To all of you out there who followed me recently and were expecting some sort of Avengers update, sorry.
I wrote this months ago out of fun. I had just reread the book to calm my nerves before an English final and had seen two renditions of the book in theater. Not to mention that I discovered that there is both a computer/Wii game based on this wonderful novel; I've beaten it several times over. Love it.
Each element had a different ending, the book, the plays, the game. I decided to take elements from all three and write an alternate ending to the novel. This was also an excuse to free my mind, my fingers before my written English final.
This will be Lombard's POV, Lombard/Vera hints.
Forgive typos but feel free to point them out; this was written months ago on Wordpad.
Thank you. :)
As soon as he saw the gun in her hands and her finger on the trigger, the line of the poem that hung in every room rang loud in Lombard's ears:
Two little indian boys playing with a gun ;
one went and shot himself and then there was one.
It was her all along, the armyman thought as his wolf gold eyes glared at the barrel of his own revolver. Vera Claythorne- She was the madman who had lured everyone to the island using the pen name U. N. Owen. Clever, crafty, no one would think to suspect the woman who had gone into a nervous fit just the day before- why, he should have suspected her the moment she began laughing at the prospect of the bees! Why else would she remember such a random detail at such a strange time? Why else think of the next line of a poem (that all the deaths were being mirrored after) while looking down at a body? Planning, that was it all right. Planning and a clever guise to throw all of the attention off of her... off of her and on to that poor doctor, Armstrong... And Blore-! Oh, the policeman had fallen for her trap all right, running back to the house only to get hit in the head by Vera's own clock left precariously on the edge of the balcony above...
Lombard reached out with a hand, palm up. Vera didn't move.
His gold eyes glared into her brown.
"Give that revolver to me," He commanded.
She laughed once, low and defiant.
"Come on, hand it over," Lombard continued. His mind raced, he was frantic- death had never been nearer. Which way- which method- to talk her over- to lull her into security- a swift dash-
All his life Philip Lombard had taken the risky way.
He took it now.
"Now look here, my dear girl," he said slowly. "You just listen-"
He tried to jump, his hands aiming for her smaller ones, but she took a step back- pulled the trigger- and he fell to the ground.
A white hot pain flashed through his body and immobilized him. It felt as though he had been hit by a car on the highway and run over by the next. There was liquid on his chest- blood? Was that it? He couldn't think- he couldn't breathe. Breathe. He needed to breathe...
Something in the back of his mind saw Vera approaching. Did he care right then? The brunt of his mind was trying to find out what had happened- why he couldn't move- why he couldn't breathe-
His vision went black.
As sudden as it faded, the image of the treeless island came flashing back.
Whether it was moments or hours later, he found himself stirring on the dusty floor, his eyes opening to the darkness of impending twilight. He gulped down air as if it was ambrosia and felt his faculties returning. At once he looked down at his chest. Blood, yes, there was blood- he lifted a hand, groaning at the sharp pain that tore up his ribs and neck. God damn it hurt but he forced his hand up to press on the wound.
He was lucky women weren't good shots- he was not shot through the heart like his early convulsions had lead him to believe. No, the shot was through his collarbone and high. Most likely, that arm would be in a sling for a good time and he'd have a scar to show if he ever wore a sleeveless shirt.
The smell of salt from the nearby sea helped to clear his head. Slowly, Lombard pushed himself up so he was sitting. To his right, not fifteen feet away, was the water-sodden body of Armstrong that he and Vera had dragged up from the sea. The sight made him furious. How sick Vera must have been, to have killed this man, pushed him from the cliffs above and then use the sight of his body as a chance to steal the revolver.
She was craftier than he had thought-
-but her plot was out in the open now.
It was a slow and agonizing process, but Lombard used stones to help him to his feet. He kept a hand pressed to the wound on his left side, the blood staining his skin pink. Once on his feet, the armyman made his way back to the lavish mansion, being sure to pick up the head of the bear clock (the same that had killed Blore) along the way.
"You were right, old chap." Lombard murmured, being sure not to look at the gaping wound at the back of the man's head- hard to do when he was face down on the front walkway. "It was Vera all along. Don't worry, I'll avenge you and-"
A woman's shriek broke his train of thought. Lombard started, blaming his reaction on the blood he had lost- how he would be looked down upon if the rest of the corp had seen!
Admittedly, Lombard's first reaction was to run into the house and see what was the matter- it was a man's job to keep a lady safe, after all. (To think he had defended this gal from earlier advances! They could have her, for all he cared!) Luckily, he still had his sense. He knew that scream. Vera had used it not the night before, screaming at the top of the stairs to draw everyone away from the living room, leaving the honorable judge Wargrave vulnerable...
He wouldn't be tricked twice!
He hung back, waiting several drawn-out heartbeats. After all, she still had the revolver, his revolver... One step too close and she could be firing through the window.
After a tense wait, nothing came. It was now or never.
Crouching down on the front steps, Lombard pushed the door open - quickly - with his foot. No shots were fired. He used the railing to heave himself onto his feet and ventured inside. Everything was where it was supposed to be, not a piece of furniture out of place. Once at the bottom of the stairs, however, a glance into the dining room showed him that there were none of the little china figurines on the table- one had been broken for every death that had occured. Now there were none.
Hold on... how had that poem ended?
One little indian boy sitting all alone, Lombard whispered under his breath, his words rhythmic as if the line was part of a folk song. The words echoed along with every step he took further up the stairs. He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Perhaps he wouldn't need the bear head he held in his hand, afterall. If Vera intended to follow the poem then that last part was meant for her, and her alone.
At the top of the stairs, Lombard crouched again. How much time had passed since he grabbed the masonry bear head? Minutes, hours? His heart pounded and his head was light- small trickles of blood occasionally dotted the floor behind him- but it was almost over.
He would find Vera. Either she would have brought justice upon herself or he would finish it with one decisive strike. After that, he would go into the doctor's room and nurse himself with the leftover medical supplies. Lombard would pull through, yes. He had survived, he would win, he would return home wtih a scar and a story to tell. He could already smell the liquor at the bar where he leaned back on the stool, one arm extended as he described the final blow he brought down upon-
He heard a woman's short, clipped scream once again.
Intelligent enough to kill nine others but not herself? Perhaps I am needed to help finish the job.
Lombard tightened his fingers around the bear's head, its masonry teeth stained with Blore's blood and soon to be more. He started down the square hall, creeping ever closer to the room he'd come to know as Vera's.
Something silver caught his eye not four steps into the hall. Looking down, just in front of the closed door to Wargrave's room, was the revolver. Lombard grinned. He placed down the bear head and swapped it for the firearm. Oh, it felt so right to have the metal in his right hand again! Checking the cylinder, he saw four bulletts still at his disposal. It ends here.
Gun in hand and fueled by adrenaline-caused confidence, Lombard turned the corner and eyed the open door to Vera's room with a hunter's lust.
He froze where he stood on the red carpet when he heard a voice coming from the room.
It wasn't Vera's.
"Oh, you are not mad, my dear girl- It is I who am mad!"
Lombard took in a deep, shocked breath- Wargrave! That was... Wargrave?
Quickly, Lombard turned and made sure to silently crack open the door to the judge's room, in front of which he had found the gun.
After each death, each body had been put back in the person's room and covered with the bedsheets. Upon opening the door, Lombard confirmed what he thought- the judge's room was empty, the bed unmade.
He was on the path to Vera's room again, taking slow, calculated, silent steps.
"I had my money on you, you daring girl, should it come down to you and Lombard. I knew you could take him should that revolver become yours." Between the judge's mad words were Vera's strangled yelps. "How about that boy, now, Cyril Hamilton?"
"I didn't kill him-!"
"Oh, but you did."
"I told him he couldn't swim-!"
"But you turned your back on the boy and he went anyway- you took Hugo's attention away from him so no one would see the boy swim out- you knew he would try, that was why you were hired to watch him. To top it all off, you pretended to swim after in a mad fit to save him, almost drowning, yourself, before a boat arrived. Haha, my girl, you played your part well but now you must finish the role."
At that moment Lombard remembered one sick detail about Vera's room that was different than the others- there was a black hook dangling from the ceiling.
Lombard jogged the last three steps despite the pain in his ribs. The door was open, he didn't need to push it. At once he saw that Wargrave was, indeed, alive; with a mad look in those tiny black eyes, the man had a rope - hangman's noose completed - in his hands. The loop was forced around Vera's neck and she was dragged like a mongrel dog across the carpet to a chair, all the while fighting, her hands pulling and tearing at the rope. (Lombard would never forget the wild, panicked sounds she made...)
The judge may have been an older man but he was still strong- Vera stood no chance.
She was hauled across the floor with ease, jerked forward like a cruel master would jarr a horse's reigns.
Lombard had his finger on the trigger, but the with how he viewed the scene, Vera's form was in the way- there was no clear shot to the judge. Lombard began to worry that he had come too late when Vera was forced onto the chair (the rope had been pre-tied to the hook, Lombard saw that now). Come on, come on.. move, move!
At last, the judge seemed pleased. He crept from around the chair, watching as Vera tried to reach up to untie the rope at the source. Wargrave's hand went to the chair and he pulled...
Vera had somehow managed to grab the rope with both hands and hold herself up, taking pressure off of her neck. Her hands shook violently.
However, she was no longer in the way.
Lombard's eyes met Wargrave's. There was a look of astonishment in the latter.
Lombard whipped up the revolver-
The judge went down with a hole in his forehead. A real one.
With the judge finished off, Lombard whirled the gun up. Vera, whose eyes had opened upon hearing the first shot, stared at Lombard with an anamalistic horror as she struggled to breathe. (Did she think he would shoot her now, as well?)
Seconds were ticking away- her arms were trembling as if she was freezing; she would drop her own weight soon.
Lombard fired his final three shots, all three of them hitting the black hook on the ceiling despite his aim being slightly compromised. (He had to blink to straighten his vision- damned bloodloss!) At last, with the final round, the hook and rope broke. Vera hit the ground hard but she didn't seem to care about that- her hands scrambled to get the noose from around her neck.
"He faked his death," She breathed in panic. "That night someone scared me and I screamed, he faked his death- him and Armstrong were spying on us- he pushed Armstrong- he turned us against each other- he- he... I..."
Dizzy himself, Lombard went to his knees. With his hands on the carpet, he was able to look over at Vera. With the rope off of her neck and thrown away as if it was a snake, her breathing was coming down from those hyperventillating gasps. Her jaw fell open as she looked over at him. Her brown eyes shone with guilt.
"You're... alive... But I shot you... I saw you fall..."
"High and too far left... You'd never held a gun before then, had you?"
"I... Good god, Lombard... I'm sorry... Here, I... Stay here, I'll get Armstrong's bag!"
She was on her feet and running before he could nod. Lombard moved so he was leaning against the vanity, his head lolled back and resting on a decorative arch. With that wolfish grin, he chuckled under his breath; "One little indian boy left all alone... he got married, and then there were none."