Closing In

Shoved into Myrtle’s back yard with two FBI agents at the front door, Darlene felt the panic of a child still searching for the perfect hiding spot when the seeker just counted, “twenty-three!”

“Just a minute.  My knee’s bothering me.”

Darlene smiled.  She heard Myrtle’s exaggerated shuffle and knew she was stalling.

For a split-second, Darlene contemplated climbing the 6-foot tall block wall, but thought better of it, remembering she couldn’t even shimmy up a chain link fence in grade school.  Her options limited, she bounded for the cobwebbed storage shed.  She slipped inside, leaving the door ajar so a thin stream of sunlight leaked inside.

She huddled in the corner beside what might’ve been a wheelbarrow, praying the agents’ visit would be quick.  After several minutes, sweat beaded around her hairline; then trickled down her face.  Darlene wiped her forehead with her shirt.  She had to think of a plan, or she’d die an inelegant death.  She figured she had less than half an hour in the unforgiving Arizona August heat.

Her heart lurched when she heard a male voice.  Agent Mulroney.  Aloneness overtook her.  Mulroney had Haversill, Myrtle had Darlene’s father- but she had no one to band with.  Darlene had no one she could trust.  Myrtle was hiding something about her father, and for that reason, Darlene couldn’t risk confiding.

“You can’t do this!”

“We have a warrant,” Mulroney said.  “You know harboring a fugitive is a felony?”

“The only thing I’m harboring is-” Myrtle gasped, and then groaned.

“Let’s get her inside.  Could be a heart attack!”  Haversill shouted.

The sliding door slammed shut.  Trembling with fear, Darlene started to feel her way to the door, but stopped.  She inched backward and patted around until her fingertips grazed the plastic fertilizer bag.  She slid her hand behind it and snatched her tote bag.

In that instant she understood the moth, as she was drawn to the safety deposit box contents- even though the knowledge would likely kill her.


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:

BAND (verb):  to gather together; unite.  <they banded themselves together for protection>

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!

Additional note of thanks:  I appreciate everyone who read (and voted) for my last two Trifecta community-voted challenge pieces.  Keepers of Secrets shared a 3-way tie for third place, and Nature shared a 3-way tie for second place.

63 thoughts on “Closing In

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge July 29, 2013 / 10:06 AM

    Such great comparisons.
    ” panic of a child still searching for the perfect hiding spot when the seeker just counted, “twenty-three!”
    And the moth at the end.
    Great way for reader to experience along with Darlene

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:07 PM

      Thanks for sharing examples of what you liked, Phil. I appreciate you reading 🙂

  2. nrhatch July 29, 2013 / 10:40 AM

    Stellar! We’re all sweating it out with Darlene.

  3. Gina July 29, 2013 / 10:57 AM

    Intriguing! Very descriptive story. Of course I now need to know what happens next…

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:08 PM

      Well, she either gets caught or she gets away 🙂 (Not helpful? We’ll know more next time, Gina!)

  4. Cobbie's World July 29, 2013 / 10:59 AM

    It is easy to write about someone in hiding but, it takes true talent to bring the reader right in there with the character. You have done so by tapping into our collective experiences with hiding (the hide n’ seek reference) and with being irresistibly drawn toward that which we know we should avoid (the moth). Wonderful work, as always. Thank you for continuing Darlene’s story and sharing that with us. Thanks for linking up. 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:10 PM

      I really appreciate your thoughtful comment and encourage words, Tom! I’m glad you enjoyed this part of the story, and I appreciate you following along.

  5. Debbie July 29, 2013 / 11:36 AM

    Ooh, I was right there with Darlene, sweating in the desert heat and fearing, What Next? Way to go, Janna — building that suspense through description!!

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:11 PM

      I appreciate your encouraging comment, Debbie. It makes me want to write more!

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:11 PM

      Thanks, Maggie Grace. I try to make things realistic and I’m pleased it seems to have worked here 🙂

  6. jeanmcurio July 29, 2013 / 2:20 PM

    Very suspenseful! I, too, loved the hide-n-seek comparison at the start. Immediately I thought, “Yes! I know exactly what that feels like.”

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:12 PM

      I was horrible at hide and seek – I would panic when I couldn’t find the perfect spot and time was almost up. Aaack! Thanks for reading, Jeanmcurio!

  7. Michael July 29, 2013 / 3:16 PM

    Brilliant. From the hide-and-seek metaphor at the beginning to the moth at the end. You really should write this up into a novel. 🙂

    • nrhatch July 29, 2013 / 3:22 PM

      It’s well on its way to being a novel . . . and that makes us Janna’s “beta readers.” 😉

      • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:14 PM

        I’d better not give all the secrets away here, then 😛

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:14 PM

      I’m actually working on that, slowly but surely, Michael. It’s even slower for me because I’m okay at building something new, but not so good at renovating an existing structure…er, story 🙂

  8. Sean July 29, 2013 / 3:55 PM

    GAAAHHHHHH. This was a very delicately written part. At least she didn’t grab a snake curled up on the bag. We are all given gifts which we can use and you use yours well. Although it needed to be 5 times longer, we can’t have everything. I think it is fun to wait to see what is in store and see how things play out week after week.

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 7:19 PM

      A snake bite would’ve just made her day! I really appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts to each piece of this story, Sean. As long as you don’t forget what’s already happened, the weekly installment isn’t bad. (We’re over forty, so it’s bound to happen :))

  9. Imelda July 29, 2013 / 9:32 PM

    Very suspenseful!

  10. diannegray July 29, 2013 / 9:46 PM

    Very good – I could feel the sweat building on Darlene’s forehead and liked the way she wiped it with her shirt. It’s these little things that really bring her to life 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 11:49 PM

      I appreciate your comments and feedback, Dianne. Thanks for continuing to follow this series 🙂

  11. Catherine Johnson July 29, 2013 / 9:57 PM

    Thrilling! I love the way the facts add flavor.

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 11:49 PM

      Thanks, Catherine. I’m glad you enjoyed this story!

  12. Eric Alagan July 29, 2013 / 10:59 PM

    I know the feeling of growing panic during the countdowns 🙂 And to know what a moth or male black widow spider knows – and yet, to proceed

    I’m keeping Darlene company 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 29, 2013 / 11:50 PM

      Haha- the male black widow….yes, he must be worried! I appreciate you reading this story each week, Eric!

  13. vishalbheeroo July 30, 2013 / 12:33 AM

    Love the end..the element of surprise is maintained intact:)

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:30 PM

      Thanks for reading this segment, Vishal!

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:32 PM

      I’m glad you’re liking it, Joanne 🙂

  14. Joe Owens July 30, 2013 / 7:17 AM

    Darlene wouldn’t know how to have an uneventful day, it seems.

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:34 PM

      Haha! Well, it seems like she has a lot of crazy days, but really the last several segments are a span of 24 hours…the scenes just got shortened because of word limitations.

  15. Kitty July 30, 2013 / 7:29 AM

    You write suspense so well, I am always left going “Then what happened?!?!” after reading one of your pieces.

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:35 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Kitty! I seem to leave Darlene always on a cliff.

  16. lumdog (@lumdog2012) July 30, 2013 / 12:39 PM

    As I said before, I am really enjoying this story. I had to go back and catch up since I’ve been pretty tied up lately. You always leave us with a cliff hanger and I am ready for the next installment. Wonderful writing. Keep goin’!

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2013 / 4:36 PM

      Thanks for reading and offering your support, Lumdog. I’m glad you’re able to find time to catch up with the segments 🙂

  17. Renada Styles July 30, 2013 / 6:59 PM

    i like the hide-and-go-seek analogy. things certainly are coming to an edge for darlene!

  18. lovelylici1986 July 31, 2013 / 10:48 AM

    I think I held my breath the whole time I was reading this. Well done!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 4:57 PM

      I’m glad it was only 333 words then 🙂 Thanks for reading, Lovelylici1986!

  19. Tina July 31, 2013 / 6:10 PM

    The moth comparison sealed the dealfor me–curiosity is a double-edged sword, isn’t it?

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 4:58 PM

      Curiosity gets me every single time, Tina. Thanks for reading!

  20. kallanannie July 31, 2013 / 9:53 PM

    Love how you keep upping the ante on Darlene. Great tension here, Janna.

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 4:59 PM

      Thanks, Kallanannie. I appreciate you reading.

  21. Sandra July 31, 2013 / 10:04 PM

    I feel like I’m right there with Darlene! Or watching all this on a huge movie screen! I wonder what happened to Myrtle–hope she didn’t really have a heart attack!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:00 PM

      Well, that will come later. Probably not the next segment, but maybe the one after 🙂 Thanks for reading, Sandra!

  22. KymmInBarcelona August 1, 2013 / 2:26 AM

    Rubbing my eye to get the sticky cobweb out of it.
    (Go, Myrtle!)

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:01 PM

      They are sticky, and they always seem to be in my face. Ick! Thanks for reading, Kymm 🙂

  23. Suzanne August 1, 2013 / 7:32 AM

    This is so great, Janna! Love this story and this piece is especially well-written.

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:02 PM

      I appreciate you reading, and for sharing your kind comment, Suzanne!

  24. Papparaci August 1, 2013 / 9:26 AM

    I really enjoy your storytelling abilities Jenna, especially the part of “Aloneness” overtaking her. God work!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:02 PM

      Thanks for reading, Papparaci! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story.

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:02 PM

      I appreciate you following the story so far, H.L. Pauff!

  25. joetwo August 1, 2013 / 4:15 PM

    Everytime I read this that poor girl keeps on getting deeper and deeper into it

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 5:03 PM

      She’s had a rough few days, Joe. Maybe things will turn around for her 🙂

  26. barbara August 1, 2013 / 7:48 PM

    oh, well done, Janna! Just wanna root for the old gal!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 10:59 PM

      Thanks, Barbara! Myrtle grows on you after a while 🙂

  27. pattisj August 1, 2013 / 10:42 PM

    I’ve never been to Arizona, but I could feel the heat in that shed. Nice work!

    • jannatwrites August 1, 2013 / 11:02 PM

      July and August are the ickiest months. If you ever do visit the Phoenix area, I’d recommend doing so between November and February. I’m glad you stopped by to read this part, Patti!

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