Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mystery Week: Part Two

Welcome to the second installment of The Nature Trail, the mystery story I wrote in five installments specifically for this week. If you're just joining us today, please take a look at yesterday's post, as it includes all of the rules for the giveaway. Plus, you'll want to read the first part of the story before moving on to this second part, unless you really want to be thoroughly confused!

The Nature Trail (Part Two)
By Amber Stokes

He hadn’t answered. When was the last time Callie had called and Ned hadn’t answered? She couldn’t recall, and the disappointment together with the fear had kept Callie awake most of the night, afraid she would throw up. Maybe she had caught the flu from a co-worker. It was that time of year, right?

In any case, the morning found Callie more nervous than a tree would be in a lightning storm. But as she grabbed a breakfast bar from the cupboard to go along with her cup of milk, the phone rang. Finally. A small smile relaxed her face, and she reached for the phone. “Hello?”

It wasn’t Ned. “Ummm…I…”


“The necklace…”

Callie stopped breathing for a moment. “What about the necklace?”

“It’s yours now. It’s supposed to be yours.” The man sounded uncertain, as if there was more he needed to say.

“What? Why? I don’t understand.”

But the man hung up without another word.

Why, oh why, didn’t she have caller ID? Not that it would have helped this time. What would she have done with an unknown phone number? The man could have called from anywhere.

Frustration surged through her as she unwrapped her breakfast bar, and she bit off a piece with vengeance. The fake food taste didn’t really make her feel any better. Maybe she should have had cereal instead.

After finishing her speedy breakfast, Callie decided to go to the post office. She could make it there before she was needed at work. And she was hoping to get a letter from her brother any day now, which would calm her troubled heart for sure. Her brother was always able to make her laugh and let go of her troubles.

Five minutes later and Callie was grabbing the mail from her box. Two letters were there, and one was indeed from her brother. Smiling with relief as she got back into her green Honda, she set that one on the passenger seat to savor later. Not seeing a return address written in the upper left hand corner of the other letter, she tore that one open.

It was from a woman named Pamela. Callie leaned back into the gray seat, searching her mind for any recognition. Unsuccessful, she finally scanned the letter once. And then again. Words raced through her mind, a veritable windstorm of confusion:

The necklace is just the beginning…go to the marsh during your lunch break on Tuesday…await instructions there…he’ll be waiting…

What craziness had she stumbled into? And how was it possible for this woman to know that Callie had the necklace—in enough time to send a letter, no less! Who was Pamela, and who would be waiting for her at the marsh? One thing was for sure, Callie didn’t intend to find out. She would rather take her chances staying far away from the whole mess.

Trembling, Callie threw the letter onto the backseat and started the car. She would drive to where she worked at the Foundation and hope that somehow all of this would go away. Maybe Ned would contact her at work. Maybe all of the questions she had would get answered. But most likely, neither of those desires would be fulfilled.

To Be Continued...


Amanda Stanley said...

Good Morning Amber!
This is such a COOL idea!! The Nature Trail is so intriguing and mysterious so far, and I'm holding my breath for the next installment (these "to be continued's" are killing me here, LOL)! I think I kinda have an idea about how it might end, and will be emailing you shortly with it :) But, please don't enter me in the giveaway, as I've already read those great books before! I just want to see if I'm right about the ending, LOL ;)

Praying you have a beautiful day, my friend!! And, thank you for a little suspense in my otherwise boring week :D

Amanda Stanley

Amber Holcomb said...


Yay! It's so fun to see you here, and I'm glad that the story has enough intrigue to make you want to read more! :)

I hope the answer isn't too obvious...I never actually had anyone read it the way it was meant to be read (in five installments). When my dad read it, he simply read it all the way through at one time. So hopefully it can be read like this and still remain a mystery, even with all the time in between parts to think on it! ;)

I hope you have a lovely day, as well, and I'm so glad you could stop by and share a smile with me today! :) I'll be looking for your e-mail!


Project Journal said...

Okay this one was shorter I think!!!

: P

Anyway, it's still good, no worries at all! Lol...I have NO clue...well I have one guess maybe, but I highly, highly doubt that it's right. So there, I think your plan is working sufficiently enough *grin*

Ugh...a little crampy tonight, lol! That's probably too much information, but I'm saying it anyway because it's true and making the night looooong!
Talk to you in a while,

Ashley (Ibreath2read) said...

Hey Amber,
Why. oh why did I have to get sick during Mystery week?!?! It's seriously messing with my sleuthing skills. I have my theories about the necklaces, Callie and Ned, but I think it might be a wee bit early for me to be forming a conclusion just yet.:)
I can't wait for tomorrow's installment and the chance to be that much closer to figuring out the secrets that nature trail is hiding. ;)
Love Ya,

Amber Holcomb said...


Well, soooorrrry! ;) Just kidding! Don't worry; I think some of the coming installments might be a little longer. I'm pretty sure they average to about the same length each, but maybe not exactly... Oh,well... ;)

Oh, and I'm so glad you're not sure what's going on yet! Hope that doesn't sound bad, but it gives me a small measure of comfort to know that the ending isn't completely obvious. :)

Anyway, I hope you feel better! It's definitely no fun to feel crampy. :(


Amber Holcomb said...


Oh, I'm so sorry you're sick! :( I hope you feel better soon!

That's great that you have some theories already! I'm sure that if I hadn't written the story I would probably be clueless. Maybe... ;)

I'm so glad to hear that you're anticipating the next installment! :D It's nice to know that it's not a really boring or obvious story. And I just love the nature trail! I wish ya'll could walk on it with me--it would really bring this story to life if I could point out all the places I'm describing!

Talk to you soon!


Project Journal said...

Lol Amber! I was just teasing ya....

: P

I don't really care the length, but I was like WHAT!?!? When the excerpt just kinda ended on me : )

Nope, like Ashley said, I htink it's a bit too early to be drawing my final conclusions yet...I just want to find out the ending!! LoL!

And it's better this morning, hopefully it stays that way *crossing fingers*

Last night I was all too happy because I got to watch a couple episodes of Ugly Betty!!! Have you seen this show?! Awesome, though I don't know if you would like it...maybe you should try it sometime. I htink you'd like the concept, but not necessarily every aspect of the show? I don't know if that makes sense! Lol...

Okay, gotta go grab something quick to eat in the cafeteria before class!
P.S. Ashley feel better soon!!! : (

Amber Holcomb said...


I know. ;) I was trying to leave off at semi-suspenseful parts, so that it would make ya'll want to read the next day's installment. Is it working? ;)

And don't worry...in a couple of days the ending will be revealed (if you haven't already guessed by then)!

I'm glad you're feeling a little better today--I hope it stays that way for you! I confess that I haven't see Ugly Betty, though I think I've heard of it. And I think I understand what you're saying about liking the concept but not every aspect of the show... I'm not sure if I'll ever watch it, but you never know. ;)

Thanks for stopping by; I hope the next installment is enjoyable to read!


Project Journal said...

Yes, it's working! However, I try to hold off until later to read it then opening the post first off in the morning ; )

Well, when you come to visit Vermont (*wink*) we will for sure sit down and watch it! You should just try it I guess. I own all four season, yes I'll confess! But it got cancelled this year, so that's it...sadly : ( Okay, I'm glad we have that plan now! LOL!

Off to work on my personal narrative : / Ugh!

Amber Holcomb said...


Oh, good! :) And that's cool that you can wait to savor it later (hopefully you're referring to savoring and not procrastinating...). ;)

It would be so fun to visit you in Vermont, believe me! :) Maybe someday...

Good luck on your personal narrative!


Project Journal said...

Lol....yep definitely waiting to savor it! Plus I like to do my homework now and do the fun stuff later! Sometimes it makes for a long evening with not that much to do, but otherwise it really helps to pass the time!

Ummm yeah someday, it'll happen! I've already been to Oregon *wink* It really is too bad that it didn't work out....ah well....like you said someday. I haven't met any of my blogger friends and it makes me REALLY sad! It. Will. Happen!!

Thanks...I got the three pages done that I need for class tomorrow. Then I just have to write up to another two pages over the weekend....not too bad...
Talk soon!

Amber Holcomb said...


Yay! :) You are such a wonderful example--I really need to do some homework now. ;)

It is too bad we didn't get to see each other in Oregon, but it would have been really hard to coordinate it. However, I hope we all get the chance to go to an ACFW conference or something like it together someday! Wouldn't that be awesome? ;)

As for your paper--way to go! :D