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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Friday, April 05, 2013

E is for Ernest Hemingway

The bell tingled above Pepper Black’s head as she opened the door of McCormick’s Boat Rentals. A man sat behind the counter sorting through a carton of Rapala fishing lures.

“Excuse me,” said Pepper. “Are you Steve McCormick?”

“That would be me. What can I do ya for?”

Pepper unclipped her badge from her belt and opened it for Steve to see. “I’m Investigator Black from the county sheriff’s office. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Margie Webster.”

Steve dropped the lures back in the box and sat down on the stool behind the register. “Damn bad business that. Margie was a nice gal. Quiet, except when it came to fishing or anything about this lake here. She knew her stuff. Customers liked her.”

Pepper took out her pen and note pad and flipped to a clean page. “So I hear she took the day off on Friday. Did she do that often?”

“Oh no, no. Margie was always here when she was scheduled to work, always on time. Asked for the day off when she came in on Thursday.”

“Did she say what her plans were for that Friday?”

“Some trip with her book club,” Steve said. “I can't recall off the top of my head where.”

“I take it Thursday was the last time you saw her then?”

“No, as a matter of fact she came in Friday morning. Rushed in looking for a book under the counter here. Couldn’t find it at the time though. Seemed quite upset about it too.” Steve reached under and pulled out a worn paperback. “Found it a while after, she left in the break room.”

Steve extended the book to Pepper. Complete Poems, Ernest Hemingway. She opened the ragged cover and turned to the copyright page. The 1983 date justified the wear. She riffled the pages with her thumb until she arrived at a page with the corner turned over. There were markings in the margins. She read to herself the short verse called, Chapter Heading.

  For we have thought the longer thoughts
    And gone the shorter way.
And we have danced to devils’ tunes,
    Shivering home to pray;
To serve one master in the night,
    Another in the day.

Oh Margie, why didn’t you talk to someone? Whatever had been going on in her life she must have begun to realize she wasn’t herself—it was just a little too late.


Today's word - E is for Ernest Hemingway - is brought to you by Ed Martin.
If you would like to catch up, here is my 2013 A to Z Mystery Recap. 

 This post is part of April's Blogging From A-Z Challenge and Camp NaNoWriMo. The rest of the A-Z bloggers can be found pinned in the links section of my sidebar. Hope to see you tomorrow! 



  1. Hemingway is one of my favorite authors. I'm glad I could help! :)

  2. I love what you're doing with your theme!

    Damyanti @Daily(w)rite
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  3. Hemingway gave a fresh view of life. Visiting from A-Z

  4. Still loving it, will keep coming back for more.

  5. I have never read any of Hemingway's poems, so this gave me a different take on his personality. Thank you!

  6. your A-Z theme is really interesting!! totally coming back to read more!

  7. Clever way to weave the two together.


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