Paper Trail: An Interactive Audio Mystery Demo

Mel's Podtastic Life
Mel's Podtastic Life
Paper Trail: An Interactive Audio Mystery Demo

Greetings Listeners!

Today, we have part one of an interactive audio mystery I hope to complete, but as mentioned, it is interactive. This means, I don’t intend to finish this project by myself. Bringing the community together is my passion, and I love mysteries. What better way than to pair the two and give this project more life?

The audio will explain all, so feel free to comment, discuss, participate in every way. There will also be a transcript attached so everyone can participate. With all that said, I’m just going to get out of the way, and let the audio work its magic. Join me next time, and happy holidays!

(Transcript appears below.)

Paper Trail: An Interactive Audio Mystery Part one

The following transcript is a sample of an interactive audio mystery I’m creating. It is interactive in the sense that a couple of questions are offered with the story, and it’s one I hope to involve the online community in writing and solving together.

Introduction: Documentary-style music begins to play, and a few seconds later, it drops out as the following voiceover is heard.

Hello everyone. This is Melissa Roe, and today I have for you, a short sample of an interactive audio mystery I was inspired to create.
So I haven’t been doing much writing, and believe it or not, on Thanksgiving, I was inspired to post a little blurb to my creative writing blog, which then inspired this idea for an audio interactive mystery. I hope you guys enjoy it. I hope I can expand on it, but I’m just going to post this short sample to see what everyone thinks so I can gain interest, participation, and maybe even possibly bring in more writers and voice actors. It should be fun!
A couple of things to note before getting started.
First off, there will be a transcript attached to this podcast file so everyone can participate.
Secondly, I’m going to be putting a small “woosh” sound inside the story. That woosh is an audio queue for the questions I will be asking. No one needs to turn in their answers, but you will want to keep track of them. With all that said, let’s get into the audio mystery which I call “Paper Trail”. If you’d like to discuss this with me online, use the hashtag #PaperTrailMystery.
Alrighty, folks. Give this a listen and enjoy!

(The intro music plays for a few seconds longer, then fades out.)

(Story Begins. This is told in first-person point of view. The main character’s name is Beverly.)

A light green postit note was the first thing that caught my eye when I entered the kitchen this morning. It was stuck to the refrigerator door, and simply contained the words,
“Don’t forget to buy milk.”

I know I have a tendency to become very distracted while working on company presentations, and I had one due next week, but I knew I hadn’t written the note. To top things off, this was the third note I’d found this week.

I decided at that moment I was going to let my husband have it. John was probably just teasing me. He knows I get distracted, and can be forgetful at times, but surely I knew when to buy milk. I yanked the note off the refrigerator and tore it into pieces, discarding the remnants in the trash can. It was just after 6:00 A.M., and pretty soon I’d have to get the kids up for school and be ready for Janette’s arrival. Janette is my coworker and best friend, and would be helping me on this presentation.

I put the coffee on to brew. I decided when my husband came downstairs, I was going to ask him about the note. More like, I was going to confront him.
But, as I heard his footfalls coming down the stairs, I hesitated. I shouldn’t have tore up that note. I tore the first two notes because I assumed he wrote them, and I didn’t think about asking him.

“Morning, Beverly,” he says in his usual cheerful voice as he enters the kitchen, planting a kiss on my cheek.

“We’re out of milk,” I say flatly, watching his face for a reaction.

He notices the empty gallon on the counter. “I see that,” He says. “Don’t worry about it. I know you’re very busy with this presentation. I’ll be sure to go to the store after work, and I will buy milk.”

“Did you put this note as a reminder?” I said, pointing to the fridge.
He reached for a mug, and began to pour himself a cup of coffee. “John, you know you can always tell me face-to-face when we need to buy milk.” I took in a fortifying breath, smiled, and in a much more calmer tone I said, “I don’t bite.”

He looked up from pouring his coffee with a puzzled expression. “Honey, what note? I didn’t even know we were out of milk until you mentioned it. Don’t worry, I’ll go buy milk this afternoon.”
I didn’t buy his comments, but I decided not to protest any further.

I found the first note Monday afternoon, just after I returned home from running errands. It was posted to the front door, and simply had the words, “Call the principal at Olivia’s school. There’s been an accident.”

After rushing inside and throwing down my arm load of groceries, I frantically searched for the school’s contact on my phone. Holding the phone to my ear, I paced the den Anxiously.

“Oh hello,” the principal said. “Beverly, I was just about to call you. How strange. It appears poor Olivia has fallen on the steps while she was out on a walk with her class. She’s a bit bruised, wants her mom, but other than that she seems to be doing well.”

The anxiety of the note was overcome by a feeling of pure relief. Olivia was going to be okay. Note forgotten, I spent the day tending to my duties, and consoling my six-year-old daughter. The bruises would heal in a few days.

Wednesday morning, I spent an hour in my study working on this presentation. I came out to sit down for a much needed break in the living room. On the coffee table, a phone book sat, with a light green postit attached.

“Order flowers for Mrs. Jensen. Her husband died last night,” the note said.

Once a week, I volunteer at a local hospital. I go to visit patients, cheer them up, and just give them a little company. One of the patients I’d been visiting was Tom Jensen, who’d been complaining of severe abdomenal pain. He was due to go in for a procedure. The nature of the procedure was unknown to me for obvious reasons, and I knew I wouldn’t get any answers from the hospital if I called. I decided to order flowers on a whim. The next day when I went to the hospital, I found out that Tom Jensen had indeed died. His wife was now in the hospital. She’d suffered a heart attack, and was grieving immensely.

Fast forward to this morning, and the note about the milk. I didn’t know what to make of all this.


Who do you think is writing these cryptic, but helpful notes?
A. John
B. One of the children
C. I don’t know
D. Who cares who wrote the note. Just get your family and get the heck out!

(Return to story)

After picking the kids up from school, I ran some errands and came home. Just as I walked into the garage, I’d gotten a phone call from my friend Kelly. Kelly is a fellow for a local archaeology professor, known for publishing several books.

“Can you believe it, Bev?” Kelly said, brightness emanating from her voice. “I’m gonna go to Costa Rica with him! It’s exciting! I can’t believe it!”

“Congratulations,” I told her.

“Oh, and guess what? The professor is giving me permission to bring a companion along, just so I’m not alone.”

“Oh, that’s great,” I said. “Perhaps Mrs. Larson from the book club would like to tag along. she really likes what you guys are doing.”

“Bevvie,” Kelly said with a sigh. “Mrs. Larson broke her hip, remember? Besides, she wasn’t who I had in mind.”

“Oh? Who did you have in mind?”

“Well… you.”

“Oh Come on, Kell. I can’t do that. I’ve got a company presentation coming up.”

“No, no, silly. Next month. You could use the break, and I’m sure Jonathan could take a couple of weeks off of work.”

“It’s John, not Jonathan,” I said. “He hates when you call him that.”

“Sorry. Anyway, come along with me. I think you’ll really like it.”

“No. Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate the offer, though.”

“Why not? I think you’d be great company, and you’ve always said you wanted to immerse yourself in another culture. Seriously, think about it. I’ll leave the offer on the table right now, but I do need an answer by next Friday.”

“Okay,” I said.

I told her I would consider it, even though I knew it was still going to be a no.

I continued with the days events. when I finished cleaning up after supper, I told John and the kids that I was going to go upstairs and take a nap. I had a massive headache, but tonight was movie night and I wanted to be ready for it. I walked upstairs and into our master bedroom, closed the door, flicked on the light… and that’s when I saw it. Another damn light green postit note, taped to my pillow of all things! I picked up the note and read.

“You should really consider taking Kelly up on her offer.”

All the blood drained from my face. I hadn’t told a soul about that call.

(A suspenseful stinger plays as the story ends.)


Do you think Beverly should go to Costa Rica with Kelly?
A. She should. It might give her a break, and maybe some time to think about who’s writing these notes.
B. She should probably stick around. There are too many family responsibilities, and who knows? The family might be in danger.
C. I’m not sure.
D. Get away from Costa Rica. Get away from here, and don’t think about the notes!

Outro: (A spooky version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” plays, and drops into the background for the following voiceover.)

Alright, Guys. That’s part one for now. Let me know what you think. If you’d like to discuss this with me, tell me your thoughts. Maybe, we could talk about the mystery. Let’s figure out what we can solve together online. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #PaperTrailMystery, and talk about it with your friends. Share it. Have a good time. If you have any ideas to contribute, I’m all ears. It’s all about interactive fun, and just a little excitement sprinkled into your holidays. Why not, right?
Okay, guys. I’m gonna skedaddle out of here. Hope you stay safe and healthy, and don’t forget to check your pillow for those cryptic notes before you fall asleep. With that said, pleasant dreams. 🙂

(The song finishes, and the audio ends.)

Share and Enjoy !


2 thoughts on “Paper Trail: An Interactive Audio Mystery Demo”

  1. This is amazing! And OMG i found you again! My name is Harrison, have been looking around the nets for you for several years and glad I found you! You introed me to meriani and such. would love to reconnect! tried to send you an e-mail but it got kicked back to me. I don’t have twitter or mastadon so I don’t know how to connect but you should be able to see my e-mail from this comment? If not just… IDK… reply to this comment? Anyway awesome mystery i wish there was a part 2.

    • Hello, it has definitely been a while, but you will have to refresh my memory. I have had so much going on in these past years that I hardly even remember those Mariani days. Anyway, I’m glad you like the paper trail mystery. I have been thinking of releasing a part two, but you are the only one who has given this clip any consideration. Thanks for your comment and hope we can keep in touch. Do you have Telegram? If so, my user name on Telegram is musicrain27
      I don’t know what email address you used, but if you would like, you can email me at
      We can exchange private information there if you wish to chat. I do have a Twitter account, but rarely go on, thanks to our dear friend, Elon, musk. Anyway, I am also on mastodon should you choose to finally jump on the Macedon bandwagon. Looking forward to hearing from you soon, and I hope you have an awesome day.


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