Strangers in the Dark

martini night, suspense, blog contestDebra races home, ready for a martini, a bowlful of nuts, and a good book. She’s halfway through that suspense she picked up two weeks ago. What’s the title? Ah, Strangers in the Dark.

As Debra’s Toyota slides into the driveway of her home (well, she muses, not really her home), she notices that neighbor Eugene’s car is not in its usual space near the front walk of his split level.

Darn. Debra had hoped to invite Gene in for the nuts and martini. He isn’t a dark stranger, but he certainly keeps her nights from being lonely.

The open carport curves in as if to greet her. Debra uses her parents’ key to open the side door. The door she sneaked in at midnight as a teen. Until her parents died six months ago in the car crash, Debra hadn’t used that side door for 15 years.

The yellow kitchen wallpaper hurts her eyes as she switches on the light. One of these days she needs to strip the walls and paint them. A soft gray sounds nice. But really, why not just sell the small three-bedroom ranch? It’s not her style. Never was, even as a kid.

Debra dumps her purse on the old pine kitchen table, shucks off her shoes, and then sees it.

A pink-ribboned box sitting squarely on the yellow Formica kitchen counter. suspense, short story, contest

Where’d that come from?

Debra racks her brain to remember her morning. She’d brewed some coffee, sipped it while perusing the files for her client meeting, raced out for Philly by 8:15.

No box then.

Who else has a key?

No one. Well, the lawyer  gave her one set of keys after he read her parents’ will – one key to the side door and one to the front door. Maybe he has another set?

No. Wait. She’d given the front door key to Eugene in case she ever lost hers.

The box stares at Debra, just waiting. She unties the ribbon and slowly opens it. Her puzzled look doesn’t leave her face when the side door rams open, and two men enter.

“If you want to help your friend,” the stockiest man growls, “empty the box and show us the rest.”

What’s in the box? The first person who guesses correctly receives a copy (e-book or softback) of my romantic suspense Twin Desires.romantic suspense, Twin Desires, pageturner

140 thoughts on “Strangers in the Dark

  1. Nooo…I kept scrolling, desperate to read on and you leave us on such a cliffhanger!! 😀 Terrific writing that pulls you in and then, bam! Who are the men? What’s in the box? I have no idea but can’t wait to see what people suggest and for the final answer. Have a lovely weekend, Pam. Xx

    Liked by 5 people

  2. This is a great mystery, Pam. I’m taking a stab in the dark to say that the two men are interior decorators. They are holding Eugene hostage while Debra empties the box that is filled with paint chips. Under pressure they are going to make her show them through the house picking new paint colors for each room. Am I warm? Haha!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Her parents were part of a gang jewel thieves with Gene and the other two men and they raided a diamond merchant 10 years ago. Her parents and Gene let the other two men take the fall when they got caught and they were sent to jail for 10 years. Her parents and Gene have been selling off the gems bit by bit over the years. The men have just got out of prison and have been watching the house having discovered that her parents were dead. They have kidnapped Gene and forced to him to tell them where the other gems are. He admits that he has had some of the stones made into a necklace for Debra, but has no idea where in the house the others are hidden. He believes that Debra knows. Now tell me that its a sexy thong!!!!! hugsx

    Liked by 4 people

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  5. Maybe she has some private photos in there and they want to see more? Maybe she has videos that are for her eyes only. Maybe she has her two favourite books in there – The Right Wrong Man, and Twin Desires – and these men want a preview of the ms for the next novel. That must be it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ohhh, Yvonne! Don’t be mad at me! I DO always reveal the answer to my suspense blog stories, but usually not until the following week (or in some cases, the week after). Please, please come back next Friday so you’ll like me (and my stories) again. You are such a sweetie – thanks for enjoying the entertainment. xo ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhhhhh la la, Kathy, you are so hot you’re burning up (as in the hot and cold guessing game). You have used your knowledge of me as a “word” girl to make an interesting guess, my friend. xo

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    • “Keys” is a great guess, Patricia. Not clueless.. Not right, though. :-0 Sorry about that, but THANK YOU for playing the guessing game, and come back here next Friday to find out what’s in that darn box. 🙂

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  6. Oh dear, I thought differently from everyone else, and certainly didn’t consider treasure. I wouldn’t have thought I’d be the gruesome one. I thought a finger – a bloody finger. Better tell us all next week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • A BLOODY FINGER!!?? Never would have guessed that you’d guess THAT, Norah. But that’s what’s so fun about guessing games. I think we learn a lot about the guesser, in what she/he comes up with. 🙂 Hmmmm, you have a vivid imagination, but no surprise there.
      But, thankfully, no finger, bloody or otherwise, in that box. Come back on Friday to find out, okay? xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Debra, DEBRA! I thought YOU might guess the answer of what’s in the box, since I “borrowed” your name for my character.
      Sigh.
      You sure you don’t know??
      See you on Friday for the “final answer.” 🙂

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  7. Love it Pam! And have also been reading the thread and comments of guesses – such fun! Now, I reckon it’s an unfinished manuscript of something written by Eugene, but I’m not sure if it’s non-fiction, and implicates these two intruders in something or has clues to finding valuable treasure etc, or if it’s a novel and they want to pass it of as their own…hmmm I’m not sure, but I doooooo think it’s a manuscript, because you are a writer and – well apart from family – what has more value?!? OK…quite a few things, but certainly more valuable than money or jewels…and you can’t fit Peace, or mother nature in a box 🙂 I’ll be checking in next Friday to find out!!! Love, Harula x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, what a cliffhanger, Pam! What happens next? Well, I scrolled past all other comments, so I’m guessing on my own that the box holds either cash or drugs. 🙂 I’m sure someone else has guessed by now, since I’m late. But it was fun, nonetheless. Great story, and I want to know what happens. :)❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, she’s already puzzled by what she sees when she unwraps the box. “Empty the box and show us the rest…” they say, if she wants to help her friend. ??? It’s his finished manuscript he’s sent her to look over. A tell all exposé of his years …. and here are the bad guys wanting to see what’s in it.

    Well that was fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. When you take a leave of absence from all things computer related, you come in after the second installment. It was great fun reading all the comments, Pam. Now, I’m off to find the 2nd installment.

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