[Reader’s note: this is an unfinished story, featuring DHS Director Rich Little and Assistant Deputy Director, Michelle Hadar. Both significant characters in my thrillers NOT SO DEAD and NOT SO GONE. Let’s have some creative writing fun and try to finish the story together if you’re up for it.]

Let’s Go!

Takes 2 minutes! Read the beginning of the unfinished short story below and answer a few short questions – fill in the blanks in the Comments below. I’ll do the rest.*

The Gift

The early morning sunlight streams through the office tower’s tall windows. The sound of rush hour traffic six floors below pierces the silence. As she enters the Director’s office, Michelle spots the unopened package on Rich’s desk. “What’s that?” she asks leaning forward.

“Probably a bomb,” Rich snickers. “I have lots of enemies.”

“I bet you do. But if our DHS mailroom downstairs can’t catch a stupid bomb, we’re all in trouble. Security scans for everything.”

Rich starts to remove the bow and rip the black paper wrapping off. Michelle instinctively takes a step back. “Like all dangerous things, they only have to happen once,’” Rich says.

The unwrapped box is small, about four inches by six inches, Rich shakes it. Nothing. He smells it, “Hmm. Smells like burlap.” He slips it unopened into his government-issued metal top desk drawer and closes it with a clank., then asks “What can I do for you, Michelle?”

Charles Levin Author

“What? You’re not going to open it? C’mon,” she says. “You’re not even a little curious?”

“I have a busy schedule today. I’ll get to it later. Now, what did you need?”

“I can’t believe it. You, a DHS Deputy Director, former FBI agent, and LA Detective and no desire to investigate further? Maybe, some Viagra would help.”

“Didn’t need it last night, did I?” he winks at her, delighting in the sudden pink glow appearing on her cheeks.  “I don’t get the Viagra crack? What does one thing have to do with another? I’m just prioritizing my work. And _____”

“Open the freakin’ box,” she demands.

RIch slowly pulls on the drawer handle, “OK, OK. I was just having fun teasing you, “ He reaches for the box, flips the top open,  and removes a small burlap bag from inside. He holds it up dangling by its drawstring. “Oh my goodness, it’s… it is a bag. What will they think of next?.” He feigns putting it back in the drawer.

“Very funny,” Michelle says growing irritated. “Just cut the crap and open it.”

Rich smiles, “You never used to use foul language. What’s gotten into you?”

“You’re obviously a bad influence on me. I’m just a visitor in a strange land doing my best.”

“I wouldn’t have hired you to work with me if I didn’t think you could hold your own.”

“…And wanted to get into my pants,” she says with a sly smile.

“That part came later after Anita died. I’d never want to betray her or be accused of harassing you.”

“Then stop messing with me and let’s see what’s in that damn bag,” she says.

Rich opens the bag and peaks inside. His smile vanishes and he gasps….

How would you finish the story? 

Add your answers and/or your suggestions in the Comments below. I’ll choose one or two to complete the story in the next couple of weeks. The author of the selected ideas will get credit and a co-byline in the final story to be posted here.

What’s in the box? ____________

What power does the object hold or what does it mean? _______

What happens next? ___________

What’s the twist at the end? ___________

*Note: the goal of this post is to spark some creative writing fun and imagination. The stories posted on this blog are FREE for all readers. So contributed ideas in the Comments may have some fun and gratification, but there is no monetary compensation involved or promised.

P.S. My original fast-paced thriller NOT SO DEAD and the new techno-thriller, NOT SO GONE, are now available on Amazon. Read more about it. Better yet, buy a copy?
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