106 comments

Mystery Fiction Suspense

Beatrix is in the front seat of her mother's car, chewing gum and scrolling on Instagram posts.


She hesitates for a moment before sinking her phone into her pocket and leaning in, "Mum, why are we going to Grandma's house?"


Mrs Lemons sighs and glares at Beatrix in the side-view mirror. "I told you already Bee, I have a conference I can't cancel so you're staying over at Grandma's."


"But it's going to be boring!" she moans.


Mrs Lemons shrugs grimly. "You can play a board game with Grandma." she shrugs as she parks the car into Grandma's driveway.


Mrs Lemons presses the doorbell firmly. The doorknob twists and Grandma Lolla's face appears. "Martha, you're here!" she smiles brightly at Mrs Lemons. "Ah, Beatrix has come too hasn't she?" she smiles warmly at Beatrix who manages a small hurried smile back.


They enter the house, staring at the jumbled kitchen and the taped boxes lying on the floor. They had been there ever since Grandma moved in and stayed there ever since then. Chipped and cracked plaster make up the walls along with paint that looks like it was splashed and scrape marks.


Grandma Lolla beams excitedly. "I've got an old family recipe for making brownies," she says happily, clutching a cookbook and bestowing it in Beatrix's face, cheerfully.


Beatrix forces on a strained smile and settles on the couch, whipping up her phone again. "Maybe later, Grandma," she replies, grinning at a text message on her phone and replying to it at once, her agile fingers shifting up the keyboard on her phone.


"Maybe we can go check out photo albums? You know, the ones when you and Grandpa Larry married? I've never seen a photo of him before," Beatrix suggests again, looking up hopefully at the two grown-ups.


Mrs Lemons and Grandma Lolla exchange dark looks as she brings Mrs Lemons to the door. They whisper something and Grandma Lolla's smile is now forced and strained. "Well, how about I teach you how to knit?" she smiles extravagantly, picking up a pair of socks with enormously large holes in them.


Beatrix groans. "Uh, Grandma, why can't we see Grandpa Larry's photo albums? I've never got a picture of him before. And besides, I already know how to knit." she pushes eagerly.


Grandma Lolla swallows nervously. "Um,” 


The phone in her hand quivers and she looks relieved as she quickly hurries to answer it, glad to get away from Beatrix. Grandma Lolla wipes her wet, damp hands on her apron and hastily makes her way to the front porch, answering the call and pressing the phone to her ears.


Beatrix rolls her eyes. She is getting suspicious. Quickly, she glances at Grandma, now engaged comfortably in the front porch, clutching her phone.


Beatrix tip-toes up the stairs and pushes Grandma Lolla's room door.


The room smells of heavily scented perfume and old roses. The curtains are drawn and the dressing table is crowded with talcum powders and shiny brooches. The second half of the room is covered with medals and awards. Ones that Beatrix suspected were awarded to her mother.


The floor is dark walnut and the soft rocking chair planted at the side of the room is a delightful beige colour. The wallpaper is studded with maroon and violet polka dots and there is a scented aroma coming from the direction of the scented candles fixed in the bathroom. There are silky gold-coated pillows on her bed and a couple of high cupboards on the left.


Grandma Lolla usually deposits her special things up in a high cupboard. Beatrix grabs the dressing table stool and reaches for the shiny brown cupboard standing proudly in the middle. She wrenches open a drawer.


There are a few old letters stamped easily and some deftly decorated cards stocked at the bottom that Beatrix had given to Grandma for Christmas.


After a few minutes of digging around in the cupboard, Beatrix comes across an olden photograph, blanketed in shiny dust and coveted in a golden frame.


Grandpa Laurence.


He looks neat and was a thin, smooth, well-made man in his twenties. He is thick-lipped and his hair is drowned in some shiny gel. Grandpa Larry is grinning into the photograph, but there is something odd about his smile.


This must be taken before Grandpa Larry was married, Beatrix realizes thoughtfully.


But what she doesn't understand was why Grandma Lolla keeping his photograph a secret. There must be something, a reason why she acted hesitantly before changing the subject.


It was almost as if, as if, she is ashamed. Ashamed, of something Beatrix yearns to find out.


A faint burrow of footsteps pounds against the wall of Grandma Lolla's bedroom. Beatrix quickly tucks the photograph in her shirt and pulls it hastily over it, as it is tucking out of the pockets.


She slams the cupboards, returns the stool promptly and stands still, awkwardly. Grandma Lolla frowns and stares at Beatrix and at the cupboard.


She stutters, before tucking the phone into her pocket, looking miserable. "I know what you're looking for. And I want to give it to you as badly as you want it, Bee. It's just that...just that, I c-can't." she sobs.


Beatrix is startled. She hugs Grandma and ushers her awkwardly to a couch before bringing out the photograph of Grandpa Laurence.


Grandma Lolla gasps and stands promptly. She moves a pace back. "Get that man away from me," she demands


Beatrix, astonished, tucks the photograph away before Grandma Lolla hesitantly perches on the couch. "Something happened. Tell me, Grandma."


"I can't Beatrix, I can't. It's a family secret." she stammers.


"I'm part of the family aren't I?" Beatrix asks, surprised.


Grandma nods. "I know, but you don't understand. I meant to tell you when you were older." she weeps, burying her wrinkled face into her knobbly hands.


Beatrix sighs. "I'm fifteen, Grandma. You can tell me." she cries.


Grandma looks at the kitchen. "What about those brownies eh?"


Beatrix forces a smile. "You're changing the subject." she reminds her.


Grandma gives her a strained smile before closing the curtains and leaning over hesitantly.


"Can you keep a secret?"







August 18, 2020 07:30

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106 comments

Princemark Okibe
08:27 Oct 21, 2020

Charles Strucker is kind of my role model on reedsy, so there is no way I am going to read this till the end without dropping suggestions. I know that this contest has ended but I still wanted to drop suggestions for you. Firstly, I can see that this story was well written and edited and your punctuations are on point. Good work. So most of my edits maybe on sentence structure. So here goes. In the sentence below, the dialogue tags does not convey your message well. Though I think you did it to sound a little poetic. [Grandma Lo...

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Niveeidha Palani
12:13 Oct 22, 2020

Hi Princemark, first of all, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment really helpful and constructive feedback here. However, my story's already been approved and as much as I want to alter and correct my mistakes, I can't. :( Thank you so much for helping out, though, and I'll really try to apply all these feedback in the next story I do!

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04:02 Oct 15, 2020

Love the story. Great job! :)

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Niveeidha Palani
05:01 Oct 15, 2020

Thank you!

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Nunya Business
23:41 Oct 01, 2020

Would you mind reading my stories

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Niveeidha Palani
05:56 Oct 02, 2020

Of course, I'll go check it out now.

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15:32 Sep 24, 2020

Dear Niveeidha Thank you for speaking up against downvoting. We have all suffered. Thanks a ton. :)

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Niveeidha Palani
09:35 Sep 25, 2020

Hi Pranati, I appreciate how concerned you are with the downvoting. We all are and most of us have suffered quite a lot. I really hope this downvoter will be caught, as it's unfair to most of us who have been earning our points by hard work.

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22:09 Sep 21, 2020

This story needs a follow-up! There are some grammatical errors and some phrases could be substituted to make the words flow smoother, but it's a great story regardless! Keep it up! You are a talented author! Mind checking out my stories? Thanks!

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Niveeidha Palani
22:23 Sep 21, 2020

Hi Adrienne, thank you so much for leaving detailed feedback on my story! Of course! I'd love to check out yours! Going there now!

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Niveeidha Palani
06:39 Oct 08, 2020

Hi Adrienne, just to let you know, that a Part two of this came out, and I was wondering if you'd like to read it and give me feedback!

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Amany Sayed
22:51 Sep 11, 2020

I don't know WHERE you found my quiz lol, but I make the collages using an app called Montage. There's no templates or anything though, I arrange the photos myself. yep, that's it, bye

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Niveeidha Palani
22:55 Sep 11, 2020

Hhahahahah, I actually found in your bio. Thank youuu!!!! wow you certainly have a talent for arranging collages....they're coool!!! I also saw the one in Wattpad (I have a wattpad account, cause I needed to read your stories 😂)

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Amany Sayed
22:56 Sep 11, 2020

Oh yeahhhh, forgot I put it there lol. No prob! Awww, thanks! Lol, glad you like em!

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Doubra Akika
16:01 Aug 18, 2020

I really need a part two of this! I'm so glad I read this. I had a few grammar suggestions but Amany already pointed them out. Overall though, this was beautifully written! Loved it so much!

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Niveeidha Palani
21:55 Aug 18, 2020

Hi Doubra, thank you so much or commenting, it means a lot to me. Stay safe! And of course, don't worry, I will be planning to do a sequel on this, so I'll tell you when it comes out! :)

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Doubra Akika
23:26 Aug 18, 2020

Kk I’d love to know when it comes out. And it was my pleasure! Whenever you’re free would you mind checking out my story?

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Niveeidha Palani
09:55 Aug 19, 2020

Of course! Going there now! ;)

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Niveeidha Palani
06:40 Oct 08, 2020

Hi Doubra, you asked me to inform you to tell you when a sequel would come out. I just posted a new sequel a few days, ago, and was wondering if you'd like to read it. :)

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Doubra Akika
19:42 Oct 08, 2020

yeah sure! I'll make sure I get around to reading it.

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Niveeidha Palani
00:46 Oct 09, 2020

:)

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12:12 Aug 18, 2020

Noooooooo! I need a part two right now! 😉 But for real, though. Just kidding! Anyways, the way you interpreted the prompt was amazing, and your description was beyond my personal abilities. I was really able to see everything; you did a great job with show-not-tell. Oustanding job, Niveeidha! Keep writing and stay safe, Your Reedsy Friend-Brooke

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Niveeidha Palani
12:53 Aug 18, 2020

Thank you so much, Brooke! It really means a lot to me, commenting on my story! Stay safe too! And, of course, for the "part two" thing, don't worry! I'll do a sequel on it for sure! ;) Your Reedsy Friend-Niveeidha 😉🤗

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12:56 Aug 18, 2020

You're welcome! Yay! Please let me know when you submit it!

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Niveeidha Palani
21:54 Aug 18, 2020

Of course!

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Niveeidha Palani
06:40 Oct 08, 2020

Hi Brooke, just wanted to let you know that my sequel came out. Was wondering if you'd like to read it! :)

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Philip Clayberg
04:29 Dec 24, 2020

Thank you for writing this letter. I confess I read this story and "Dead Letter Department" in reverse order (the 2nd story first, and the 1st story second). Sorry about that. At least I now understand the secret part in the 2nd story better. I'm glad I read both stories. It's never easy hiding a secret, because it can be revealed by someone else (and usually when you really wish they hadn't revealed it). Kind of like keeping feelings suppressed until they finally boil up and explode anyway.

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Niveeidha Palani
07:17 Dec 24, 2020

Ah, no worries at all, we all make mistakes. Yes, very true, it never easy to hide a secret.

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Kristin Neubauer
15:38 Oct 09, 2020

This is great, Niveeidha! What a mystery. I absolutely love your description of Grandma Lolla's house....I could see it in an instant. Fantastic writing, great suspense. I'm heading over to the sequel now!

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Niveeidha Palani
00:44 Oct 10, 2020

Thank you so much Kristin. Your comment is much appreciated!

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Waverley Stark
08:21 Oct 05, 2020

This was a lovely story. Flowing and moving with an excellent ending. I really enjoyed this, and I agree with everyone else; it needs a part two! Keep up the excellent work.

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Niveeidha Palani
10:34 Oct 05, 2020

Hi Waverley, thank you so much! It's very much appreciated! :)

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05:16 Sep 24, 2020

Hey, Niveeidha would you be kind to watch the first video it's on Harry potter. https://youtu.be/KxfnREWgN14 Sorry for asking your time

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Niveeidha Palani
08:30 Sep 25, 2020

Hi Prathamesh, I already watched it. I'm a Harry Potter fan too!

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14:14 Sep 25, 2020

Thanks

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Niveeidha Palani
21:54 Sep 25, 2020

No problem!

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Andrew Krey
10:41 Sep 13, 2020

Hi Niveeidha, I liked your story. It builds up he tension well, then ends on a cliff hanger! I look forward to seeing the sequel and finding out what the secret can be about this lovely Grandpa! One of the things I did think when reading it was the phone in Grandma's hand that she answers to avoid answering the question. Was that a mobile already in her hand? I felt it was a mobile, and thought this seemed out of character for someone her age to actually carry her phone. She also walks away so Beatrix can investigate. It was a minor point...

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Niveeidha Palani
06:47 Sep 14, 2020

Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time to comment on this story! Oops, I must have made a minor error. Thanks for spotting it! Yes, I see it now that it would have been more realistic that way. Thanks for leaving feedback and happy writing too!

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Andrew Krey
14:17 Sep 14, 2020

You're welcome Niveeidha, I'm glad it was helpful! I wouldn't say it was an error, just a minor tweak that adds to the plausibility of the story. The story is good so the only thing I can suggest is fine tuning :)

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Niveeidha Palani
21:54 Sep 14, 2020

:)

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Amogh Kasat
16:02 Sep 08, 2020

The last line is the best! Some grammatical issues. that's alll

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Niveeidha Palani
22:23 Sep 08, 2020

Thank you Amogh, do you mind telling me what grammatical errors so I can change them?

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Amogh Kasat
07:55 Sep 07, 2020

It's a wonderful story! Please read my latest story

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Niveeidha Palani
07:24 Sep 08, 2020

Hi Amogh, of course, I will, but it seemed like you didn't really read my story. If you please, I don't mean to be rude or offensive but I will prefer constructive feedback! Thanks! 😊

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Amogh Kasat
11:24 Sep 08, 2020

I will give but I am busy now afterwards

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Niveeidha Palani
01:33 Sep 12, 2020

Uh, okay!

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05:05 Aug 30, 2020

I love the story Niveeidha ! I love the way you brought in the suspense, The ending was not something I expected... Waiting for your next !

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Niveeidha Palani
10:38 Aug 30, 2020

Thank you so much! I will be doing a sequel on this, and I'll let you know when it comes out ;)

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ᗰooᑎ ♫ ♪
17:20 Aug 25, 2020

Nice story, Niveeidha:) Would you mind checking out my first story?

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Niveeidha Palani
21:54 Aug 25, 2020

Hi Deepshikha, thank you so much! Of course! I would love to! Going there now!

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Mary Rothery
12:45 Aug 24, 2020

Great ending! I'm dying to know what happened!

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Niveeidha Palani
21:53 Aug 24, 2020

Thank you so much Mary! :)

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Niveeidha Palani
06:52 Oct 13, 2020

Hi Mary, just wanted to let you know that my sequel to this story is out! Thought you'd be interested in it!

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Roshna Rusiniya
05:47 Aug 23, 2020

Welcome back Niveeidha! Hope your exams went well. This was very well-written! That last line was quite a cliffhanger. A sequel on the works? :D

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Niveeidha Palani
07:07 Aug 23, 2020

Hi Roshna, thank you so much for inquiring. Yes, they went well :). Thank you so much! And of course, I'm working on a sequel, but the prompts this week don't seem to fit, so I'm struggling a little. 😅

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Roshna Rusiniya
07:20 Aug 23, 2020

Ha ha. Good to know the exams went well. I will keep an eye on that sequel ;) Meanwhile have a look at my latest one too. :)

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Niveeidha Palani
07:25 Aug 23, 2020

Of course! I would love to check it out!

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Niveeidha Palani
06:42 Oct 08, 2020

Hi Roshna, I wondered if you're back on Reedsy now. We're all missing you so much. :( Just wanted to let you know (if you have time, don't trouble yourself if you're busy!) that the sequel for this came out! I was wondering if you'd like to check it out. :)

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Krishi Norris
20:34 Aug 20, 2020

I need Part 2! I repeat: I NEED PART 2222! lol. PS - Do you mind checking out a few of my stories? Thanks!

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Niveeidha Palani
21:53 Aug 20, 2020

Thanks! Don't worry, I'll be doing a sequel on this. Of course, I'd love to! Going there now!

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Niveeidha Palani
06:53 Oct 13, 2020

Hi Zenisha, just wanted to let you know that Part 2 came out!

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