Bill’s List by Arthur Hall

Prompt 1:The List | Word Count: 1500 exactly | Genre: Childhood fiction (1950s)

The small cottage was dark but it was my safety, my home. The hallway was where I marshaled my armies and fought imaginary battles. Marbles were my cannon fodder and mother’s saucepans the targets. The kitchen was also the bathroom. Like magic you lifted off the work surface and underneath was the bath. My mother did that for me.

The neighbors were strange; the Turpins shouted and screamed at one another all the time and mother said they were disturbed and better to “stay clear of them”. So I did. The lady on the other side, Margarethe Baumgarten, was a picture framer and restorer. It said so on her wall which jutted out in front of our house. I think her nerves were not good because when I played football against her wall for hours on end, she became angry and said things which made me think she didn’t like children. Sally watched me play and kept an eye on me. She was under instructions from mother. Sally was a beagle mongrel bitch and my best friend.

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None by Michelle Crowder-Soellner

Prompt: The List | Word count: 1500 words | Genre:

I looked around the room and could see that what they all desperately needed was for someone to take charge. “Alright!” I said, and saw the mousy one named Shelly startle, “We can figure this out. We don’t have to sit around and wait for the police to get here. We can find her ourselves. I mean, best case scenario, she’ll show up here eventually and we’ll all laugh about how we turned into amateur detectives because some lady got pissed at her husband and took off,” Shelly all but rolled her eyes at me, a curious reaction, “but in the meantime, let’s discuss all our observations and make a list of clues.”
“You, red shirt, you seemed like you had something to say.”
Red Shirt’s eyes widened almost like a cartoon and he seemed to grow a couple of extra chins as he stuttered for a moment before saying, “I saw her last night- in the rec room. She was playing pool with him.” He pointed to the husband, who was sitting in the corner with slumped shoulders and his hands over his face. Oh, the husband, poor schmuck. Everyone in there who’d seen a cop show was certainly blaming him for the disappearance. And he wasn’t helping his case by sitting around moping. Lucky for him, I knew better.

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