Shelly’s Side by Michelle Crowder-Soellner

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse | Word count:1200 | Genre: Drama/Part of a larger mystery

I could barely keep my eyes open on the train but the snow-covered trees outside were so beautiful, the idea of missing them ached – though I wasn’t exactly a stranger to pain lately. My back ached from the failed attempts to sleep on the almost comically uncomfortable airport chairs, but worst of all my heart ached. Well, not my heart , exactly. My emotional pain had manifested physically but it wasn’t the heart where I was feeling it. I felt it worst in my stomach, which was at turns ravenously empty and a churning sea of hurt. ‘Tony would appreciate the beauty of these trees,’ I allowed myself to think , and then because that thought sent my stomach churning, I closed my eyes and succumbed to sleep.
I had taken a taxi from the train station and was now arriving at the inn. As the driver helped me unload my luggage, I soaked in the details of the exterior of the inn. Snow-covered pines surrounded the building. Snowshoes were propped out front of the entrance. Pretty as a postcard. I felt thrilled…and then lonely. Though I battled the thought, it was there again: ‘Tony would love this.’

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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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New Life by Michelle Crowder-Soellner

Prompt: New Life | Word count: 1000 | Genre: 3rd installment of larger mystery

It was appetizer and cocktail hour so I ventured out of my room. I had napped and showered and was wearing my most comfy jeans and sweater.

Other guests were already gathered in the lobby, sitting on chairs in front of the fireplace. I found a lone chair and tried to sit without drawing too much attention to myself.

Almost immediately, a bald, mustachioed man said “Hello! I’m Neil, and this is Shiela. We’re from Wisconsin. Beautiful here, isn’t it?”

“Oh, um, hi there! Yes, very pretty.”

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White Lie by Michelle Crowder-Soellner

Prompt: White Lie | Word Count: 2500 | Genre: Mystery

The meeting had gone well. We were no closer to finding Amanda, but people felt empowered. And now they trusted me and would come to me with any more information. Win – win.

After the meeting ended, I made my way to the Rec room to mess around at the pool table while I thought about this Amanda business. This trip had turned into something more exciting than I had hoped. Who was hiding something? Well, surely we were all hiding SOMETHING…but someone or someones was hiding something that I sure as hell was going to figure out. I put the pool stick down. I decided to take a stroll around the inn and see what everyone else was up to. Because of the snow storm, we were all at the inn. Some of the couples had retired back to their rooms but the busybodies and the wannabe heroes of the group had stayed out in the various common areas, in case of any updates.

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