Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


What A View – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS




Marcia stood on the balcony of  her second-story room at the lodge. She stared up at the stars, admiring the view she had of them out here, so far away from the city lights that tend to drown out their shine. There were so many bright stars to see out in the country, she loved the sight and could watch them all night.

A shooting star streaked across the sky, and Marcia made a wish as a tear slipped from the corner of her eye. She wished Jimmy could be there to see the view the with her – and so she could catch a view of his sweet face again, smiling at her.

A faint rustling noise from the woods across the wide yard from her caught her attention, and she glanced down from the night sky to look. In the faint moonlight she spotted a shadowy figure at the edge of the woods. She leaned a bit over the balcony railing, trying to get a better look.

It looked like the shadow of a person, but she couldn’t tell if it was a man or woman, and it looked like they were dragging something big and long into the woods. As she watched, what looked like an arm fell to the side of the form being dragged.

Marcia’s eyes widened and she covered her mouth as she gasped.

The lodge had advertised amazing, memorable night views, but this wasn’t exactly the sort of view she’d expected.

She turned away and hurried back into her room for her phone.

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “view”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 10/16







A Lion’s Mouth – One-liner Wednesday #1linerWeds

“If you place you head in a lion’s mouth, then you cannot complain one day if he happens to bite it off.” – Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot)


This post is part of One-liner Wednesday:

One-Liner Wednesday – Is it just me?

(quote image found on Pinterest)


1 Comment

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


Dispose – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

“I know that, but he left me no choice and now I need to dispose of the evidence.”

This is part of Linda’s new prompt, Tuesday Use It In A Sentence:

Leave a comment

The Dognapped Princess (Chronicles of Riss excerpt)

I’ve decided to share an excerpt from one of the stories that can be found in my Chronicles of Riss story collection (available as e-book from Amazon and other sites). Hope you enjoy it. I had fun writing it and have been playing around with the idea of doing something similar some time (a fantasy Nancy Drew-ish series of stories or novels).

I was sitting at a back table in Eli’s Tavern in Westover, eating a delicious bowl of lamb stew, when they walked in. I spotted them out of the corner of my eye as I was taking a bite of stew. Two people stood in the tavern’s doorway, looking around the room. One of them was a tall, skinny young man about my age of sixteen years. He had a pock-marked face framed by greasy black hair and wore the plain clothes of a houseboy. He also seemed to me to be rather nervous, like he really didn’t want to be there. The other person was a plump, middle-aged brunette woman richly dressed in a red silk dress and fur-trimmed traveling cloak. Instead of nervousness, I picked up a sense of anxiousness from her, as if she was desperate for something. The duo spotted me, and made their way toward my table. I continued to eat as I watched them approach. I knew what they wanted. They wanted what everyone who comes to me while I’m eating wants – my help as a problem-solving sorceress-for-hire.

“I’m terribly sorry to bother you while you’re at lunch, Miss Marissa,” said the woman as she and the young man sat down across from me. The young man kept his head down, not bothering to look at me or his companion. “However, I am in desperate need of your help.”

See? I told you.

“Naturally,” I said as I set my spoon aside and brushed cobalt blue hair out of my eyes. “So, what can I do for you?”

“My baby is missing and I want you to find her and bring her back.”

“Your baby? Well, sure, I could find her for you. But isn’t this a situation more appropriate for the city constables to handle?”

The lady shook her head emphatically. “No, no, no. I can’t get them involved. The letter expressly said not to.”

My brow wrinkled slightly in suspicion. “Letter? What are you talking about? I thought you said she was missing.”

“She is. She’s been stolen.” The lady reached into a pocket of her cloak and pulled out a folded slip of parchment, which she held out to me. “Here. This should explain things somewhat. I received it this morning.”

Curious, I took the note and read it. Here is what it said:

If you want your precious Princess back, deliver 1,500 gold pieces at noon tomorrow to the

abandoned warehouse down by the docks. I will return Princess to you then. Do not go to the

authorities. If you do, Princess will die.

Sounds like a fairly standard ransom letter, I thought, so I doubt we’re dealing with a criminal mastermind here. There was one thing in the letter that stood out to me, though. “Princess?” I asked.

“Yes,” the lady answered. “That is her call name. Her full registered name for showing is Lysa’s Little Snow Princess.”

“Call name?” I repeated in confusion. “Registered name? Showing?” Then I realized what she was saying. “Wait a minute. Are we talking about a dog?!”

“Yes. My baby, Princess, is a champion show dog. She has won multiple Best In Show awards. She’s entered in the annual Westover Dog Show that is scheduled for tomorrow night. Please, Miss Marissa, get my Princess back!”

“I don’t know. I’ve never looked for missing pets before.”

“Please? I need my Princess back. I don’t want to pay the ransom, but I will if I have to. But if I have to pay to get my baby back, I’d rather pay you, Miss Marissa, than the villain who took my Princess. I’m even willing to pay you the ransom price.”

My eyes lit up at the though of 1,500 gold pieces, but I kept my voice neutral as I answered. “Well, I do like animals, so I guess I can find her for you, ma’am. So, could you tell me everything that’s happened so far? But would you mind starting with why you felt it was alright to come to me if the ransom note didn’t want you to go to the authorities?”

“My husband suggested I go to you, after I showed him the letter. He said that you had just returned last night from a mission for the Lords of Westover, and that he doubted anyone else in the city knew you were back yet, not even the ransomer.”

“True. I was on a job for them, and I did get back very late last night. But how did your husband know that?”

“My husband is one of the Lords, of course. Lord Abarond.”

My eyes widened a little in shock. What?! I thought. That rotund, bald, mustachioed annoyance is actually married?!

“I’m sorry for neglecting to introduce myself earlier, Miss Marissa,” she continued. “My name is Lysa, and I’m the wife of Lord Abarond. The young man with me is our houseboy, Dirk. He also helps me take care of Princess.”

Dirk continued to look at the table, not even bothering to acknowledge Lysa’s introduction.

“All right,” I said. “So, what exactly happened to Princess?”

“Well, Dirk had taken Princess out for a walk late yesterday afternoon. When he returned, it was well into the evening. Princess was not with him, and he seemed a little upset. When I asked him what was wrong and where Princess was, he said she’d been taken.” Lysa paused to see if Dirk would say anything, but he just continued to stare at the table, so she continued the story. “According to Dirk, someone came up behind him and hit him in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. He was only dazed for a couple of moments, but by the time he came to and got up, he saw Princess being carried by a someone running down the street in a hooded black cloak. They turned down a street, and Dirk gave chase, but by the time he got there, they had disappeared. Dirk searched until it got dark, but he wasn’t able to find them or anyone who had seen them. So he came back to tell me what had happened. By then it was too late to keep searching, so we decided to look again in the morning, in the meantime hoping that Princess might find a way to escape and come home on her own. But this morning, I found that ransom note waiting for me instead of Princess. I showed it to my husband, who suggested I come to you for help. And so here I am, Miss Marissa, asking for your help.”

I thought over her story for a couple of minutes while I ate. “Do you have any idea who might have taken her?” I finally asked.

“No,” Lysa answered. “No idea.”

“How about any dog show rivals? You said Princess is a multiple champion, and she’s entered in the show here tomorrow. Maybe a competitor took her to get her out of their way.”

“But the note said that if I pay them at noon, I’d get her back. And the show isn’t until six in the evening…”
“It’s very possible that whoever took her only said that to get your money, and they actually have no intention of returning Princess to you, even if you pay.”

“It is? Then you have to find her, Miss Marissa! Please!”

“Don’t worry. I’ll find her. I promise. Now, what about any dog show rivals? Given the timing of the incident, it’s highly possible one of them took her, and I’d like to start by investigating them.”

Lysa thought for a minute, then hesitantly answered, “I hate to think that someone could hold a grudge against me and Princess enough to do something like this. But if you think it might be someone in the dog show, well, there are two people who come to mind, whom I’ve had arguments with at the last couple of shows. I suppose it’s possible one of them might have been more angry with me than I thought.”

“Who are they, and do you happen to know where I can find them?”

“Alfred Jemmson, who is staying at an inn on the east side of the city, I believe, and Myra Alistar, wife of Noel Alistar, the prominent merchant.”

I nodded. “I know of him. So his wife shows dogs, huh? All right. I’ll begin investigating after I finish eating, and will let you know what I find out as soon as possible.”

Lysa nodded. “Thank you, Miss Marissa. I really appreciate your helping me.”

“Oh, one other thing. What does Princess look like?”

“She is a small dog, about the size of a house cat, with long white fur, black eyes and nose, and a pink collar studded with diamonds.”

“Okay. Thank you. I’ll let you know something soon.”

Lysa stood up, and Dirk followed suit. I’d almost forgotten he was there, he’d been so quiet. “Thank you, again, Miss Marissa,” Lysa said. “I look forward to hearing what you find out.”

And with that, she and Dirk left. I finished my bowl of stew, which had grown cool by then but which still tasted good, and then left as well to start looking for the purloined pooch, Princess.

1 Comment

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

1 Comment

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.