Author's Note: We all know and love Wargrave for his lovely master plot that gave us And Then There Were None... but what if things were different? What if the last little Indian boy had indeed been the killer? Why would Vera of all people be the murderer? Let's find out...
P.S. I'm more familiar with the play than with the actual book, having done the play at my school, so if I make some play-book switch errors, forgive me.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters, settings, or plotlines of And Then There Were None, those are Agatha Christie's. I do wonder if I own my own plot twist... probably not.
~Vera Elizabeth Claythorne~
"That felt good," Vera admitted, bringing down the gun.
She dragged the bodies up to the steps of the house—first Armstrong's, then Blore's, the Lombard's, gazing into his eyes for only a moment... Vera cackled, feeling no pang of sympathy. Lombard had been an idiot. To trust her, to have feelings for her, to think that they loved each other... Hugo had been the only one she would ever love.
Vera ran her fingers through her long hair, disheveling it. My ten little Indians rhyme! My rhyme! She was the only one on the island, she no longer had to keep up her "lovely, frightened, innocent, and sane" pretense.. She was free to be herself—a murderess.
She was almost proud of it, being a murderess. True, she once was that lovely, innocent girl. But once she saw Cyril's coffin slamming shut, something in her snapped. She held power when she murdered the boy—just by a few mere words, she had ended someone's world. She found she had liked being guilty of that, but no one understood it. Her sister had fainted, her mother had ordered her out of the house, and Hugo had abandoned her...all because Vera had said it. Vera had said, "I'm a murderess. I killed Cyril, and I enjoyed it. Help me, please-" She had still been partially that sane, frightened girl then, deep in her heart. No one would listen, no one would try to help her make sense of this all... She's a cold brutal murderess, they must have thought. They all lingered on She killed, and she enjoyed it. No one even heard the Help me! And now, it was too late. Now, it had come to this...
There was much blood on Vera's hands and streaked through her hair, immediately pointing to her as the guilty one. "So be it!" she laughed. "Let everyone know what I have become. Ten people are dead because of Vera Elizabeth Claythorne!" Her bloodied hands clenched into fists, then opened long enough to snatch the rope on the table, looping and knotting it into a noose as she muttered, "One little Indian, left all alone; He went and hanged himself, and then there were none."
Dragging the rope behind her, she marched up the stairs, still muttering to herself. These killings had been very different from Cyril's. Cyril's had seemed... simpler, somehow. All it had taken was a few words, and he was swimming... the current had done the rest. These were nine carefully-plotted killings, done with her own hands. The fact that nearly all the others were guilty of murder was a minor detail... to build up suspense... to see if they would admit that they enjoyed it, too... common ground before she killed them off. This experiment required nerves, suspense, terror building up. They were done according to a gruesome children's rhyme, one she had read to Cyril once and then several times again alone, for enjoyment. The sense of inevitability—no one can escape murder—also, Cyril's drowning had been for a reason, to marry Hugo. Now, Hugo was gone... These murders were pure killing drive, with no reason but so she could feel that sense of power again...
Vera opened her bedroom door and walked in, and then her eyes widened.
It was him. Standing at the back of the room, behind the chair that she had set up earlier for this moment. He was wearing that same horrified expression that he had worn when she had told him the facts of Cyril's drowning—horrified, disgusted, and morose. "Vera," he said in a pained voice.
"Hugo," she breathed. "Hugo, I love you."
Hugo stepped back. "Vera—what you did—you're-"
Vera shrieked, and flew across the room, jumping on top of the chair. "Hugo, love me! Pity me!"
"Vera, you murdered!" he stuttered.
"You drove me to this!" she hollered, swinging the rope wildly. "You—you don't understand! None of you ever understood! You all abandoned me—left me alone with my murdering instincts-"
"You're a murderess, Vera," Hugo repeated.
"I am, I am! A child murderess, a serial murderess—all because of you!"
"Why can't I swim out to the rock, Miss Claythorne?" Cyril was standing beside Hugo, looking ghostly pale, somehow guiding Vera's hand as she knotted the rope to the beam.
"You can—go to the rock, Cyril," she said, closing her eyes.
"The Lord is known by the judgement He executeth, the wicked is snared in the work of his own hand," Emily Brent, almost jeering, said. "The wicked shall be turned into Hell."
"You—young, lovely, and quite, quite mad." That was Captain Lombard in a slightly amused tone of voice.
"Leave me, you're gone!" Vera screamed. "I made sure of that!"
"Oh, yes, I've no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman—probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic," Justice Wargrave, voice calm and powerful, declared. He tossed the noose over Vera's neck.
She shrieked again with laughter. "I killed you—all of you—you're dead!"
"Prisoner at the bar, have you anything to say in your defense?"
"Vera, you murdered!" her former lover cried out.
"Somebody, please, help me-" Vera whispered before ending her own world, and it all faded into blackness.