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The Entailed Justice Claimed by Tracy

I love to write essays, short stories and fictions. And I am glad to share them here.


This short story is written as a response to the popular and top HP writer, John Hansen’s (user id: jodah) challenge of using a random opening sentence of our choice as a prompt. The details of his challenge can be found in his article:

“How to Write a Poem Using One Sentence as a Prompt”

In his article, John encourages other HP writers to write poems or short stories.

One of his rules is to use each word of the random opening sentence beginning each sentence or line of our story or poem. But he keeps it flexible. We are allowed to choose a sentence of our own and make it the basis of our story without using the particular rule.

I have kept the structure of my short story simple without using the above rule. I use a statement as a prompt taken from a novel titled “Sidney Sheldon’s Reckless” authored by Tilly Bagshawe, and I flow with it on my own until the end.

Pic: Tracy

Pic: Tracy

The Entailed Justice Claimed by Tracy

Agent Buck was furious. “How dare Tracy give more priority to her son? She should help the detectives in finding the compulsive murderer who was at play in the different cities of the US.”

The unknown murderer was white, and there had been six murders of white females including women and girls in various regions of the country. Who could be on the loose?

Agent Buck was one of the scores of detectives who were on the lookout for the murderer. They had researched his history via computer help, but each time his disguise was different, and it was difficult to catch him.

Pic: Agent Buck

Pic: Agent Buck

They wanted Tracy’s help badly in the case. With her well-known eye for details and a canny head full of ideas, she had solved mysteries with the detectives in the past.

But now Tracy wanted a calm and serene life away from the detectives, murders, and mysterious cases.

Agent Buck was thinking clearly in his mind. “If Tracy wouldn’t help, we would have to take some other action.”

Tracy lived among the mountains on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Her neighbor, a friendly older gentleman named Blake had helped her settle down and assisted her with countless other activities, including the birth of her son by taking her to the nearby hospital right on time.

Pic: Tracy’s Home Among the Mountains

Pic: Tracy’s Home Among the Mountains

She was estranged from her husband. Each of them accused of cheating on the other by seeing someone else mutually. Tracy left her home mysteriously in Florida, and her husband, Jeff couldn’t trace her out for a long time.

Jeff knew he had a son. He was instructed by Tracy never to claim their son and to stay aloof for the sake of their son’s future.

And now, Blake, the neighbor catered to Tracy and her son Nicholas’ needs.

Pic: Blake, Tracy’s Neighbor

Pic: Blake, Tracy’s Neighbor

But the detectives were back again, and it reminded Tracy how Jeff and herself together had helped them out in the past with various cases, which the detectives couldn't solve by themselves and how they had earned their fair share of compensations from solving such detective cases.

Tracy didn’t have money problems and wanted to leave her past behind. She was only interested in the upbringing and welfare of her only child, Nicholas. She wished fervently that the detectives wouldn’t bother her any longer.

Pic: Nicholas, Tracy’s son

Pic: Nicholas, Tracy’s son

Late one evening, Blake offered to take Nicholas on to the streets for a long drive. Tracy preferred to stay indoors.

Time was flying. She kept herself busy tidying up her son's room and the kitchen. She started to worry about her son and neighbor when there was an unknown call from the nearby hospital, informing her that Blake and Nicholas had been hit in the car by a huge truck. Blake died on the spot. Nicholas was in critical condition at the Holy Family hospital.

Tracy’s heart skipped twice. The whole house started moving in circles. She grabbed a chair and sat down. She told herself, “Think clearly, Tracy. You can figure this out.”

She ran a train of thoughts in her mind rationally and logically. First of all, she decided to inform Jeff, her separated husband, who was now in Europe.

Jeff was having coffee at a coffee shop when he got the call. After he received the call from Tracy, he sat on the chair, fixed, unable to think. Then after a while, he could think again, hitting upon a plan.

Pic: Jeff, Tracy’s Separated Husband

Pic: Jeff, Tracy’s Separated Husband

Tracy drove to the hospital to see the condition of Nicholas. She was allowed to see him. She went inside the unit and saw Nicholas' head all bandaged, and he could talk. Something sharp had hit Nicholas’ skull at the back, but he was able to converse fluently with Tracy.

“Mom”, he said, “I do not like it here. When can I go home?”

“You are doing okay”, said Tracy.

"Yes, Mom", said Nicholas, "except that the back of my head hurts."

“All right”, said Tracy. “Be a good boy, and we will take you out of here as soon as possible.”

Tracy said a silent prayer. “You just have to believe in God and also yourself”, reminded Tracy herself.

Right now, she believed strongly her son would recuperate. She didn’t tell Nicholas yet that Blake had passed on.

She stayed with him for a few more hours until she was told to leave. Luckily Jeff, soon after, reached Holy Family hospital and gave his name and introduction. The hospital authorities, after contacting Tracy at home, allowed Jeff to see his son.

Jeff was careful not to weep in front of his son. He hadn't been there during all his childhood. Jeff just came to know through Tracy that he had a son about a year ago. He had talked to him and played with him for a while at Tracy's home. As mentioned before, he promised Tracy that he would never claim him to be his son. But the father-son relationship was a blood relationship, and naturally, Jeff ached for his son.

Jeff was asked to leave the unit by the hospital staff. Nicholas needed to relax and rest.

Jeff sat on the hospital seat outside the unit where his son was. He dozed off a little when Tracy showed up.

She said sharply, “You are still here?”

Jeff said, “He is my son as well. Obviously, I am concerned.”

Tracy replied, “Yes, I understand. Did you have breakfast?”

Jeff said, “No, I wouldn’t leave so soon. Do you know if anybody deliberately did this to our son?”

Tracy said, “Not that I can think of.”

Jeff asked, “Who did you last talk with before this incident happened?”

Tracy rewinded her mind, and finally, she could recall and said, "Oh well! I talked with the detectives, including Agent Buck. They wanted me to trace a compelling murderer, which I declined.

“Do you think Agent Buck could be behind this accident?” asked Jeff.

"I am not sure. I didn't think Agent Buck could be that dangerous."

“How about Nicholas?” Tracy added. “Do you think he would recover fully?”

Jeff replied, “His brain isn’t damaged. His skull is just a little bruised. We will all make it, Tracy.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Sure”, said Tracy, fumbling for more words until she collapsed into Jeff’s strong arms.

Jeff said comfortingly, “Everything is going to be all right. There no need to cry.”

Tracy was back to herself and rubbed her tears away with a piece of tissue.

She said calmly, “Thank you, Jeff, for being here. I appreciate your support in a tough time like this.”

She added with an air of confidence, “We must seek justice for what has happened to our only son and my neighbor, Blake. Blake was such a good soul with an always helping hand.”

Pic: Tracy Demands Justice

Pic: Tracy Demands Justice

Finally, Jeff said, “I have to go on a quick errand. I will be back as soon as I can.”

Tracy had breakfast at a neighboring shop and waited for Nicholas to wake up so that she could talk to him again.

After three hours, Jeff came back, and the family was neatly united.

“Uncle Jeff”, said Nicholas, “will you teach me chess? I was about to learn it from you when you suddenly left the last time.”

Jeff was touched. “Sure, Nicholas, if your Mom permits.”

Tracy replied, “Uncle Jeff has the permission.”

Nicholas started to improve, and the hospital staff moved him to a cabin. Two days later, they removed the bandage and scanned his head thoroughly to make sure he had healed fully.

Nicholas was released from the hospital. The trio was a family again among the mountains.

Tracy slowly revealed to Nicholas, "You know, Nick, Uncle Jeff is your father. We argued six years ago and have stayed separated since then. But now we are back as a family. Do you like the idea?”

“Sure, Mom”, said Nicholas. “Dad, I am glad you are not only Uncle Jeff but also my real Dad. I have always thought we were close somehow.”

Jeff and his son embraced each other in a long, warm hug.

“I wouldn’t like you to be hurt again”, said Jeff. “You are as precious to me as you are to Mom.”

“Thanks, Dad”, said Nicholas, “I am happy I have both Mom and Dad.”

Meanwhile, Jeff had already been to the Detective Headquarters and the Chief Justice Section of Supreme Court while he was on the errand from the hospital. He filed a case with both of them that Agent Buck was responsible for neighbor Blake's death and Nicholas' head injury in what seemed like a car accident on the highway.

The case was tried out, and Agent Buck went through a trial. He was found guilty and was sentenced to life-long imprisonment.

Book Cover

The book cover of the novel from which I extracted the opening statement of my short story as a prompt is shown below.

Pic: Book Cover of the Novel

Pic: Book Cover of the Novel

A Lovely Quote

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.

— Robert McKee

© 2021 Rosina S Khan


Rosina S Khan (author) on March 18, 2021:

Sorry Lora I didn't get what you meant by "I’m glad this guy finally got what he deserved." I thought the guy was Jeff who got his family back which he deserved. When I reread it, I got what you meant. The guy, Agent Buck got his punishment which he deserved. I am glad to clarify it.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 18, 2021:

I am glad, Lora, you enjoyed the story. Yes, the guy, Jeff finally got what he deserved. Thank you for your generous thoughts and I truly appreciate you comments.

Lora Hollings on March 18, 2021:

You did a very good job with this story, Rosina. It was a bittersweet story and I really enjoyed the twist at the end. I’m glad this guy finally got what he deserved. Well done!

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 18, 2021:

Welcome here! You are free to comment.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 18, 2021:

I am glad you enjoyed the story and especially how I have portrayed the character of Jeff. Thank you so much for your valuable feedback. I appreciate it truly, Ravi.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on March 18, 2021:

Great story Rosina. I like the way you have paced your story and brought out the well-fleshed character of Jeff. Great stuff Rosina.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 16, 2021:

What do you mean, Manatita, when you say it's good to read my piece once more? Have you read it before and commented also? If so, I hadn't received your comment. I am glad you read it loyally again and commented again. I am pleased you liked the story. I appreciate your comments.

manatita44 from london on March 16, 2021:

Lovely story. At least you're being creative with John's work. Good to read your piece once more.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 16, 2021:

I am glad you were finally able to find it in the feed. I am delighted you like the story. Yes, John said I could write a short story if I wish to partake. Hence, this output. I appreciate your generous comments, Peggy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 16, 2021:

I am so glad I was finally able to find this in the feed. You are a born storyteller! I am glad this little family was finally reunited. I assumed that this would be a poem of some sort. Your story came as a surprise.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 16, 2021:

Thank you, Fran. I am glad you like the story. I appreciate your kind comments.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on March 16, 2021:

Rosina, great story. Vivid imagination.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you so much, Chrish. I appreciate your generous comment. Have a great day too.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on March 15, 2021:

A great response to Sir John's challenge! Absolutely captivating.

A great day to you!

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Ankita, for enjoying the story. I truly appreciate your comments.

Ankita B on March 15, 2021:

This was an interesting story and you have very well managed to keep the readers engaged. I enjoyed reading this very much.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Denise, for checking out my article. I appreciate your comments. Blessings to you too.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 15, 2021:

I love it when families reunite. Good job.



Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

I am glad you enjoyed the read, Misbah. Thank you for your generous comments. Truly appreciated.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on March 15, 2021:

This is a very good and engaging story, Rosina

I enjoyed the read. This is definitely a unique response to John's challenge

Thanks a lot for sharing, you did very well


Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Pamela for your impression about me. I tried to do my best with John's challenge. As for writing books, yes, that also I have in mind. Gratitude for your generous comments.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 15, 2021:

This is a very interesting story, and you are a very good story teller, Rosina. You sure did a good job of using the prompt. I hope you will write many books as you are a very talented author.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda, for liking the story. I appreciate your generous comments a lot.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 15, 2021:


I think John's prompt put your mind on overdrive.

Fantastic work! I love it!

You had me interested from the very beginning.

So glad they all got back together as a family.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Nithya, for your kind comments. It's so lovely to see you here. I am happy you enjoyed the story.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

I am glad you liked the story- a response to the challenge. Thank you for your kind comments. I really appreciate them.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 15, 2021:

I enjoyed reading this story, and you kept me spellbound from beginning to end.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 15, 2021:

You had us hooked from the opening paragraphs. Well done! Nice response to the challenge.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

I am glad you found it unique and enjoyed it as well. I appreciate your generous comments. Thank you, John.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on March 15, 2021:

A unique interpretation of my challenge, Rosina. I enjoyed this story that kept me engaged and appreciate all the effort you put into it. Well done.

Rosina S Khan (author) on March 15, 2021:

Thank you, Chitrangada, I am glad you liked my response to John's challenge. I am happy to know Sidney Sheldon is one of your favorites. Truly appreciated.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on March 15, 2021:

An interesting and engaging story, and as I have always maintained that you are a great storyteller. You kept the attention from the start till the end.

What a wonderful response to John’s challenge! And, it’s different and unique. Sidney Sheldon is one of my favourite.

Thank you for sharing this.

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