F3, Week 49: What’s Behind the Curtain?

Close up of hand in white glove open the curtain. Place for text

Prompt by Joyce Juzwik

Magicians use sleight of hand to confuse and deceive when they perform their tricks. Metaphorically speaking, clever criminals do the same. Some leave false clues and plant evidence to direct suspicion away from themselves. During the investigation of a crime, the curtain may be pulled back many times, but does it reveal the truth or only what the perpetrator wants revealed? Such is the nature of mystery stories. They give, they take, they hide and they reveal. But in the end, are we presented with the solution, or simply another mystery?

This week, we’re giving your story a start. Where it goes from there is up to you. Will you give us the key to that locked room at the top of the stairs? Will you take us on a guided tour of an abandoned house’s secret passageways? Will we be invited to a party where no one is who they appear to be?

Let us tag along with you through all the twists and turns of your riddle within a puzzle.

Prompt: Write a story that begins with one of the following sentences:

  1. What have I done?
  2. It was obvious that he had been lying all along.
  3. When she opened the safe, it was empty.
  4. They had to find the diary before midnight.
  5. We couldn’t let anyone know we’d been inside.

Genre: Mystery

Word Count: 1,500 or less

Deadline: Thursday, August 4, 2016

Post your story on your blog or website and provide a link to it in the comment section of this prompt.

About Evan Henry (257 Articles)
Evan Henry is a graduate student in English at the University of Virginia, where he works on the legacy of eugenics and scientific racism in American pop culture. As Head of Publishing for Black Ship Books he seeks to further social analysis of popular culture and develop new and unique voices in both creative and critical writing. His credits include Broken Frontier, the Virginia Literary Review, and numerous small publishers of fantasy and science fiction. His short story collection The Great City will be released this summer.
Contact: Twitter

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