500 and Counting ~ Scene 2 ~ The Gas Stop (Help write a story)

Recently, I ran across a short-story contest of five hundred words or less, based on the picture above, and just for fun, I decided to write one. I knocked the five hundred words out in an hour, so I didn’t expect anything amazing, but the feedback from my family and friends surprised me, so I wanted to offer this up to my online community of friends and see what your thoughts are.

Each week I’ll use readers’ suggestions and write five hundred more words based on your feedback.

And just to make this interesting, I’ll offer up one of my novels free to the commenter whose suggestion I use.

Okay…let’s write a story.

(If you haven't read Week 1 yet, please click on the link. Otherwise, the story won't make any sense, believe me. There's a link, which will bring you right back.)

Chapter One Week 2

Gino started upright. Beads of sweat poured from his forehead and saturated his mop of hair; he needed a cut bad. He reached to his right and touched his wife’s arm.
She rolled over in response. “Same dream again, honey?” she mumbled into her pillow.
“Yeah.”He tossed his legs over the side and headed toward the bathroom. “I just don’t understand. They’ve been dead for twenty years. Why am I even dreaming about them? And they lived in Pennsylvania. I don’t even know anyone in California.”
He leaned against the doorframe and stared at his wife as if she held the answer.
She must have felt his gaze because she opened one eye, obviously not happy with him waking her up so early, but he needed to make sure that she was there, that they were alive and not in some weird purgatory type of reality. He didn’t even believe in a hereafter, let alone an in between dimension.
Sheila sat up in bed and stared at him. “It’s just a dream, Gino. Let it go. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“But don’t you see,” he walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed, “it does. Their case was never closed. Their death is one of the reasons I became a cop in the first place. And now, ever since I’ve made detective, it’s as though they expect me to solve their murder.” He shook his head. “I’m sorry, babe. Go back to sleep. You’re right; it doesn’t mean anything.”
He brushed the hair away from her face and kissed her forehead. “Although, some of the dream is accurate. Like how we can’t go on a trip without stopping every two hours.” He laughed and she smacked his arm.
“Go to work, you weirdo.” She rolled over again, dismissing the conversation.
After Gino filled up his mega coffee mug, he hopped into his Mustang and tore off toward the station. The one thing that kept tugging at his mind was that he hadn't recognized his grandfather’s face at first. The sound of his grandmother’s voice was what had him pulling his wife out the door to safety. But when his grandfather had stepped in front of him, asking him if he recognized him—
Why was he even thinking of this? Sheila was right. It was just a dream.
He bit down on his lip and stared at the kids crossing the street in front of him. The crossing guard waved a greeting. It was too small of a town for the death of two people to go unsolved, especially two of the greatest people who’d ever walked the earth.
It wasn’t right. Too many unanswered questions shadowed their deaths. Gino inhaled a large breath as he pressed on the gas and looked up at that the sky at nothing particular; people just did it because it made them feel better. Even if his Pap wasn’t in another realm, he still deserved an answer. And Gino intended to get those answers.

About me:

I write modern-day fairytales filled with romance, mystery, suspense, and of course, tragedy. After all, what would a fairytale be without a tragic event setting the stage? All of my novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic and will hopefully make you cry, laugh, love, and hope.

I love talking about all things books, so please connect with me via one of the links below.

Books available:

When two strangers have nothing left but their dreams, they must forge a relationship in Nantahala, North Carolina, a small town known as Land of the Noonday Sun.

After secrets and a mysterious background leave a wife’s life hanging by a thread, a husband must look for answers in the only place he knows—the past.

Now available at:

And coming soon, Entangled Dreams


  1. Gino was pulling into the parking lot of the police station, when he caught a whiff of cologne. It wasn't his brand and the car windows were closed so he wasn't picking up the smell from the outside. It reminded him of an aftershave commercial from T.V. He never used this brand, but someone he loved did.He turned around quickly, expecting to see his grandfather, but he was alone in the car.

    1. Awesome! I love using scents, as it is our most powerful form of recall. Great idea to link back to the dream. I'm using it. :))

  2. That was great! Let me see if I can continue...

    If the unexpected scent was not enough, he's halfway to his desk when his partner intercepts him. There's a call out. Double homicide of a middle age couple. When they arrive at the scene, its an exact replica from the pictures of his grandparents murders. The killer is back....and in he's in his neck of the woods.

  3. Thank you, Marie and MJ, for your comments. New scene tomorrow will incorporate both of your suggestions, so I'll be getting with you about your free book. :)