Author, Editor, Media Tie-In Writer

The Case of the Mysterious Ottoman

I love the fact that I am often the person my friends think of first when they have something odd happen or a mystery occur. They know I make stories out of everything and appreciate it when they do the same. Thus, I present: The Case of the Mysterious Ottoman.

Friend: I have a mystery and it can only mean my life is about to become an action movie.

Me: Do tell!

Friend: Okay. So this is an ottoman. A designer one from what my googling has turned up. It arrived at my house today, addressed (correctly) to me. But I didn’t order it.

Me: Huh. If this were an action movie, the secret would be hidden inside.

Friend: A few years ago, I got a GoPro addressed to me. Turned out my card was used to buy it. So I checked all my accounts, but I didn’t find anything amiss. I do have a packing slip, again, with my name.

Me: I have heard that scammers will buy things on stolen credit cards and send things to people, then “return them” for cash or for payment on a different credit card. Have you checked your bank, your cards, and your Paypal?

Friend: Yes. This came via an import company in Florida.

Me: What about recent purchases on your Amazon account or Costco account? One of those could be compromised.

Friend: Hadn’t looked there. Just at my money places.

Me: BTW, very nice ottoman.

Friend: Is that sarcastic?

Me: No… it’s a very nice ottoman. Whoever did it has good taste. And makes me think it is a buy and return scam.

Friend: Yeah. I don’t know. Or…it’s packed with heroin or forged bonds or diamonds and someone will be by for it later.

Me: Did you check Amazon?

Friend: Yes. Not there.

Me: Right. I suppose you could ping your parents and find out if it is a gift.

Friend: Wasn’t them. Already called them. I found one website that listed a price and I don’t know anyone who would spend that much money on an unsolicited ottoman for me.

Me: How much?

Friend: $$$$.$$

Me: Damn. What does your husband think?

Friend: That it’s hideous. LOL. And that we have bullets if someone comes for it. I figure we can keep it for a couple of days in case the mystery is solved, but if you like it, you can have it if nobody claims it. We really don’t have room for it anywhere. BUT, I’m fully embracing the action movie explanation.

Me: Okay. I would like it. I’ve got the perfect place for it. But, once you give it to me, I become the protagonist…and you show the audience how good the assassin is.

Friend: Hahahaha. Anyway, I thought you’d enjoy the mystery, although I didn’t expect to find a home for the thing.

Me: I did enjoy it, and you’re welcome.

Friend: The fact that you’re so keen on getting it makes us suspicious that you’re after the diamonds.

Me: Maybe I’m just protecting you guys. Also, I’m so writing about this in a blog post.

I think the ottoman is very pretty, and it matches the curtains perfectly. I do have to cover it with a blanket or the cats will scratch it. For the record, I’ve picked the ottoman up and turned it over. I’ve discovered that the cover is velcro’d on and can be removed to be washed or changed out for a different cover. There were no diamonds. No noise when I moved it around and it is too light to have drugs. So, if there’s something hidden in it, it will stay hidden. 

But if me and the Husband disappear…look to the ottoman.

 

Meet Jennifer Brozek

Jennifer Brozek is a multi-talented, award-winning author, editor, and media tie-in writer. She is the author of Never Let Me Sleep and The Last Days of Salton Academy, both of which were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Her BattleTech tie-in novel, The Nellus Academy Incident, won a Scribe Award. Her editing work has earned her nominations for the British Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Hugo Award. She won the Australian Shadows Award for the Grants Pass anthology, co-edited with Amanda Pillar. Jennifer’s short form work has appeared in Apex Publications, Uncanny Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and in anthologies set in the worlds of Valdemar, Shadowrun, V-Wars, Masters of Orion, and Predator.

Jennifer has been a full-time freelance author and editor for over seventeen years, and she has never been happier. She keeps a tight schedule on her writing and editing projects and somehow manages to find time to teach writing classes and volunteer for several professional writing organizations such as SFWA, HWA, and IAMTW. She shares her husband, Jeff, with several cats and often uses him as a sounding board for her story ideas. Visit Jennifer’s worlds at jenniferbrozek.com or her social media accounts on LinkTree.

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