One Shot, Two Stories a Success!

The One Shot, Two Stories challenge was a success! Thank you so much to all of you who came through with flying colors, and added your line to the story. We so appreciate you taking the time to put in your two cents! It sure was fun and exhilarating to read each new sentence!

When Bella and I first started planning this, we had no idea how the stories would turn out. I have to say, our contributors are very clever and creative, with all the plot twists and turns. Like being on a roller coaster ride. And, somehow both stories came together, as characters that started on Bella’s post, appeared in mine.

I hope you liked participating as much as we did, and would love to know what you thought of it all. Even those of you who didn’t take part, we’d like to get your input, too.

As I read Bella’s, I almost fell on the floor laughing.  It’s so good, I wouldn’t be surprised if a producer comes along and wants to buy the rights to make a movie. Don’t believe me? Well, you can read the entire story below. Be sure to visit Bella’s blog, One Sister’s Rant, to read the story that was concocted on my post. Enjoy!

Olivia looked at the sprawled cat on the bench; the same bench where Ethan had proposed ten years ago. She wondered what Ethan would look like today if he was still alive. His death was still a mystery no one could solve…

The horror of it all flashed into her mind and falling on her knees, she wept forlorn by all the unanswered questions. The cat raised its head and looked at her. She smiled sadly as she remembered how when she had left for her morning walk just a year ago, Ethan had been sprawled across their bed much like the cat – except Ethan was snoring.

She started to sob again as she recalled the mounting fear she felt when she approached their driveway and saw that it was filled with police cars. Immediately, she knew Lucinda had something to do with Ethan’s death.

With adrenaline as her new best friend, she quickly packed an overnight bag, climbed into her beloved Ford F150 and sped off. She had to go back one more time to where it had all started, hoping against hope that it would help shed light on what had happened. She was shaking as she drove through the Vermont countryside, the trees a green blur, miles rolling out the truck’s worn out tires.

Gradually, coming to her senses, she slowed down, realizing that none of this would bring him back, and that, now, it was up to her and the cat to carry on the chicken plucking business he’d started and that she would have to learn. But no, she’d always hated that business and knew the only reason Ethan had taken it over was because it had been his father’s last wish. Tired and resentful, he had carried on, but with one eye always looking for ‘the big break’.

She continued on her journey to Vermont, hoping Ethan’s grandmother would be at home and maybe this time, answer her questions about that night. Ethan’s grandmother, Dottie, answered her door on the second sounding of the weathered brass knocker, her stark white hair framing a care-worn face from which bright blue eyes widened with surprise.

Realizing with a sudden jerk that her thoughts had actually been hovering around the house with police cars all over the place and red tapes to seal of the scene…She mentally shook herself to remind herself of why she was here.

Dottie’s house smelled like just-baked chocolate chip cookies and she felt the tears well up in her eyes as she remembered they were Ethan’s favorite. “Well, it’s about time,” said Dottie as soon as she saw Olivia, wondering if she’d finally come to hear the truth, and whether she was ready to tell it. “I’m sorry it took me so long, Dottie,” she said brokenly, tears trickling down her cheeks. “You look so beautiful despite the dark circles around your eyes, Olivia.” said Dottie. “Have a slice of chocolate chip pie,” Dottie urged, scooping up a heaping serving of the fudge-y, chocolate goodness and topping it off with a generous dollop of homemade vanilla custard.

Olivia eyeballed her, began counting up the calories in her head and blasted Dottie with, “You jealous heifer, trying to pack pounds on me so I won’t get back in my prom dress for the class reunion coming up.” Of course, all that was in her head, and what she really said was, “No, thank you, Dot, I’ve come about Ethan, for it’s time you tell me the truth of how he found that locket.” The same locket, which Ryan had given me on my 18th birthday, and proposed his undying and true love to me. “Locket? I have no idea what you are talking about, Olivia!” said Dottie. But now that you’re here, I may as well tell you that I know you used chocolate to cover up the smell of poison you mixed in with the flour in those cookies you used to make Ethan; that you meant to poison him because you thought he was cheating on you! You must’ve snickered at your cleverness!

Tears streaming down her face, Olivia screamed at Dottie, “Even though Ryan loved me, Ethan was the one I loved and I would never have hurt him!” Dottie tired of the drama, the endless stream of tears picked up the ashtray on the table to her left thinking of chucking it at her friend, but remembered the secret.

As she picked it up she realized that It wasn’t just the secret that triggered her memory, but also the folded sticky note attached to the bottom of the ashtray. Dottie quickly tried to change the subject and Olivia’s mood in a clever way …

A long silence stretched taught between them, as Olivia was overcome with the onslaught of bittersweet memories; Ryan’s loping walk, his windswept hair, shy, and oh so sweet, dimpled smiles and loving eyes. Eyes filled with a secret love…all for her.

Memories of Ethan also invaded her mind–his strong chin, the way he tucked her hair behind her ear, his crooked grin–but these were interrupted as the post it dropped to the floor. Olivia snatched up the post-it note and read it quickly before Dottie’s bony fingers grasped her arm tightly, forcing the note to flutter to the floor…she didn’t notice it float it’s way under the table.

One person did and had already started scheming how to gain from it all “ONE PERSON’S PAIN, ANOTHER ONE’S…”.

As she entered the room Sylvia quipped happily, “Hi dearie”. She had to get that note…Olivia stared at Dottie in complete and utter shock, not understanding how she could have missed all the signs. “Where did SHE come from??” Olivia exclaimed. “She was here all along waiting for you” – Dottie said with the hiss in her voice.

Olivia looked at Lucinda, or Sylvia, as she insisted she be called now, and knew her suspicions where next to confirmed–Lucinda had to be involved in Ethan’s murder and Ryan’s disappearance! She had come a long way to worry about the numerous name changes – Sly, Sylvia, Lucinda; she was still her number one suspect no matter what name she used. “You know Ethan gave you the moniker Sly for a reason, right?” she said without giving it a thought.

Of course it was Sly. And then she wondered how she could have possibly suspected Dottie and her chocolate. Dottie was Ethan’s grandmother, after all. Or was she?

“I’ll take that pie, after all, Dot.”

But she couldn’t eat .. she was here for a reason and she was determined to find out even if it meant dealing with the woman she now despised even more .

She got up , took a step towards Lucinda and ..…vowed to get revenge for her one true love, even if it meant both their deaths. But just as Olivia was going to grab Lucinda by the hair, Lucinda pulled a gun from her pocket and said, “Take one more step and I shoot Dottie.”“

As long as I can keep eating this cake,” Olivia said, grabbing another piece. “This is delicious, Dot.” “And besides, would you really shoot your own mother, Lucinda?” Olivia asked calmly, seeing if her nemesis would take the bait.

Dottie nodded, then said, “Olivia, if you still love Ryan, you should know that he’s here, in the other room and he remembers everything. In fact, he’s been asking for you.”

“Not if I can help it!” Lucinda screamed but just then, Ryan stormed into the room, grabbed Lucinda and yelled, “Grandma, call the police!”

As Olivia looked into Ryan’s eyes, she knew she had loved him all along and that Ethan had been an infatuation. Lucinda, forever envious, had killed him in a fit of jealous rage.

Except that Lucinda had been in Hawaii at the time of Ethan’s disappearance. Olivia took a step back from Lucinda and Ryan, feigning happiness as she fingered her phone in her pocket.

“Cut! Cut!” Quentin Tarantino yells on the set.

“People, I know we’re improvising here, but enough twists and turns! Dottie, take the gun and shoot everyone and let’s call it a day!”