Saturday 23 March 2013

Romantic Friday Writers Challenge for March - Driven to Murder

Driven to Murder! 

Welcome to Romantic Friday Writers Monthly writing challenge for the month of March. This time we are invited to write a story or poem using 1000 words or less, that must have these two elements: lovers and murder

This is how this challenge is described om RFWers' Challenges Page:

Anyone up for a bit of murder and mayhem; the intrigues of conspiracy and betrayal, either for political gain, money, or even - true love? RFW invites all stories of prose or poetry, up to 1000 words, with the theme that pays homage to the Roman God Mars (Greek equivalent Ares), patron of war and agriculture. Mars is depicted as a cold and impersonal God, caring more for the battle itself than the outcome.

To honor Mars (March) your characters will plot and/or implement a deceitful act under the guise of love. We're looking for motives; what does the lover hope to gain by the nefarious or altruistic act. We want to see themes of vengeance, manipulation, self sacrifice.

Any POV, any genre; just be sure your MC's are in love and have a self serving reason for the plotted course of action.


Here is my text:


Caroline Smith opened the front door and found two policemen showing her their IDs and a large photograph of a fashionably dressed young woman with long flaming carrot-red hair.

'Sorry to bother you at home like this, Ms Smith, but we have reason to believe that you may know this woman.'

Caroline stared at the image of this all too familiar face and was debating whether or not to say that she knew her, but decided to tell the truth.

'Yes, that's Ramona alright, Ramona Slope.'

'Do you know her well?'

'I used to', mumbled Caroline, remembering the last time they met; how Ramona barged in at her home and immediately began rummaging through her clothes-closet, trying on different garments, laughing at Caroline the whole time. Then Ramona wandered out to the kitchen wearing one of Caroline's favourite outfits, spilling wine on it and cackling like a witch. Caroline had to take Ramona's billfold and threaten to keep her ID, credit cards and cash, if she did not return her clothes and leave. 

'Yes, I used to know her, but I don't see her any more.'

'When was the last time you saw Ramona Slope?'

'Oh, that was several months ago. We had a falling out, and I told her that I never wanted to see her again,' said Caroline, 'Ramona had stolen some of my things and I didn't feel that I could trust her anymore.' But Caroline did not reveal the most important item that Ramona had stolen: Caroline's former boyfriend, Emil Klinger. It hurt to talk about Emil.

'We may need to ask more questions later. Will you be available this week?'

'Yes. I'm usually at home. Why are you so interested in Ramona? Has something happened?'

'Her parents have reported her missing, so it is important that you tell us what you know. Here's my card. Call me if you think of anything,' said one of the policemen and gave Caroline his card.

Ramona, thought Caroline. Maybe someone got tired of her insane laughter and practical jokes. What a waste. Such a beautiful woman, with no common sense or morals. A few minutes after the police had left, Caroline thought: But if Ramona is missing, where's Emil? Maybe I should have asked about Emil.

Caroline hated Ramona as much as she loved Emil.


In another part of town, Emil Klinger was hiding in the cellar of his grandparent's house that was emptied and up for sale. Emil still had a key. He also knew when the estate agent was to bring prospective buyers to look at the house. Emil took out his cell phone and dialed a number:

'Hi Caroline! It's me, Emil!' 

'Where have you been, Emil? There were two police officers here just now asking about Ramona. Have you seen her? Where is she?'

'Can't talk on the phone. Could I see you to talk?'

'Alright. Where shall we meet?' 

'I'm at Belle Avenue. You know what I mean.'

'I'll be there in five minutes.'

Caroline lived near Emil's grandparents house. She knew it was up for sale and instinctively checked the cellar.

'Oh Caroline, I've missed you so', said Emil kissing and embracing Caroline, 'Something terrible has happened.'

'Does it have anything to do with Ramona?'

'Yes', replied Emil looking down at his feet, still holding Caroline's hands. Emil went on to confess how he accidentally killed Ramona during a heated argument, and where he hid the body.

'But they're looking for her. Wouldn't it be wiser to turn yourself in and hope for manslaughter rather than a murder charge?' suggested Caroline. 'One of the police officers gave me his card. I'll go with you. We could tell them how terrible she was.'

'Yeah. But would they believe it? Would they believe me?'

'I believe you, Emil.'


Emil had trouble deciding what to do and Caroline did not want to act behind his back. Caroline returned home while Emil spent another night hiding in the cellar.

Margaret Thompson was an early riser and always went out with her dog every morning. This time her little Jack Russell became very interested in something buried under a hydrangea bush. 

'Come on, Sandy, don't dig up any old bones here. We should be getting back', she told the dog as she crouched down on the ground to see what was so interesting. Sandy, the dog, had uncovered a human hand with green nail polish on the fingernails. Margaret phoned emergency services on her cell phone and was then told to stay there until police arrive. In the shallow grave, the body of Ramona Slope was found. 

Caroline received a phone call from the police asking her to identify a body that might be Ramona, as her parents had requested to not have to do this.

Caroline took Emil with her to the police station. 'We have something we need to tell you', began Caroline after viewing what was left of her friend. 'This is Emil Klinger. Emil has something to say'.

'Hello, I'm inspecter Michael Hopper. Please, come into my office'.

'I think you may need to get a tape recorder for what I have to say', said Emil.

'Oh, I see.' 

A half an hour later, both Emil and Caroline were in tears. They told most of the long sad story of how Ramona had manipulated them and stole their money. Inspecter Hopper listened with a poker face, not certain what to believe.

'Can you prove any of this?'

'Show him the bank statements, Emil', said Caroline. 

'But this doesn't prove that she took your money', replied Hopper dryly.

It suddenly dawned on Caroline what a precarious position that they had landed in. 'I think we need to get legal council before we proceed, Sir.' 

'Alright. We can take a break. You are allowed one phone call'.


[Text copyright 2013 Christina Wigren] 

Word count 999 ('NCCO' No Critique, Comments Only)

P.S. Part of this story was a post for 'How I hate my beautiful friend' from September 20th, 2012.

Best wishes,


First commenter:

Donna Hole

Tuesday 5 March 2013

An Award from Sharon of Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails

I've received an award!  
Sharon of Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails has given me a Liebster Award.

Thank you Sharon! 

Sharon has written eleven questions for me to answer:

Eleven questions from me:

1. What is your favorite form of recreation?

Sleeping. When I am not working with some of my artistic or literary projects, which I love. I like to cook too.

2. What kinds of books do you read?

I read all kinds of books: non-fiction and handbooks for information. I love good 'how-to' books. I then I do read novels too. I like a good cozy mystery.

3. Why did you start blogging?  

I started blogging about my cat because I admired Daisy the Curly Cat's Blog so much. But my cat, Sara, was not as good of a fashion model as Daisy. Sara could not do the funny things that Daisy can do. I discovered that it was better for Sara and me to be ourselves as we are instead. I let Sara write about the cinema from a cats point of view, and she also showed talent as a cat-poet. (Read her poem for the letter 'M': 'I love them Mousies'.)
Sara Cat passed away (or as they say 'went over the Rainbow Bridge' a couple of weeks ago, so I may let the younger cats take over Sara's old blog. (See Sara Cat Writes

Then I started my jewellery blog, and it is now a strange mixture of crafts and writing!

3. Do you read books on an e-reader or prefer printed books?

I read printed books because I like the feel of paper. I would like to try a Kindle, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

4. Name two actors or authors you admire.  

Lars Hanson in 1919

From the past, I admire the Swedish silent film actor, Lars Hanson (1886-1965). He went to Hollywood and acted in several films until his Swedish accent put him at a disadvantage when the talkies made silent films obsolete. (But he continued his acting career in Europe.) Greta Garbo was his contemporary, but her film career continued with the talkies, as we all know. (See my post about Selma Lagerlöf first novel, Gösta Berlings Saga.)

I admire the author, Selma Lagerlöf (1858 – 1940). (see the same post.)

5. What makes you laugh?  

Oh, that's a hard question. I don't know. 

6. Which do you prefer and why: dogs or cats?

I love them both, but I have chosen to live with five cats because they are more independent and actually help each other. I don't have time to go out with a dog several times a day. But I do love dogs too.

7. When or where do you feel most creative?  

When I am well-rested, well-fed and come into a creative flow. I hate the myth of the starving artist. You work better as an artist if you are in good health. Just like any other occupation.

8. What is your favorite fast food or snack?  

I love Chinese food. Sweet and sour chicken and rice.

9. Do you have a special place you go to relax?

No. I don't have time for relaxation. I take care of the children and fall into bed!

10. Do you have a favorite comic strip?

Not right now. I don't have a newspaper subscription at this time.

11. If you could travel back in time, where would you like to go?

I would like to travel back in time to see my grandparents and father again. But I probably would not be able to take it emotionally. I would like to be able to ask them questions or just listen one more time to what they said to me, as a child, who was not listening very attentively at the time. I would like to take a tape recorder or at least paper and pencil.

Hmmm. Great story idea! Thank you Sharon! 

Best wishes,

First Commenter:
Sharon Himsl
Sharon Himsl's Shells, Tales and Sails

Insecure Writers Support Group Blog hop for Wednesday March 6th, 2013


Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh for starting Insecure Writer's Support Group.

This is my first post for IWSG. For those who are new to my blog, let me introduce myself.  My name is Anna Nordeman, I live in Sweden and my blog is supposed to be about the craft of making jewellery. But my interest in writing has let fictional stories sneak into this blog where jewellery-tutorials should be. It went as far as me trying to write a novel in November for NaNoWriMo, but I had to quit midway.

Let's look at what happened to me in November. I wrote as much as I could, but some days I could not write at all, and I got behind. It was impossible to catch up and I felt defeated, and decided to quit. NaNo is just not for me. I need a longer time, maybe just writing one day a week, like Saturday mornings while everyone else is asleep. There is just not enough time between all the small emergencies of two school children and five cats.

Another reason I quit NaNo was that I felt that I needed more time to think and do research. And I needed a better outline. I did not feel like writing a lot of bla-ha that would be deleted later. I have something I want to say when I write my novel.

I had already started reading how-to books on novel-writing and learned two important lessons: 

First, you need to feel free when you write your first draft. Keep the door closed, as Stephen King writes in his book On Writing. You need to feel free to just get that crazy story down on paper or a paper napkin or a bakery-bag or that envelope from the tax people. Get it down and then let it cool off a time. And then look at it again and revise it. Correct the spelling and grammar as you go along. And then open the door again and let others read what you have written.

The second piece of advice that I have seen in every how to book I've read is that if something is going to be needed for something to happen in chapter seventeen, a loaded gun or a parachute, you'd better make sure that you mention it, imply it or show it, already in chapter one. 

Having learned these two lessons, my writing has improved, even if I am still a long way from my goal to finish my novel and send it off to a publisher. But I have a plan. I'll get my novel written even if I have to get up at four am everyday.

Don't get me wrong. I love my children. I would probably be a very unhappy woman if I did not have them. I'd live in an immaculately clean apartment and roll my thumbs instead of living in the creative chaos that is our home at present. My children inspire me. I thought of a good name for a character in the middle of a heated argument between my son and my daughter, between 'He started it...' and 'I won't quit until she does.' They are my life-breath, my raison d’être.

This is my first try at writing this sort of thing. Be patient. I'll catch on eventually.

(I am number 304 on the list.)

Best wishes,

First Commenter: 

Roland Yeomans



Writing in the Crosshairs  

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