Childhood Story “The Mysterious Relatives”

I found this short story from my childhood tucked away in a bright yellow folder, written in my careful script. I was probably about 11 when I wrote it. I hadn’t read it in years and expected to discover that The Mysterious Relatives was one of my Cathy Summers mysteries. As I flipped through it, though, I realized that it was actually a standalone about a young amateur sleuth named Amanda.

Here’s the opener: Amanda Ford, a willowy strawberry blonde quite tall for the tender age of fourteen, watched as her good friend Lavinia Blake, having aroused her curiosity, placed a small square of creamy butter and a spoonful of raspberry jam atop a golden slice of toast.

Lavinia wolfed down the snack hungrily and raised a clear crystal glass filled to the rim with thirst-quenching orange juice to her cherry red lips.

“What does your mother do? Starve you?” giggled Amanda, better known as Mandy.

Lavinia smiled also. “No, but she has us all on some new diet plan that her doctor recommended to her. Salad minus the dressing for dinner every night with a side dish of white bread.”

Mandy made a face. “Ugh! My mom sees to it that we have a full, three course dinner all-“

Lavinia shushed her pretty companion quietly and pointed an accusing finger at the front door. “Someone has been listening,” she confided in a whisper.

“Can’t be,” Mandy replied, shrugging the matter off as if she hadn’t a care in the world. “There isn’t anybody here but us.”

“Don’t you have a brother and two sisters? Mightn’t it be one of them?”

“I doubt it. Honey and Grace are taking their ballet lessons – Honey is wearing the cutest silk, rose frock…and…so what if there was somebody eavesdropping? We were only talking about your favorite subject – food.”

Lavinia mulled this over for a brief moment. Finally, she said, her wide hazel eyes widening even more in horror, “It…may have been a prowler. Maybe even an international spy wanted by the FBI.”
Did all the talk about food make you hungry? In case you’re wondering, Lavinia was right, a mysterious man was eavesdropping and ran off the property when chased.

Meanwhile, Mandy’s long lost cousin suddenly show up in trouble. It’s funny, I really have no memory of writing this story, but it is 33 pages so it must have taken me awhile. Check out some of my other excerpts:

The Mystery of the Stolen Art Treasure
The Fairview Treasure

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  1. Joel Kirkpatrick says

    That is delighful. Writing that well at 11? I could barely tie my shoes at that age!

    • Thanks for reading my childhood writing, Joel, and for not laughing! I wasn’t very good at tying shoes….and I couldn’t do fractions or divide!

  2. Wow, Stacy! Did you really write that when you were only 11?? The tone of writing is so grown-up. A very talented writer indeed.

    • Thanks, Maria! I started writing in third grade and have dozens of these stories. I used to visit a used bookstore with my parents, and they had all kinds of books from the 1930s and 1940s, like the original Nancy Drews and the Judy Bolton books. I read a few about a girl named Ginny, but I can’t remember what they were called though I know they’re around somewhere. The writing in the books was old -fashioned and I kind of mimicked that style!

  3. Hi Stacy,

    I have something for you at my blog today, so please stop by when you have time.

Stacy Juba