Faded Rainbows

If you are new to Darlene’s Story, here’s the gist:  Darlene Whitman always heard that you can pick your friends but not your family.  She realizes the lie in this statement when nosy eighty-two-year-old neighbor, Myrtle Crawford, insists on helping unravel the mystery behind the disappearances of her husband and father.  Darlene discovers her father’s involvement in illegal cancer drug testing, which is also linked to her husband’s courier business.  Her ties to Myrtle are more complicated than she thought, and now, she must piece together the truth before it’s too late to save either of them.

The last segment left off with Darlene talking to Jeff, Darlene’s pseudo uncle, and her father’s former business partner.  (Scott is Darlene’s husband, killed in part 12.)

And now, for the next segment in the story:


Darlene looked at Jeff expectantly.  Her heart fell when he didn’t answer.  She repeated, “Did my father love her?”

“It’s complicated…”

She couldn’t read his expression.  “I’m twenty-eight.  I can take it.”

“Not how she deserved to be loved.  Greed took over.” He paused.   “Your mother deserved to be wrapped in love twenty-four hours a day.  Breakfast in bed, a kiss and a rose each evening, and passionate caresses throughout the night.  But making deals drove him.”

“So he didn’t do any of that?”

“Not in her eyes,” Jeff said.

“She confided in you?”

“Sometimes… I mean, only a few times.”

“No.  It’s too much.  I can’t do this.”  Darlene slipped the tote bag straps over her shoulder and slid out of the booth.  “I’ve heard enough.”

“When did you stop chasing the rainbow, Dolly?”

Darlene halted mid-step and turned around.  “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Jeff shrugged.  “Well, Myrtle needs help, and your mother deserves justice, and you’re running because you don’t like what you hear.”

“I just need time…I need-”

“There’s no time, Dolly.”  Jeff shook his head.  “In high school, you expected to change the world.  We need that girl now.”

“She was foolish,” Darlene said.

“She believed.”

“She didn’t know any better.”

“Reckless optimism can topple the foe.”

“Meaning, my father.”

“MEG.  But your father is a big part of it.”

Darlene slumped into the booth.  “I don’t understand how.  My father works for New Way Pharmaceutical, MEG’s competitor.”

“That was true, until 2004.”

“The year mother died,” Darlene whispered.

“The year I died,” Jeff added.

“Why did you fake your death?”

“I had to keep my promise to your mother.”

“Which was?”

“To protect you.  And I almost failed.”


“The fire at your cabin.  I should’ve seen that coming.”

Darlene shook her head.  “Scott set me up.”

Jeff reached into his jacket and pulled out some papers.  He unfolded and smoothed them before his fingertips pushed them across the table.  “I don’t think Scott knew.”


TrifectaPicture11-1This is my response to the Trifecta weekly challenge, which is to write a 33 to 333-word response (mine is 331) using the following word/definition:

RAINBOW (noun): 3.  [from the impossibility of reaching the rainbow, at whose foot a pot of gold is said to be buried] :  an illusory goal or hope

If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click on link above 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!

54 thoughts on “Faded Rainbows

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:29 PM

      Thanks, Joanne! I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  1. MOV September 16, 2013 / 10:43 AM

    Great dialogue! Very well-written and realistic.


    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:29 PM

      I’m glad it feels real, MOV. That is what I hope for when I post segments to the story!

  2. Ivy (Mommy Dourest) September 16, 2013 / 11:09 AM

    OK, that revelation about Scott threw me for a loop! It probably did the same to Darlene, but I guess we won’t know that until next week.

    One little note … You left off the “r” in “your” in this line: Jeff shrugged. “Well, Myrtle needs help, and YOU mother …”

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:32 PM

      Good – it was supposed to be unexpected, Ivy! Now…I’ve got one week to figure out what that evidence is 🙂

      Thanks so much for pointing out that typo 😳 I swear my eyes aren’t working today…I read right over that at least a dozen times.

  3. Sarah Ann September 16, 2013 / 11:56 AM

    Curiouser and curiouser. Lovely background on the young Darlene from her all-knowing uncle. Now we wait to find out what the paper says to exonerate (or not) Scott. Can’t wait ’til next week! 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:35 PM

      Yes, we’ll know more next week! I hope you’ll be back to see what happens, Sarah Ann 🙂

  4. howanxious September 16, 2013 / 12:46 PM

    Nice twist in here. Even though I have read only bits of Darlene’s story, I like what you are doing with it. Well-written. 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:36 PM

      Thanks, HA. I hope it makes some sort of sense, even though you haven’t read the entire story. I appreciate you taking time to read parts of the story so you are somewhat familiar with it!

  5. pattisj September 16, 2013 / 1:16 PM

    Another good segment, Janna.

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:36 PM

      Thanks, Patti…I’m glad you stopped by to read it 🙂

  6. Quickstepp September 16, 2013 / 1:30 PM

    You’re quite good at dialogue! Nice continuation this week!

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:37 PM

      Wow, thanks, Quickstepp! I always hope it comes off sounding real. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  7. nrhatch September 16, 2013 / 2:04 PM

    Janna . . . you are one fine writer.

    • nrhatch September 16, 2013 / 2:05 PM

      Great weaving in of “Rainbow.”

      • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:39 PM

        Thanks – I like it when the prompt word doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb (some of them have, too!)

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:38 PM

      😛 Thanks, Nancy! Now if I can believe it long enough to finish/publish a novel, haha 🙂

  8. Sandra Tyler September 16, 2013 / 5:24 PM

    Good ear for dialogue and good use of rainbow. That was a hard word, without resorting to the corny….

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:41 PM

      I’d agree with the difficulty of the word, Sandra! I bet I’m not the only one thinking Judy Garland 🙂 Thanks so much for reading.

  9. pattyabr September 16, 2013 / 9:39 PM

    Thanks for the update prior to the story. As always I’m intrigued by the story you weave.

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:42 PM

      Thanks, Patty! A comment a few weeks ago prompted me to add the intro to each piece. I’m glad it helps!

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 16, 2013 / 11:06 PM

    I must say I’m really impressed how you manage to keep this story going. Really good…

    • jannatwrites September 16, 2013 / 11:45 PM

      Thanks, Bjorn! I’m glad you continue to read it. I checked and I wrote the first part to this on January 28th- I never thought it would keep going this long. (A few weeks were skipped for other writing, though.)

  11. Eric Alagan September 17, 2013 / 6:15 AM

    Love that dialogue, Janna. I wonder what’s in the paper that Jeff pushed across the table.

    Please keep at it 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:30 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Eric! Perhaps we’ll know more next week about what the paper means 🙂

  12. Debbie September 17, 2013 / 8:30 AM

    Oh, my, this segment REALLY moves fast, Janna! Love how you keep building the suspense, ratcheting it up notch by notch. Let’s have more real soon!

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:34 PM

      I appreciate you reading and sharing your comment, Debbie. I enjoy writing the story…but the comments make it even more fun!

  13. jwilliams057 September 17, 2013 / 1:18 PM

    Well… what does that mean about him trying to kill her later then. Hmmm… But then maybe Jeff doesn’t know about that.

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:35 PM

      I hope that will clear up a bit soon, Jennifer. 333-word limits kill me 🙂 Thanks for reading this week!

  14. Sean September 17, 2013 / 2:03 PM

    It was funny today because it didn’t occur to me that today was Tuesday and you usually have a Darlene story on Mondays. It’s been a long, weird week. anyways, this is a good write. I enjoyed how you told us enough to keep the story going well. There is definitely room for expansion in this part but you can’t put everything in and be able to not overwhelm us in 333 words. I do think that I may have less hair now though. I enjoyed the reading and thanks for keeping this going and us intrigued. Enjoy the cool weather.

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:41 PM

      I had to strip down a lot from this to make it fit. I like to have more descriptors about body language or reactions to what’s being said, or pauses…but there was no room for that here, Sean. I certainly don’t want to be responsible for any baldness, though 🙂

      The low temperatures are getting nice. We hope to go on a hike this weekend so I can get some pictures early in the leaf-changing season…then we’ll do the same hike several weeks later for comparison. It was my husband’s idea, and I think it will be a fun one.

  15. Draug419 September 17, 2013 / 5:53 PM

    Loving every update!

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:41 PM

      I appreciate you taking time to read it, Draug!

  16. trifectawriting September 17, 2013 / 8:49 PM

    How do you do this? I’m not a big fiction writer, so the thought of keeping all of these plots and subplots and narratives going is really impressive to me. Great job with the prompt. Thanks for linking up.

    • jannatwrites September 17, 2013 / 11:46 PM

      Well, I’m writing as I go along…what happens depends on the prompt. (It’s really hard not to write ahead, but I’m afraid it will seem forced if I edit pre-written text to add a prompt word.) I’m so glad you stopped by to read it! Thanks for the prompts each week…they make me think about a story that might not otherwise be written 🙂

  17. KymmInBarcelona September 18, 2013 / 7:47 AM

    Terrific dialog, Janna, and a nice bit of info to keep the plot twisting.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:22 PM

      I appreciate you continuing to follow along with this story, Kymm!

  18. Gina September 18, 2013 / 3:14 PM

    So I have some catching up to do…

    I want to know things. You are great with dialog, Janna! And keeping our interest.

    • jannatwrites September 18, 2013 / 10:38 PM

      Thanks, Gina! I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  19. Lumdog September 19, 2013 / 8:53 AM

    Great stuff. Keep it going. I’m in awe.

    • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:17 PM

      Thanks, Lumdog – I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  20. Valerie September 19, 2013 / 9:42 AM

    Janna, I’m adding my praise for your dialog too! It sounds so natural-not an easy thing to do, but you do it well! And I’m loving these installments too-if only the word limit could be twice as much:)

    • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:21 PM

      Thanks so much, Valerie! It really does make me happy that the conversation flows well to those who read it 🙂

  21. Michael September 19, 2013 / 3:37 PM

    I have to echo the above comments; I really like your dialogue. Particularly when he questions her about chasing rainbows. Brilliant.

    • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:23 PM

      Thanks for reading, Michael! I’m glad the rainbow exchange worked…I was worried it might seem out of place. I like these prompts because sometimes they take a story in a direction I wouldn’t otherwise have gone.

  22. margitsage September 19, 2013 / 6:35 PM

    Very mysterious! It’s impressive how smoothly you work the prompts into your story.

    • jannatwrites September 19, 2013 / 9:26 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by to read it, Margitsage!

  23. Sini Rachel September 20, 2013 / 2:16 AM

    Amazing how you manage to integrate the prompt into Darlene’s life. Waiting for next..

  24. atrm61 September 20, 2013 / 6:13 AM

    Oh cool Janna!Can’t wait for this to move forward,loving every bit of it:-)

    • jannatwrites September 20, 2013 / 8:26 AM

      Thanks, Atreyee! I’m glad you stopped by.

  25. Imelda September 21, 2013 / 3:57 PM

    Yey! We’re getting to know Jeff more. I am looking forward to Scott’s story. 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 21, 2013 / 10:42 PM

      I’m glad you had a chance to read, Imelda!

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