Project Nancy Drew

It all started with Josiah Crowley's old clock...

PROLOGUE

The house before me seemed very lonesome. It had a sense of a decaying personality that permeated through brick and mortar. It was a small Victorian-style home that had seen better days.  The steps leading to the weather-beaten brown door were splotchy and worn. In front of the door, at its base, was a fraying Home Sweet Home mat. The letters on it were sun-bleached and deteriorating. Yet this was someone's home...

Next to the steps were the remains of a once blooming garden.  The tiny plot of dirt was overwhelmed by weeds and hardened flowers, attempting to grow in the treacherous choke of the weeds.  But amongst all that was one lone red tulip. It wasn't a sickly red color but a red that was vibrant and prosperous.  It was a message of hope, a light in that gardening darkness...

This was what I saw and absorbed from behind the wrought-iron spiked fence.  It was a depressing sight, nevertheless.  I had come here in search for answers and, so far, the prospects weren't looking so good.  I closed my eyes and tried to think on what I was doing.

Was it going to be worth it?

Would I be chasing after some phantasmal wind?

As I stood there, comtemplating those questions, the wind picked up speed, just enough to become a soothing gentle breeze.  It acted as a virtual enforcer of what I believed in--or what Ithought I believed in.  With that thought, I reopened my eyes and took in the ensuing scene before me.  The same ghost of years' loneliness began to overtake me.  I couldn't let it do that to me so I quickly mentally shook off the feeling and took in a deep breath.

When I placed my youthful hands on the wrought-iron fence, the metal felt cool and somber to the touch.  For some unexplained reason, it triggered a symbolic trigger of memories in my head...no, not now...go on...you came here to do this.  After another breath to calm my nerves, to capture all of the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I lifted opened the gate-latch and pushed the fence-gate open.  As it opened, it shrieked and creaked as its badly-oiled and rusty hinges were turned.  The fence-gate swung opend in front of me, and I stepped unto the brick walkway leading to the three doorsteps in front of the front door.

My ears had been repulsed by the noise of the hinges, a cousin to that of fingernails on a chalkboard. It quickly passed and stopped.  Before proceeding to the front door, I pondered on everything around me once more.  When was the last time that loving care had been shown to this garden of dashed dreams?  of the frightening realities that had set in where aspirations of the future had been? It must have hurt, I thought--it must have hurt to watch your flowers, planted by your toil and sweat, just wither away...It must have hurt to watch them only be picked up by the wind of this world.

Ashes to ashes...dust to dust...

Whoever lived here had gone through those trials and tribulations, had seen times both good and bad go by, had watched the next generation grow up and move away from this forgotten street--what stories they could tell! All that they needed were ears willing enough to listen, for them to share their memories with, for someone to show up and ask them about a long, forgotten, and hazy past...I looked down at my feet at the variations of red brick that i was walking upon.  Who else had walked up to those three doorsteps? Who else had thought of making a visit to this lonesome decaying Victorian home?  Did those people also have burning questions that needed answers?  As I thought about those meandering questions, I reconsidered what I was seeking:

Could this home provide me with some missing pieces of the puzzle?

Of course it could! Why else were you willing to make that long drive to this destination? Because inside of you you believed in hope: the hope that this forgotten stranger could lead you along your quest. I began to smile--though I was still somewhat terrified on what I was about to do. And yet I took comfort in the one lone red tuplip, growing in the midst of that weed-ridden garden.  Somehow, some way, it had gotten the strength to break through the enemy's canopy, and to get its own bit of refreshing sunlight.

I was almost tempted to pick up the red tulip and to take it home with me. Immediately, though, I realized what a pointless memento it would be. It would have died and the red petals would have withered and fallen off...ashes to ashes....dust to dust... A memento of it would have defeated its purpose: it was a survivor--it wanted to live, to grow, to be beautiful in the sun!

Ashamed, I retreated my hand away from the red tulip as fast as I could. Resist the temptation, young man. Let it stay, something whispered inside of me. Let is stay as a reminder to anyone else that may come here. But who else will come here, I thought? By the looks of it, I may be the first visitor in a very long time. The same whisper responded back. It doesn't matter...let it stay. Suddenly, the day seemed to become much more promising. The sun shone above me and the Victorian home didn't seem all that monstrous anymore to me.

Hope. That was all I needed. Hope.

I smiled once more and thought of the quest that I had willingly decided to undertake. Yes, it would be a mounting challenge. But I knew too things about myself that provided a bit of comfort to counteract against the task ahead. I was a writer and I wanted this story to be told. Secondly, I knew that being a writer presented challenges and, if I knew myself, I loved challenges. Bring them on! There was something of a thrill in taking it by the horns, dodging, and overcoming obstacles, solving the riddles, deciphering the cryptograms, and understanding the solutions that eluded me. There was one other thing about it that made it my own--it was crossing that much-desired finish-line that you've worked so hard to reach.

As I walked up the three door-steps, it felt as if I was beginning a race and crossing a finish-line at the same time.

Prologue

The house before me seemed very lonesome. It had a sense of a decaying personality that permeated through brick and mortar. It was a small Victorian-style home that had seen better days.  The steps leading to the weather-beaten brown door were splotchy and worn. In front of the door, at its base, was a fraying Home Sweet Home mat. The letters on it were sun-bleached and deteriorating. Yet this was someone's home...

Next to the steps were the remains of a once blooming garden.  The tiny plot of dirt was overwhelmed by weeds and hardened flowers, attempting to grow in the treacherous choke of the weeds.  But amongst all that was one lone red tulip. It wasn't a sickly red color but a red that was vibrant and prosperous.  It was a message of hope, a light in that gardening darkness...

This was what I saw and absorbed from behind the wrought-iron spiked fence.  It was a depressing sight, nevertheless.  I had come here in search for answers and, so far, the prospects weren't looking so good.  I closed my eyes and tried to think on what I was doing.

Was it going to be worth it?

Would I be chasing after some phantasmal wind?

As I stood there, comtemplating those questions, the wind picked up speed, just enough to become a soothing gentle breeze.  It acted as a virtual enforcer of what I believed in--or what Ithought I believed in.  With that thought, I reopened my eyes and took in the ensuing scene before me.  The same ghost of years' loneliness began to overtake me.  I couldn't let it do that to me so I quickly mentally shook off the feeling and took in a deep breath.

When I placed my youthful hands on the wrought-iron fence, the metal felt cool and somber to the touch.  For some unexplained reason, it triggered a symbolic trigger of memories in my head...no, not now...go on...you came here to do this.  After another breath to calm my nerves, to capture all of the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I lifted opened the gate-latch and pushed the fence-gate open.  As it opened, it shrieked and creaked as its badly-oiled and rusty hinges were turned.  The fence-gate swung opend in front of me, and I stepped unto the brick walkway leading to the three doorsteps in front of the front door.

My ears had been repulsed by the noise of the hinges, a cousin to that of fingernails on a chalkboard. It quickly passed and stopped.  Before proceeding to the front door, I pondered on everything around me once more.  When was the last time that loving care had been shown to this garden of dashed dreams?  of the frightening realities that had set in where aspirations of the future had been? It must have hurt, I thought--it must have hurt to watch your flowers, planted by your toil and sweat, just wither away...It must have hurt to watch them only be picked up by the wind of this world.

Ashes to ashes...dust to dust...

Whoever lived here had gone through those trials and tribulations, had seen times both good and bad go by, had watched the next generation grow up and move away from this forgotten street--what stories they could tell! All that they needed were ears willing enough to listen, for them to share their memories with, for someone to show up and ask them about a long, forgotten, and hazy past...I looked down at my feet at the variations of red brick that i was walking upon.  Who else had walked up to those three doorsteps? Who else had thought of making a visit to this lonesome decaying Victorian home?  Did those people also have burning questions that needed answers?  As I thought about those meandering questions, I reconsidered what I was seeking:

Could this home provide me with some missing pieces of the puzzle?

Of course it could! Why else were you willing to make that long drive to this destination? Because inside of you you believed in hope: the hope that this forgotten stranger could lead you along your quest. I began to smile--though I was still somewhat terrified on what I was about to do. And yet I took comfort in the one lone red tuplip, growing in the midst of that weed-ridden garden.  Somehow, some way, it had gotten the strength to break through the enemy's canopy, and to get its own bit of refreshing sunlight.

I was almost tempted to pick up the red tulip and to take it home with me. Immediately, though, I realized what a pointless memento it would be. It would have died and the red petals would have withered and fallen off...ashes to ashes....dust to dust... A memento of it would have defeated its purpose: it was a survivor--it wanted to live, to grow, to be beautiful in the sun!

Ashamed, I retreated my hand away from the red tulip as fast as I could. Resist the temptation, young man. Let it stay, something whispered inside of me. Let is stay as a reminder to anyone else that may come here. But who else will come here, I thought? By the looks of it, I may be the first visitor in a very long time. The same whisper responded back. It doesn't matter...let it stay. Suddenly, the day seemed to become much more promising. The sun shone above me and the Victorian home didn't seem all that monstrous anymore to me.

Hope. That was all I needed. Hope.

I smiled once more and thought of the quest that I had willingly decided to undertake. Yes, it would be a mounting challenge. But I knew too things about myself that provided a bit of comfort to counteract against the task ahead. I was a writer and I wanted this story to be told. Secondly, I knew that being a writer presented challenges and, if I knew myself, I loved challenges. Bring them on! There was something of a thrill in taking it by the horns, dodging, and overcoming obstacles, solving the riddles, deciphering the cryptograms, and understanding the solutions that eluded me. There was one other thing about it that made it my own--it was crossing that much-desired finish-line that you've worked so hard to reach.

As I walked up the three door-steps, it felt as if I was beginning a race and crossing a finish-line at the same time.

The End

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