Flirting With Death

Darlene had let herself into Myrtle Crawford’s backyard with the intention of knocking on her patio slider, out of sight of nosy neighbors.  Instead, she found herself crouched beneath a window, straining to place the muffled male voice that carried through the crack of the open window.

Paranoid after possibly murdering Jeff the night before, Darlene stayed at a hotel.  At 8AM, she showed up at the bank before someone intervened again.  After emptying the safe deposit box, she’d noticed a man lurking in the corner.  Their gazes met and danger aroused every nerve ending.  Darlene pointed him out to security, but when the guard approached, the man disappeared like smoke under a closed door.  Just like that; gone.

The guard made sure she got to her car, but her paranoia lingered.  Her senses heightened, she imagined the man’s gaze still on her and it prickled the hairs on her arms.  Darlene glanced at her tote bag, dying to know the significance of that expandable folder of papers.  Darlene cringed at her thought.  Dying.  That may indeed be my fate, she thought.  In a split-second decision, she crawled ten feet to the small storage shed.

True to Myrtle’s style, the shed was unlocked.  Darlene pried the door open, but halted when the creak cut through the quiet morning air.  After several minutes, her heart slowed and she crawled inside.  She shivered as cobwebs tickled her cheeks.  She spotted a large bag of fertilizer propped against the back wall.  She weaved around gardening supplies and tucked the folder behind it, careful to not disturb the dust.

Darlene backed out of the shed and pushed the door shut.  She exhaled a relieved sigh when it didn’t groan.  She crawled back to her spot under the window.

“I let this go far too long, Myrtle.  This might cost you your life.”

“You’ve already taken it.”

Darlene’s breath caught in her throat, frightened by the icy tone of her father’s voice and puzzled by Myrtle’s reply.


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:  CRACK (a): a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice> ; (b): a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>

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!


56 thoughts on “Flirting With Death

  1. momtheobscure July 15, 2013 / 10:41 AM

    Ooooh, the intrigue continues! Really enjoying this.

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:33 AM

      I’m glad you liked it, Momtheobscure! I appreciate you continuing to follow the story.

  2. Debbie July 15, 2013 / 11:26 AM

    You’re weaving an interesting tale, Janna — keep up the suspense! Can hardly wait to see what Darlene does next!

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:34 AM

      Thanks, Debbie. If I were her, I think I’d run away and never go back. There wouldn’t be much of a story in that though, would there? 🙂

  3. Gabriella July 15, 2013 / 12:06 PM

    More and more suspense. Wonderful!

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:36 AM

      At least we’re a little closer to knowing about the secrets in the safe deposit box 🙂 Thanks for reading, Gabriella!

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge July 15, 2013 / 12:39 PM

    All the sounds make it so intense – spooky. Breathe Darlene – ask what it means! (and we are pacing worrying until then….)

  5. Sean July 15, 2013 / 1:05 PM

    This piece added more suspense to the story. It ended very abruptly but I believe a lot of that is due to the amount of words you had to use. You can only write so much per guidelines. I look forward to your next installment on Darlene’s life. You have a serious gift of capturing words in a way which is very intriguing. Thanks

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:39 AM

      Yes, the word count is a big part of the ending here. I’m not sure that I want to have it feel abrupt though…I’ll have to read through it again later to see if I can soften it a bit (not here, but in the longer story I’m working on. I appreciate you reading and sharing your opinions, Sean.

      • Sean July 16, 2013 / 6:56 AM

        I think it was more me getting involved in the story and misunderstanding the ending until reading it again and again. It threw me that her dad and Myrtle were both there, cloaked I think. Maybe in your short story or long story, however you are writing it, something could be mentioned absentmindedly about the storage shed or something like that. I’ll have to go back and read the last few parts to see what I missed or need to look at again. Thanks

        • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 10:02 PM

          Thanks for taking time to expand on your thoughts, Sean. Good reminder for me to keep an eye on the details!

  6. nrhatch July 15, 2013 / 2:34 PM

    Dad’s back! Can’t wait to see how you tie all these loose threads together.

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:43 AM

      You mean I have to tie them together? 😯 Thanks for reading, Nancy!

      • pattisj July 23, 2013 / 12:42 PM

        That would be advisable! 🙂

        • jannatwrites July 23, 2013 / 9:44 PM

          Haha! Or I can end it with this all being a dream 🙂 (Only kidding!)

  7. Michael July 15, 2013 / 8:34 PM

    I have to admit, when I read your title the first thing that came to mind was someone literally flirting with Death. Maybe it started out as a crush, then they had some conversations, because Death’s really nice once you get to know him, so to speak….my mind is weird. And your story was awesome. I didn’t expect her father to show up again. Goodness!

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:29 AM

      Hmmm….maybe that is a story you need to write, Michael 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your funny thought!

  8. Eric Alagan July 15, 2013 / 9:37 PM

    Her father’s voice?

    You’re layering it on thick, Janna. What an entangled cobweb we find ourselves snared in.

    Intriguing, to say the least.

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:32 AM

      Yep, he’s baaaaa-aaack 🙂 Thanks for continuing to follow the story, Eric.

  9. Jo-Anne Teal (@jtvancouver) July 16, 2013 / 12:28 AM

    Good grief, Janna – this 333 word limit conspires against us finding out more! I’m really enjoying your tale and too liked the image of getting caught in the cobwebs!

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2013 / 12:46 AM

      Haha…maybe we’ll know something by Christmas! Only kidding (I think,) but the word limit does make it a challenge. I’m glad you liked the cobweb description. That happened to me yesterday when I was watering trees…walked right through one. It’s such a creepy feeling! I appreciate you following the story, Jo-Anne.

  10. steph July 16, 2013 / 2:34 PM

    I love the image of the mysterious man disappearing like smoke under the door. The story becomes more and more interesting. She heard her father’s voice and a very cryptic, You’ve taken it already. Wow. Each week a cliffhanger. Great work, janna!

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:07 PM

      I appreciate you reading and taking time to share your thoughts on the story, Steph. I think it’s almost time to hear from Myrtle again 🙂

  11. diannegray July 16, 2013 / 2:59 PM

    WOW – I’m so intrigued. Well done, Janna! 😀

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:08 PM

      Thanks for the ‘Wow’, Dianne. I’m honored 🙂 Seriously though, thanks for continuing to keep up with the story!

  12. Tina July 17, 2013 / 10:33 AM

    Wait! I thought her father was deceased? This certainly is a tangled web, but I’m loving every moment!

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:11 PM

      It was fairly early on in the story when her father was mentioned – he’d been missing for four weeks at that time. Her husband was missing as well, but Myrtle changed that (and no, he won’t be coming back from the grave :)) Thanks so much for reading, Tina.

  13. Maggie Grace July 17, 2013 / 10:59 AM

    Ut-oh. That brought my heart to a halt. Must await next segment. Darlene in way over her head.

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:14 PM

      She’s learning way to much to be safe. It would be better if she knew who she could trust. Thanks for reading, Maggie!

  14. Sarah Ann July 17, 2013 / 12:25 PM

    I love the way you take us on this merry dance each week. 🙂 Can’t wait for all the threads of the story to be brought together.

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:14 PM

      Thanks so much for following along as I add to the story each week, Sarah Ann!

  15. Suzanne July 17, 2013 / 12:46 PM

    Arg! Don’t stop there! 🙂 Seriously Janna, this is such a good story, I wish it was already finished so I could read it all at once. More please!

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:37 PM

      Thanks so much, Suzanne! I really appreciate you reading the story. I’m having fun writing it ::)

  16. mairzeebp July 17, 2013 / 1:09 PM

    Ahh….the plot thickens! I want to know what’s next! Thanks for linking up! ~Mary Beth

  17. Draug419 July 17, 2013 / 7:27 PM

    Great continuation.

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:49 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read it, Draug!

  18. kallanannie July 17, 2013 / 9:21 PM

    It’s so hard waiting one week to the next to find out what happens next! We need a 1000 word limit!

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2013 / 11:51 PM

      Ha,ha…I’d probably still manage to keep you hanging, Kallanannie 🙂 I’m glad you stopped by to check out t his part of the story.

  19. Ivy (Mommy Dourest) July 18, 2013 / 8:13 AM

    I caught myself holding my breath several times through this. The danger and suspense are so palpable. Nicely done!

    • jannatwrites July 20, 2013 / 9:52 PM

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and for sharing your reaction, Ivy!

    • jannatwrites July 20, 2013 / 9:53 PM

      I’ll keep your timeline comment in mind, Lovelylici1986. I appreciate you stopping by to read and share your feedback 🙂

  20. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) July 18, 2013 / 1:11 PM

    Oh… and I’ll be away a the next installment… Fertilizers .. (was there a timing device too)

    • jannatwrites July 20, 2013 / 9:55 PM

      If you decide to read it when you’re back online, it’ll be there, Bjorn! Thanks for following along.

  21. Lorri July 18, 2013 / 9:16 PM

    I like how you held my attention! Well done, and filled with mystery.

    • jannatwrites July 20, 2013 / 9:56 PM

      Thanks, Lorri – I’m glad you enjoyed the story!

  22. karen July 18, 2013 / 9:16 PM

    It’s been awhile so I am not familiar with this storyline but no matter, it actually worked quite nicely as a stand-alone. I too had to re-read the ending, but only once and I got it. At first I thought she was talking. (>.<)

    Anyway, it is nice to come back and see some familiar type fonts! Great writing as always, Janna!

    • jannatwrites July 20, 2013 / 9:57 PM

      Thanks for reading and for sharing your opinion, Karen! It could have been clearer that this was an overheard conversation. I’ll have to fix this when I do the longer version of the story.

  23. Imelda July 22, 2013 / 12:11 PM

    Oh, I read the story out of order. mmmmm…

    • jannatwrites July 22, 2013 / 8:42 PM

      Well, that’s one way to do it, Imelda!

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