The Hidden File

January 18, 2018
By Anonymous

Cobblestone streets, fantastic bridges, and glistening canals all describe the magic of Amsterdam. Yet, behind its beauty and charm, lies a secret.

Bright and talented Rose North has, what seems to be, the perfect life. Working as a detective in the city of Amsterdam, Rose has solved some of the city’s most challenging cases. At the age of twenty-eight, Rose already earned a reputation as one of Amsterdam’s top detectives.

However, when Rose discovers a hidden file in her family’s cellar, she eventually comes to realize that things are not quite as they seem in the North family.

On a crisp November evening, long-term admirer and close friend, Zach Hemingway, invited Rose to a dinner party hosted at one of the city’s finest, most upscale French restaurants, Galatoire’s. As the night grew later and darker, Rose’s thoughts became more and more hazy, as her arms and legs felt like hollow, weightless clouds. Startled and restless by these unusual feelings, many thoughts began to whirl through the young detective’s mind.

Quickly excusing herself from Zach and the dinner party, Rose set off through chilly Amsterdam in search of answers. In the beginning of Rose’s career, she found the people of Amsterdam to be smart, helpful and quick on their feet. However, on this particular evening, she did not find the people of her city so wonderful. Perhaps her perspective was just off on this night. After all, she was not feeling well.

Rose practically stumbled into a local waterfront café where she ordered a large black tea in hope of waking herself from this strange daze.

To her surprise, Rose noticed that she was seated directly next to one of her all-time favorite authors, Gray Bellford. Intrigued and curious by the very well-known historical writer, Rose found the courage to bravely introduce herself. After a brief and somewhat awkward introduction, Rose began to feel even more peculiar.

Feeling it may be best to tell Gray of her condition so that he would not mistake her sickness for rudeness, Rose began to explain. Yet, before she had the chance to speak a single word, Gray interrupted Rose and asked her why she left the dinner party at Galatoire’s. Had Gray been following Rose throughout the evening? Surprised and frightened by Gray’s question, Rose decided it would be best to make a quick escape. As she stood from her seat, Gray pleaded with Rose to stay as he reassured her that their meetings at both Galatoire’s and the café were nothing more than mere coincidence.

Reaching into his coat pocket, Gray handed Rose a colorfully-wrapped bottle of a new brand of perfume that Gray proudly boasted was his own creation. Gray insisted Rose unwrap the perfume. Nervously and carefully unraveling the very exquisite and ornate-looking bottle of perfume, Rose was suddenly overcome with fear as she discovered the perfume name to be Fleur de North. Had Gray Bellford actually given the perfume her family’s name? Who exactly was this Gray Bellford? Did Gray somehow know Rose?

Gray encouraged Rose to try the perfume, but she refused. Angered by her refusal, Gray grabbed the bottle and carelessly sprayed the perfume into the café’s air. The perfume had a very odd but familiar scent. Rose tried her best not to breathe the perfume-drenched air, but the perfume’s powerful odor had completely invaded the area where Rose and Gray were seated. Rose became overpowered by a sense of dizziness and confusion. This was exactly the way she felt while at the dinner party earlier that evening! Was the perfume to be used so that Gray could more easily kidnap Rose and demand ransom money from the Norths? Or, did Gray also desire to discover the secret behind the family’s mysterious file?

Will Rose North live up to her legendary reputation as the talented, unstoppable detective of Amsterdam? Will she be able to unravel a tangled web of mysteries surrounding her family? Can Rose uncover the secret of the hidden file before it is too late, or will she meet her demise?

The author's comments:

I was inspired to write a mystery-themed short story because mystery novels are my favorite types of stories to read. I wanted to try and create a mystery story of my own.

My main character is based on my close friend, my mom, and myself.   

I wanted to find a mystical sort of setting to go along with my mystery story. I found beautiful photos of Amsterdam's countryside and nearby coastal towns. It felt like the perfect setting for my short story, as it is both charming and magical.  

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