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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Mystery · #2233481
Solve a mystery in 20 sentences. Bard's Hall Copy Shop Mystery contest entry.
“Your mother is not, in fact, Hildegard Bard, and you are not the rightful heir to the Wyatt David Crane Bard name! Your birth mother’s name was Charlotte Augusta Gibbes. I should know; I was the nurse that the Wyatt David Crane Bards paid to switch the paperwork.”

This came as quite a shock to Kevin Wyatt David Crane Bard V, the great-great-grandson of the man who founded the town and put the locket into the time capsule some 200 years earlier. After generations of rampant spending, the Bard fortune was all but gone and Five, as he liked to be called, had nothing to his name but the family’s one remaining asset: a local bookstore which he worked hard to keep out of the red.

The time capsule was promptly forgotten as everyone’s attention immediately turned to Five’s biological mother Charlotte. Everyone with access to a web browser on their smartphones started looking into it, until excited utterances began spreading throughout the crowd.

“Charlotte Augusta Gibbes went on to marry John Jacob Astor III, heir to the majority of the Astor Family’s fortune!”

“Who are the Astors?”

“You know, New York elites: Astor Library, Astor Place, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, hell, even the entire neighborhood of Astoria in Queens is named after them!”

“And our very own Five is related to them?”

“If this note is correct, he’s the firstborn son to someone who married into one of the biggest fortunes in America at the time!”

“Think of what this could do for Bardstown!”

“This of what it would do to Bardstown, if news of this terrible baby-swapping travesty were made public! To the public outside of this town, I mean.”

“What does Five want to do about it?”

Five, who had often entertained flights of fancy about what it would feel like to be rich and famous rather than always just scraping by, discovered that fame and fortune might not be all they’re cracked up to be. He was happy just getting by in his small local bookstore, his only claim to fame being a remote descendant of the town’s founder.

“What else is in the time capsule,” he asked in an attempt to distract everyone else from the decisions that he himself would have to make eventually. “If these are the first two items out, who knows what else might be in there!”

Sentence Count: 20
Written for: "The Bard's Hall Contest

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