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Beyond the Lone Islands

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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge #75


The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 22 - Avoiding the humiliating truth


To read previous episodes, click the label "wordzzle" below this post


For the rules of the game, and for more stories, go to Raven's Nest.


The words this week (10+5): reluctant, sacrilege, territory, humiliating, master of ceremonies, gesture, dirty deed, crumbling, thaw, token, official portrait, personal bank account, shoulder bone, unbearable, widow

Adam still felt reluctant to answer. The truth was so humiliating. He might not have committed a really dirty deed, like murder. It was still a kind of sacrilege, considering his medical profession, to have run away from a fire without trying to help.

"Who saw me?" he asked. "I mean – who says they saw me arrive twice?" he added, a little too late for Skittles not to take his first reaction as a token that he was on the right track.

"Never you mind who saw you," said Skittles, making a mental note to ask Bumblebee if he had also made the same observation as Diana. "Just explain."

"So what if I came, and left, and came back?" said Adam, trying to regain position as master of ceremonies. "It's not a crime to forget something, is it?"

If I'm lucky, he thought to himself, no one can tell for sure when the fire started, or if I went round the back of the house the first time I came, before I left again. But he felt his defences crumbling. Or melting, like ice in thaw.

"So you're saying you forgot something?" said Skittles. "What, exactly?"

"I forgot to… change my shirt," said Adam desperately, regretting the words the moment he'd uttered them. However, this was another answer so unexpected, that Skittles again felt himself losing control over the territory.

"You forgot to change you shirt?!" said Skittles, with a gesture indicating disbelief.

"Yes," said Adam, sticking with it. "I was wearing my white shirt but noticed it had some stains on it. So I went back and changed to my lavender shirt. Since it was a party."

"But a moment ago you said you did not think it really was an invitation to a party," Skittles objected. "You said you thought the Brigadier General might be planning to commit suicide."

At that point, Adam's cell phone rang. Before Skittles had time to stop him, Adam had answered the call.

"Yes, Dr Challenge speaking," he said into the phone. "Broken shoulder bone? Unbearable pain? I understand. I'll be right over."

Adam put the phone back in his pocket and said to Skittles.
"That was a patient," he said. "A poor lonely widow. Had a bad fall. I have to go over immediately. I'm sorry, but can't I come down to the station tomorrow and fill in the rest? I've really told you all I know, and after all, it's not as if anyone died." He rose, shook hands with the astonished lieutenant, and left the room.

"Well, I never…" said Skittles to himself, distractedly taking a nectarine from the bowl on the table, biting into it. In a way, Dr Challenge was right, of course. It was not as if someone had died. Or even as if someone's personal bank account had been emptied. But there had been a fire, even if it was in all likelihood caused by accident, and had been put out before it caused any real harm. Still, the Brigadier General was in hospital, and there were some mysterious circumstances. Actually more and more mysterious, the more people he talked to. Like who sent the invitation card to the doctor, and why? And why was the doctor being so evasive in all his answers? Skittles couldn't help feeling a nagging suspicion that even that phone call might somehow have been faked, although he didn't know how. He had heard the phone ringing…

He went out into the hall, with the intention of finding his way to the kitchen, where he presumed he might find the butler, and maybe still also the boy from the grocery store. Looking around wondering what door to choose, his eyes fell on what he supposed must be the Brigadier General's official portait. He had indeed been an impressive man in his day, Skittles thought, and quite handsome, too.

6 comments:

Argent said...

Oho! The plot thickens! Look forward to finding out more.

Dr.John said...

It must be hard to be a policeman investigating a crime when you don't know what the crime is. Skittles is doing a good job under the circumstances.
Great writing as usual.

Fandango said...

You humans are so weird. Your police investigate and get confused by non crimes. Doesn't Skittles have a murder or two to solve ?

Raven said...

I love your writing and the clever way you always work the words in. I am so impressed that you write this well in your second language. Brava!

SouthLakesMom said...

Poor Skittles...he is so encumbered by his own cluelessness! He's a little like Clouseau -- just stumbling into right answers and missing their import!

Richard said...

The good doctor is acting a little wanky. What's up with that? Good episode this week.

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