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The Case of the Missing Top Stories

Old Mother Combs Mystery

By Mother CombsPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - January 2024
Nightcafe creation

This story is purely fictional. Any resemblance to real-life events is strictly coincidental. Maybe.

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All was turmoil at the Vocal Headquarters. It seemed another Top Story had come missing overnight, and no one knew what had become of it. They had searched every room to no avail. The writer was panicking, and the staff was beside themselves with confusion. This missing story was the third Top Story this month to disappear.

Finally, Gina suggested to the others that they call in Mother Combs since Mother had recently had some successes with a couple of mysteries. Justin and Chris agreed, and they called Mother Combs hastily. The Vocal staff, the author, and the other writers all waited with impatience for Mother Combs to show up. They needed to know what was happening to the stories that were coming up missing. They needed to see where the stories were going and who was taking them.

Finally, Mother Combs arrived and immediately started questioning everyone, for she knew how dire these circumstances were. In this case, it would not be long for a panic to set in if a culprit was not found soon. A panic among writers is an ugly sight to behold, too.

So, Mother listened to their fears that their stories would be next. Some even complained about a mysterious writer who went by many aliases but always wrote the same thing every time. They called him Aeye. No one had ever seen Aeye, so no one knew what he looked like. But they all agreed that whenever Aeye was near, weird things were bound to happen. Even the Vocal staff claimed that this strange Aeye had struck at headquarters and was wrecking all sorts of havoc on the office, sometimes bringing it down entirely offline for hours while the team chased down the issues Aeye caused.

After Mother Combs questioned each one in turn, and some she asked again, she searched the headquarters to see if she could find any clues as to the whereabouts of the missing Top Story. She looked in each room of the office building; then, she got permission to check the databases to see what clues she could find there. She dug deep; she dug low.

Mother Combs began pacing; this was to be her most challenging case so far. She was just starting to worry that there may be no answer to this case, just a glitch in an outdated computer system. When suddenly, the answer came to her.

“When the first Top Story disappeared, it was the last one selected for the day. During the night, it faded away, and the next morning, a new Top Story was displayed that no staff member can remember selecting.

“The same is what happened with the second and third ones.

“No one has found evidence of where the missing stories have gone. They are not in the drafts section of anyone’s account. They are not in the dead-story graveyard of Vocal.

“Aeye is very active on the days the missing stories are selected as Top Story and not active on the other days.

“As stated, no one quite knows what Aeye looks like since he goes by so many different names and wears so many disguises.”

Mother Combs paced some more, gathering her thoughts together. Finally, she came to a standstill. Turned and walked towards the writer, Kabtoc Beta, stopped and said. “Aeye has found a way to absorb your Top Stories, turning them into his own. Soon, Aeye will be powerful enough to absorb your challenge entries, if we do not stop this now.”

Everyone started mumbling. Kabtoc stood quietly by.

Mother Combs continued, “We must unmask this Aeye, if we are to stop him.” So saying, she reached forward, grabbed Kabtoc by his hair, and yanked, pulling a mask off of a surprised man who immediately got up and ran off before anyone could catch him.

“There goes your Aeye, ladies and gentlemen. The thief of your Top Stories.”

Nightcafe creation

investigationfictionfact or fiction

About the Creator

Mother Combs

Come near, sit a spell, and listen to tales of old as I sit and rock by my fire. I'll serve you some cocoa and cookies as I tell you of the time long gone by when your Greats-greats once lived.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (36)

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  • Andrea Corwin 19 days ago

    AI Uh huh I wonder daily what goes in to the vocal powers mixer that decides TS 🤣🤣 loved this!!

  • Bew28 days ago

    Your compelling and skillfully written story kept me eagerly anticipating the next developments, skillfully blending emotions and suspense for a truly captivating experience. I'd appreciate it if you could also take a moment to read my work!

  • Shamreenaabout a month ago

    Enjoyed your story, keep continuin'💌

  • Great story! Very inventive!

  • Diana Pennabout a month ago

    Ha! Aeye - that’s pretty good. Loved the name / reference. Untested times ahead. Spiraling into the unknown. Nice read.

  • Lacy Loar-Gruenlerabout a month ago

    This story is charming! Thanks for the fun read.

  • Naveed about a month ago

    Hats off to your work! Keep it going—congrats!

  • Xine Segalasabout a month ago

    I love what you did here with the case of the disappearing Top Stories! As a victim of a lost Top Story - relieved to get my story back, sad it lost its Top Story badge. But I enjoyed your clever story very much.

  • Gerald Holmesabout a month ago

    LOL. Loved this!

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    Ha ha, loved it. Congrats on the TS

  • Kristen Balyeatabout a month ago

    Great story, mother! Hilarious! 💫

  • Kendall Defoe about a month ago

    This deserves a sequel!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Ace Meleeabout a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story! Hopefully, this doesn't become stolen.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    MC this was thrilling and engaging!! I love the way you so seemlessly and might I add shamelessly told a story about yourself! This was wonderful and such a great read! Great work and congrats on Top Story! Glad yours wasn't stolen! 😉

  • Lana V Lynxabout a month ago

    The ultimate irony of this will be if the Vocal AI selected this as a Top Story at its own peril.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Creative & impressive!! Loved it!!!❤️❤️💕 Congratulations on Top!!!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    congrats on the TS

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Congratulations on Top Story

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    If the top stories were absorbed, would it be possible that they could be tracked down via the (assumingly new) account name that they're under? Besides, wouldn't absorbing new top stories be poorly effective? Since a Vocal+ membership still needs a bare minimum to withdraw from their wallet the immediate cash reward would have to be transferred elsewhere. Also, since we can't tip from our wallets and only from our debit/credit cards, the question must be asked about where the financial incentives are being wired to? Then again, only the stories are being changed, modified, assimilated. Nothing about financial bonuses are mentioned here. Just a game of copycat cat and erase the original trace. Still, if finances were involved I'd like to think that they could be traced like a block chain's ledger, or a bank's wire note. To make an account transfer there must be a place fir the cash to go after it's been forcibly flowed.

  • JBaz2 months ago

    funny , interesting and nicely written

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    This is great, and so creative. Well done.

  • Oneg In The Arctic2 months ago

    I loved this 😂 great idea

  • Daphsam2 months ago

    This was very exciting to read! What fun it must have been to write.

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    I love this character, I hope you keep writing her!

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