|In the Library With the Candlestick
Author: music.movies.heart PM
Melanie Peacock is a horror writer that gets thrown into a real murder mystery while on her Christmas vacation. A vacation that she didn't even want to go on in the first place. Who can she trust in a house full of suspects?Rated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Mystery - Chapters: 2 - Words: 8,047 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-05-12 - Published: 03-20-12 - id: 7944386
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Here's a Clue story! I'm not sure if I'm even going to continue considering that I haven't even come up with a proper plot yet, but I'll try. This is my second story done on a whim (I'm sensing a pattern here) so be gentle. Have fun reading and don't forget to please review!
December 16th, 1946
It had been at least forty-five minutes since Melanie Peacock last saw any houses on her drive to the Compass Manor. This place is pretty secluded, which perfectly fine if you ask me. The only reason she was wonderfully content with not having to have constant interaction with other people was simply because she never really liked people in the first place. At least, that's how it had come to be recently. The road she was traveling down was covered in leaves and branches, which was a clear indication that it hadn't been used frequently in years. She had heard of the vacation spot only a few days ago from her editor, Charlie Blanche.
Though Melanie was only in her late twenties, she had four number one horror novels published so far. A small but confident smirk appeared on her lips as she thought of that, but it quickly turned into a scowl. She was having a vacation instead of writing another best-seller because her editor had said she was working too hard.
Too hard? One can never work too hard. I suppose I can come up with an idea whilst here though. Charlie said I couldn't write on vacation, but he certainly didn't say anything about me not brainstorming.
Finally the wall of snow-covered trees opened up and revealed a shrubbery lined path guiding her to the Compass Manor. Despite the fact it hadn't had a constant stream of visitors in years, the manor was in pristine condition. Stones and wood layered the outside of the manor. Flowers and bushes laced the yard, though they were hidden by snow. The place was much prettier than Melanie had expected.
Just as she slowly pulled up to the front door of the four-story manor, an uncomfortable feeling settled into the pit of her stomach. Although Melanie was irritated at her editor for forcing time off, she irritated at her mother as well. She hadn't been expecting her mother to completely desert her this Christmas, but she realized that she had no real reason to be angry since she never spent time with her anyways. They hadn't gotten together during the holidays together in years. Melanie's father died in late October. He died alone in an alleyway.
I wish I had been there.
The feeling of guilt crept over her, but she quickly shrugged it off. Though Melanie took her father's death rather hard, her mother seemed suspiciously apathetic about it.
'Well we all have to go sometime, don't we honey?' The scowl on the girl's face deepened when she thought of her mother. Mrs. Peacock flew off to Florida with some playboy soldier she had met at her own husband's funeral. Melanie's father was the commanding officer over the boy. It had been entirely possible that her parents had been unhappy since she left for university and she just hadn't noticed until now.
Sighing, she stepped out of her car and pulled her luggage from the trunk. Melanie walked past the small, wooden pillars and stepped towards the front door. She knocked but no one opened the door. She tried again but the result did not change. Slowly, she entered the double doors and was overwhelmed by what she saw. The place was absolutely stunning. A crystal chandelier hung above the entrance of the long, straight hallway. To her left was a winding staircase and to her right was a parlor consisting of a piano and a large wooden liquor cabinet. A portrait hung beside the front door of a balding man with a hawk-like nose wearing a green corduroy suit. Underneath the giant portrait was a plaque with the inscription "Mr. Franklin Body- Owner of the Compass Manor".
Melanie waited at the front door for anyone to show up. She was tempted to go upstairs by herself when she finally heard an urgent tapping of feet and a middle-aged man wearing a black tuxedo appeared in front of her.
"Hello Miss. I am Wadsworth the butler. I am terribly sorry for the wait."
"I'm Melanie Peacock and it's perfectly fine." She said as she handed him her bags. "I've never heard of butlers in a hotel before."
"Well, this place is not a hotel madam; it is a manor. I am also the only butler here, so I will be attending to all your and the other guests' needs. Though I do suppose my life would be much easier with multiple butlers, don't you think?" She politely nodded and followed him up the stairs. Wadsworth's proper English accent brought a small smile to her face.
"If you don't mind me asking, who all is staying here for Christmas?"
"Not at all, Miss Peacock. Right now, there are six people residing in the manor including yourself. There is myself and the owner; the rest are guests. However, two more are expected to show up later today." Melanie said nothing more as Wadsworth opened the door to her room, revealing a beautiful sight. The walls were painted a crimson red and the floor was made of mahogany. The bed had silky and gold sheets with dozens of pillows on top. Two doors were there aside from the entrance; the bathroom and the closet. Melanie smiled walking over to the window and peeked out onto the back lawn. What she saw was a little peculiar.
"Is that gentleman playing croquet in the snow?" she asked, sitting on my bed.
"Ah yes. Colonel Mustard is sort of an odd fellow. Please do not mind him. I am sure he will not be much of a bother." Suddenly, a smashing sound came from the window and a croquet mallet had landed at Melanie's feet. Cool air blew in and she heard the man from the yard yell in anger.
"God damn it! Croquet is for fuckin' Commies!" Melanie turned to Wadsworth awe-struck, but he seemed unsurprised.
"Did he just throw a croquet mallet in here? We're on the fourth floor!"
"Yes. The Colonel has quite the arm. Shall I show you to your new room?" Wadsworth asked as he immediately picked up her luggage and headed for the door. She stood there shocked and a little confused before she followed him, afraid of being hit by anything else that would possibly fly through the window. They walked down the hallway past a few doors and entered a new room. It looked pretty much the same as the other room aside from the fact that the window in this room was not broken. Wadsworth placed Melanie's bags onto my bed and bode her farewell before heading downstairs to start dinner. She walked to her bed and began to unpack when she heard a knock on the door. She opened and the smell of strong flowery perfume poured into the room.
A woman, probably early thirties, was leaning against the doorframe in a low-cut red dress not appropriate for a lady. Her raven hair covered her face that was caked in makeup.
"Hey there, darlin'. I just arrived her and I thought since there were so few people here, I'd introduce myself to everyone. We're room neighbors! I just hate being anti-social, don't you? Whatcha doing her all by your lonesome? Shouldn't you be snuggling by the fire with your sweetheart? Oh wait. How rude of me, my name is Alexandra Scarlett, what's yours?" Melanie was startled by so many questions being thrown at her.
"I'm Melanie Peacock. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"The pleasure's all mine." Her sweet, Southern drawl dripped off her words sensually and she brushed past Melanie gliding to the center of the room.
I don't remember asking you to come in, but whatever.
Alexandra turned around smiling at Melanie and she just smiled back at her awkwardly. Suddenly she frowned and crossed her arms.
"Well what?" Melanie asked, confused by the strange woman's sudden change in attitude.
"Do you not recognize me?"
"How can I recognize someone I've never met before?" Alexandra's impatient look dropped into a pout.
"I'm Alexandra Scarlett. The famous movie actress? The Monster Maker, The Deer Slayer, The Black Raven? Any of those ringin' a bell?" Melanie's face dropped into utter horror. Melanie went to the movie theatre on a regular basis, but she had never heard any of those titles before.
She must not be very good.
"I'm afraid I'm not that interested in movies." She lied, trying to comfort the stranger in her room and hide her expression. A smile reappeared on the Alexandra's lips.
"Of course that's what it is!" she squealed in a high pitched voice.
Supper that night was uncomfortably quiet. Wadsworth stood in the corner of the dining room patiently waiting to see if anyone needed something. Deciding that Melanie was her new best friend, Alexandra sat next to her and even scooted her chair uncomfortably close to her. By Melanie's count, everyone was at the table except for one person. Aside from Wadsworth, Miss Alexandra Scarlett, and herself, there was one woman and three men in the dining room. There was one, she deduced, that was most likely Colonel Mustard due to the fact that he wore his uniform to supper for some strange reason.
The other person she knew was Mr. Body and that was only because of the portrait at the entrance. His hooked nose was an instant identifier. She had no clue who the last man or who the woman was. The mysterious unknown man slouched over and looked at her with shifty eyes. His hair was slicked back and he was very frail looking.
The woman on the other hand had bright red curly hair framing her chubby face. The two were polar opposites. They all slurped at their soups politely, staring at each other and looked away when they accidentally locked eyes. No one spoke except for the chubby red-haired lady and Mr. Body giggling flirtatiously at each other at the end of the table. Melanie looked down condescendingly at the owner of the hotel as she gently blew on her hot soup.
He hadn't even made an effort to greet her in the five hours she had been there.
It seems like Wadsworth is more of the owner than that guy is.
After supper, all the guests went their separate ways. Colonel Mustard went to the Conservatory and Alexandra followed after him, most likely to flirt. Wadsworth went into the kitchen to wash the dishes and put away the leftovers. The other woman and Mr. Body traveled upstairs all over each other, giggling all the way. The beady-eyed old man simply disappeared into thin air.
Melanie went up to her room to brush her teeth once she was left all by herself. The hallway to her room was quiet and shadows danced across the walls. Her room was just as she had left it, though a faint smell of Alexandra' perfume still lingered. Melanie considered staying in her room for the night, but decided against it and decided to creep down to the library. She opened the door and saw the frail man with the shifty eyes slouched in an armchair drinking bourbon.
"Oh, I'm sorry sir! Let me just…"
"Don't bother. I was about to leave anyways." His voice was thick with a German accent and his appearance looked even rougher than initially thought. The man's silver hair had become unruly and a glass was grasped tightly in his hand
"No really! It's perfectly fine!" Melanie squeaked. "I'm Melanie Peacock."
"I do not recall asking your name, but common courtesy says I should tell you mine. I am Professor Edwin Plum."
"Wow you're a professor?" Melanie asked, her eyes lighting up. "What do you teach?"
"I am currently teaching chemistry at Boston College. Unfortunately, it seems that the College Board has decided that my teaching career must end once I return from vacation."
"Oh. I'm so…"
"I do not need your sympathy. Now if you'll excuse me, I shall take my leave." The man cautiously stood up and sluggishly made his way towards the door.
What a creepy fellow. The man left and Melanie sighed, feeling a little bad for chasing him out. She searched around the library looking for the perfect book before picking up a rather large novel from a bookshelf and sat back into the lounge chair. The only light available was the one lamp beside her and the flickering flames emanating from the fireplace. She curled her legs underneath her and smiled as she heard the book's spine cracking when the cover was opened.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door…
"Why hello there, Miss!" His booming voice from behind startled Melanie and she screamed as the book escaped from her hands, falling to the floor with a thud. "I am Colonel Daniel Mustard. What's your name?" The man walked towards the fire and stood in front of her. Though she didn't get a good look of him before, Melanie certainly saw him now. Despite the fact that it was only eight thirty, the man wore yellow silk pajamas and had his grey hair sat on his head messily. His silver moustache hung on his fat face like a horseshoe.
"Uh, Melanie Peacock." She said nervously. The Colonel's round belly shook as he laughed loudly and sat down in the chair facing her.
"Peacock? Is your father Colonel Robert Peacock by chance?"
"Yes... How did you know that?"
"Why, I fought alongside your father on the Western front! I remember we'd play poker for cigarettes and he'd always let me win. He was never much of a smoking man, you know. He always talked about his beautiful wife, but I was totally unaware he had such a beautiful daughter."
"Yes, they had me when he got back from the war." He seemed to know a lot about her family, but she knew absolutely nothing about him. It was a tad unsettling.
"Splendid! How is the old, chap anyways?"
"He uh, he died… back in October." His grin slowly fell and he looked at her somberly. They sat there staring at each other awkwardly.
"Ah I'm sorry. What happened?"
"He was mugged on the way home from the bar one night. They shot him when he wouldn't give up his money." A silence fell upon the room as they looked into the fire. The only thing that could be heard was the howling wind outside. She jumped out her seat when the silence was broken by a loud knock on the door. Wadsworth's muffled footsteps trotted down the staircase and she heard the front door open.
Completely forgetting the Colonel was there, Melanie stepped over her long-forgotten book and walked over to the door. She cracked the door open ever so slightly and pressed her ear against it to hear what was being said.
What am I doing? My curiosity has never gotten the best of me before.
"Hello Sir. I am Wadsworth the butler."
"Uh, I'm Brett."
"Splendid. We've been expecting you."
"I've always wanted to ask. What's a butler do anyways?"
"Butlers buttle, sir. Shall I take your luggage?"
"No!" The man said suddenly. "Uh, I'm fine."
"Very good then. Let me show you to your room." She peered through the crack in the door to see the two gentlemen walk up the staircase. The man behind Wadsworth had a charismatic but dark aura about him. He wore a long beige trench coat and held a worn, old overnight bag in his hand. His curly brown hair covered his eyes, but she could tell that he was absolutely gorgeous. Her breath caught in her throat when she could have sworn that the man looked at her
"That fellow looks a little suspicious if you ask me." Mustard's voice suddenly whispered behind her. Melanie jumped again and turned to him, accidentally closing the door rather loudly.
"Don't scare me like that!" she whispered angrily, blushing furiously. She wasn't embarrassed at being scared, but at being caught snooping.
"No point in whispering any more since you slammed the door shut." Melanie blushed even harder.
"Well it's been a pleasure meeting you Colonel, but I'm afraid that it's time to head off to bed." She said, the words rushing out her mouth. She opened the door and ran up the steps, literally smashing into Wadsworth on her way back to her room.
"Ah! Miss Peacock, I would like to introduce you to the last guest." He announced with a grin on his face. Melanie glanced over to the new person and was astounded. Her assumption of the man's looks was correct; he was unbelievably handsome.
"I'm Melanie. It's a pleasure to meet you."
"I'm Brett and the pleasure is all mine." He smirked as he gently nodded. She blushed and glued her eyes to the floor.
Why am I being so damnably shy? I'm acting like a hormonal schoolgirl!
"If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go to bed now." Melanie rushed and practically sprinted back to the safety of the room that she hadn't even spent a day in.