A Creepy Little Tale

Suspense-filled, weird, or off beat story for those who seek the unexpected.

Just Call Me Patsy

Sixteen-hundred jogging steps from my car, a flicker stopped me, dead still on the forest trail. At first, I thought it was a diamond, casting blinding brilliance from a myriad of facets. I spun, leaves crunching beneath my running shoes, but I was alone.


My heart thumped a bit before returning to a normal, droning beat. No, Justin is not hiding in the woods waiting to ask me to be the next Mrs. Bronson. My cheeks burned, embarrassed that the thought had even crossed my mind.


I squatted to investigate. It is a diamond!


I swiped at fallen leaves and scrambled backwards, sucking air that constricted in my throat. All I could muster was, “Omigod! Omigod!” followed by a squelched scream.


Sitting on my butt in the middle of the trail, I glared at the ring. The diamond was huge, at least two carats. The finger, swollen and pale. Nail polish, a shade of lavender, complemented purplish dried blood.


A pine scented breeze rustled through the treetops, silencing jays and sapsuckers. I scanned wavering shadows in the underbrush, searching for a hand, an arm, a body, or an axe hidden under a blanket of amber leaves?


My breathing slowed, and I froze in the moment. I’m not sure for how long, but dusk settled in rapidly. Sun rays that had produced scintillating reflections withdrew into an orange sky that sank beyond a snow-capped mountain peak, pulling the temperature down with it. A shiver crawled up my spine and rattled my shoulders.


I stood, zipped my black running vest and pulled a pink bandana and my cell from its pocket. The phone’s flashlight beam reflected like fire from the impressive stone. Squatting in front of the blazing ring and its morbid appendage, I swallowed hard.


Well, Justin, what am I supposed to do now? When he suggested the jogging trail, he was adamant that I run at least a mile. “There will be a surprise waiting for you. Keep your eyes on the trail,” he said.


Is this the surprise? Is this gruesome fake finger your way of saying your marriage is over? I glanced at my phone. I could call 911 and… what? Wait for the police to come and investigate a Halloween prop? I pointed the flashlight at the ring and envisioned the brilliant, marquise cut diamond on my left hand.


Thunder rumbled and raindrops spattered, then pelted the screen, the ring, and my hand. I wrapped the finger in the bandana like a pig-in-a-blanket, and stuffed it into my vest pocket.



Now, as I run the mile back, the bedazzled finger bounces against my hip with every stride. Each jogging step toward the car, I ponder Justin’s intent. If this is the surprise…. I quicken my steps to get back to him.


With my head tucked against drenching rain, I check my step count. Two hundred steps to go. One hundred. Fifty—.


A tinny voice blares from a bullhorn, drowning out the pounding of my steps. “Stop! Raise your hands above your head.” I look up to a blur of flashing lights. Justin peers at me from the front seat of a patrol car, but looks away as my questioning gaze locks with his.



At the station, a young policewoman observes while I trade a perfectly matched but soaking wet jogging suit for a drab jumpsuit. Gray is not my color and my hair hangs in damp clumps. I hope Justin never sees that mug shot.


Slouched in a straight-backed metal chair, I rub at residual ink from the fingerprint process. I’m sure now that the diamond, and more importantly, the finger, is real and belongs to Justin’s wife. They’ve charged me with her murder and, less significantly, the theft of her ring.



An all-business detective enters the interrogation room where I sit wondering who is watching from behind the glass. He settles in the chair across from me, shuffles a stack of papers and smacks a folder on the table. “Sally Canfield, are you aware of the charges against you?”


Without turning my gaze from the two-way mirror, I address the detective. “I want a lawyer. I’ve been framed.”


My lawyer comes highly recommended, but possession of the murdered woman’s finger, and Justin’s lies are enough to convict me.



All gussied up in an orange prison-issue jumpsuit with matching flip-flops, I’m paraded down the corridors of my new home. My nostrils flare, and I clench my teeth, steeled against odors and emotion. The guard stops at an open cell. A gravelly voice from behind me asks, “What’s your name, sister?”


I hold my head high. “Just call me Patsy.”


My face twitches. A patsy with twenty years to plot my revenge.

“HIDDEN” a suspense novel.

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HIDDEN – Available on Amazon.