A few weeks ago I stumbled across a writing challenge called #ThursThreads where each Thursday brings a new prompt to write into your story. I kept thinking I should enter. The catch is the challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time on Thursdays only. One day only, challenge closed, and a winner announced. I was determined to enter.
Yesterday, I had cleared my schedule logged on, got the prompt, devised a story, wrote Graceland and submitted it before the deadline. I was pleased I completed the challenge and patted myself on the back. It was a win for me.
Today they announced the winners. My story was awarded an Honorable Mention.
Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum is a wonderful cemetery in Chicago. I visit every fall when the trees are glorious. The first image is one of the many mausoleums on the property and the setting for my story.
Below is my story, I hope you like it. To read other submitted stories and see the list of winners, Click Here.
It had been a long night when Detective Jared got the disturbance call at Graceland Cemetery. With Halloween a week away, he expected a toppled headstone. He drove the winding paths towards the squad’s flashing lights. Officer Fuentes stood outside a mausoleum the size of Jared’s garden shed.
“What’s up?” Jared asked, stepping from his car.
“Caretakers gettin’ keys,” Fuentes said.
“Yeah. Someone called the office, and she called us. Gates locked.”
“I thought this was a disturbance call?”
“Take a look.” Fuentes stepped aside for Jared to peer through the glass behind the wrought-iron gate. Inside, crypt doors hung askew, dirt and dead flowers littered the floor. One crypt door lay smashed in pieces.
“No forced entry. This is the only access,” Fuentes said.
The caretaker arrived and silently unlocked the creaking iron gate.
“This one is empty,” Fuentes said shinning his flashlight in a crypt.
“This one too,” Jared replied. “And the others? The others are all empty?”
“Looks like it.”
“Thirty-three souls, defiling consecrated ground. One was worthy. Return her to her rightful place.” The voice echoed on the marble.
Inside the mausoleum, a wind rose, creating a storm. The light dimmed. The iron gate slammed shut and Jared heard the key in the lock. Swirling dirt clogged his throat, he couldn’t breathe. Fuentes fell to the floor, unconscious. Jared fought, trying to stay alert.
“Please. Find me,” the voice called to Jared as blackness descended.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer