Desperate Plan

For the second time in as many days, Darlene was up to her elbows in greasy, fishy cat food.  And again, no deposit box key.  Instead, she found a note inside a sealed snack baggie:

Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Darlene crumpled it and hurled it at the wall to relieve some frustration.  It didn’t help.  “That devious, lying hypocrite!” Darlene shouted.  She then scrawled her response on scrap paper:  If anyone gives a neighbor goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.

Fueled by anger, Darlene half-ran to Dottie’s house.  She pounded on the door until it opened.

“Can I help you, dear?”  Dottie asked with fake kindness.

Darlene thrust the paper at her.  “Since you communicate in scripture, here’s my response.”  Darlene backed away and jabbed her index finger toward the old woman.  “You won’t get away with this, Dottie Anderson!”

When Darlene arrived home, she found Myrtle perched on a stool at the island counter.  “Myrtle! I-I’m surprised to see you.”

She shrugged.  “I made bail.”

“Oh.”  Darlene wanted to ask how she got half a million dollars, but decided not to.

“Did you find the key?”

Darlene contemplated lying.  “Um…”  She sighed.  “Dottie stole the bag.”

Myrtle’s face paled and took on a bluish hue.

“I’ll get it back.  I-I have a plan.  Here, let’s get you home so you can rest.”

Myrtle didn’t fight Darlene as she led her across the street.  Back at home Darlene paced, struggling to devise a plan to back up her words.  She caught sight of the setting sun and felt the pressure of passing time.  She grabbed a scarf and pepper spray from her dresser drawer.  She paused at the door, then retrieved Jeff’s gun from her nightstand.

Her plan:  scare the key out of Dottie.

Darlene surprised herself with the crude intimidation she imagined.  She feared the darkness.


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to the Trifecta weekly challenge, which is to write a 33 to 333-word response (mine is 333- after much cutting :() using the following word/definition:  CRUDE: marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity.  Note:  after publishing, I realized I used the wrong definition of the word.  I edited the last few lines to fix it. 

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 by visiting Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 8PM eastern time.


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!


87 thoughts on “Desperate Plan

  1. The Real Cie July 1, 2013 / 9:14 AM

    I look forward to finding out how they scare the key out of Dottie. I hate sanctimonious types, and Dottie certainly is one.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:21 AM

      Dottie is a piece of work. I hope to reveal more about what happens next week. I appreciate you reading, The Real Cie!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:28 AM

      Thanks, Yerpirate. I’m glad you stopped by to read it!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:29 AM

      Thanks, Phil! I wanted to take the scene further but ran out of words, so it’ll have to be next week 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:29 AM

      I appreciate you reading and sharing your comment, Jo-Anne!

  2. braintomahawk July 1, 2013 / 10:12 AM

    You set the mood and images of desperation and disgust off perfectly here. Great job, thank you for sharing this!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:31 AM

      Thanks for your kind comment, BT. I haven’t seen many posts from you lately (no more zombie bunnies?)…hope you are doing well. (Some could be buried in my mess of an email box, but if that’s the case, I’ll find them eventually!)

      • braintomahawk July 2, 2013 / 9:45 AM

        No you are right, I have been dormant since early April – looking to get that momentum back! Your words will help 🙂

        • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:37 AM

          I look forward to your return, BT!

  3. Gabriella July 1, 2013 / 10:32 AM

    I love the pace of this piece!
    ‘Darlene surprised herself with the crude intimidation she imagined.’ Wonderful sentence.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:32 AM

      Thanks, Gabriella! She’s desperate and frightened at how far she might go with it.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:32 AM

      Thanks, Vishal. I do appreciate you reading!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:33 AM

      🙂 Glad you’re keeping up with the story, Dianne!

  4. nrhatch July 1, 2013 / 3:04 PM

    Here I thought that Dottie was trying to protect Myrtle from Darlene’s perceived theft . . . but, no, that would make things too neat and Tidy Cat for you, eh? :mrgreen:

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:35 AM

      Hehehe….yeah, much to Tidy Cat! I don’t mean to drag this out so much, but 333 words go fast (kind of like a package of Oreo Double Stuf cookies in my pantry.) Thanks for reading, Nancy!

  5. Widdershins July 1, 2013 / 3:07 PM

    Darlene is finding hidden depths in herself!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:36 AM

      I’m not sure she really wants to explore those depths, but she’s getting pulled in regardless, Widdershins 🙂

  6. Shawn Pruett July 1, 2013 / 3:29 PM

    it is wonderful how you use the trifecta challenge for the continuum of a story.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:37 AM

      Thanks, Shawn. It didn’t start out that way, but one continuation led to another until I kind of committed myself to writing until I found a suitable ending 🙂

  7. Imelda July 1, 2013 / 5:39 PM

    I’ll resume my reading later, Janna. 🙂

  8. Eric Alagan July 1, 2013 / 5:50 PM

    I wonder whether Darlene is getting in over her head – afraid of the dark, gun in hand (hope she has the safety ON)

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:39 AM

      Her being afraid of the dark could be taken two ways – the darkness of the night, or the darkness inside of her. She may be in over her head, but it’s a little late to get out now 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, Eric!

  9. Scriptor Obscura July 1, 2013 / 6:43 PM

    I wanna know how Myrtle got half a million too.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:40 AM

      I want to know, too…maybe I can find it too 🙂 Glad you stopped by, Scriptor!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 12:41 AM

      Thanks for reading, Tom! Yes, there are a few loose ends here that need to be tied in future segments. I appreciate you reading this installment!

  10. Joe Owens July 2, 2013 / 3:51 AM

    Keeping the tension high and now we will have to wait to see what comes next.

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 7:49 AM

      We’ll see how much more I can fit in next week. Thanks for reading, Joe!

  11. mom the obscure July 2, 2013 / 7:18 AM

    Scare the key out of dottie! I love it and I love how the tension keeps escalating. The way these women keep showing up in each others kitchens scares the begeezuz out of me!

    • jannatwrites July 2, 2013 / 7:52 AM

      Haha! I know, right? Two words: door locks! I’m not afraid to use them 🙂 Thanks so much for continuing to follow the story, Momtheobscure!

  12. Valerie July 2, 2013 / 8:35 AM

    It’s amazing what we can do when we are ticked off! Darlene’s plan would scare the key out of me, for sure! I love how you phrased that! And, as always…I’m drooling for more;)

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:38 AM

      Thanks for reading- and for your encouraging words, Valerie.

  13. Steph July 2, 2013 / 10:01 AM

    Excellent character development you’ve got going. I feel I know these women. One of them might even be my neighbor. I won’t say which one. Great story!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:39 AM

      Haha! Having either of them as a neighbor would be annoying! I appreciate you following the story, Steph!

  14. Jennifer July 2, 2013 / 12:28 PM

    I really don’t like Dottie. Old biddy.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:40 AM

      Haha! I’m glad she’s made an impression on you, Jennifer 🙂 You might like next week’s segment, then…

  15. lumdog July 2, 2013 / 2:21 PM

    I love this, keep on going. It’s great how you keep creating these obstacles. I just hope she doesn’t go bonkers before she gets to the bottom of this mess.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:41 AM

      Thanks, Lumdog! I’m glad you are enjoying the story. Going bonkers is a definite possibility 🙂

  16. joetwo July 2, 2013 / 2:33 PM

    Someone is going to get tough!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:42 AM

      It appears that way, doesn’t it? Thanks for reading, Joe!

  17. stankmeaner July 2, 2013 / 4:43 PM

    How quickly necessity can turn people to face the darkness

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:45 AM

      You’re right, Stankmeaner. It gets to the point we do what has to be done.

  18. Debbie July 2, 2013 / 5:56 PM

    Ooh, Darlene’s taking matters into her own hands — love it! I’ll bet she feels less afraid of the dark when she’s incognito and packing a pistol!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:46 AM

      The darkness outside is less frightening than the darkness she realized inside 🙂 We’ll see how her stint as a tough gal works for her. Thanks for reading, Debbie!

  19. Brian Benoit July 2, 2013 / 7:19 PM

    Will Darlene ever escape the dreaded cat food?! 😉 Keep it up Janna, I like this!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:46 AM

      Actually, I think we’re done with the cat food now (unless it returns for an encore appearance :grin:) Thanks for reading, Brian!

  20. kdillmanjones July 2, 2013 / 8:53 PM

    I enjoyed the cryptic language (scripture references) and how it added so much to the tone. Nice story!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:48 AM

      Thanks, Kdillman. I’ve done scriptures in a few stories – it’s funny how some people quote them or paraphrase when it suits their purpose (even if the original intent of the scripture is skewed in the process.)

  21. Thomas Marlowe July 3, 2013 / 3:42 AM

    So much drama and tension in so few words – loved the scripture communication too (always fun)

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:50 AM

      Thanks, Thomas! The scriptures are a great form of verbal sparring.

  22. Linda Vernon July 3, 2013 / 10:48 AM

    I’d be interest in finding out how she made a half a million dollar bail! 😀 Love your characters. 😀

  23. humanTriumphant July 3, 2013 / 11:06 AM

    you’ve led us off in what seems to be an entirely different direction – can’t wait to see how it all comes back together

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:54 AM

      It looks like an entirely different direction, but it will come together. It could be two or three more segments, but I hope it will make more sense. Thanks for continuing to read the story, HT!

  24. Michael July 3, 2013 / 1:39 PM

    I’d like to know how Myrtle made bail too. Also, I love that last line. Very Batmanesque.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:56 AM

      “Batmaesque” – I’ve never had anything I’ve written described that way! Thanks for reading, Michael.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:56 AM

      You called it, Bjorn! So, what happens next? 😛

        • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 2:29 AM

          I guess we’ll just have to see what happens, then!

  25. Draug419 July 3, 2013 / 6:59 PM

    This gets more interesting each time!

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:57 AM

      Thanks, Draug! I may have to do another double segment soon to keep the story moving. 333 words is killing me 🙂

  26. kallanannie July 3, 2013 / 10:31 PM

    Very intriguing! I’m going to have to go back and read the earlier instalments, but there’s great tension here even without knowing the backstory.

    • jannatwrites July 4, 2013 / 1:58 AM

      I appreciate your comment, Kallanannie. With this being a continuation, I’m always concerned that the pieces won’t stand on their own.

  27. Ellie Story July 4, 2013 / 2:33 AM

    I can’t wait to see Dottie’s reaction!

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:11 AM

      Thanks, Ellie Story – I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  28. BCIJo (aka Joanne Edith) July 4, 2013 / 4:00 AM

    I’m officially hooked. It’s funny how you draw your readers in again with each installment – a testament to your skill as a writer.

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:39 AM

      I’m glad the story is keeping your interest, Joanne. Thanks so much for reading!

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:41 AM

      Hahaha…I don’t think Darlene knows yet, either 🙂 Glad you stopped by, Tina!

  29. Imelda July 4, 2013 / 11:25 AM

    No no no. Darlene, please don’t go down the dark path.

    I look forward to further developments, Janna. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:47 AM

      Soon, we’ll see how far Darlene goes. I appreciate you reading it, Imelda 🙂

  30. KymmInBarcelona July 4, 2013 / 5:12 PM

    Hmm I have a feeling she’s digging a hole she won’t get out of so easily.

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:53 AM

      She has a knack for digging holes/finding trouble, Kymm!

  31. Rachael July 4, 2013 / 6:06 PM

    Next week’s response is going to take forever to get here!

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2013 / 12:55 AM

      🙂 It’ll be here before we know it, Rachael!

  32. pattisj July 10, 2013 / 9:06 PM

    I found the “lost” segments of the story, now the one I read earlier this week makes more sense. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 11, 2013 / 11:45 PM

      That’s the bad thing about continuations…I’m glad it’s pieced together now, Patti 🙂

  33. Sarah Ann July 17, 2013 / 12:22 PM

    I like the backbone Darlene is developing.

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 10:59 PM

      She’s definitely getting tougher, Sarah Ann!

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