Red

I’m in Cluedo.

It was a favorite at home, the life of many parties thrown by my parents. Even at five I was allowed to join the game, and I always enjoyed it.

Now here I am, Ms. Scarlet come to life (of course I’m Ms. Scarlet, she’s the gorgeous one), head reeling because one of the people I’m looking at today killed Col. Mustard (a.k.a. James, a fellow struggling writer who worked as a bank security guard), in one of the rooms of this house, using heaven knows what tool. Perhaps a candlestick, for maximum effect?

You probably think I’m taking this too lightly now, but it was really quite awful, coming in here and finding James dead so close to the front door. I’d been ecstatic on my way here because the group was coming together to read one another’s latest short story. I rang the bell about six times, I think, and no one answered, so I pushed the door open. And there he was, smiling that wonderful smile of his as he lay in deep red muck, his own blood. His eyes were open. Oh, I still can’t believe I saw him like that. I still can’t believe I saw a person I knew, dead like that, killed, executed, a corpse in a pool of blood — an absolute cliché.

Now I’m looking around this room and I know one of them did it. I can’t sit still, not when I know there’s a psycho around, not even when these nuts have yelled at me to stop pacing around this tiny space. How can the cops do this to me? What if I’m next in the psycho’s list? No one knows what this killer’s capable of. I’m willing myself to calm down and take a closer look at each person here. Maybe all those years playing the game just might pay off and I can uncover who murdered James.

Everyone looks uneasy: Mrs. Peacock over here seems just about ready for a heart attack, Professor Plum keeps smoothing his thin hair, and Mr. Green’s been tapping his fingers crazy. Maybe he’s the one. He has the crooked nose of a typical villain. No judgment here, really, but he does have just the right look. And I remember catching him more than once staring at me a bit too much. Maybe he’s a sociopath, and he’s obsessed with me, and he knew James liked me (I had noticed him staring, too) so he eliminated James. Killed James so he could have me for himself. That means he’s now gonna come after me. Oh dear heavens! I’m gonna die!

I don’t know now which I should do first: tell the cops my theory or write about this whole thing. I’m getting ideas for the perfect crime and suspense story. I can tell it’ll be a hit!

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Writing prompt derived from The Write Practice: 14 Prompts by Joe Bunting.

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