In his Wake – Elke Nagy

5000 word Mystery

Mildred travels from Sydney to tropical north Australia with her beloved cat, Sebastian in tow, to investigate the puzzling death of her old friend, Bert. 

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Mildred strokes the charcoal tabby, her fingers rifling through silky fur as they cuddle in an armchair by a fire in the darkened room, the flames imparting a flickering glow to a row of sea shells on the mantelpiece. The telephone rings and cat’s eyes slide open, revealing twin citrine orbs. Mildred picks up the receiver. “Hello?” A woman cries, “Bert’s gone.” “What? Who’s this?” “Lucy. Bert’s friend.” Bert was on a visit to Australia from England. He had been staying with Lucy in the north of Queensland and had next planned to stay with Mildred in her yellow sandstone cottage in Sydney beside the harbour bridge. “Gone? Gone how?” Mildred asks. “His leg’s been found on the bank of the Daintree river. The police say he was killed by a crocodile.” “Are they sure it’s Bert’s leg?”

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Sugar Fields – Elke Nagy

5000 words Crime

A young sassy journalist investigates the death of a woman and at the same time unlocks a secret to her past.

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Bert Mallard reclines behind a massive oak desk, sucking on a Camel cigarette. Waving me over to a chair, he barks, “Still in touch with Jane?” “Ahh… I— I—” I stutter. The chief editor’s bloodshot eyes bore into mine, his greasy lips massaging the butt. “Ahh… Yes, Mr Mallard.” Eustace Jane is famous, and a symbol for all that is honourable in the journalistic profession. His heroic exploits as an international correspondent in conflict zones across the globe are what first inspired me to sign up for a journalism degree. He’s also the reason why I was able to score an enviable position at the Brisbane Post, the leading city paper.

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The Puppet and the Seer – Elke Nagy

5000 words Crime

A mysterious older woman forms an attachment to an ambitious younger man with fatal results.

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Sydney A ferry chugs by a sandstone house perched on the edge of the sea. From an open window comes the sound of emphatic typing. Sultry blues is playing on the radio when a news bulletin cuts in, “…author of the highly successful novel, ‘One Day,’ has just been found dead. At this stage, the cause of death is unknown. The Los Angeles police are investigating…” The typing falters and stops. Starts. Stops again. Three months earlier Isabelle lies naked in a ray of gold sunshine amidst a heap of sheets. It’s a balmy day, the air scented with jasmine. A couple of magpies flutter to the potted fig tree on the verandah, and squabble over a grasshopper with a crack of sharp beaks. The front door opens and closes, footsteps pace down the hall and move onto ceramic tiles, chinks of crockery. The footsteps approach the bedroom, a discreet tap on the door.

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