’t deceive her, as if the bag became invisible.   A knock at the front door interrupted her panic.

Dottie Anderson stood on the porch, arms folded with a smug look pasted on her plump face.  “Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit.”

“Is this about the cat food?”

The old woman shrugged.  “God commands against stealing.”

“I doubt God broke into my house.”

Dottie laughed.  “Of course not, dear.  I work for Him.”

“If not his opponent.”

“Meaning what?”

“Figure it out.  Somewhere else!”  Darlene slammed the door and twisted the deadbolt.

Darlene got an idea.  She ran to the phone and dialed the Anderson’s house.    On the second ring, Mr. Anderson answered with a craggy “Hello.”

“Hi, Mr. Anderson.  Darlene Whitman, from down the street.”


“Myrtle Crawford asked me to feed her cats.  Dottie misunderstood and took the Meow Mix.  Have you seen it?”

“Funny you should ask.  Dottie clutched that bag like it was the gold of Lost Dutchman’s Mine.”

“I’ll come get it!”

“Sorry.  It’s in her car and she left for bowling already.”

Twenty minutes later, Darlene parked by Dottie’s ’76 Cutlass.  She peered through the rear passenger window and spotted a bowling bag on the floor.  She jiggled the handle until the lock popped and the rusty door creaked open.  Foam peeked through the river of cracks in the vinyl seat.  Sun-faded carpet lined the back window.  Like its driver, the car showed obvious signs of age.  Darlene unzipped the bowling bag, gagging on the fishy odor.   She swapped cat food bags before sliding back into her car.  As she sped away, she prayed the switch would go unnoticed.

She had to find the key.


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

RUSTY:  (a) the color of rust; (b) dulled in color or appearance by age and use <rusty old boots>

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!)


This continuation of Darlene’s Story is still in Darlene’s point of view.  Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire piece.  Thanks for stopping by!


65 thoughts on “Thieving a Thief

  1. rebecca2000 June 24, 2013 / 10:54 AM

    3rd place is awesome! Congratulations. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:52 PM

      Thanks, Becca! It’s always a thrill to place…especially since it doesn’t happen often 🙂

  2. nrhatch June 24, 2013 / 11:08 AM


    And timely . . . we’re about to go bowling. No cat food required. 😀

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:52 PM

      Cat food left in the heat smells pretty bad…I’m glad you went bowling without it, Nancy!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:54 PM

      A God-fearing woman like Dottie wouldn’t dream of stealing the key, Bjorn. Aw, who am I kidding…if she found it, she’d stash it away and not say a word 🙂

  3. barbara June 24, 2013 / 1:36 PM

    Bjorn went right where I was going . . . the key may no longer be there – the bag may have already been switched . . . so many ways this could go – good stuff, Janna 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:55 PM

      Yes, it could go many ways, Barbara. The prompt next week will help me figure that out 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:56 PM

      Thanks for reading, Vishal! This is the unintended short story that I’m not sure will ever end 🙂

        • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 12:55 AM

          I plan to, Vishal – at least to get it to a point where most questions are resolved 🙂

  4. deanabo June 24, 2013 / 1:43 PM

    Congrats on 3rd place! I love her revenge in this. I wish I had the courage to do something like that! I can come up with a good plan, then my guilt takes over. Terrific.

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:57 PM

      Thanks, Deana! I think she’s acting more out of desperation than revenge, but I’m with you – I don’t think I could’ve done it.

  5. Tara R. June 24, 2013 / 2:20 PM

    Congrats on placing in the weekend challenge.

    This installment continues with your wonderful suspense.

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 10:58 PM

      Congrats on your first place, Tara! I appreciate you taking time to read this segment 🙂

  6. Sean June 24, 2013 / 2:44 PM

    Darn those 333 word limitations lol. Dottie reminds of the butler in Mr. Deeds, sneaky sneaky. Congrats on the 3rd place entry. It was very well thought out and thought provoking. Although we can all complain about wanting to know more, the ending was very well done. I look forward to reading your next episode of Key or no key, that is the question.

    • Sean June 24, 2013 / 2:46 PM

      I should have said, To key or not to key, that is the question.

      • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:00 PM

        I knew what you meant, Sean! I haven’t seen Mr. Deeds, but your comment makes me curious about it. My mind is running through different scenarios for how it could play out. I’m hoping the next prompt will help me land on a plausible outcome 🙂 As always, thanks for taking time to read and share your opinions.

  7. Eric Alagan June 24, 2013 / 5:42 PM

    Lovely, Janna – you’re maintaining the momentum, the tension – the works!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:01 PM

      Thanks, Eric! My mind wants to wander off to shiny new ideas, so it’s getting harder to stay focused on the story. I won’t leave it hanging, though. That would be annoying 🙂

  8. Michael June 24, 2013 / 7:24 PM

    One wonders if Dottie knows about the key, and if it’s gone, will Darlene know that Dottie knows? And suppose Dottie knows that Darlene knows that Dottie knows….0_o.

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:02 PM

      Hahaha! Great comment, Michael. There’s a lot of ramifications of knowing or not knowing, or knowing that the other person knows…

  9. Varsha June 25, 2013 / 7:46 AM

    Interesting story- well-written and suspenseful. Congrats on the win!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:02 PM

      Thanks so much, Varsha! I appreciate you stopping by.

  10. jwilliams057 June 25, 2013 / 9:11 AM

    Dottie is a trouble making biatch!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:03 PM

      😛 That about sums her up, Jwilliams!

  11. Valerie June 25, 2013 / 10:26 AM

    Congrats from me too!
    And I love this story so much-and the way the plot keeps thickening!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:04 PM

      Thanks, Valerie! I really do appreciate you continuing to follow this story.

  12. philosophermouseofthehedge June 25, 2013 / 11:29 AM

    YEA you! Terrific!
    (and there’s something fishy about that car – excellent description – always love all the little details you write in)

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:05 PM

      Thanks, Phil! I had to cut over 100 words off this part, so I’m glad there were still enough details to make it interesting.

  13. diannegray June 25, 2013 / 1:37 PM

    Congratulations, Janna! 😀 And I’m so please to see Darlene is back 😉

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:05 PM

      Thank you, Dianne! I’m glad you came back to read more about Darlene’s story!

  14. Steph June 25, 2013 / 4:50 PM

    I especially love the dialog. Dottie is quite the character – treasures gained by wickedness… that’s good stuff. Will the key be there? I’ll stay tuned.

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:07 PM

      That line was actually a quote from the Bible (Dottie is good at telling others the rules but overlooking the fact they apply to her, too :))

      Right now, I honestly don’t know if the key will be there. Still mulling. I appreciate you taking time to follow the story, Steph!

  15. Tessa June 25, 2013 / 5:45 PM

    Congrats on your win!

    • jannatwrites June 25, 2013 / 11:08 PM

      Thanks, Tessa. I miss your submissions…I hope you are inspired to write again soon 🙂

      • Tessa June 26, 2013 / 5:30 PM

        Thank you Janna for your kind words. I can’t write right now. They are messing with my meds and the conditions aren’t helping. I have enough trouble just getting out of bed. I have started reading again so I hope my writing comes back as well. 🙂

        • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:16 AM

          I hope things smooth out soon, Tessa. Reading is a start, and I also hope inspiration will follow 🙂

  16. Draug419 June 25, 2013 / 8:45 PM

    Congrats on your win (: Well-deserved, and this piece is just as good!

  17. Joe Owens June 26, 2013 / 10:23 AM

    Oh i like this Janna. I want to read more! Congrats on getting the notoriety.

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:04 AM

      Thanks, Joe! Most Mondays I add on to the story, so I hope you’ll check out what happens next 🙂

  18. lumdog June 26, 2013 / 12:05 PM

    Great writing, again. The dialogue and stroy line are so real. Ok, get the key, what’s next? Hurry! 😉

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:05 AM

      Thanks, Lumdog! I’m glad you are enjoying the story 🙂

  19. Renada Styles June 26, 2013 / 7:46 PM

    i love the this story! i hope you keep it going!

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:18 AM

      Thanks for taking time to read it, Renada. I will definitely wrap up some of the loose ends before I retire the series 🙂

  20. Brian Benoit June 26, 2013 / 8:27 PM

    Haha “showed obvious signs of age…” Another good one Janna!

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:18 AM

      Thanks, Brian! I appreciate you stopping by to read it.

  21. Ann Bennett (@AnnBennett12) June 26, 2013 / 8:29 PM

    Great job on the third place. I am more impressed with the 33 word stories. It’s hard to get something cogent written in so few words.
    I’m loving this story. I can wait for the next installment.

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 1:20 AM

      Thanks, Ann – I was pleasantly surprised that piece was chosen. I agree that it’s hard to get a story in 33 words.

      Thanks for continuing to follow along with Darlene’s Story!

  22. Gabriella June 27, 2013 / 8:14 AM

    You do know how to make us want to read more!

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 11:23 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by to read it, Gabriella.

  23. KymmInBarcelona June 27, 2013 / 12:30 PM

    What a neighborhood!!
    Don’t like that fishy smell from the bowling bag…

    • jannatwrites June 27, 2013 / 11:25 PM

      The neighborhood is full of interesting folks 🙂 Thanks for trading, Kymm.

  24. H.L. Pauff (@HLPauff) June 28, 2013 / 6:20 AM

    Congrats on the previous win and congrats on another great installment of this story!

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2013 / 8:41 AM

      Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by to read it, H.L.

  25. momtheobscure June 28, 2013 / 6:50 AM

    Congrats on 3d place. You really can spin a yarn! This story is so enjoyable and I love how they are all push to dastardly deeds and caught up in the suspense. I look forward to following this story.

    • jannatwrites June 28, 2013 / 8:42 AM

      Thanks, Momtheobscure! I’m glad you are enjoying the story. I hope future segments capture your interest as well 🙂

  26. Sandra June 28, 2013 / 5:46 PM

    Sorry about catching up on your posts so late, Janna. I was careful about reading in order not to get any spoilers on Darlene’s story. I’m glad I didn’t miss much of it, though. Another great continuing story. There’s so much to find out still! I think of Darlene every now and then and wonder about just what will happen to her. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 30, 2013 / 7:03 AM

      I can relate to getting behind and catching up. That’s been me lately 🙂 I’m glad you are into the story enough to have thoughts about Darlene.

  27. pattisj July 10, 2013 / 8:02 PM

    “…the river of cracks in the vinyl seat.” Great description.

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