Monday, April 24, 2006

Entry #14

"You Say Monet, I Say Manet"
by J.T. Ellison

The funeral was over. Gran was in the ground. The twins were listless on the chintz sofa.

“Let the light guide you.” The rest of the family received cash, or property. The twins got a cryptic message and a string of numbers. Gran loved riddles. After hours of searching, they couldn’t figure it out.

Matt got excited as a patch of sunlight crept closer and closer to the sofa, but Mark scoffed.

“This isn’t the DaVinci Code, dummy. It’s not that kind of secret.”

“How do you know? Gran might’ve been a spy.”

Mark leaned back into a dusty afghan. They didn’t have much time. The apartment went on the market tomorrow. The treasure was here, he just knew it.

Shadows lengthened. An audible click made them both jump; the lights on Gran’s desk turned on. A timer. Mark glanced at the wall. The painting was a cheap print, yellowed with age. Gran’s favorite.

“Let the light guide you.” He heard the voice in his head, was up in a flash. Matt, his identical twin, had the same thought. Together they approached the framed poster.

Mark touched a finger to the print. Dust rose from the frame. With a quick glance at his brother, he pulled the print off the wall. There was a safe, with a combination lock.

“Get the numbers.” Matt read them off. The safe unlocked. Mark pulled it open.

Inside was a painting and a note. “Monet should take care of you. Love, Gran.”

[J.T. Ellison is a thriller writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She blogs at For more information on her work, visit Publisher’s Marketplace.]


Jaye Wells said...

I like the use of the lights as clues. I love how many ways that one picture is being interpreted.

Erik Ivan James said...

A well "threaded" story. I enjoyed it.

Bhaswati said...

A mystery with clues, which even gets resolved. And all of it in less than 250 words! Really enjoyed reading this. I was almost with the boys, trying to crack Gran's cryptic clue. :P. Good one :)

Mindy Tarquini said...

This is rich!

Anonymous said...

I am so impressed by the caliber of the stories submitted for this contest. What an amazing showing!
Thanks to all of you for your kind comments, this is my first attempt at a 250 worder. It was fun.

Robin said...

Really good story! My eyes couldn't read fast enough to find the answer to the clues.

Terri said...

Clever :-)

Lyn said...

"Gran was in the ground." Love it. Whimsical take on a funeral story! And in (your first try at) 250 words told everything we needed to know. Plus a sense of urgency. Think if they'd missed out on the money, er, Monet. Very well-crafted indeed. Lyndon

Lyn said...

PS Hey, I know Naomi Hirahara at Murderati! Crazy small world. lgp

Anonymous said...

Good story. Hard to believe it's your first 250 worder. Good job.

Esther Avila said...

Nice. I liked it.

Anonymous said...

What can I say? What a delight to read. And clever! Great weave of humor with a touch of mystery.

One of the highest scorers. Nearly perfect.