FIRST LINES/LAST LINES:
Toy guns can’t kill people – or so I thought. (contributed by a reader)
Today I got the phone call. (contributed by a reader)
Henry said, “Do not wish me a Happy New Year.”
Helen dropped the last of his photographs into the trash.
Why wasn’t I surprised that the light switch didn’t work either.
I hoped they remembered the old adage, “Don’t shoot the messenger.”
We’d never make it before dawn.
They were not her people. Helen realized she was lucky to still be alive.
One of these days, I’m going to say no.
I agreed that Henry was a puzzle, but I was the only one who thought a couple of pieces were missing.
It’s bad enough when your ex-boyfriend calls you, but when the call is from his mother, it’s time for action!
I knew that sound. Dragons.
I thought space was supposed to be silent.
We didn’t know it would be our last sunset at the lake.
Tires screeched. I turned and ran down the alley.
He lit a cigarette and watched Henry close the door.
Who’s that woman in the photo?
Two years ago, I swore I’d never come back here again.
It’s not unusual to find odd bits of paper tucked into library books for a bookmark, but this time it was a letter.
Some jokes just aren’t funny.
“Next time,” said Henry, “we’ll plan our escape in better weather.”
“Moon Base Omega failed to report, sir.”
We heard the approaching horses (car) and hurried further into the woods.
I was not ready to admit defeat.
“This is the last straw!”
Henry looked guilty.
Helen looked up from her reading and her book fell from her lap.
I’d always wondered what real fear felt like. I was sorry I found out.
Monday was supposed to be the worst day of the week. Today had it beat by a mile.
We all felt the cold before he entered the hall.
Breathing at this altitude was harder than I thought it would be.
“Are you sure he’s here?”
Low battery. Exactly the two words I didn’t want to see right now.
After sitting at the same desk for three years, I figured I was beyond seeing anything new. I was wrong.
“Have you seen this?”
Rain turned the narrow path into a steam of mud and dead leaves.
The man’s face glared down from the picture frame on the wall.
We smelled the smoke before we saw the flames.
Going on this vacation had been a mistake.
I was sure that I someone move past the window.
Henry died two years ago, but I saw him for the first time today.
“What do you mean, you’re out of lemons?”
Unlike Disneyland, my hometown was not the happiest place on earth.
A day at the mall. I’d agreed to spend a day at the mall. An hour was my usual limit.
The voice on the phone was warm and convincing.
The flames had nearly reached the stables.
Bill looked up at the flag to check the wind.
Helena reined her horse back to a walk. She needed time to think.
“When was the last time you saw him?”
He reached for the knife.
If school sucked, then Mr. Wentwhistle’s English class was the largest Dyson in the building.
I always liked the number 24.
The old man leaned forward over the table.
“No. You unwrap your present first.”
I yanked out my ear buds. That noise had to be a scream.
Margot always ate her vegetables first.
The smell of smoke lingered long after the blaze had died.
I huddled in the stern as the sea slammed the little boat.
Why was her floor covered in broken glass?
Yellow leaves crackled underfoot.
Ben pulled the brim of his hat further down over his eyes.
The cave was dark, but at least it was dry.
The last thing Helen needed now was a crying little brother.
“Storm’s coming.”
Where’s Ralph?
Yesterday I would never have guessed that this could be true
The sword felt heavy in her hand.
Flight was second nature to him.
My best friend is a ghost.
My mother always said that it was better to ask for forgiveness than for permission
I was beginning to wonder if driving a car was something I should be doing with a cranky Dalmatian in the back seat and a migraine pounding behind my eyes.
Some tunes bring back the wrong kind of memories.
I’d thought the carpet was clean until my face made close and painful contact.
At times like this, I knew better than to ask, “Why me?”
Was I the only one who had noticed that there’d been no squeal of brakes before the car hit the gate post?
“Carly hates me.”
Peter hid under the table.
The jewels sparkled in the sunlight.
Marcus pulled his cloak more tightly around his shoulders
“When was the last time you saw Henry Marsh?”
Margot closed the book she was reading and turned out the light.
Mondays never go well.
How can someone get lost twice in one day?
Is that a threat?
I definitely didn’t like the way those lights were flickering?
So young.
I had nothing left but thanks.
Sunsets will never be the same again.
Kisses are just the beginning.
Typical Michael.
Tom had everything, except …
If you couldn’t arrange a solar eclipse to darken your day, there was always Henry.
The winter wind rattled the windows.
Dirt was fine—in its place.
He’d always had the perfect golf grip. The one he used on the gun wasn’t bad either.
Palm trees always reminded me of him/her.
Parker was definitely not singing in the rain.
I think that, after you lose your car keys three days in a row, you should just be able to stay home.
Pick up the sword.
That is definitely not supposed to be lying on my front porch.
Landlords must take special courses in how to be aggravating.
A bright orange sun crawled out of the horizon.
Only the desperate need apply.
I’d had a lot of experience with death, but this time …
If my smartphone was so smart why had it just called Jim?
Sam shivered. It wasn’t the cold.
White lace curtains fluttered in the warm breeze.
The air was thick with wood smoke.
I thought Play-Doh® was for kids until I saw the body.
Now I know what they really mean by “caught in the act.”
Erik loved the dark.
Red warning lights flashed on the console.
Remind me again why I wanted to be a June bride.
A black wall of cloud raced in from the west. Dead leaves scattered in the wind. Once again, the perfect setting for his arrival.
I refused to let them see me cry.
When I thought about the cabin, I only remembered the corners—the ones where I’d crouched in fear.
I never dreamt it would be still standing after all these decades, but then, if my great aunt’s diary was right, this simple weathered cabin was magic.
I hated classical music, so fortunately for me the concert was cut short half way through the William Tell Overture—sadly so was the conductor’s life.
Character 1: “Listen to the rain pounding on the roof!”//Character 2: “That’s not rain.”
“Share my umbrella, lady?”
“I thought you said this tent was waterproof!”
After two hours of the brain-numbing, thud-swish of windshield wipers, Carol stopped her car.
Marnie sat in front of her computer, staring at a screen full of photos. “Delete,” she whispered and the screen went blank.
A year had passed and it still hurt to walk in the house and not hear his voice.
Pat walked into the library and flicked the light switch. A flash, a hollow pop, and darkness.
Fine. I’ll do it.
If you’re hungry, you’ll eat it.
The next time I say ‘yes’ I’m actually going to listen to the question.
I thought this was supposed to be a vacation.
The sign says, “No Trespassing.”
In a perfect world chocolate would be calorie free.
Heartbeats shouldn’t be this loud.
Mike heard the click and froze.
Fences are for climbing.
Who says you never forget how to ride a bike.
The rain and the mud were bad enough; I didn’t need her smirk, too.
Alex threw the sack onto the table.
Just a few more steps
Only three days to save his life.
Even though the umbrella cast a wide shadow, I still wondered if dead skin could sunburn.
The candle guttered and we were left in the dark.
Dad’s tree was dying.
His watch has stopped.
Feet scrabbled into the shadows.
Only the body disturbed the smooth surface of the pool.
Put that down.
Dear Diary.
I didn’t expect to be happy he was dead.
This was absolutely the wrong time for the fuse to blow.
If I heard that whistle one more time …
His hand trembled as he closed the book.
The creature slipped into the long grass.
Only animals’ eyes are supposed to glow at night.
I didn’t need to smell the place to know why I hated it.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Haven’t you ever seen a knife before?
It will be here any minute.
Sit down, or else.
The wind was changing. I felt it in my skin.
Never lend Parker anything.
The sound of his voice never failed to make me cringe.
“I’d wish you a Happy New Year, but I have a feeling it would be a little inappropriate at a murder scene.”
Jasmine held the small shell, looking at it closely for a moment before putting it carefully in her pocket.
The icy rain clattered on the windows like an endless chorus line of rhythm-challenged tap dancers.
Winslow put down his pen and read the note one last time.
Eyes that green were definitely dangerous.
Mike’s Saloon was usually closed in the morning.
Where did you come from?”
The screech of gulls stopped her in her tracks.
Charlie read the inscription in the front of the book again. Now, what does that mean, he wondered.
After four days, Jeff had had enough.
I hated it when she smiled that way.
It didn’t take long to realize that, once they found the body, I was going to be suspect number one.
My boss was right. Sunday was the perfect day for a murder.
It was too damn quiet.
Outside the diner, a black pickup rolled to a stop.
Helen never looked good in red.
Jim said he’d checked the cottage yesterday. It wasn’t like him to forget to lock the door.
Beth put her mug down with a thud and jumped up from the table. She really had heard it. It wasn’t her imagination.
Chris woke to the sound of crying. It was 3 o’clock in the morning and he’d been alone when he went to bed.