Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Story time! #1

Settled everyone? Good, 'cos it's story time! Wheee! Here's a short story I entered into a crime writing competition recently. It's only 750 words as the competition had a really concise word limit for under 18s. Anyway, I'm quite pleased with it. It's all my own idea with I like to think the feel of a Sherlock Holmes adventure:

                                        The Waxwork Woman

Jenny Knight settled down in a large armchair to listen to Alexander Wolf – her best friend, the brilliant young detective, relate the mystery of the Waxwork Woman. She was joined by the portly figure of Detective Inspector Wells, the inhabitant of the room’s other armchair and Wolf’s closest ally in the Police, his two constables, perching awkwardly on wooden stools, and Mr Finch, the owner of the office they were in and of the hotel at the centre of this mystery. They were all watching silently as Wolf began his tale.
“We all know the details of the case,” Wolf began, in his usual mesmeric manner. “The famous actress, Emerald Stone, in England to film her latest movie, Waxwork, decides to stay at this very hotel. Last night, after filming, Emerald returns to her room, her bodyguard waiting outside, ready to check on her if needed. During the night, he hears something but he checks and she’s sleeping soundly. However, when he went to wake her in the morning, he got the shock of his life when he saw that the woman in bed was not his employer but a near-identical waxwork.
 “Now, through our enquiries, Jenny and I learnt that an old partner of Emerald’s was working on the film back-stage.” Wolf pulled a photo of a long-faced man in his thirties from his jacket.
“So you think it was the ex? Oh come on, that’s as old as ‘the butler did it!” Wells exasperated.
 Wolf continued nonchalantly. “After hearing this, Jenny and I investigated Lee’s locker and found some plasticine and this.” He showed them a small scrap of red fabric, his eyes gleaming at it as if it was a piece of invaluable treasure. “This was all I needed to close the case.” His audience stared at him incredulously.
“Yes, this.” Wolf answered, reading their thoughts. “Mr Finch, did anyone join your staff at around the same time that Emerald Stone arrived?”
Mr Finch furrowed his brow with thought. “Yes!”
The manager was about to continue when a bellboy walked past the open door. In unison, Wolf and the others noticed the rip on his red sleeve that was roughly the same size as the scrap Wolf was holding in his hand. Without saying a word, the group ran after the bellboy, chasing the man through dozens of rooms - with Mr Finch apologising to his guests - until he was cornered against a brick wall.
 “You’re nicked, son!” Wolf spat in an awful cockney accent. “What? I can’t be the only person who’s always wanted to say that.”
A little later, Alex and his party had made their way back to Finch’s office with their prisoner where Alex was being blasted with questions.
 “Ssh, please. Okay, so we have two questions to answer; how and why our friend here killed Emerald Stone.
“My guess would be he found out where she was staying so found a job here to watch her and get to know her routine. He devised a plan to work his way through the ventilation shafts to her room, kill her stone dead (see what I did there?) then take the body back through the vents and out the hotel. The waxwork, taken from the film set, was to fool the bodyguard into thinking Emerald was fine until he could look at her in the morning light, giving bellboy here time to depose of the body overnight.”
Wells was still bewildered. “But why did he do it?”
“You said it yourself, Inspector. For revenge.”
Wells’ eyes widened as the answer clicked in his mind. “He’s the ex?”
“But this boy looks completely different from that photo!” Finch spluttered.
“He does now. Remember what we found in his locker, Jenny?”
Jenny gasped. “The plasticine! It was prosthetics!”
“Exactly.” Alex reached for the man’s bulbous nose which came away with one sharp tug revealing a leaner version. Alex did the same to the man’s rounded cheeks which peeled off to fully unveil the man Alex had shown them in the photo.
Alex peered down at the dishevelled figure. “Top marks for the murder, my friend, but ‘the man in a mask’ disguise is a bit ‘Scooby Doo’.”
“I don’t regret what I did,” he screamed with the voice of a madman. “And I –“
“- Would have got away with it if it wasn’t for us meddling kids?” Wolf suggested as the murderer was taken away.

Enjoy it? If you did you might be interested to know that I hope to put more stories with the same characters on here in the weeks to come. Watch this space!

P.s. It's now the 20th June and I've just come back from the competition prize-winning thing. I came joint 4th! If you're an island resident you may see me in the County Press soon.

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