Monday, September 5, 2011

And The Door Swung Open

This is an added bonus this week! As my regular followers know, I've joined Rachael Harrie's Network Platform Building Campaign. There are a few challenges posted over the next several weeks. This is the first. We were to write a flash fiction story in exactly 200 words that began with "The door swung open" and closes with "the door swung shut".) So, being true to my love of the history of the Palm Beach County area, I've pulled in Sir Harry Oakes and the Winter Golf Club (also known as the "Oakes Mansion" to scads of North Palm Beach natives) for my story. Hope you enjoy it!
                               THE DOOR SWUNG OPEN
The door swung open and as the lightning exploded behind us, we gasped. I had never believed that Harry Oakes actually haunted the Winter Golf Club. After all, he was murdered in The Bahamas, not North Palm Beach. But there he was in front of us, looking just like my cousin Tom swore he did when Tom saw him on the staircase.  I turned to run and tripped over a loose floorboard. My friend fell on top of me and we scrambled to untangle ourselves in terror. Sir Harry calmly turned from the window he’d been looking out of and gazed directly at us. We froze.  Harry moved toward us, he said, “I know who murdered me. The world needs to know so that I can leave this place.”
From the floor, we nodded slowly and clutched each other even tighter. We had heard the story. Who hadn’t? Harry’s son-in-law had been tried for his murder and acquitted. It was rumored the detectives had botched the investigation. The murderer could have been Meyer Lansky or any one of a half dozen other suspects. Harry sighed and started to talk. The wind screamed through the broken windows….and the door swung shut.

54 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this ! Nice sense of mystery ...
    Nice cliffhanger ... wonder what Harry was about to reveal ...?

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  2. Nice cliffhanger indeed! Well done!

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  3. Great job. I want to know more. :)

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  4. I wonder if they'll investigate the case.

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  5. Ooooh! A haunted golf club sounds like a great read!

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  6. Mystery and paranormal? You got to love it!

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  7. Ohhh, a mystery. I like it. This would be a great opening to a novella! ~ Nadja

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  8. Damn, I still don't know for SURE who the murderer was. I want to know!! Love the idea of a ghost not being tied to where he was killed.

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  9. Totally sucked me in. I love the terror and bumbling, so authentic!

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  10. I'm totally partial to ghost stories. :) You've set up a cool mystery here... I'm definitely intrigued!

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  11. Who dunnit? Seriously...I'm hooked now and I really want to know who took Harry and made him scary.

    You did a great job with this story.

    So uhhh...do we get to know who dunnit now?

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  12. Great story with a tortuous ending. ;) I want to know who killed him.

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  13. Oh I like that. It's actually a story. Of course, I want to know whodunnit.

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  14. Oh I liked the way they scrambled to escape and ended up having the ghost talk to them. Intrigue and action great stuff!

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  15. excellent murder mystery ghost story!

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  16. Wow, this is great! I love a good ghost story, and I enjoyed the humorous way the characters were falling over themselves in fright. Great scene!

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  17. Noooo! I want to know who it is! I love reading all of these. Mine is #72

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  18. Excellent! This is definitely one of the best.

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  19. But who did it? Gahh. Great job! I love ghost stories.

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  20. What fun! Great job! I'm on the campaign trail with you! ~Candy Lynn

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  21. Fantastic voice in this. Great job.

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  22. Ooohhh. Very good! Who killed him! I need to know! :)

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  23. Very good indeed! Hello I am William from the Palm Beach County Writer's Group.

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  24. Hi, from one of your short story group! Great take on the prompt; I'm excited for what comes next.

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  25. Thank you all for your wonderful, supportive comments! I'm having a blast reading all of the different takes on the same prompt.

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  26. So, in your opinion, who did kill him?

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  27. @ 1000th.monkey - I tend to think it was the gangster. Seems to me greed can be an overwhelming motive. A 1988 book called, "Kings X" which was re-published as "Who Killed Harry Oakes" (both of which can be found on Amazon.com) laid out a pretty good case for Lansky. Oakes was standing in the way of gambling in the Bahamas and we know how lucrative gambling can be. Even the Duke of Windsor had mud figuratively thrown on him in the aftermath.

    It's a fascinating story and one that is totally unsolved. Who really did it is anybody's guess. At least until someone's secret confession comes to life. As it's been over 60 years, it's not likely that's going to happen. All anyone has is theories...

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  28. Hi, Ruth.

    Interesting idea, 'believably' told. And like the others, I want the whole story!

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  29. I like this. I do want to know what happened. Forgot this was the 200 word challenge. Rats.

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  30. We love cliffhangers! Great job.

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  31. Great work, Ruth. Is this form of writing also known as micro-fiction? I seem to remember it from a while back. I loved your story, and I absolutely love the style and how you blend fact and fiction.

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  32. Anon, I'm not sure if flash and micro are the same thing, buy they'd have to be closely related if not. Thank you for your comment :)

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  33. Ok, that was supposed to be " but." Auto spelling on a cell phone can be a pain....

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  34. I want to know who killed Harry! Great job with the cliffhanger, this whole story really had my attention!

    Samantha
    Writing Through College

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  35. You've got a vote from me. Really good start...want to read more!

    Stobby

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  36. Hi Ruth,
    I'm Michele a fellow campaigner and also one of the many judges for this first contest. I roved the fact that you didn't tell us everything and left us wanting to read more. So I'm glad to tell you that you've been shortlisted as one my top 5 to move on to stage two. There will be a semi-final (stage three) and a final (stage four).

    Good luck.

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  37. Michele,
    Thank you SO much for the honor! I loved doing this little story and to find so much appreciation for it is mind-boggling to someone who's been writing all her life, but didn't start publishing anything until June of this year :) I am very grateful for your recommendation to move forward in the judging!

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  38. Ruth,

    Congratulations! You've been shortlisted to move onto the semi-finals. You are one of only 38 out of 384 entries to move forward, so this is a big deal. Good luck! Love the story and it kept me wanting more.

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  39. Oh my gosh! Miranda, thank you so much! I'm thrilled!!

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  40. This is superb. I definitely want to know more.

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  41. Hi Ruth, I'm another campaigner finally making the rounds . . .

    I like your flash fiction, I've only recently started reading ghost stories, so I'm definitely interested in how this will turn out in the long run. Good luck!

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  42. I love this and am guessing from your bio this really happened...
    I think I will order that book.

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  43. I'm intrigued. And I'm also in the same historical fiction group. Now I will go follow this blog and look forward to reading future posts.

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  44. Way to leave me wanting more! Most enjoyable :) Fellow campaigner here...looking forward to reading more from you!

    Marie

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  45. I love a good ghost story. Now I want to know whodunnit!

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  46. Nice scene set up. Now, Sir Harry, what were you going to say?

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  47. This was fun! Could definitely be a scene out of a paranormal mystery. Love the image of them holding onto each other, freaked out by the ghost. Quite the cliffhanger! (Sorry it has taken me so long...I am still working my way through the entries!!)

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