Writing Contest- Test your Skills!

As a fun way to challenge writers out there, I am offering an opportunity to showcase your unique abilities.  There is no requirement you be a published author, everyone is welcome to submit a story.  The contest will be open until 8pm Wednesday night (June 29th).I will select the top three stories and open them for voting after the contest is over in a separate blog post (hopefully I can narrow it down to three).  Of course, I can’t make this too easy so there are some rules.  Follow these closely or you will be disqualified!

1) The submission must be between 250-600 words.  I will allow no more than a five word variance from this.  If you include a title, the words in that do not count toward the total.

2) You must include a FROG and VIOLIN in the story.  They do not have to be central elements, but must make some kind of notable appearance.

3) No foul language.  There are people here who do not want to see it and I prefer we not have anything that might be too offensive.

4) Making me laugh will gain you favor in my selection, though it isn’t a requirement.

5) Post your story here in the comments section.  Do not email it to me.

6) Ensure you include your name (even if it is only a first name or nickname) at the end of your work.  That does not go toward word-count either.

That is everything you need to know.  Come back Wednesday night to see who the final contestants are.  If your story is among them, you can vote for yourself only once.  The poll will stay open until Friday when I announce the winner.  That person will receive a $10 Amazon gift card.  If you have any questions, you may email me for clarification.

~ by Suzie on June 26, 2011.

76 Responses to “Writing Contest- Test your Skills!”

  1. The Frog and the Violinist

    A frog named Red is on a street corner in downtown Houston. Red was brought on a bus from New Orleans by mistake. After being unceremoniously dumped off the Greyhound bus, Red tried to find his bearings. Red turned when he heard a little jazz rhythm. He saw a man playing a violin on the opposite street corner.

    Curious, Red hopped a few feet closer. Suddenly, Red heard a great rumbling sound. He looked up to see a shiny object that looked like a street car. Knowing from experience that street cars are dangerous to frogs, he waited. Soon there were all these people coming out. Red hopped over feet. Once, Red bounced so high that he saw some polka-dotted underwear. People started moving from side to side but basically ignored Red’s plight.

    Undaunted, Red finally found a place to rest on a planter. After the shiny streetcar left clattering away, Red heard the violinist again. He peeked over the planter and saw that he was even farther away. Red rested a moment longer in order to get up his strength.

    Suddenly a robust looking woman walking a cat came along. Just above the cat was a large straw purse. “Aha”, thought Red. He jumped into the purse as the woman crossed the street. As the woman turned right, Red leaped out onto the sidewalk into the open violin case.

    The violinist nodded to Red as he continued to play his jazz piece. Red sang his throaty song in time with the violinist. Passers-by began tossing even more coins in the case. Red danced between the clinks of metal on metal. The violinist smiled at Red.

    That night, Red is adopted by the violinist. They both live happily ever after.

    Story by Lynn Hallbrooks specifically for Writing Contest Test your skills

  2. Feldman D. Frog Goes Froot Loops

    It was a dark and stormy night in Happy Vale. Beneath the old oak tree where Screwy Squirrel held his nuts and dreamed of Spring, down among the roots, lay the warren of Fluffy D. Bunny, his lovely wife Fluffay, and their 67 children. The only sound emanating from the interior, normally echoing with whines, laughter and chronic mattress abuse, was of liquid dripping and the maniacal giggling of Feldman D. Frog, who was rocking in the center of the gore splattered living room which appeared to be raining blood. Feldman raised his eyes towards the ceiling, where the Bunny family was decoratively nailed, and burst into another fit of the giggles. Although chasing down and nailing 69 bunnies up there was tiring, the effect was wonderfully tacky. With a groan and a flurry of dried, flaky blood, Feldman rose to his feet and glanced about the room. Had he forgotten anything? A quick pat of his pockets confirmed the location of his trusty hammer and his squeaky rubber waffle. He gave it a loving squeeze. “By George, you’re right, Waffle! Mustn’t forget that! Now, where did I put it?” A quick scan of the room offered up no answers. Feldman tapped his foot and glanced at the ceiling once more. “There you are, you silly old thing!” he cried as he reached up to remove his violin from Fluffy’s lower intestinal tract with a lovely squishy twang, and his bow from Fluffay’s nasal cavity. With a jaunty tip of his hat to the late Bunny clan, he traipsed out the door and into the storm. Tucking his violin under his chin, he began to play as he danced into the night, his voice raised in song “I’m singing in the rain, what a glorious feeling, I’m happy again!”

  3. One afternoon, after missing our connections in JFK airport at New York, all my fellow traveling companions and me, got herded into a bus and headed for the free hotel rooms the airline had offered us in Manhattan with shy and pitiful apologies for the inconvenience.
    It had been a hot day and it promised to become an even muggier evening. We were grumpy and uncomfortable, the whole lot of us, sweltering in our seats and trapped into heavy traffic. Bored out of my skull, I stared in fascination as a kid pulled out a big matchbox from his back pocket. The box was frayed along the edges and looked a bit squashed. To my surprise, it held within a live tree frog, and the kid started to play with the litte beast to ease his boredom. I also noticed a Jewish-looking teenaged boy staring at the frog, quite intently. He was carrying a violin case, and I suspected he was tempted to get out his instrument and plug a few sample notes… but he looked around and thought better about it. The driver looked as if he was burdened with an ill disposition, too. He made a low growl when faced with heavy traffic on the Van Wick Expressway and took the sorry decision of detouring and try his luck traversing Queensborough’s tight streets.
    Most of the passengers were in a drowsy state, fighting the heat and making mental plans to deal with this temporary setback, when an unexpected jolt woke us. The bus had made a sudden stop at an intersection and our driver was leaning his left elbow on the frame of his window, and yelling his head off at someone just below it. An expensive looking car had attempted a risky maneuver and cut him off at the corner.
    “Who you are?” shouted the bus chauffeur at the top of his lungs. A brief pause, surely an unheard answer. “Who you are? #$%&@! Who the #$%&@!!! YOU think you are?!!!”
    The man promptly silenced and turned to face us with red hot spots of shame rising on his cheeks. He had absolutely forgotten all about his passengers and they were aghast for this exposure to such foul language. After an embarrassing pause he added:
    “Hope you enjoyed our brief excursion into New York culture, ladies and gentlemen. Well, that’s New York for ya!”
    All the passengers broke into laughter and celebrated his quick wit all the way toward Manhattan.
    Well, that’s New York for ya, indeed!

    Edwin Stark
    Author of Cuentos 😛

  4. Atlantis the Eyewitnesses – A Document Written in 9619 BC Proves that Atlantis and the Flood of Myth Described by Plato were Real

    The eerie violin music lets you hear the fog drift across the early dawn. A lonely frog compliments the weird awaking sounds.

    If you watch and listen closely you will learn some secrets of the ancients. Ta-Wats is checking his traps when he glances up at the still dark western sky. He sees a great fiery serpent rushing towards him. He becomes alarmed!

    What are the gods doing now? Have they thrown one of their own out of the heavens?

    It is so hard to understand gods.

    Ta-Wats forgets about his traps. He remains transfixed on the red hot, twisting serpent. Others will later identify the serpent as Satan and he will become the icon for all that is evil.

    “And there was a war in heaven; …. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan….”
    Revelation 12:7-9

    Scientific evidence dates this event to April, 9619 BC. An ancient document describes what Eliphaz (of the Bible) witnessed.

    Eliphaz knew more about the gods than any other holy man in Atlantis. He had been watching them in the night skies all his life. No wonder he was among the first to see Satan thrown out of heaven.

    Satan; really? Bear with me.

    Eliphaz was first taught about the gods by his father and he learned more about them each year as he studied them every night. He knew that each of the gods, which we now know as planets, patrolled their own part of heaven. Every one of them maintained the prescribed order.

    But Satan deviated from the prescribed order and displeased the gods so they threw him out of heaven.

    Eliphaz first saw Satan being hurled to earth when Satan, falling from the upper heavens, passed the great god Neptune. He started spitting fire at Neptune. Eliphaz could see the fire in the clear night sky.
    That made Neptune mad. He threw a large bolt of lighting at Satan. It made Satan quit spitting fire, but Satan still glowed red hot in anger as he fell past Neptune.

    Eliphaz watched all night. Eventually Satan’s anger lessened and he didn’t glow so bright. Finally he was too dim for Eliphaz to see him in the brightening morning sky.

    Eliphaz wondered what Satan had done to make him deviate from his prescribed course and cause the gods to throw him out of heaven.

    He wondered what Satan would do when he landed on earth.

    He better go tell the king that Satan was coming.

    The details of this scientifically proven event, including an ancient document written by a witness in 9619 BC, and new heavenly evidence from the Hubble Space Telescope prove that Atlantis was real and that Satan really was thrown from heaven.

    Satan’s arrival destroyed much of the life on earth and the entire country, less its colonies, of Atlantis.

    Research of this event produced the conclusive evidence to write 2 books: Atlantis the Eyewitnesses and Satan Has Left the Earth.
    Walter Parks at UnknownTruths.com


    The snowflakes fell thickly – huge, fat, wet flakes that splatted against his tattered top hat, pushing it further down over his forehead. His threadbare topcoat was poor protection against the bone-chilling onslaught, and he shivered visibly. Undeterred by the inclement weather, the brave frog trudged on, heading for the tiny amphitheater in the neighborhood park to play his weekly Sunday night concert for his audience of vagrants.

    Arriving at last, half frozen and discouraged to find no one else had braved the elements to attend, he nevertheless removed his hat and coat, folded them neatly, and placed them on a nearby chair. He carefully removed his violin from its battered case, and raised it to his chin as he walked to center stage.

    As the first plaintive notes wafted through the cold, damp air, his shivering ceased and a veil of calm replaced the stress and strain in his body; a look of pure peace emerged on his face. An aura seemed to surround him, faintly glowing at first, but steadily expanding in size and brightness to encompass first the stage around him, and then pouring over the edge and spreading upward throughout the stone seats, which rose in concentric circles to the path.

    The night air brightened and warmed as if someone had lit a roaring campfire. One by one, the seats began to fill. The homeless and helpless drew nearer to watch and listen to this small miracle. Toothless grins appeared on weathered faces as their shaggy heads nodded to the melody. The music filled the space, bringing warmth and cheer to those who rarely experienced such luxuries.

    All too soon, the concert ended, the warmth dissipated, the smiles faded. The attendees crept back to their burrows, the theater emptied, leaving the frog alone again. He lovingly tucked his precious violin back into its container and pulled his meager garments back on his body. Leaning into the biting wind, he headed back to his petite abode, satisfied with his performance and pleased he could provide some small comfort to those less fortunate than he.

  6. Once Upon a Stradivarius

    Tom cradled the violin gently in his lap and traced the ancient tailpiece with one finger while staring out at the pond. A red-haired girl, maybe about twelve, ran past and sent a tiny frog leaping from the shore to the safety of deep water. Tom watched the little creature, barely out of its pollywog phase, and envied that it was just beginning its life.
    Ignoring the pain in his arthritic wrist, he stroked the instrument that he had carried with him since joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra nearly fifty years before.
    “We’ve been through a lot together,” he whispered.
    He had decided to become a classical musician in junior high, a time when neither of his parents believed he would take it seriously. Tom smiled at the memory of that first violin which, no matter how many times it was tuned, always skewed the C low. By high school, his parents had finally realized how serious he was and had purchased a custom violin from the music store on 5th Street.
    Tom leaned down to pick up a poorly aimed Frisbee but decided his back was sore enough already. Besides, his swollen wrist probably couldn’t have thrown it more than a few feet.
    The young frog watched with curious yellow eyes as Tom instinctively protected the violin when a boy in a red tee shirt gave him a weird look before grabbing his Frisbee and running off.
    Julliard had been an amazing experience. Neither Tom nor his parents had expected him to be the top student, not just of his class but of the entire decade. He remembered the trophy and wondered if he could even find it in his dusty attic. It was also at Julliard that his parents had somehow scraped up enough money to purchase a beautiful instrument with a gleaming black body that could sing almost as well as his Stradivarius. If only he had learned martial arts a few years earlier, he might not have had to smash that Strad-copy over the head of a hoodlum while walking home one night.
    Flexing his arthritic hands, he wondered how much good his black belt in Ninjutsu would do him now. In the twilight of his years, it almost didn’t seem to matter.
    He closed his eyes and ran his thumbnail across the violin strings. The notes were as clear and beautiful as they had been that first week at The Symphony. He could still hear the raucous clapping as the audience rose to its feet to watch him perform a Bheethovenic solo…while also playing the harmonica. Even the conductor had stopped to watch—
    “What are you doing, Tom?”
    Tom opened his eyes to see a skinny blond boy with severe acne approaching.
    “I told you to leave it alone!” The blond boy snatched up the violin and stuffed it into the cloth case beside the bench.
    “That’s no way to talk to Boston’s finest violiner,” Tom said.
    “We’re called violinists not violiners, you idiot,” the boy quipped. “And if you touch this again I’m going to tell your mom. “
    “No respect for your elders,” Tom announced getting to his feet. His aches and pains were suddenly fading away.
    “The bell just rang,” the blond boy said.
    Knowing he’d already been late twice this quarter, Tom raced toward homeroom. Along the way, he scooped up a rolling basketball and tossed it…to a past teammate who had been kicked out of the NBA for drinking too much Red Bull.
    “Lebron called last night,” Tom said. “He’s refusing to play unless I sign on with his team.”

  7. I’m practicing writing sword & sorcery fantasy because I want to write a fantasy novel some day. So here is my entry.

    Title: Remembering Her Father – by Mark Wilcox

    “No,” her father screamed as they ran towards the mouth of the cave to escape. They knew if they were trapped, there would be nothing to do but to wait to suffocate.

    Golvag the dwarf nimbly tucked and rolled her body, between the boulder and the opening. Her mother had been a gymnast in the King’s court and had caught many a man’s eye in her time. She had been “awarded” to her father after a battle. They had raised her so that while Golvag was beautiful enough to be a courtesan – they refused to have their daughter be in the position to be awarded to anybody.

    “Thankfully father, we escaped that trap,” she said as she turned.

    She fell to her knees and screamed.

    And grabbed for the only portion of her father she could see, his tiny hand, stretched out between the boulder and the cave. The pool of blood rapidly turning the sand to red.

    “I will avenge you,” she said and ran up the mountain.

    She swung her axe with a fury that would have made the Gods hold their breath. She flipped and jumped and hurdled. Tales would be told of her charge for generations to come and everyone who would hear them in the future would say they were too grand to be true. What they would not know is that they were actually too small.

    She flipped over the last goblin and came up to the troll who was playing a violin. The Troll violin was carved from the shaved ankle bones of the dragon children they nursed and strung with the hairs of unicorns they had slain for their feasts.

    “Ah Golvag, I have heard so much of you,” the troll said. Golvag realized this troll was also female. She had never heard of a female troll leading a battle.

    “You will die troll,” Golvag said as she came rushing at the troll with her battle axe raised. The troll deftly moved and pulled back with her violin bow and slashed at Golvag.

    The violin’s bow string had been highly polished and shaved so that it was sharper than most swords.

    Golvag saw this, ducked, feeling the bow slice off a good chunk of her flowing red hair and she swung her axe to the side.

    Slicing the troll deep into her side.

    The troll fell and the battle came to silence.

    Golvag ducked and rolled and came up standing up facing the troll.

    She reached down and grabbed an emerald frog pin, the troll had used to hold it’s purple hair in place.

    “I see you are grabbing a trophy,” said one the other dwarf warriors who had managed to make it up the hill after her. He would not mourn her father because he had been indoctrinated that no individual dwarf’s life mattered more than another’s in battle. They would all be remembered in the giant pyre at the end of the day.

    But trophies could always be celebrated.

    “No. It’s not a trophy. It’s a reminder. A reminder that you will never be able to outrun them all,” she said as Golvag pulled her own hair back and pinned it with the emerald frog.

    And that I will never ever forget you Father she thought as she walked down the hill.

  8. Violin Intentions

    “I’m tellin’ yer, Joe,” Betty said, “my frog was the only reason my daddy stopped touching me. Sure, I was a little bitty thing back then, but I know’d what I seen.”

    The bartender continued washing the few glasses left over from the eleven o’clock rush. Everyone had already gone home for the night. Betty was holding out surprisingly well. A couple of weeks before, she had become a regular who usually had to be walked outside and propped against the building at closing time. He glanced down her low-cut dress, becoming more convinced he could look past her age this once. She was his “type” in most other ways, including that no one would likely miss her if she vanished.

    He liked that kind…a lot.

    Betty slammed her empty glass on the wood counter.

    “Sure could use more o’ that rotgut!”

    At one of the only two occupied tables, a middle-aged man wearing a dark blue sports jacket sat next to a woman wearing a man catcher. The tiny red dress hugged every curve, even the ones brought on by too much beer and pretzels. As the man continued to make small talk, Joe wondered why he felt the need to wine and dine a women he ultimately had to pay anyway.

    Joe poured Betty another drink.

    “So my daddy never violined me again,” Betty finished.

    “You mean violated?” Joe asked, peering down her dress again.

    “Yep, that’s what I meaned,” Betty agreed.

    Joe was silent. What did he care if her father diddled her?

    As usual, she held her drink just below the counter, almost as though she liked the feel of ice against her thigh. Joe could think of something else she might like against her thigh.

    “Little girl’s room!” Betty announced, sliding her empty glass on the counter. “Another one, Joe.”

    She tilted as she walked, almost as though her purse were filled with bricks. He couldn’t help noticing that beneath her stained and baggy jeans was a glorious slender frame. Hunger did make women enticing, he thought. He’d seen it dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

    He missed being overseas. The women surrounding U.S. military bases were amazing. And it helped that most were afraid to talk afterwards.

    Joe placed another clean glass on the shelf under the counter.

    Screw them, he thought. It was their loss when they kicked him out.

    Betty returned walking a little straighter, but her eyes were still glazed.

    Joe glanced at the clock: only ten minutes to one. He’d decided it was time Betty had a roof over her head, at least for part of the night. After everyone else was gone, he escorted her to his car then locked the place up. She snuggled up to him as they drove the half-hour to his storage unit.

    “Nice place you got,” she mumbled as they parked in the dark alley and he rolled the door up.

    He flipped the battery lantern on before throwing her onto the blood-stained mattress. He’d been meaning to replace it.

    “I thought you might be the one,” she said, pulling a large water bottle from her purse and emptying the liquid onto the mattress and floor.


    She smiled. “Never was much fer drinkin’”

    He tried to kick her, but she suddenly seemed much younger and rolled lithely away. Something flashed and sliced across his chest and hand. She held up a long knife with a silver frog on the handle.

    “I’m not going to be violined again,” she said.

    “I don’t….”

    “Even homeless women’s got friends.”

    The frog went to work.

    • Hi, everyone. I wasn’t trying to submit twice for the contest, but I had this other thought I thought you might like to see 🙂

    • Oops, ‘just realized Betty has on both a dress and baggy jeans. Let’s pretend I meant it and that the dress is being worn over the pants 🙂

    • Tim, I liked your play on words here. Gave me a laugh. Now, which story am I supposed to be considering? Lol

      • Hi, Suzie: I thought your smile might have come from the end of the first story, and I was worried I might get banned forever for the second:-). In regards to which one you should use, Tammy said I should let you know I have a third if you’re interested (true).

        Seriously, I think it’s only fair my first attempt be the official one.

        By the way, I’m pretty sure Tammy’s going to post a story, too.


    The band was scheduled to play at the local bar, for the benefit at 9:00 p.m., sharp. It was 8:50 p.m. now, and so far only Rof, the bass player, and Arty, the drummer had put in an appearance. Rof was steadily thumping away on the huge strings of his monster bass, keeping a constant tempo with his fat webbed foot. He couldn’t take his eyes off the clock on the wall though. It seemed with every pat of his fatty foot, and thump of his glompie hand the clocks incessant tick, permeated the room louder, and louder. He knew that he had told Pimpo several times, the time of the gig. He had fortified his instructions sayiing, “Be there early.” Rof could feel his patience wearing thin. This benefit was for his friend Rippit. Rippit had a very large family, including twenty-one children, sixteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Of course there were various other additions to the family, that no one was certain of. Rippit had fell off a log, a freak accident, injuring his foot. This injury had prevented him from going to work at the, “Slim Factory,” where he had worked for some six weeks now. Unable to bring home the bugs, so to speak, he was in deperate need of financial assistance. Rof had been talked into the gig by Pimpo in the first place, so now he was very upset at being stood up. Rof was about to call it quits when Pimpo came strolling into the bar with violin in hand. Mighty cheers could be heard, as every frog in the place started jumping up and down and all around. Pimpo waved his fans of, and strode up to the stage like he owned the place. Then he started to play. It turned out to be a wonderful concert, and lots of bugs were donated to Rippit and his various family group. So all in all, Rof was pleased with the outcome. He couldn’t stay mad at his friend for long, after all, no other frog could play the violin like Pimpo

  10. Thank you Lynn.

  11. Tim… If the setting had been L.A. … it’d have been a Hare Krishna fondling a Pet Rock and a home boy carrying a sub-machine gun in the violin case 😛

    NOTE: Edited for a typo… Mental memo to myself.. stop posting at 1 A.M. while running a 102 degrees fever.

    • Oh Edwin, I hope your fever is down. Chicken soup really does have some good effects on a fever. There have been studies on it, good money spent to study chicken soup. My vote would have just been on, ‘just the taste man, just the taste.” Get well, and feel better!

    • Edwin feel better soon. I guess we should call you a trooper if you were up that late typing with a fever.

  12. Hello everyone. Just wanted to let you all know my electric got knocked out yesterday so couldn’t get back online until today. Thanks for all the story submissions so far. It is going to be tough deciding who the finalists are!

  13. Suzie, Just had to throw that in for good measure, the pot needed a little more flavor, so to speak..

  14. Guilt is Sometimes Called Tony

    Even though it was a very long time ago, I was very excited when Tony first came to live with Mom and me.

    I was just two when Mom bought me my own fish tank. It was a big deal because we had tanks everywhere but I was not allowed to touch them, this one was just mine. We set up the fish tank with rocks and a treasure chest with a lid that opened and closed like a mouth with the air bubbles. I picked green rocks, it was Mom’s favorite color but I really like green too. Then nothing, the tank sat there running with no fish for forever. Mom just kept saying “not yet the fish will die if we put them in to soon”. I asked every day “can we get fish today?”, she always said soon. Then one day, I asked and she said “let’s go for a walk”.

    We walked to the Aquatic Emporium, it wasn’t very far from the house. She said I could pick any fish as the *star* of my tank, then we would get other companions that get along with the star. The first fish I picked was almost as big as my tank and very colorful. Mom laughed and said “we have to go to the next room because these fish took the wrong kind of water”. The the next room didn’t seem as colorful and Mom already had many of the fish in here. I took an hour looking in all the tanks and finally found the perfect pets. A little brown frog and a big pink frog, we didn’t have any frogs so they would be special. Unfortunately, almost all fish would be food for them so we got some small guppy feeder fish too. They also ate floating sticks so we got them a big jar.

    I had fun picking the frogs and naming them, the small brown frog I called Tony and the big pink one I called Sarah. Sarah died about six months after I brought her home. We got another pink one because I didn’t want Tony to be lonely but the next one only lived a year. Tony was not much of a fish eater he really like the floating food sticks, so instead of getting another frog I got some fast fish to keep Tony company.

    As I got older it was neat to tell my friends that I had a frog at home. When they came over I would show Tony off. But Tony never really did tricks and I couldn’t take him out of the water. He would come for food and take it from my fingers but that grew old just like Tony.

    I moved away a few years ago to take a job out of state. I had to leave Tony behind but I have two cats now. I’m ashamed to say, I forgot to ask about Tony the last time Mom came to visit me. I was just so excited about the new electric violin I bought, I had to show her what I’d learned so far, even if it was only two songs. She said it was ugly without a real body, that it sounded like a fiddle and laughed. She may not like it but I think I’ll be very good someday so I’m going to keep practicing.

    A couple of months ago Mom said Tony was getting pretty slow at feeding time. I’ll have to remember to ask about Tony, the next time I remember to call Mom.

  15. Violin and the Frog Motion

    Scott got the call Friday afternoon. He’d been on his way to inspect a Ferris wheel at Michigan’s most notorious theme park. Everyone knew that if the Britwell family didn’t do a better job maintaining their equipment, the state safety commission would soon be shutting them down. But, until then, their little slice of consumer danger was one more piece of machinery in Scott’s job security.

    Scott tried not to let his irritation show as his cell phone went to voice mail twice before he could pull into a rest area. His job had already been threatened once when the dash camera caught him on the phone while driving. He pulled all the way into a parking space and ignored the woman in a white Volkswagen bug that called him a “Jerk!” as she pulled out of the neighboring space.

    Scott glanced down at his phone and froze.

    “Violin,” he whispered.

    Hands trembling, he punched redial.

    “California State Police, Detective Stedman,” a deep-voiced woman said.

    “I’m returning a call.”

    “Mr. Castinada,” she said.

    “I go by the name Gobeil now,” he told her.

    “I’m sorry to hear that,” she said. “I knew your father, and for what it’s worth what happened wasn’t right.”

    Scott didn’t respond.

    “I’m sorry to say that we found your sister’s remains late yesterday.”

    “Violin,” Scott whispered. He’d always known this day would come, but somehow knowing didn’t make it any easier. He fought back the tears. Violet Anne Castinada had disappeared when she was sixteen. He had been just six. His baby name for her had become her family nickname.

    “You’re sure?” Scott said.

    “I’m afraid so. We’ve matched her dental records, so the DNA profile is only a technicality.”

    “Could I ask where?”

    He almost added “if I promise not to kill anyone,” but after what had happened with his father the comment probably wouldn’t have been welcome.

    “Your father was right,” the detective said softly. “She was buried under the mayor’s front porch. A contractor discovered her when the stairs started to settle.”

    Scott pounded the steering wheel, caught site of the dash camera and ripped it away. Two torn wires draped across the dashboard as he pitched the invasive machine behind the seat. Tears streamed down his cheeks.

    “Mr. Gobeil?”

    “It’s Castinada,” he said.

    “Will your attorney claim the body?”

    “Never mind,” Scott told her. “I’m flying home today.”

    Jonathan Bristol, his father’s attorney, was a thin man in his sixties with brilliant white hair. His suit probably cost more than everything Scott owned combined. He sat behind a black walnut desk bare except for a few documents.

    “I’ve filed what we call a frog motion,” he said, “to jump your asset case onto the fast track. The mayor’s family won’t have a leg to stand on with this new evidence.”

    “But my dad killed him,” Scott whispered.

    “Yes, but no jury would award damages knowing the mayor kidnaped and killed Violet. You should get back…,” He picked up one of the documents, “almost two million dollars after interest and proceeds from the Pasadena house.”

    “I don’t care.”

    “You don’t what?”

    “I don’t care. Your frog motion won’t bring my sister back or reverse the death of my father in prison. And it sure as hell won’t change your affair with my mother that let you milk her out of the only money safe from the lawsuit. She died broke in a nursing home because of you.”

    Scott pulled the pistol out of his pocket and fired twice.

    “Scott Castinada,” he said, “Violin’s brother…and my father’s son.”

    • Oooh, that is a dark story Tim, but very well written. I don’t know how you come up with these ideas but they are always intriguing!

  16. Okay everyone, thanks for your participation! Submissions are now closed. I have the three finalists on the most recent blog post here:


    Please do stop by and check it out. Also place your votes!

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