Archive | September 5, 2017

The Mystery of the Broke(n) Church

I rolled my story dice and ended up with this. 


The church theatre company was hurting.

Everything about the church was almost always hurting.  It was in a town that had once been prosperous, it had tried gimmick after gimmick – including painting the church purple – to draw in attendance – and it was suffering from having been built in the early 1800s and, purple siding or not, in need of repairs, constantly in need of repairs.

The theatre company brought in a little money, but their costumes were all fifth-hand, the stage was sad and falling apart, and the only person they could get as a stage manager was going deaf.

Then Pastor Jim had a brilliant idea.

“It is going to be sad to see this church go,” he commented at the little stop-and-shop, when he knew one of the town busybodies was listening.  “We’re never going to find out what happened behind that brick wall.”

“What brick wall?”

Pastor Jim would feel bad using Trent Sheperd like this, but Trent was just the right sort of person.  And his voice carried.

“You know, in the basement.  They covered it over in the last renovation, of course…”

The next Sunday, the pews were packed – and the theatre company’s basement rendition of Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart opened to a sold-out house.

Pastor Jim kept laying clues, and spent the rest of his time getting in the way of people trying to follow those clues.

If he came up with something clever enough, he reckoned, they might even raise enough to fix the broken old wall behind the brick wall.  And maybe the ancient catacomb behind that.

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Written to kelkyag‘s prompt.


The pay at the Lab was really good, and the benefits were literally unbelievable.

Jess reminded herself of that whenever she started feeling like she needed a Henchman t-shirt or an old lion-tamer’s whip and chair.   She had two kids of her own and a niece at home; the Lab gave them a place to live that was probably the most secure three-bedroom house on the planet, had a top-notch school, and paid Jess enough that she could take them all on a really good vacation every year.

Which she needed, because right now she was supervising a slap-fight between two interns who just happened to be handling vials of what she thought was probably a neurotoxin.  Continue reading

The Hidden Mall: Blood, Thicker Than

There was blood everywhere.  Abigail fell down onto the floor and yanked off her cardigan, wrapping it around her ankle quickly.  Too late, she realized she’d let go of both Livs.

“Liv-” she called, but the dirty one was chasing after the clean one, leaving a trail of blood behind her, too.

Somewhere in her bag she had something better for this than a sweater she’d actually been fond of.  She dug through her bag one-handed, holding pressure on the wound with the other hand.  There.  The scarf wasn’t the best thing, but that and the Kleenex and she had a bandage of sorts.   She pressed the Kleenex against the wound until the blood seemed to slow, then checked. Continue reading

A New World: Artle

First: A New World

Kael allowed herself a small smile, even as she tried to puzzle that one out.  Hospital?  Hospes?  Something about guests.  

“Oh, that can’t be true, they wouldn’t open the place and have it be dangerous!”

So a hospital was somewhere for  – people who had been hurt?  Perhaps a place to rest after people had been taken by a sleeping potion.  There had been quite a few sleeping potion traps in those lower levels. Continue reading