What’s the Mystery?

Another photo to prompt another mystery. What’s the mystery about a burning building in a cemetery? Here’s my beginning:

Even though Jace and I stood like a football field away, we could still feel the heat of the fire that ate up the caretaker’s building in the Union Cemetery.

Lots of people had come into the cemetery to watch: Father Mihalic, Mrs. Hudson, who worked as a janitor at our school, mean, old Mr. Olsen, Mayor Coleman, some other kids on their way to the middle school.

Jace elbowed me. “Did you see the mayor?”

“You can’t miss him.”

He was closer than anybody to the fire, except the firefighters, walking fast, back and forth, shouting if they were sure Mr. Delaney hadn’t been in the building.

“Mayor Coleman’s acting real upset,” said Jace. “Do you think he’s scared he killed Mr. Delaney when he set fire to the place?”

I tried to remember what we’d seen in the early dawn when we’d left the house because Dad had finally come home.

I shook my head. “I think he’s scared he didn’t.”

What’s the Mystery?

This photo looks perfect to prompt a scene from romantic suspense, in which a couple fall in love while trying to solve a mystery or fight a crime. If you love romantic suspense, what’s the mystery this couple could be involved in?

Romantic suspense is a subgenre of crime fiction I rarely enjoy. So this photo inspires me to take a twist on it.

We pounded down the concrete, under the road, Sean’s breath harsher than mine own.

We had to catch them. Had to. They were the key to the rest of our lives together.

Sean darted up a flight of stairs, and I followed him. If I had to be in this mess, I was glad he was in it with me. No one else had his courage and determination.

We raced along a catwalk that ran beside the deserted road. Below and ahead, two figures came into view.

Sean kicked up the pace. If he could just get close enough …

One figure stumbled, and the second bent over.

Sean stopped and raised his gun.

If he could kill them now, we’d be safe. No one would ever suspect my husband’s death was anything but an accident.

Sean fired.

What’s the Mystery?

October is mystery month on my blog. What’s the mystery this photo might inspire? Here’s my idea:

The two men talked as they walked, but they seemed more focused on each sound that made them glance over their shoulders or peer toward the end of the tunnel.

“It’s all set then?” said the younger man.

“Unless you have any more questions.” The older man adjusted his hat.

“Just one.” The young man stopped. “Should we go through with it?”

The moisture dripped from the ceiling of the tunnel.

His head bent, the older man said, “What choice do we have?” He jerked upright. “Someone ran across the entrance.”

What’s the Adventure?

Since I love to hike, I chose this photo for the last prompt of the month. It also made me think of those books written about hiking the Appalachian Trail. People who take time from work and family to spend months hiking have some purpose in mind. Either to find something or get away from something. For me, hiking is a way to get away from the pressures of routine life and feel more connected to the people I hike with and to God.

So what’s the adventure? Is the woman fleeing from her past? Does her past catch up with her? (Pasts have that nasty habit in books and movies). Is she trying to discover something about herself or someone else?

Let me know how the photo inspires you!

What’s the Adventure?

What’s the adventure that could happen in a grocery store? Depends on the writer. But I wanted a prompt that would get us thinking about adventures in very ordinary settings.

Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie. North By Northwest begins when typical business man Roger Thornhill waves over a waiter who is calling out for Mr. George Kaplan. Enemy agents think Thornhill attracted the water’s attention because he is Kaplan and the movie kicks off. And Then She Was Gone, a TV-movie my dad enjoyed years ago, stars Robert Urich as another typical business man riding a subway. He notices a preschool girl on the train. After she gets off, he sees a missing child poster and realizes the child pictured is the preschooler he saw.

So what’s the adventure for this photo? Here’s mine.

“Mom, do you want Cheerios?” I held out the cereal box to her.

Mom was staring down the aisle of the grocery store like she’d just seen a snake slither into it. “That’s-that’s ….”

I followed her gaze. A heavily bearded man was putting Raisin Bran in his shopping cart.

“It can’t be.” Mom whispered.

“What?”

Mom pushed our cart. “That man. He looks exactly like the father of a boy who committed suicide my senior year in high school.”

“That’s weird. Your hometown is a thousand miles from here. But you could run into his brother. It’s weird but not scary.”

Mom picked up the pace. “He was an only child.”

“Maybe it is the father.”

“And he hasn’t aged in thirty years? I’m pretty sure Rob’s father died shortly after Rob did. If Rob did die.”

I grabbed hold of the cart. “You said he committed suicide.”

“They found his car in the river, and he left a note in his bedroom. His body was never found. His girlfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and he was a suspect.” Mom’s stunned eyes locked onto mine.

I glanced around. “Which way did he go?”

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