Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing

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Nuance – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

As Nancy sat at the table listening to Fred tell her what happened, she watched his facial expressions closely to pick up the slightest nuances. Finally, she nodded and stood up. “That’s enough, Fred,” she announced sternly. “You can stop with your silly story. I’ve seen enough.” She opened the door and said, “Officer, you may escort him away. Oh, and let me speak to the captain.”



This post is part of the new prompt, Tuesday Use It In A Sentence:


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What do we do now? (untitled story part 8) – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS




“What do we do now, Lucy?” Mike Evans asked his partner as they sat at a table at a diner near the police station. “We don’t really have many leads. The neighbors all say the saw nothing, and the surveillance camera photo was too blurry for a positive ID of the man in a hoodie. All we know is that it wasn’t Jared Martin.”

“I know, Mike,” Lucy said, setting down her sandwich to take a sip of her Pepsi. “This is turning into quite a stickler of a case. What do you think we should do? Go back and look over the crime scene again?”

“We could dot that, I suppose. But I don’t know that we would find much more than the CSIs have already found. Maybe we should take another look at the anonymous call that sent us to that house in the first place, telling us that Jared Martin had been hiding out at that house.”

“Not a bad idea, Mike. I think the call was recorded. Maybe it could be analyzed to see if the voice could tell us anything. But that’s still something for the lab techs to do. We need to do something ourselves, or the captain will have our hides.”

Mike nodded. “I guess that only leaves us with the option of looking over the crime scene again.”

“That’s what I thought.” Lucy sighed and set down the last bite of her sandwich. “I think the CSIs are done with the scene for now, anyway. So let’s head back and take a look around. Maybe we’ll get lucky and find something they missed. Or if we’re really lucky, the old adage will prove true and the criminal will return to the scene of the crime.”

“We can only hope he’s stupid enough.”

Detective Lucy Johnson and her partner left the diner to return to the scene of the grizzly double murder, Mike making a call along the way to ask to have the recording of the anonymous phone tip analyzed.

When they arrived at the house, it was taped up in yellow crime scene tape. Lucy pulled the tape away from the door and she and Mike entered the house.

Across the street, sitting in a car parked a couple of houses away, a man in a hoodie watched them with a frown.



This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Jan. 16/16


Previous parts:

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

part 7

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Aye, Sir (Untitled Story Part 7) – Stream of Consciousness Saturday (I/Eye/Aye)



“So you still managed to come up empty?” the captain said, narrowing his eyes at Detective Lucy Johnson and her partner, Mike Evans.

“We’re still actively investigating it, sir,” Lucy replied from her seat across from the captain. “We just wanted to let you know that we’d asked all the neighbors and they’d not noticed anything suspicious prior to the crime. I know it sounds unbelievable, sir, but we did ask every possible neighbor…”

A knock sounded at the captain’s door, and a lab tech with a manila folder in hand entered without waiting for a response. “Sir, I thought you should see this,” he said excitedly, handing the folder to the captain.

Lucy and Mike leaned over the desk as the captain opened the folder to reveal a grainy black-and-white photo of a somewhat blurry man in a hoodie exiting the back door of the crime scene and heading for the shed.

“What is this?” the captain asked.

“It’s a surveillance photo of the victim’s back yard. We only just now were able to retrieve the data and go through it, as the system was highly secure. We’re doing our best to clean up the photo and get a better view of the man’s features to identify him. But from what we can tell, this is not Jared Martin.”

“I agree,” Lucy said. “This guy isn’t Jared Martin. He’s not the right build, and though his features are a little blurry, they don’t match.”

“All right,” the captain said. “You all keep plugging away at this. Find out who this guy is, what connection he might have to Jared Martin, and stop him before he can do anything else.”

“Aye, sir!” they all said with a salute before leaving the captain’s office.


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday


Previous parts:

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6



Indubitably (untitled story part 6) – Stream of Consciousness Saturday (In-)


“You’re sure?”

“Indubitably”, the old lady said with a curt nod as she stood in her doorway in her dressing gown.

“What?” Mike Evans said. “What’s that?”

Detective Lucy Johnson cast her partner a glance and gave her head a small shake. “Really, Mike? You’ve never heard that word before?”


Lucy rolled her eyes. “I need to get you reading more. It means ‘undoubtedly’, just so you know. In case you ever come across it again.” She turned her attention back to the old lady. “So, ma’am, let me get this straight. You’re saying you haven’t seen or heard anything suspicious from next door at all today?”

“That’s right. I’ve been home all day, watching the television. I love to watch the game shows and the daytime stories, you know. Never miss them if I can help it.”

“So you didn’t notice anyone strange go inside next door, or any strange noises.”

“Nothing until all the sirens and such a little while ago.” She shook her head. “Such a shame what happened. They were such nice, quiet people.”

“Well, if you think of anything, please let us know,” Mike told her, handing her a business card.

“I’ll do that,” she said, taking the card and sticking it in a pocket of her dressing gown. “I hope you find whoever did it.”

Lucy and Mike thanked her, then turned and left.

“I can’t believe we’ve checked every neighboring house, and no one’s noticed anything,” Mike said as they walked back down the sidewalk.

“I know. But let’s keep checking. Someone around here has to have noticed something.”



This is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:


Previous parts:

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

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Untitled Story part 5

The captain looked at the photos and printouts in the manila folder the lab tech handed him. “What is all this?” he asked.

“Photos of a hand gun found under the living room couch. We believe the killer may have accidentally knocked it under there while moving the bodies. Luminol testing revealed traces of blood in the living room which lead us to believe it was the primary crime scene, and that the killer cleaned it up before he left. Ballistics tests confirm the gun as the murder weapon.”

“Well done,” said the captain, “but that doesn’t explain your eager interruption of my scolding Detective Johnson here.”

“Yes, well, you see, sir, fingerprints found on the gun did not match the prints of Jared Martin that we have on file. Nor did they match the homeowners’ prints.”

Lucy Johnson and Mike Evans stared at the lab tech in disbelief while the captain narrowed his eyes. “So whose prints are they?”

“Unknown, sir. The system found no database match. We did find a couple of latent prints at the scene that belong to Jared Martin, though. But it doesn’t appear that he was involved in the deaths of the homeowners.”

“So what is going on?”

“The tip we followed said Jared Martin had been there,” Lucy said. “Maybe someone is using him somehow to play a game with us.”

“Perhaps. Keep working the Jared Martin case, Detective, and see if you can figure out who might be using him and why. But please try to keep to regulations this time.” The captain turned to the lab tech. “And you all keep at it. Work that crime scene for all it’s worth and find out who this guy is.”  His gaze swept over them all as he added, “Dismissed.”


“So what should we do first?” Mike asked Lucy as they closed the door to the captain’s office.

“What else? We start with the basics. Let’s head back to the crime scene and ask the neighbors if they saw or heard anything.”


part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4






First of all (untitled story part 4) – Stream of Consciousness Saturday (ordinal number)





“First of all, Detective Johnson,” he told Lucy angrily from behind his desk, “you should have gotten my permission to follow up on that tip instead of rushing over there.”

“But, Captain,” Lucy tried to interject, but the scowl on the gruff old man’s face made her bite her tongue.

“Second,” he continued, ” you should have known better than to go traipsing around a crime scene until it’d be cleared by forensics.”

Beside Lucy, Mike Evans cast her an “I told you so” look. She cast her partner a look that clearly said “don’t you dare” in return.

“And did you find anything during your little impromptu search?” added the captain snidely to his tirade. “No, you didn’t.” He sighed and shook his head slightly. “What am I going to do with you, Detective? This isn’t the first time you’ve flaunted regulations like this. I probably should discipline you somehow, but-”

The captain trailed off as his office door banged open and a lab tech came hurrying in with a manila folder in hand. “Sir,” he said excitedly. “You have to see what we found at the scene!”




This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:


Previous parts of the story are:
part 1

part 2

part 3



Untitled short story part 3

(continuation of the story started during SoCS)

part 1

part 2


Inside the shed, various tools hung along one of the walls, interspersed between a couple of small wooden shelves full of different small tools and bottles. A bicycle leaned against the far wall, covered in dust.  Boxes and plastic cartons sat against another wall. And two bodies lay not far from the door, an older adult man and woman, both bloody, bound and gagged. The man appeared to have been beaten before being  shot in the head. The woman had been shot in the chest.

“I don’t recall seeing anything inside the house that looked like a crime scene,” Detective Lucy Johnson said. “Do you, Mike?”

“No. He must have cleaned up after bringing them out here, before running off.”

Lucy knelt and examined the bodies briefly, then stood. “Well, the wounds still seem fairly fresh. I don’t think this could have happened very long ago. We’d better close this up and call it in. Then let’s see if we can figure out where Jared Martin went.”

“Shouldn’t we wait for forensics to get here before we go looking around? I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate us traipsing around their crime scene.”

“But we’ve already done that, haven’t we? Granted, we didn’t know it was a crime scene at the time. We’ll just be extra careful and keep track of where we’ve been and what we’ve touched.”

Mike Evans sighed. He knew they should probably wait for the CSIs to get there, but he also knew Lucy had a point. And they needed to find a lead as to where Jared Martin might had gone before the trail grew cold. “Well, you’re the boss,” he said. “You have gloves, right?”

She frowned at him. “Of course I do. What sort of detective do you take me for?”

“Uh, right. Ok. Let’s call it in, then, and start looking.”

Lucy gave a nod, pulled out her cell phone, and dialed.



Across the street from the house, a tall, bearded man with a red baseball cap and matching hoody walked up to Lucy and Mike’s car. He looked from it, to the house two doors down, and back, and frowned. “Already here?” he muttered. “Damn! Now how can I get it back? I can’t believe I left it.” He sighed. “I guess I have no choice.”

He stuck a hand into a pocket of his jacket and started to cross the street. As he did, sirens sounded nearby and a few moments later police cars rounded the far corner of the street.

“Damn!” the man muttered again, ducking behind Lucy’s car for cover just as the police cars pulled up in front of the house. He peered around the car and watched the new arrivals. When it seemed all their attention was focused on the house, he took a chance and ran off behind the house behind him.













On the other side – Stream of Consciousness Saturday (start with a preposition)




On the other side of the door, they found…nothing. A small, clean living room greeted them as they crossed the threshold, guns held ready before them. Detective Lucy Johnson took a quick look around the room while her partner checked out the next room, behind a door on the wall to the right.  He came back a few moments later.

“The den is all clear,” he reported.

According to the call they’d received, murder suspect Jared Martin was supposed to be hiding out in this house. The anonymous tip had sounded genuine, so she and Mike Evans had rushed over.  They had entered the house with the assumption that he would be there, armed and dangerous and ready to fire on them the moment they opened the door.

That didn’t happened, which made her suspicious.

“Let’s check the rest of the house,” she told him. “You check down here, I’ll head upstairs.”

“Right. Be careful.”

She nodded and headed for the second floor while Mike went through the double doors at the back of the living room to check out the kitchen.

She had just finished checking the first two bedrooms at the top of the stairs – both clean, and the whole floor was suspiciously quiet – when she heard Mike call for her. She hurried back downstairs.

Her partner was standing by the doors to the kitchen. She frowned at the disturbed look on his face.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“You should see this. Let me warn you, it’s not pretty.”

Her frown deepened as he led her back into the kitchen, through the back door, and to the shed in the back yard. She noted obvious drag marks in the grass leading from the back door to the shed, as well as a few small dark spots that she suspected were blood.

Mike opened the shed doors. “Look at this,” he told her grimly.

Lucy peered inside and gasped.




This short story blurb is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:

It is also a continuation of the story I started  a few weeks ago for the SoCS prompt “side”: