U is for Urgent Undertaking

Day 21 of the challenge!

My theme is NIFTY NUGGETS. Little nuggets of writing based on a photo, a phrase and an object, which is designed to encourage lean, tight writing. I’m aiming for a word count of under 300 words.

Thank you to L.Diane Wolfe for providing the beautiful photo prompts.  You can visit her blog to check out more pictures.



PHRASE – diamonds winking on her finger

OBJECT – bucket

She breathes her final breath, diamond-encrusted fingers winking from hands lost in the vastness of a majestic canopied bed. A hushed glow spreads across the room emanating from the single candle that has been burning throughout the night.

In the office, the cat plays with some ribbons. Dan sifts through his mother’s official documents. He has to get everything in order, pronto. The numbers for the organist, florist and caterers have been located. He has a list of the pallbearers and needs to confirm the reading of the eulogy. He cannot have Uncle Sam singing a solo item as a tribute. The man is a lousy singer and can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Hopefully, he’ll be too grief-stricken to insist upon the rendition. Then there’s the matter of Aunt Jess, an older aunt, who insists that half of the huge jewellery collection is rightfully hers. And if that’s not enough, there’s a half dozen or so nephews and nieces, all hovering, to see if there are any scraps that may be thrown their way.

But these are trivialities.

Another matter requires urgent attention.

Dan is desperate to locate a particular manila envelope.

He really needs to get his hands on it.

The cat meows softly, her eyes imploring. He has no time to pay her any attention. Not now. He needs the envelope. Quickly. Before somebody else finds it. He checks the filing cabinet again. He has to get it before the reading of the last will and testament, which will probably take place before month end.

The cat is really annoying. She jumps up to grab the ribbons suspended from the ceiling. Dan looks up. Something catches his attention.

Then a thought strikes him. He gets up from the chair and walks over to the corner of the office.

He peers at the ceiling panels for a while.They are not properly aligned.

He recalls an earlier conversation about a secret safe.


A smile plays across his lips.


  1. Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 27, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Listen to the cat, Dan!

  2. L. Diane Wolfe on April 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Don’t tell anyone about that safe.

    I always loved that shot of Hobbes jumping for the ribbons.

  3. Rosie Amber on April 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Great action shot of the cat.

  4. Tyrean on April 27, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Smart cat!

  5. Mary Aalgaard on April 27, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    The cat helped him find the file. Good kitty. See, they’re not evil all the time!

  6. Patricia Lynne on April 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    I had a feeling the cat would show Dan the way.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  7. Susan Gourley on April 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Our cat loved playing with those ribbons hanging from balloons. Now what was in the manila envelope? A new will?

    • Michelle Wallace on April 27, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      A new will? Nope. That would be too simple. It would have to be something with a twist—— *insert evil glint in eye*

  8. C. Lee McKenzie on April 27, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    I’m not sure I like Dan. Hope the cat finds a good home and maybe not with him. Nicely done, Michelle. Lots to consider in this piece.

  9. Julie Flanders on April 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    This picture is so precious! Love it.
    And I kind of wish the kitty hadn’t led Dan in the right direction. I would love to know what is in that envelope!

  10. joylene on April 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    My cats are both sleeping. In fact, I am sitting on the edge of my chair because Shasta takes up way too much room. Guess I can’t count on them for any hidden treasures, eh?! What is in the envelope???

    • Michelle Wallace on April 28, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      You never know, Joylene.
      Just tune in to Shasta’s moods/patterns… watch her closely… 😀

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