Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Past Due: Chapter Four, It's Me

Today's post is bittersweet. I'm sharing chapter four, the conclusion of Past Due, our latest Progressive Story Project.

I'm always so excited when I send a brand new story on its way, wondering what direction it'll be taken in by all of the contributing bloggers. It's like opening a present as I get back each segment and see what steps it's taken as each author adds their own voice and imagination to craft the whole. And it's always both bitter and sweet to bring it to a conclusion. 

Until next time, friends . . .

Progressive Story Project. one story written by multiple bloggers | Developed by and presented on www.BakingInATornado.com | #fiction #MyGraphics

In case you haven't read or need a refresher of the previous three chapters, start here before you move on to today's ending.

Chapter one: Five Days
Chapter two: Jester's Canyon
Chapter three: The Past is Present

As always, above and to the far right of each section I've listed the author of that segment as well as a link to their blog. 

Past Due, a Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written collaboratively by 10 bloggers. | Graphic designed by and property of, and story presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics #Fiction

Past Due
Chapter Four: It's Me

Dyson sat in disbelief. Mary? Amy? Certainly that was impossible. There was no way Amy could have survived that crash. No body had ever been found. The car was eventually found by search parties with dogs, and there was no one inside. The authorities were certain that, after the crash and length of time it took to get down into the canyon, scavenger birds or animals had done the rest.

He jumped into action. Thankfully he had the resources to start another investigation - even if unauthorized - into what had happened so many years ago to rip his heart in two.

His first call was to Jake, his old partner, who had more connections than anyone he'd ever met. Surely Jake could help him discover who Mary really was.

He filled Jake in, with as much information as he could about Mary and their time together including their meeting. He then fought back tears as he explained about his first love Amy, her unsolved disappearance, and all he had done afterwards to find her, and to heal. Then Dyson filled him in on the contents of the envelope, the picture and the letter. He confided how he often had moments when Mary would remind him of Amy, and how she did so many things just like Amy. Jake agreed to dig in and find out what he could. Dyson thanked him and hung up.

He picked up the phone and dialed his cousin Emily's number. He was not sure how she would react to him calling. They were once very close, until Amy had disappeared and he just cut and ran, and started the life he was supposed to live with Amy.

"Hello?" came Emily's voice.

After a slight pause, Dyson spoke "Hey Emmylou, how are you?"

"Dyson!" gasped Emily, "Oh my gosh! I have missed you. I am okay, how are you?"

"I am okay," he replied, "but very confused by a note my girlfriend left me, implying she was Amy ad had obviously been in a terrible car accident, and was now going to sing the sins of my cousin and her friends from the housetops." he said in a rush.

"Shit," Emily said in a sad tone. "Amy is alive? Still? She survived! I was so worried about her, but it was just so dangerous. We were all scared. She is alive! Is she okay? Did she suffer much? Please, tell me everything you know. I know I am about to be in huge trouble, but I just need to know the truth. Oh, Dyson, I am so sorry. This is all my fault!" Emily began to quietly cry as she closed her bedroom door, and sat in her window chair to hear her cousin out.
Jenniy of Climaxed

Emily gasped loudly and sat straight up in bed. It was that dream again . . . nightmare actually. She had been having it since she was just a teenager around this time of year, for a few days in a row since she was young. Five days. She always had it 5 days in a row, at least since she started journaling about it.

She pulled her journal out now. She kept one on hand just for the dreams and had already filled up a few volumes with detailed accounts of everything she could remember upon waking. Some of the fine points and events in the dream changed up, but overall the story seemed to ne that Emily and some other high schoolers had let a girl die and never told anyone.

She'd known a girl named Amy in high school who'd died in an accident just before graduation, but Emily hadn't been there that night. No one had seen it, and Amy wasn't found until days later. The story going around was that she had succumbed to the elements and possibly dehydration and could have been saved if anyone had known where she was, so Emily always thought she might have felt guilt all these years. That's what she had always chalked the dream up to . . .  the huge weight of guilt because she HAD been in the area with friends, but they'd been too busy goofing around and finding a place to make out to have noticed anything.


This dream though . . . it had felt so much more real than the others. There was more to it. She'd never remembered this much, there was never a bunch of them meeting now in the present because of notes . . . and Amy hadn't dated Emily's cousin . . . had she? Who was the man who saw it all? Could he just be a symbol for how bad she had felt when Amy was found? What was she missing? Emily chewed her lip in concentration, but so much of that time was fuzzy to her, and she felt uncomfortable. Her body was broken out in chills, and it seemed like she was on the verge of something . . . there was some little snake of a detail right there on the edge of her consciousness that kept slipping out of her reach. The only thing she really remembered about that night was what she'd been told by her mom after she finally talked to her about the dreams - that she came home that night pretty late and had told her mom that she'd been driving around all night with Josh, Eddie, and Sue, and went for ice cream. 

That's all there was to it, right? She struggled to pull any detail from her mind, but it had all muddled with the dreams over the years.

She checked the time. It was barely 5 a.m. She knew she'd never get back to sleep now. She threw off the covers and padded down in her corgi covered slipper socks and her oversized purple tie dye sleep shirt to make some coffee. She had to clear her head and read back through the journals. Maybe there was something she was missing.

and Me!

Two days later she sat again in the same familiar chair she'd been occupying once a week for the past 10 years. Emily had worked through a lot in this chair, done what she had to do to bring her through the cancer, past a painful lost love and into her loving marriage and ability to mother her children. And yet, she was still coming here. Something, something, was still undone.

As she'd been doing for a while now, Emily had brought her current journal. Emily knew, though, that today would be different.

Doctor Jastin started the session as she always did. "Hello Emily, it's good to see you. Go ahead and read me what you've journaled since we last met."

"No. Not today."

Doctor Jastin was taken aback. "Something's different today? Would you like to tell me what?"

"I'd like to be done with this . . . uncertainty. This feeling of unfinished business," Emily started, "I've been reading, really reading my journals, and I think I know how. I have to go back."

Doctor Jastin was careful not to change her expression. "Let me ask you a few questions," Doctor began, "I know I've asked them all before, I'd like to hear whether your answers might be different this time."

"Go ahead," Emily's voice was strong.

"Who was that man on the road that you were dreaming about, the one you felt was a threat?"

"He was me," Emily responded.

"And who is Mary, this girlfriend of Dyson's in your dreams?"

"She is me."

"Who was sending those notes in your dreams, for five days, always this time of year?"

"Me. It's all me. My conscience, anyway. Something happened back then, I believe that now, and whatever it is, I have a need to remember it, to face it."

Doctor Jastin could literally see the difference in Emily. "You've done some very hard work since we last met, Emily, but there's still a rough road ahead. If you feel that you're ready, let's step together into your past, only there you will find the tools you need to step alone into your future."

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I hope you enjoyed reading Past Due as much as we enjoyed writing it ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today's recipe: 

Crock Pot Roast with New Potatoes and Peas. The roast is slow cooked in a creamy onion sauce, add potatoes and peas and dinner is done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Crock Pot Roast with New Potatoes and Peas
Crock Pot Roast with New Potatoes and Peas. The roast is slow cooked in a creamy onion sauce, add potatoes and peas and dinner is done. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

I want to thank, once again, all of the authors of this story and encourage you to visit their blogs:

Sarah of My Life After
Kimberly of When I Grow Up
Dawn of Spatulas on Parade
Jenniy of Climaxed
Jules of The Bergham Chronicles
Lydia of Cluttered Genius
Diane of On the Border
Tamara of Part-time Working Hockey Mom
Rena of Wandering Web Designer and The Blogging 911
and me!

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Crock Pot Roast with New Potatoes and Peas

1 can French Onion Soup
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup beef broth
2 TBSP butter
3 TBSP sour cream
2 1/2# chuck pot roast
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 onion, sliced
4 medium sized new potatoes
4 oz mushrooms, sliced 
1 cup frozen peas

*Grease the bowl of your slow cooker and turn on to high. Mix in the onion soup mix, cream of mushroom soup, beef broth, butter and sour cream. Cover and heat for 20 minutes.
*Season the pot roast on both sides with the seasoned salt and pepper. Add to the crock pot along with the sliced onions. Lower heat to low and cook for 5 hours, turning over a few times during the cooking.
*Cut the new potatoes into wedges. Add to the crock pot along with the mushrooms and peas. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours.


  1. Wow! Fantastic ending!
    And I know it was good because I want more!!!
    Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity. Karen. It's just So Much Fun!

    1. Another great collaboration, thanks again for joining in.

  2. Good Sunday Dinner. No little green peas. They fed us those in school, everything was served with green peas and celery sticks. Give me green beans or black eyed peas.

    1. You don't need to add the peas, just serve whatever vegetable you want on the side. Enjoy!

  3. I wanted to read the whole thing before I commented and WOW! Thus would make such a great book or movie. Everyone did a fantastic job!

    1. We all gel together so well, thank you for adding your voice to the mix.

  4. Oooh, pot roast. Ate it a lot growing up (not from a crock pot, of course)and hated it. Now, as an adult, I appreciate the flavor. I would skip the peas, too, but the rest of it sounds just yummy. Now, the story. The ending was totally unexpected. The last couple of authors (yes, including you!) really brought it on home, but everyone did great bringing it to that point. Satisfying, because it didn't end in a cliche, and left questions open. Yes, satisfying and filling. Like a good pot roast. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story, and I hope you try the pot roast without the peas.

  5. Wow. My hope is she finds her answers.

  6. Well that did not end like I thought it would. Great job everyone.
    Spatulas On Parade

    1. Hope you say that it didn't end like you thought it would in a good way.


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