Harriet1                       WELCOME!

I keep being reminded that I haven’t updated my website in some time, so I thought I should do that. It’s been at least three months since my last update, and it’s been pointed out to me that I need to provide my readers with something of value rather than just a personal update.

Since I haven’t been writing much since my problems started in February of last year, and especially since I haven’t been able to sit at my desk to type, I’m going to include portions of or entire short stories as I write them.

My first section of The Stolen Necklace follows; I hope you enjoy it.


 People aren’t always as honest as they seem, even when you’ve known them a long time. After her best friend Grace’s birthday party, 17-year-old Amy Watkins stood at her parents’ front door and kissed Walt Emerson goodnight. He was not a terribly interesting date, but she’d known him for years and he was safe. She staggered up the stairs to her bedroom and sank down in front of her vanity, barely able to keep her eyes open. Shutting them for just a moment, she thought about the party and daydreamed about how much she’d enjoyed Grace’s big brother’s attentions to her. He was a real hunk, which she’d never expected of Grace, and he’d seemed quite interested in her. His name was Hank Patterson, and at 6’2, he stood eight inches taller than she, just the right height for a dance partner.

Her next thought was about Greg Kaczynski, another young man at the party who had shown an interest in her. He was the same height as Hank, but there the resemblance ended. Greg had reddish-blond curly hair and twinkling blue eyes, compared to Hank’s dark brown hair and brooding brown eyes.

Turning to the mirror to gaze at her reflection, she had to agree with her two best friends that she’d looked tremendous earlier. Her own mahogany-hued hair and hazel eyes had been beautifully enhanced by the deep green satin dress her mom had helped her pick out. And the necklace and earrings had been the perfect jewelry to wear with the ensemble.

Smiling to herself, she reached for her hairbrush to begin getting ready for bed. She recalled, with a guilty pleasure, the envious looks she’d gotten from Rita Jackson, her “frenemy,” when the girl had walked into Grace’s living room. Amy reached back to unhook the necklace but her fingers couldn’t find the clasp. Then she realized there was no clasp — and no necklace! Her necklace was gone!

The necklace was made up of a strand of small cultured pearls with a pear-shaped emerald pendant, two and a half carats in weight. It had been left to Amy by her aunt when she died last year. The stone was framed by two rows of glittering diamonds, and her aunt had told her it was worth nearly $6,000. Each of the graceful, sophisticated earrings, worth $3,000, had a pearl from which dropped a half-carat emerald, surrounded by micropavé diamonds. Ever since she’d gotten them, Amy had yearned for a place to wear them.

She cried out and then began to sob until her younger sister, Belinda, rushed in from her room across the hall. “What’s the matter, Amy? Are you hurt?” 14-year-old Belinda exclaimed. She ran over to her sister and threw her arms around her. “What happened, Amy?” she asked.

After weeping brokenly for a few minutes, Amy was able to stammer out, “M-m-my necklace!” She clutched at her throat. “It’s gone!”

Her brow furrowed in confusion, Belinda drew back to look at Amy’s neck. It was true, she saw, there was no necklace there. Belinda had watched Amy getting dressed earlier that evening, and knew she’d worn the pearl and emerald necklace. “Did you lose it?” she asked, trying very hard not to sound judgmental.

“No, I didn’t lose it,” Amy said. “I think someone must have stolen it.”

“Who could have done that?” Belinda asked with a frown. “Did you take it off and put it down somewhere? Was the clasp broken? Or did someone hold you up with a gun? You’re still wearing the earrings. So if someone stole the necklace, they didn’t get the earrings, too. Should we call the police?”

“No!” Amy cried. “I don’t know how it got stolen. I was wearing it the last time I looked in a mirror at about 11, when I went into the bathroom to check my hair. So it was taken between 11 and 1 o’clock, when I walked in our front door. I know the clasp was all right so it didn’t fall off, and no one held me up at gunpoint. I never took it off this evening. Ever!” She turned away, put her head down on her fists and began weeping again.

After a moment Belinda, trying hard to be logical, asked, “So who did you dance with? Could one of your partners have unhooked the necklace while you were dancing with him?”

Amy shrugged and shook her head; she hadn’t thought of that. “But none of my partners would have done that!” she exclaimed. “And I only danced with Greg and Hank. And I’m sure they wouldn’t steal from me.”

“Are you sure those are the only boys you danced with?” Belinda asked. She took a tissue from the box on the vanity and handed it to her big sister. “Did you dance with Grace’s father, maybe? Or what about your date, Walt? Surely you danced with him.”

“Hmm,” Amy pondered. “You’re right. I did dance with Walt, and I danced with Grace’s dad, too. And Mr. Allen cut in on Hank, I remember.”

“Who’s Mr. Allen?” Belinda asked. By now Amy had begun undressing, and had washed her face. The two of them sat on Amy’s bed while Belinda tried to get her big sister to focus and help her to figure out how she might have lost the necklace.

“Mr. Allen was my English teacher last year,” Amy said. “But Mr. Allen wouldn’t have stolen my necklace; he’s a teacher!”

“Well, Amy, let’s sleep on it,” Belinda said. “I’ll figure out who stole your necklace, and Felicity and I will get it back for you.” She waited until her sister was under the covers, and stayed in the room until she saw that Amy had begun to relax.

Back in her own bedroom, Belinda sat at her desk and wrote out a list which she headed “Suspects.” She decided she’d better wait until morning to call her best friend, Felicity. The two of them could work on solving the theft when they were both fresh. Maybe Amy could tell them a little more after breakfast.

Belinda lay in her own bed and her dreams, though she didn’t really remember them all in the morning, were about digging holes in the backyard, and searching her mother’s and her sister’s drawers, though in the dream she didn’t know just what she was looking for.


I’ll try to bring you more of the story in two weeks; in the meantime, maybe you’d like to leave me your email address so I can add it to my subscribers. I’m going to be working out something to send to just my email list; I hope you’ll be on the list.

Best regards,

Harriet Darling


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