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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2233524
Okay, I have solved this mystery in twenty scintillating sentences...
The Bard's Hall is celebrating WDC's AWESOME 20th Birthday party with our Annual Cop Shop Mystery! Something mysterious is always brewing in Bardstown during the Founder's Day celebration! The question is: Can YOU solve the mystery in exactly 20 Sentences?


Cop Shop Mystery 2020: What the Time Capsule Holds!

The Time capsule which was stored in the basement of the library’s storage room, had caused quite a stir a year ago, when their was a hostage situation at the library involving the elderly librarian. However, that mystery was solved! *Ha*

Tonight is to be a major celebration in Bardstown as it is the 20th decade of the town’s founding! Founder’s Day has always been celebrated in a festive and unique way each year. This year, the historic Time Capsule will be opened, and the mayor will present each item which will be shown and or read depending on the item enclosed.

That evening, Mayor Writon got up to the podium and made his speech. He spoke of a couple hundred years of history since the town’s founding. He mentioned Sister Delores of Sweet Sorrows, or “Sister D” for short by her students and those who know and love her in the town. He said that she was given the precious honor of guarding the secrets delivered to her to be added to the time capsule over the past quarter century. The grand reveal would take place this night, the 20th decade of founding of Bardstown!

The mayor began by using his key along with Sister D who had the second key to open the time capsule in front of the enthusiastic towns people. There wasn’t even a peep from the children who had been enjoying the various carnival rides plus eating cotton candy, candy apples and if any room left, the corn dogs that were a locally made Bardstown hit.

“The moment we were waiting for, ladies and gentlemen! I give to you a history of the 200 years of Bardstown!”

Mayor Writon opened the first item he pulled out of the capsule. It was a small package and inside it was a locket. “To my beloved Hildegard on our 50th Wedding Anniversary, Love forever, K.W.D.C.B” The mayor’s eyes misted as he comprehended where the gift originated. “Folks, this is our town Founder, Kenneth Wyatt David Crane Bard! (He had many family names. His parents couldn’t decide which to settle on, so he got them all.) How wonderful that on this special occasion, the first item we open was from our Founder to his beloved wife!

The mayor proceeded to unveil the various trinkets and notes from school-aged children, and “modern” items from times past. The next item he took out was a sealed note. He gently broke the seal and prepared to read. The mayor turned a whiter shade of pale. Hot beads of sweat formed on his forehead. His mouth was agape, but no words came forth.

The crowd clamored. “What does it say, Mayor?!!”

Speechless, the mayor handed the unsealed note to Sister D. She read it to herself and passed out.

Back at the Cop Shop

Ringgggg!!!! Ring-ring! “Hello, Captain O’Leary, here. If that’s you, Mayor, I’m sorry I’m late but you insisted retired Former Deputy Fife be deputized by Sheriff Taylor before I leave him alone at the 20th Precinct, during the Bardstown Founder’s Day events. Sheriff Taylor is running late, so …”

“Stop your blabbering, O’Leary, this is Mrs. Writon! Get down to the town square immediately. My husband, your mayor, has gone mute and Sister D has fainted! The cause appears to be an unsealed note both of them looked at. I fear going up on stage to check them out in case the letter contained some hazardous materials that they touched causing their mysterious health problems!”

“Okay, Mrs Writon I’m on my way!” Now where are those hazard material handling suits we store here for emergencies?

Back in the town square.

Mrs. Writon greeted Captain O’Leary when he arrived with a curt remark. “You look like a deranged bunny in that suit O’Leary. Please take it off, get on stage, and do something!”

Captain O’Leary took it upon himself to get to the bottom of the mysterious letter that had caused the biggest talker in town, Mayor Writon, to be cast silent and the beloved Sister D, to faint on stage.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I will pick up where the mayor has left off. He needed a glass of water for his sudden onset of laryngitis.”

“Get him off the stage, Officer Smith. And, Officer Jones please let the medics know it’s safe to remove Sister D from the stage.”

With his new found importance, O’Leary began reading the letter.

“My fellow Bardstownians, I cannot keep silent any longer. A child in this town has been raised as another woman’s son. It saddens to me to admit this, but I have been complicit in keeping silent about the baby-switching all these years. I won’t continue to live with this lie or allow your life to be based on a lie.

There were two emergency C-Sections on that dark and stormy night. One was the woman who gave birth to one of you. She was a charity patient, very young no means of support. The other was the woman who raised you. She and her husband were thought better situated to raise a child. It was she whose baby was stillborn, while the young mother’s son was born alive.

The decision was made that night at Mercy Me Private Hospital, to switch the babies, thus making sure the live infant went to a good home, while the young, frightened birth mother would be given a better chance at having a fresh start, perhaps get an education and career one day. She was told her son was stillborn. Although devastated by the news, she seemed relieved. Perhaps that was just the shock of the situation along with heavy sedatives. *Think*

I will now reveal to you who your birth mother is … ”
(What follows is my deduction in twenty scintillating sentences... )
But, since I have your undivided attention please permit me a brief moment of indulgence.
         As the thunder reverberated and the howling rain battered the protesting windows of Mercy Me Private Hospital all those years ago, a violent storm raged through my very core.
         On trembling legs I crept along a dim corridor attracted to the one open doorway with a needle of light puncturing the gloom. Shivering, I braced myself against the unflinching wall and stifled a sob as familiar voices floated out to pool around me.
         Dr. Vito Capelli's gruff rasp exhaled, "It's the right thing to do and now you have a son to raise."
          "Don't worry," soothed Old Lady Jane the nurse , "the other mother is young and she's accepted our story that her baby died."
         With a strength and silence I didn't know I could muster, I peeked into that cosy room to espy a smiling couple snuggling a blanket-wrapped infant distinguished by a halo of ginger hair.
         By now, you've deduced that I am that wronged young mother, but I buried my grief deep under heavy layers of guilt, shame and, yes, so help me, relief.
         I do regret son that your life has been built upon a lie, a precarious lie that has long teetered upon a foundation of shared complicity. What kind of a mother accepts the loss of her child and swallows her own cruel betrayal without so much as a whimper?
         Obviously, I never could be a mother to you, but I reinvented myself and abandoned my fifteen-year old sorry-excuse-for-a-person that eye-opening night. I realized I'd been granted a reprieve, a new beginning, so, I ran with it. I vowed to make something of myself and I sought a position that would not only garner respect, but permit me to witness my son's life from the sidelines.
         Let me state that I am proud of you and I will admit your parents were far better nurturers than I ever could have been.
         Sorry, I am an old woman and as is my perogative I tend to ramble.
         You never suspected that I existed or that I lived nearby under your very nose, but I experienced an epiphany and as such I can no longer remain silent. Last year, after the hostage incident, I confided all of this to my devoted friend, Sister Delores of Sweet Sorrows.
         I am the shadowy person that no one seems to notice because they compare me to the dusty, neglected, dated tomes in my domain. Son, or should I write, Your Most Honourable Mayor Writon, I, Mrs. Stone the librarian am your birth mother.
         By the way, I did vote for you and Bardstown is lucky to have you as their civic champion. ( 20 sentences )
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