The J.Harlequin Debacle: A RP Stage Short
(Everyone's a suspect!)
There was a quite noticeable scuff on the floor.
The creme de la creme of the world's crime-fighting society were at a formal dinner at her modest country residence that evening, and there was a scuff on the floor.
Molly Maltese sighed in tones of great irritation and wondered how she hadn't noticed the mark BEFORE all her guests had arrived. They were in the dining room now, chattering happily and dining on the delicious meal she had hired a cook specifically for. Many of her friends and associates were then, including some new faces. One new face in particular; a Mr. John Harlequin. He was a new politician in the area, determined to take on Joe Hollis for mayor. His past was basically unknown; his favorability extreme. Citizens either loved him or hated him.
Just as she had this thought, someone shrieked.
Raising a brow, she hurried from the parlor to look in. All the guests seated at the long table were either standing or sitting with shocked expressions; and John Harlequin was quite shockingly purple.
Even as she rushed into the room and neared him, Harlequin gave one final gasp and died. Silence descended as she grabbed his glass and sniffed at the rim delicately. She turned, and countless eyes bored into her.
"Alright, which one of you poisoned my guest?" she snarled.
Whispers and titters danced along the table, before a very familiar man stood. "We should call the police." he said.
Another raised a brow. "There's a room full of detectives here. I'm sure that's not necessary."
"It is when one of those detectives may be a murderer!"
"We can't send for the police anyway; can't you see its been snowing all this time? We can't go anywhere!" another shouted. Molly went to the window and looked out. Sure enough, snow blanketed everything in sight. The cars parked out front were completely obscured by white.
"Nobody is leaving! If you try, I'll shoot every last one of you!" Molly yelled, pulling out a pistol.
Molly went to the window and looked out. Some of the eyes in the room followed her, a fact which made her boil with anger. She thought about proclaiming her innocence, but as a detective herself she knew it would be no use.
"Who stood to gain by his death?" she wondered, and then the city factions popped into her head. The Order of Socrates? could be. Joseph Hollis wanted to maintain his position so that they could do their work. The Brotherhood? A maybe. Harlequin was a notorious liberal, even low-brow at times. That hardly ever sat well with the folks at the church. La Cosa Nostra? They offed people whenever they felt like it, sometimes it seemed like they didnt even need a proper motive. She looked over all the people in the room, wondering where their allegiances lay. She even looked at Zeo suspiciously. Why, he could be destroying evidence right now under the guise of "detecting" it.
"Oh, this is maddening!" she cried, and stormed out of the room.
Sleuth About Town
Elizabeth was quiet on her seat, trying not to pay attention to the looks on her. It was clear that people suspected her. Some because of her well known past - her book, "Reformed burglars never rest", was a best seller -, and some who knew she had had some problems with Mr. Harlequin some time ago.
The woman decided to stand up for herself and stood from her chair, her hands straightening her light blue skirt. She let out a sigh.
"Very well. Since some people are looking at me, let's clear somethings out. I was a burglar, not a killer. And even if I was, I wouldn't be stupid enough to kill someone in the middle of a bunch of detectives. Anyway...
She turned around to Zeo, who had worked for her on the case during which she had met Molly.
"Mr. Zeo, I request you do me the favor of searching my purse and taking my fingerprints, after you're done with this bottle. Will you be kind enough to do it? I have particular reasons to want this to be done.", she declared, calmly.
The guests all listened in astonishment as the sounds of Molly stomping through the parlor reverberated through the room.
"ELSIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" she shouted. "MAKE UP EVERY EXTRA BED WE HAVE IN THIS GODFORSAKEN HOUSE. THERES BEEN A SLIGHT CHANGE OF PLANS!"
There was a slight pause as everyone looked at each other and raised their eyebrows before the obviously irritable hostess came back in. Molly hiked up her skirts slightly and settled on the floor beside the body and gingerly began rummaging through his pockets. She pulled out a small card and peered at it.
"Mr Von Victor, do you have any idea why Mr Harlequin had your business card in his pocket?" she demanded suspiciously, and all eyes turned on him.
She pulled out another piece of paper, and a guest said loudly, "why, that's your address!"
Molly glared around. "May I remind you that you are in my place of residence. You all didn't feel your way here with blindfolds on, did you?"
Marc raised an eyebrow. "But it's on the back of a picture."
Molly turned it over and flushed bright red at the picture of Harlequin and her looking QUITE chummy together. His face was peering out from behind her as she balanced on his lap and smiled quite drunkenly at the camera.
"Oh jeebus. I told him to get rid of that!" she said, covering her face with her hands as the picture was snatched up and passed around the table as "important evidence". More than a few giggles sounded in the room.
Sleuth About Town
As the picture reached Elizabeth, she refused to pass it on.
"Let us stop this. We're all civilized grown ups, and this is not funny. We all have our little secrets, don't we?"
She sighed and handed the photograph back to Molly.
"There you go. Keep it safe."
She let out a sigh.
"At least, this time I'm not the one in the spotlight. At least until someone decides do dish out something with my name", she added, rolling her eyes.
"Someone ALWAYS does."
" Look people we need to stay focused." Charlie Cain said out of the back of the room placing a cigarette in his mouth. "Molly you dont mind if I smoke do you?" He asked knowing full well Molly's wrath if he did something she didnt approve of.
" Ok so Molly is a close friend of the departed. We are all suspects in this. We could all be linked to him in one way or the other. And not all of us here liked the guy." said Charlie looking around at his friends and fellow detectives.
"Why does this always have to happen" Vulkie dramatically said.
"One day,I'll blame myself that I "attend" these kind of parties. Everytime I join one of them,something happens." Vulkie added.
"It's not your fault. But someone in this room has a grudge against Harlequin." Charlie said.
Vulkie nodded. "But who could've had access to either the wine bottle or the kitchen?" Vulkie said and Molly sighed.
"Everyone. It's my damn house you know,it's not like a prison" Molly said.
"But what poison could've been added in the wine.." Vulkie thought out loud. Just then,Marc came with a reply.
"Rat poison" Marc said. Everyone looked at him as if he was waving and drawing attention.
"Logical,my boy,logical" Heimlich said. "Molly must have had a few rats here and there..." Heimlich added and Vulkie grinned. "The dirty type Heim?" Vulkie said and everyone chuckled.
"ENOUGH WITH THIS JOKING. I'M SERIOUS!" Molly shouted and everyone looked at her again.
"If you'll excuse me,I'm going to my room,if that is okay.." Vulkie said and made her way upstairs,passing Elsie the Maid. "Elsie,you've seen anything strange lately?" Vulkie asked and Elsie shook her head. "No Ma'am. Nothing at all" Elsie replied and Vulkie shrugged. "Well,this is going to be entertaining then..." she thought and went towards her room...
"Everyone, It's my damn house you know, it's not like a priosn," Molly said to everyone who seemed to be arguing about Harlequin's death.
"But what poison could've been added in the wine?" Vulkie asked out loud.
Marc came into the room no sooner when she asked the question. "Rat poison," He said. "Someone either slipped it into his drink when he wasn't looking or someone had gone into the kitchen and put it in the drink before they were brought out."
The minor snow storm had now become a blizzard. Marc paced back and forth in the main room with his pipe in his mouth thinking. He couldn't just accuse someone for it. He needed evidence. But the one person sitting next Harlequin..yes, she was the main suspect on his list.
Marc spoke up, getting everyone's attention. The only other person not inthe room was Joseph Zeo who was busy getting finger prints off the wine bottle. "It has come to my attention, that the person sitting next to Mr. Harlequin should be the top suspect. I think that person slipped the rat poison in his drink when no one was looking." He said.
Whispers flooded around the room and someone asked, "Who could it have been?"
"Take a good look around the room," Marc said. "Who was at the dinner table, but isn't here now?"
"Vulkie," someone said.
"Ah yes, however, there was another person sitting next to him on his left side. And that person is in this room." Marc said looking around at all the detectives. His eyes stopped at a certain somebody in the middle of the crowd of detectives.
"VULKIE!" Someone shouted, "Get down here! Now!"
Vulkie returned a moment later. "Yes?"
((Note: Bourbon is a type of whiskey typically brewed in Kentucky. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourbon_whiskey)
"Vulkie do you remeber who was sitting on the other side of Mr. Harlequin?" Marc asked.
" Marc I know where your going with this. And I must point out that before the while we were waiting for dinner the whole room was like a game of musical chairs." stated Charlie.
"And further more the wine had been served as a appitizer as we all arrived here tonight." He said taking a sip of his scotch and a deep pull of his cigarette.
As Charlie stepped out of the crowd to face Marc he said "Now who here didnt even go around Harlequin tonight?"
" Charlie you were the one who sat next to him on the seating arrangement." Marc said
" So you sir are a very solid suspect." said Marc
Molly pointed exaggeratedly to the industriously working Joseph in the corner.
"He is, in fact, holding a bourbon bottle, people." she said, and then reached around and grabbed the bottle behind her. "THIS is the wine bottle, my special wine. The kind I happen to adore, in fact. Very expensive. That'll teach you to read the "labels" in this case, eh?"
She grinned and then popped the cork off the wine. Heimlich raised an eyebrow.
"Perhaps we shouldn't have anyone drink anything further this evening..." he cautioned, but it was too late. Molly took a hearty swig, smiled for a moment then frowned. She clutched her throat, staring at the bottle in horror. Everyone gave a gasp and started for her, sure she was about to keel over dead in a moment.
"This bottle tastes absolutely horrendous. This is not my usual wine!" she whispered in tones of outrage, and then noticed all the people clustered around her. "Oh please, if I were about to die, then it would be FAR more dramatic. They'd have to give me a posthumous Oscar, in fact."
"Anyway Vulkie, I'll thank you not to go traipsing around my house whenever you please. Someone will accompany you to your room when we've picked all our brains thoroughly. And yes, you will be sleeping in the company of someone tonight, all of you."
There were some titters at this and Molly raised a brow.
"Look, you lot. Two separate beds at the end of each room. If I hear a gunshot in the night I'll assume we have a lecher on our hands. As it is, one or more of you is a murderer, I will take whatever measures necessary to prevent this from happening again."
She winked saucily. "It's not like this home has enough rooms for you lot anyway. This is verrrry inconvenient of you bloodthirsty jerks. As for me, I will have Joseph Zeo in my quarters. You may think me bold, but my room has a divider he will be making full use of, and there are some case details I would love to discuss with him."
She moved around, absently tidying.
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