The Case of the Mistook Cello, Part 2.

Part two available now, it’s a bit on the short side, but eh, all in good fun, I hope.  Let me know what you think! 

If you missed part 1, you can find it here.

            Trude painted.  Since the unfortunate connection between her torso and a bullet five years ago, Trude had given up much of the things in her life that had made her, well, her.  So instead of fighting back the forces of half-assed evil as a private detective, she fought back the forces of high-brow art with her “masterpieces.”


            Trude dipped the brush carefully into the pot of red paint, watch as the paint settled deeper into the bristles.


            She gently, almost with trepidation, raised the brush to the canvas, and let one smooth line of acrylic glance across the surface.  She set the brush down in triumph, stood up, and admired the piece in front of her.  It was done.  It was perfect.  It would bring accolades from around the world.


            “Yes, dear.”  Trude looked up the stairs of the misplaced antebellum mansion at Clair, her newly-teenaged, and dreadfully morose daughter.

            “You didn’t hear a word I said to you!”  Clair stomped her feet while screeching the words.  It was one last reminiscence of her just-passed youth, and she felt red-faced for having succumbed to it.

            “Of course I did.”  Trude looked back to her masterpiece.  Still perfect.  Still done.  “Now what was it you were saying?”

            The refrain of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” had just started blaring through the in-home stereo system, and Clair had to shout to be heard, “Dina wants me to come over for a sleepover tonight, and I need you to say no!”

            Trude rolled her eyes, “Why on earth would I do that?  It’s the weekend, go have fun for a change.”  Trude looked back at her painting and smiled.  “What do you think, Clair?  A masterpiece, right?”

            “It’s a paint-by-numbers.”  Clair said, “Of a clown. Mom.  Tryouts for first chair are on Monday.  If I don’t practice, I won’t be assured to beat Brittany.”

            “Oh, Brittany, of course!”  Trude looked up at her daughter with utter confusion.  She could never understand how cello could overtake the life of a kid, and make it more important than sleepovers, sneaking booze, and chatting about dangerous boys.  “You should go anyway.  You’ve practiced enough.  Go have fun!  Get rowdy!”

            “You know what?  I am just going to tell her you said no, because obviously anyone who does paint-by-numbers would never understand what it is to suffer for her art!”  Clair stormed into her room and slammed the door.

            Trude rolled her eyes and removed the clown painting from the easel.  She would frame it later.  Maybe she would give it to Clair for her upcoming graduation from middle school.  She rolled her eyes and giggled at the thought.  “Teenagers.” 


The case of the mistook cello, part 1

Hello reader-friends. I recently started this site to share serialized fiction in raw form, so that you would have something interesting to read a few days a week. Below is the first installment of my new story series about a former private detective and her daughter. I hope you enjoy it and feel comfortable leaving feedback. More to come on Thursday.

Without further ado . . . The Case of the Mistook Cello, Part 1

Trude eyed the door. The door did not eye her back. Doors don’t eye. They had made it through the security of the abandoned warehouse—hired henchmen were often easy to pick off with a bit of wile, and a bit of brute force—and this door presented the final challenge.

“On the count of three—“ Trude said, nodding to her partner, Jeannette.

“Trude—“ Jeanette whispered.


“Trude . . .”


“Seriously, I don’t think we—“

“Three!” Trude jumped and kicked the large, steel, non-eyeing door. The door did not, of course, budge. “Now . . .” Trude panted, “What were you saying?”

“I think it’s open.” Jeanette leaned forward and turned the knob on the door. It clicked open smoothly. “But I’m quite sure if you wanted to alert them to our presence, you were successful.”

The door swung inward to reveal seven men with guns. Yep, if that had been want she wanted, it was most certainly successful.

“Well well, Ms. Oliver,” a smarmy man with a treacherous mustache stepped forward, and said with grin, “So glad you’ve decided to join us.”

“Well, with invitations like these,” Trude reached into her coat pocket, pulled out a small baggie, and threw it onto the ground, “I wouldn’t dare miss the fete.”


“Not now, Jeannette. We’re bantering.”

“It’s the wrong bag!”

Trude looked down at the abandoned baggie on the floor. It was full of tissues, a sucker, and some bandaids. It was Clair’s emergency feel-happy first aid kit. She dug around in her pockets, locating a second bag and continued as though the mistake had never happened. “With invitations like these, I’d never miss the party.”

“I believe you said fete.” The villain countered.

“Whatever. Give us the Dixons and we’ll leave you to your pestering. What was it this time, Shelton? Taking over the world by overcoming the toy industry and boring assholery?”

Jeannette rolled her eyes. Trude had a distinct ability to make things worse merely by opening her mouth.

“Oh, you can have the Dixons, or should I say, a Dixon, but first, there is someone I’d like you to meet.”

“Oh please let it be a Kennedy.” Trude put her hands to her mouth as though she were a schoolgirl winning prom queen. Her sense of sarcasm was palpable, yet poorly refined.

Shelton shoved a small figure in front of him. Trude was so surprised she didn’t recognize the little person standing in front of her at first, so slender, yet tall for her age.

“Mommy? Can we go home now?”

Standing in front of Shelton, in the flickering fluorescent lights of the warehouse main office, was her eight year old daughter.

“Clair?” Trude dropped to her knees, and Clair started to run towards her.

“Not yet, Ms. Oliver, not yet.” A henchman set his firm, large hand on Clair’s shoulder, stopping her cold. The girl began to cry. Not the quiet cry of someone seasoned in the art of disaster, an adult. She cried like any child kept from her mother.

“What do you want.?”

“Oh nothing.” Shelton smiled. “Nothing at all. You can have, as promised, Mr. Dixon, you may have your daughter, and you may leave.” Shelton lowered his voice to be barely audible. “In a matter of speaking.”

As if on cue, an eighth man came through a side door in the office, leading an elderly man in a bathrobe and duck pajamas by the shoulder.

“Where is Mrs. Dixon?” Jeannette said, her voice quiet, hard to hear over the ventilation system of the abandoned toy warehouse.

“They took her! They took her away!” Mr. Dixon cried out, and tried to fight against the black-clad man holding him steady.

“What did you think you could do with a toy mogul, Shelton?” Trude asked, her time-honored role as private detective intersecting briefly with her near-decade old role as mother.

“And that, Ms. Oliver, was one question to many.” Shelton gave a near-imperceptible nod to his right. Another man—another black-clad, stereotypical, mindless henchman man—raised his gun, and fired. Trude crumpled to the ground in a wave of pain greater than they admit to in the movies.

The men released Clair, released Mr. Dixon, and disappeared through the door. As Trude lost consciousness, the last thing she heard was Clair, sobbing loudly, and screaming, “Mommy.”

Hello world!

This will be my second attempt at finding a home for my words. Within, you will find the Blogathon 2007 entries that previously resided at, a site that will soon go down forever.

In time, I hope to use this space for a variety of writing experiments, but for the moment, its primary function will be to host those entries as I work up the courage to edit and compile them into a book on the subject of destigmatizing mental illness.

If you are interested in obtaining the unedited entries bound in paperback, they are available for a short time on at this handy dandy direct link. If I ever raise enough money through Lulu for them to actually cut me a check, the proceeds will go to DBSA. There is also an option to buy the e-book version, but honestly, with the entries here (and I do hope this will be a semi-permanent home until I can afford to start my own site) there isn’t much point in that.

For those of you that supported my blogathon efforts with your sponsorship, thank you so much. I will be sending out thank you cards soon. If you would like your website linked here, please let me know and when I figure out how to do it, I will add it.

For those of you who were unable or uninterested in donating, I hope that you gained some level of understanding about mental illness either in yourself, or in those around you.