Write a Story with Me

[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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  1. Colleen Kavanaugh on August 20, 2019 at 12:40 pm


    What’s in the box? An eye tracker.

    What power does the object hold or what does it mean? Upon opening the bag and looking at the tracker, the disease Rich is hiding has now been diagnosed and confirmed by his enemy who has sent this “gift”.

    What happens next? He makes up a lie on the spot for Michelle so she isn’t aware he is ill, then runs to the bathroom, sick to his stomach over the realization that if (or in this case when) his diagnosis is leaked, his career (and life) is over.

    What’s the twist at the end? Rich is unaware that Michelle has become a double agent and is responsible for infecting him with the disease. She is the one who planted the “gift” in his office and now officially knows he is sick and soon to be physically compromised, which will work to benefit her during the upcoming challenges soon to be presented in their current investigation.

    • Charles Levin on August 23, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      Wow! You’ve really thought this out. The connection between eye trackers and disease diagnosis is a whole new tech approach to medicine. Very intriguing. You do have an evil mind when it comes to Michelle’s betrayal – shocking! Thanks for taking the time to share and look for the end of the story in a couple of weeks.

  2. Nessie Ness on August 23, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    What’s in the box? A small raggedy stained book with a clasp like a diary used to have. What Power does the book hold or what’s it mean? As he’s holding the book in his hands he feels a thrum thrum of power coursing through the book. What happens next? Even though the whole front of the book was unable to be read, a faint line of script appeared, “I’m Alive.” Whats the twist at the end? As the script became visible the Authors name appeared. It was His Grandfathers name.

    • Charles Levin on August 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm

      Very creative. Great imagination – kinda supernatural. Thanks for sharing. Stay tuned for the end of the story!

  3. MarleneClaire Steele on August 23, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    What’s in the box? A photo of a red headed woman in front of the burning Notre Dame Cathedral.
    What power does the object hold or what it means? It’s Anita, Rich’s wife, who died 9 months ago!
    What happens next? Rich falls backward into his chair clutching the picture and turns to Michelle with shocked wide eyes. Michelle asks,” what is it?” Rich hands her the picture, his hands shaking uncontrollably. “ what’s this, did you do this, is this your idea of a joke?” He demands, stalking towards Michelle!
    What’s the twist at the end? Rich travels to France and Italy, trying to find what happened to Anita. At the end he discovers the secret that led to her death. Along the way he finds evidence that Michelle was involved in hiding the truth, as well as proof that Michelle is also Anita’s sister, given away at birth!

    • Charles Levin on August 23, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Awesome! I love the mysterious photo and the international aspect. Great thriller plot with a twist. Seems by all accounts, Michelle is not to be trusted. Thanks so much for sharing your very creative storyline. I’ll keep you posted on how this develops.

    • Cynthia Jensen on August 24, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      I hope he chooses your storyline. It’s very good!

      • Marlene Claire claire Steele on December 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm

        Thank you, much appreciated. My teachers used to say I had a vivid imagination! At the time it didn’t sound complimentary, ha!

  4. Lee on August 23, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Whats in the box? His dead wife’s wedding bands, the one’s buried with her.
    What power does the ring hold or what does it mean? It throws Rich back into memories of his wife, the love of his life and terror because how did it end up here when he knew they were on her finger when the coffin was closed.
    What happens next? After shock wears off Rich and Michelle decide to find out what the heck is going on, how did the ring show up and who is responsible.
    What is the twist at the end? Anita never died. She was threatened by a man from her past and staged her death complete with a look alike body and left all she knew and loved behind. Now after years Anita wants to pick up her old life but seeing Rich with Michelle has caused sever emotional distress.

  5. Charles Levin on August 25, 2019 at 8:52 am

    This story ending was submitted via Enmail from Diane S.
    What’s in the box? ____a beautiful multi-colored wishfly (a cross between a butterfly and dragon fly)________

    What power does the object hold or what does it mean? ___the wishfly is like a magic lamp with the knowledge of the wish of the sender for the recipient____

    What happens next? _the wishfly flies free of the burlap and inserts its probiscis in Rich but rather than withdrawing blood like a mosquito, it injects its potion, which causes Rich’s blood to fill like ice coursing thru his bloodstream and once it reaches his brain, causes him to feel like he is skydiving, on a roller coaster and in a tornado simultaneously!__________

    What’s the twist at the end? ___All of this is so he will become unconscious so Michelle can whisk him away to her true wish, to have him alone on a fantasy-come-true tropical paradise________

  6. Taylor R. Williams on August 28, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    What’s in the box ? a small vile containing a human eyeball,
    What does it mean ? the man he put away 15 years ago is out of jail
    What happens next ? he tells her to get on a plane, and fly somewhere she’s never been been in order to be safe
    What’s the twist at the end ? she sent him the eyeball

  7. The Gift - Charles Levin on September 6, 2019 at 2:53 pm

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