40 comments

Aug 18, 2020

Mystery Thriller

Mia:

It is a breezy March afternoon. I stare out at the scene before me as I note just how much the Season of Birth has made it's presence known. The lake is lined with a seemingly never-ending line of cherry blossom trees. The salmon pick petals are found in irregular clusters on the wayward branded of the trees. Daffodils are scattered across the landscape, their golden heads hanging low, staring at the ground below. The manicured lawn does it's job excellently in concealing the less eye-pleasing mud. Thin clouds of a creamy beige are reflected in the pale water of the lake. To complete this picturesque scene, a sky of an azure blue hangs overhead. My vision starts to blur as I get dragged into my past. Seline calls out for me. “Mia? Are you listening? Come inside this very minute,” there is anger in her voice. Seline, who is never angry. Seline who is my mother but I never call her one. I love this memory of us. I cling to the sweater I've been knitting for Jess, my daughter. I cling to the sweater, pretending it is my memory of me and Seline. I hold it close to my heart, pretending that if I leave it, it will fade away.


Seline had said that I was adopted. By now, the name of the agency, “Meet the children” has been committed to my memory. She had been told that my parents died in a car accident and so my relatives handed me over to the adoption agency. She tells me that I was very little when she adopted me. Just a baby i.e. a one year old. How weird will it sound when I tell my children that I was adopted and that my whole life I lived with someone else who wasn’t my real mother. But I will also tell them that Seline loved me more than a real mother would. Just so very much!


Jess:

Today, Mom told us that she had been adopted. My fake grandma's name is Seline( don't tell Mom that I called our Grandma, fake. Please.)Well, she isn't related by blood to us but Mom gets extremely furious if by mistake, Bryce, my brother or I say that. She says Grandma Seline loved her very, very much. More than a real mother would. Mom loves Grandma Seline so much, more than she loves us, maybe. But, my sixth sense keeps indicating something. It keeps saying that there is more to the picture that has been shown to us. There is more to the truth of Grandma Seline.


Bryce has been given a new project today. He has to prepare an Art Journal. I love Art and so I know just the right things to use for the prompts that he has been given. After lunch, I’ve decided to climb up the attic: I’ll take out some old books, magazines and some wilted flowers. Oh, there is just so much to do! Today is Grandma Seline ’s fifth death anniversary. And so, Mom has prepared her favorite dishes: she has cooked some peas and cauliflower . Vegetables? Disgusting. While sitting at the lunch table, I pretend to eat the peas , while in real, I’m throwing them in my lap. I’ll bargain these with Bryce in exchange of his homework. How perfect!


Mia:

Jess is just so very much like Seline. Where the blues of her eyes is exactly the same as that of Seline’s, her nose is pointy in the same way too. Unlike Seline, Jess detests vegetables but I was quite impressed by her disciplinary act at the lunch table today. Not only did she finish an entire plate of vegetables, she also offered to help me with the dishes. Naughty girl, something is definitely cooking in her mind.


Jess:

My hands are shaky and my palms, sweaty. My vision is blurry with the never-ending tears. My heart is beating furiously against my chest and my brain is confused. I don’t even have the slightest idea of what to do with the pamphlet lying in front if me. On the pamphlet is a baby picture. The baby looks so much like me. But that is not me, of course. The baby has green eyes while I’ve blue. Amongst the quick calculations, my mind reaches a conclusion. The conclusion might not make sense but it is an exact interpretation of what the pamphlet in front of me says. There in black, bold letters is written “CHILD ABDUCTION." There in front of me is the same baby picture Mom has shown me and Bryce over a trillion times now. The very same picture Grandma Seline had given to her, saying that these were the very clothes, she received her in. The very same dimples, the very same eyes, the very same footies, the bib…. I feel choked as a sudden realization comes running into my mind. Mom had been kidnapped. And the kidnapper was none other than Grandma Seline, of course.


Mia:

Jess has been up in the attic for almost an hour now. Usually, when she climbs up the attic, there is a lot of noise and disturbance . So much so that our neighbors next door get fed up and come running into our house, complaining. Something is just not right. Though my baby girl is only ten, she is immensely active and nothing stops her from working fast. My heart and mind start wandering in all the wrong directions. They start to assume things that they shouldn’t. What if something has happened to Jess? I shrug away the thought and ascend the attic.


Jess:

My mind is mad. My body is mad. And I am mad: at life, at Grandma Seline and Mom. The question seems obvious but I can’t help but say it out aloud. How did you not know it , Mom? “Know what, sweetie?” Mom is here. Mom. Mom. Mom.


I’m standing still with my back towards Mom. “What’s the matter, Jess? What did I not know?” There is a certain edge to Mom’s voice. “C'mon. You’re worrying me up. What did I not know?” Gathering my wits together, I turn around. Mom’s expressions change. Maybe from worrying up a bit more. Maybe from seeing my puffy eyes. Maybe from seeing my runny nose. Or maybe from the weird pamphlet in my hand. “Did you really not know, Mommy?” I manage to say, my voice is barely a whisper.


Mia:

Mommy. She called me Mommy just now. She never calls me Mommy: only when she is in trouble. Only when she feels pity for me. The last time she called me that was when Seline died. “What’s the matter, sweetheart?” But instead of answering my question, she embraces me into a hug. The tears that had been held back after seeing me, now flow like a waterfall. Whoooosh. “Mommy. She lied to you. Grandma Seline lied to you.” I become furious. How dare she talk about her like that. But she senses my anger, and her grip on me tightens. “Mommy you had not been adopted by Grandma Seline,” she continues. “She kidnapped you.”

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40 comments

Zilla Babbitt
01:13 Aug 19, 2020

Yet another sequel! I'm so glad you addressed the ramifications of the kidnapping-- you had me worried in "Mia"! I like the skipping back and forth between characters to tell the story. It works well. Also, you show Jess's shock and anger really well. My main critique has to do with setting and date. Where is this happening? Like, did Seline take them to the country to live in seclusion? Is the first perspective written before Mia has kids? Is Mia married? Whose kids are they? Is Seline dead? Less important is the question, Did Mia know s...

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Batool Hussain
04:43 Aug 19, 2020

Thank you, Zilla. I appreciate your comment so much. You must've guessed by now that I love continuing stories. Seline is dead(I did mention her fifth death anniversary) and about the other questions, I might just as well do a threquel:)

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Zilla Babbitt
14:17 Aug 20, 2020

You're welcome! Ah, I must have missed the death anniversary reference, sorry :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
05:23 Aug 19, 2020

Love the sequel! I like the series a lot, and they work as standalones too. Of course they are better together, but it's nice to see work that can be read separately and still make sense. The last line leaves so much room for elaboration; I'm excited!

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Batool Hussain
05:24 Aug 19, 2020

Yayy. This comment made me so happy

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Niveeidha Palani
10:47 Aug 18, 2020

Wow! A drastic twist in the end! I loved this story Batool and I'm so glad that you continued this story! You did a good job of showing and not telling. Keep it up! Looking forward to more like this!

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10:44 Aug 18, 2020

This was gripping! Very nice story!

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Batool Hussain
10:28 Aug 18, 2020

Hey y'all. For my tenth story, I decided to continue "Mia." Do share your honest opinions on it:)

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Pragya Rathore
09:27 Aug 23, 2020

What an emotionally gripping story! I was scrolling frantically till the end. Beautiful! I felt sad for Mia, and you carried out everything wonderfully. Great job! Mind checking out my new story if you get the time? Thanks! :)

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Cricketer Amogh
01:50 Aug 19, 2020

It's a wonderful story! I liked the beginning part. P.S read my story 'The Secret Mission Meeting'

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Amany Sayed
20:22 Aug 18, 2020

Another wonderfully written story Batool! I really enjoyed it. I had to re-read some things a couple times, as well as look back at "Mia" but it didn't take away from my reading experience. Great job! If it isn't too much trouble, I would be grateful if you could check out my most recent story! Thank you and keep writing!

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12:35 Aug 24, 2020

One of the nice story I read

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Bookmark Here
04:27 Aug 24, 2020

Awesome story! Great job!

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Thom Brodkin
22:28 Aug 23, 2020

A+. This is so well done going with first person and two narrators was brilliant and brilliantly done. I wanted more. I wanted Mia’s reaction. I love your stories and your style. First rate. I don’t think you’ve had a moment to check out my latest “Coming Out”. I’d love a read and feedback and a like if you do. 😀

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Aarshia Ray
18:56 Aug 23, 2020

I enjoyed the story very much! And it was really shocking when it was revealed that Seline had kidnapped Mia! But, I couldn't understand a part in the first paragraph. Seline was never angry, but then, why was she angry with Mia, whom she loved. Also in the next line, it is said by Mia, "Seline who is my mother but I never call her one." Mia loved Seline a lot and considered Seline as her mother. But then, why did Mia never call her one?

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Batool Hussain
06:52 Aug 24, 2020

I didn't want to dive in too much depth but since you're asking, here u go: *The weather was very harsh, and Seline didn't want Mia to catch cold. *Mia didn't call Seline her mother as they were just frank enough with each other, kinda best friends(get it?)

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Aarshia Ray
17:46 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you. It is truly a nice story :-)

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17:03 Aug 22, 2020

Though the format of your story did sort of chop it up into bits, I didn't get whether this was supposed to be a script or maybe a journal entry-style? However, despite that, your overall quality of writing and storytelling was good enough to overcome that. I was truly surprised by your ending, really well done.

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Kristin Neubauer
13:32 Aug 22, 2020

Wow, Batool! I enjoyed this story on it's own, but I hadn't realized it was a sequel until I read the comments. So I went back and re-read "Mia"...and then, REALLY wow. What a fascinating story you are stitching together between the two of them. I love understanding the context of "Mia" now.....and seeing how things have developed for Mia, Seline and Mia's kids further along. I can't wait for the next!

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Emily K
18:09 Aug 21, 2020

I loved this story! Your imagery and word choice was perfect, and I loved the twist! I also really enjoyed the different perspectives, because although that can be hard to execute, it was done wonderfully. Nice job!

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Pamela Abwao
14:26 Aug 21, 2020

The truth surfaces several years after a death. Will you help Mia get her real identity next time *I am following. I loved the story. Would you kindly read my story : A blue themed day which is based on the same prompt

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Pamela Abwao
14:05 Aug 21, 2020

So sad that someone discovers truth several years after the demise of s perpetrator of a crime . Interesting story Could you please mine A blue themed day?

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Deborah Angevin
12:28 Aug 21, 2020

This blew me away! The unique concept, the overlapping yet progressing plotline... wow! P.S: would you mind checking out my recent submission, "Yellow Light?" Thank you :D

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Jessie Nice
22:17 Aug 20, 2020

Oh wow I absolutely love how instead of the adult revealing to the child this life-changing news, the child reveals to the mother! As always your writing is a joy to read, Batool!

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Maya W.
01:25 Aug 20, 2020

I was a bit taken aback when I saw you decided to switch perspectives because I find that hardly ever works for me, but you did it extremely well! Nice job! If you can, would you check out some of my stories, too? Thanks!

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