Let’s twist things up. You show up to Mrs. White’s Tudor style mansion to meet with your writing critique group, as you do every week. You expect to have a fun time talking about writing and getting feedback, not to find one member of the group murdered in the drawing room. First, describe how you find the murder victim. Then, after the police lock you in a room with the rest of the guests, write about your suspicions of who-dun it as you look around the room at your fellow writers. Set your timer for thirty minutes.
by John Yeo
It’s Tuesday evening once again, My favourite evening of the week. We are off to take part in our evening of literary congeniality together, at Madelaine White’s mansion at the top of the hill, overlooking the village. Gilbert White is a wealthy industrialist who likes to play at being a Lord of the manor.
The drive up the steep hill is very pretty, with the estate farm and fields spreading out into the distant horizon. The huge ornamental gates with a statue of a horse's head on each gatepost, are always left open on Tuesday to welcome the writing group.
Mrs White opens the door herself, in response to the chimes of the doorbell that resounds hollowly through the rooms of the mansion. The butler is always off-duty on Tuesdays. We always receive a wonderful welcome from our lady hostess. There are just six of us in the group at present. Annie, Dorothy, Jill, Richard, Margaret and I.
We usually meet in the impressive library, where there are many leather bound books from floor to ceiling, and many comfortable chairs and tables. Tonight is no exception and we get ourselves comfortable as we wait for Jill, who has gone to fix her torn jeans in the drawing room full length mirror.
We wait a good ten minutes before we begin to work, we all leave one after another to get drinks in the drawing room, and visit the toilets situated there. Jill still hasn’t got back after another five minutes, and Mrs White leaves us to find her. Suddenly there is a frightening high scream from the drawing room. We all rush in there at once to find a shocked Mrs White and the prone figure of Jill on the floor of the drawing room. There is a pool of blood seeping over the carpet under her body. “She’s dead,” gasps Mrs White. somebody call the police.”
Soon after the police arrive to investigate and to the horror of everyone, we are all locked up in the library by the police.
Looking around at our fellow writers, I try to work out who is capable of the killing and why? Presumably we are locked up here because the police suspect one of us.
I immediately rule out Margaret and myself. This leaves Annie, Dorothy, and Richard and of course Mrs White. I think my suspicions lie with Dorothy, she has always held a competitive grudge against Jill.
Sometime later we are all interviewed by the investigating officer, who is still without a suspect, not a single clue has been revealed during the questioning.
Then after a search of the pantry, a man with blood on his clothes, found hiding there, is led out handcuffed by the police. Mrs White is in a state of shock as she identifies her butler.
The sensational twist in the tale occurred a week later when Madeleine White was arrested for the murder of Jill Dyson who was blackmailing her, for an alleged affair she had with her father. Jill claimed Mrs White was her Mother who had abandoned her to marry Gilbert White.
The butler was released after admitting smearing himself with blood to protect Mrs White.
Gilbert White is moving away soon. Sadly our literary group is no more.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.