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Dangerous Debutant E 19

In the last episode: Mark shares two reasons why he doesn’t fully believe Celia’s accounting of her rescue of Sunni and him. After Celia’s explanations, she decides to believe both Mark and Sunni. Celia convinces Mark to go with her and the three of them try to finally figure out the value and purpose of the items in the safe. When the two arrive, an unmarked police car is parked in front of the plantation home and they are soon met by another. Mark is confronted at gun point by Celia.

“Why the gun, Celia? Do you still not believe me?” Mark hesitates trying to understand what’s happening and why.

“I believe you but I don’t trust you,” Celia gestures Mark toward the entrance to the home with the wave of her gun.

“You don’t need a gun. Please.”

“Don’t trust him, Celia. He’s not one of us. He probably doesn’t even believe in Jesus,” Tina steps up a little more than arm’s length away from Mark.

Mark starts to argue with Tina about his belief in Jesus, but wisely decides that’s a discussion for some other time.

Gina gestures for Celia to put the gun away. Celia starts to poke it back into her handbag, but before she does she waves it toward the entrance. Mark takes a couple of steps toward the entrance and watches Celia drop the weapon into her bag.

Tina huffs as the three women follow Mark into the house. Gina and Tina argue and lag behind. Celia follows closely keeping her handbag close and visible at all times.

“We’re going to the library. Keep walking and looking straight ahead,” Celia pushes against Mark’s back.

Mark wants to try and convince Celia that he has her best interest in mind. He wants to know as badly as she does who is behind Monica’s death and why. He now believes there may be some connection between it and Kate’s death.

When they enter the library, Mark finds Sunni sitting in an armchair unshackled, head down, looking quite disheveled and spent. Lt. Steve Sherman stands behind her with his hands gripping tightly to the back of the chair. No one else is in the room.

“Sunni, are you all right?” Mark glares once in Lt. Sherman’s direction before focusing on Sunni.

Without looking up, Sunni gives a quick wave of her hand indicating she is alright. Mark kneels down next to her and touches her hand.

“Get your grubby hands off of her,” Sherman places one foot between Sunni and Mark.

Mark springs up aggressively at Sherman. He and Sherman have fists clenched and are nearly chest to chest.

“Mark! I’m alright! Don’t or you’ll make things worse,” Sunni looks up and snatches Mark’s wrist.

Mark starts to analyze the scene more closely and believes he has not jumped to the wrong conclusion – things aren’t going well for Sunni. He doesn’t want to make them worse for her or himself again. He backs off and backs up.

“He hasn’t shared anything new. He claims he doesn’t know any more than we do and I have to believe him,” Celia shares with Sherman, Tina and Gina.

“I don’t have to believe him. Give me a few minutes alone with him and he’ll be singing like a canary a whole new tune,” Sherman rubs his hands together.

“I think we’ve done enough damage over a few harmless items,” Gina steps between Mark and Sherman. “Could it be we have the wrong safe, Tina?”

“No, Monica was pretty clear on that. The secret to Reuben’s success and his prized possession was hidden in that safe,” Tina points one beautifully manicured nail at the safe.

“A gun, a key, a ledger and a personal letter – this is what you want us to believe is what your father felt was most valuable,” Gina bends over, grabs Sunni’s chin and snaps her head up to look her straight in the eye.

Sunni with eyes full of tears and rage, “I’m telling you for the umpteenth time, that’s all I found in that safe.”

“What if someone else got to it before Sunni?” Mark wonders why he never thought of this before.

“Shut up, you stupid…,” Sherman’s teeth grind with each syllable.

“Wait, Steve, he may have a point,” Gina straightens up and rubs her own chin. “I don’t know why it never occurred to me before.”

Sunni sighs, looks up and brushes the hair away from her eyes, “No. Those were the items my father had me place in the safe after he died.”

“Did you remove something? Maybe that’s what we’re looking for?” Tina who has stood off away from the others suggests.

“What is it you’re looking for? What we’re you hoping to find?” Sunni unconsciously waves her hands wildly in front of her.

Sunni rises out of her seat. Lt. Sherman reaches for her. Mark grabs his arm. Gina waves Sherman off.

“What you desire is not here,” Sunni walks over and stands facing Celia.

Mark watches the two sisters. Celia seems to find it difficult to look at Sunni. Celia’s head hangs until her chin touches her chest. Celia who is normally vibrant and vivacious is now solemn and lifeless.

Sunni, on the other hand, has never looked more lovely to Mark. Sunni whose face though lovely usually bears a scowl hard at work thinking or assessing. Now, Sunni’s large eyes are full of warmth and tenderness.

Sunni takes Celia’s hands in hers, “I’m willing to forget these last several minutes happened if Mark is.”

Mark is somewhat shocked at this suggestion that seems to come out of nowhere suddenly. With just a moment’s hesitation, Mark can find no good reason to agree.

“Are you sure? It looks like someone hurt you. They may know something about Monica’s death. They may have had something to do with it,” Mark begins to think out loud.

“The authorities are investigating Monica’s death. I have another calling.”

“Aren’t you curious to know what they are looking for and why it is so important as to kill Monica and to harass us?”

“I don’t think they even know, Mark. I think they’re afraid of something but they don’t even know who their enemies or friends are,” Sunni remains calm and she never takes her eyes off of Celia.

Mark begins to absorb Sunni’s argument. He is still too upset and angry to agree with Sunni.

“We’re not the enemy. You’re not their enemy, Mark. Show them. Prove to them.”

Mark is not completely certain that he’s not their enemy. They made him feel enmity toward them.

“I’m not your enemy, Celia. We’re sisters. Our mother, our father, our stepmother are gone,” Sunni carefully wraps her hands around Celia’s hands.

Celia finally looks up and stares at Sunni with a look of bewilder. Mark watches Celia’s reaction. It is almost like Celia doesn’t recognize Sunni.

“These others want something from you. I just want you to trust me and be my sister, my family,” Sunni continues to hold Celia’s hands.

“I don’t know if I can trust you,” Celia shakes Sunni’s hands away. “You don’t seem to care that Monica was killed.”

“Do you believe I had something to do with Monica’s death?” Sunni’s forehead furrows.

“No, of course not. I don’t know. Maybe you did. I just don’t know.”

Mark wonders if everyone is as confused as he is and Celia seems to be. Sunni’s point about telling your friends from your enemies applies to him. Sunni appears to be wanting him to try and be friends with this group.

Celia did come to the ER but then forced him back here and pulled a weapon on him. She was egged on by Tina. Lt. Sherman has belittled and threatened him at every opportunity.

Yet, Sunni seems to have encountered as much or more abuse. She is willing to forgive. Is that strength or fear on her part? Could it be a ploy – keep your friends close; your enemies closer?

Mark decides to follow Sunni’s lead, “Okay, Sunni, I’ll forget that the last several minutes happened.”

“Are we going to trust these two?” Tina still standing separated from the others shrieks.

Celia glances over Sunni’s shoulder at Gina. Then, Celia looks at Sunni.

“I can trust this one,” Celia gestures toward Sunni.

“Steve,” Gina shows her approval, “you need to follow some other lead into Monica’s death.”

“Wha…?” Lt. Sherman responds as if awakened from a nap, “Oh, yeah, certainly.”

Lt. Sherman obediently starts to leave. He sneers at Mark before turning toward the exit out of the library. As he passes by Tina, she shakes her head and gives him what appears to Mark to be a look of pity.

Gina whispers something to Celia and heads toward the exit. She, too, passes by Tina who addresses Gina with the same expression she gave Sherman.

After Sherman and Gina are out of sight, Tina turns and over her shoulder calls, “What are you going to do with the black man?”

Mark cannot remember Tina saying anything derogatory at him. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t remember her ever even speaking to him.

“I could give him a ride home. We’re practically neighbors.”

“Actually, I would appreciate it,” Celia says and then turns to Sunni, “if that’s alright with Sunni.”

Sunni addresses Mark, “Do you mind, Mark? I think Celia and I need to talk.”

Mark studies his options based on these last two library visits. This visit far less traumatic than Buck, Bud and Blake. Then, there’s Celia who pulled a gun on him and Tina who thought that was appropriate to do to a “black man.”

Since he detects no weapon on Tina, he agrees to accept her offer. Why should he interfere with what may be Tina’s first experience of riding with a black man?

When they exit the De La Croix home, the car Tina and Gina arrived in is still parked behind Celia’s while the detective vehicle is gone. Tina waves and soon the car behind Celia’s rolls away with Gina aboard.

After a few moments, another car similar to the one Gina rode off in only longer and shinier. It reminds Mark of a hurst. He hopes that’s not an omen.

Mark questions his choice of accepting a ride with Tina. There’s something about this scene that suddenly makes Mark very uneasy.

“Don’t be alarmed, Professor Masters,” Tina’s tone is more tender than when she was inside, “I have some things to tell you that you need to hear.”

Categories: Adventure Mystery Writing example

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

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