Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finish That Thought: The Game

by Michael Seese

Funny thing....

I've been writing a lot of -- or better said, more regular -- flash fiction lately. With Flash! Friday and Indies Unlimited (both of which use a photo prompt) I tend to write more "serious" pieces. Though for some reason my Flash! Friday stories seem more... poignant, I suppose. 

In contrast, "Finish That Thought," which requires that we finish a sentence, tends to lead to humorous pieces. For example, "The Game."

This week, our first sentence was: "It is time to make the announcement." Our special challenge was to include a beaded necklace, a bridge, a glass of water, and an envelope.

So here it goes.

“It is time to make the announcement,” Mr. Boddy said, clinking a glass of water with his fork. “Someone in this room will die tonight.”

How would one expect an assemblage of six renowned aristocrats to react to said pronouncement?

Gasps? No.

Screams? No.

Panic? No.

The genteel guests erupted in applause, and then scattered to the remote recesses of the deserted manse, leaving Mr.. Boddy and Wadsworth, his trusted butler, alone in the dining room.

“Well,” Mr. Boddy said, “what shall be our weapon of choice?”

“The revolver tends to kill rather effectively, sir,” replied the dignified Brit.

“A fine suggestion, Wadsworth. Further, as an instrument of human dispatch, it allows for a more hands-off approach than the other methods.”

“Agreed, sir. Though it does tend to leave a larger mess for me to clean up.”

“Yes, regrettable. But, to make an omelet...” he shrugged. “On to the lounge!”

Their crisp footsteps echoed sharply on the hardwood floor. Entering the plush parlor they found the woman in red reclining casually on an overstuffed chaise lounge, fondling her beaded necklace. A single shot through the heart left the young starlet scarlet.

“Might I suggest, sir, that we employ the secret passage as a shortcut to the conservatory?”

“A splendid idea, Wadsworth. We’ll clean up the mess later.” Wadsworth knew there would be no “we” about the task. Mr. Boddy pressed a button ensconced in the pastel paisley wallpaper. A large section of the floor slid aside revealing a concealed staircase. Wadsworth removed a hurricane lamp from a table, lit it, and led the way down.

As they traversed a diagonal beneath the manor, the butler paused on the bridge over the underground river. His employer stopped by his side.

“Is something troubling you, Wadsworth?”

“If I may, sir. Do you ever tire of this?”

“A fair question. With 324 possibilities, I did not think I would. But I will admit it has lost some of its luster. Nonetheless, we cannot end the game now.”

In the conservatory they encountered Reverend Green.

“Forgive me, Father,” Mr. Boddy said before turning him into a holey ghost. In the billiard room Colonel Mustard sank a bank shot. Mr. Boddy sank his shot as well. In the library Professor Plum studied a dusty tome. Mr. Boddy saw to it that he was written into the history books. Mrs. Peacock, in the study, exploded like a clay pigeon. Finally, across to the kitchen where Mrs. White perfectly matched the cabinetry and modern appliances. Before the splattering.

The final piece eliminated, the devilish duo retreated to the cellar to retrieve the envelope.

“Would you do the honors, Wadsworth?’

“Certainly, sir.” He cleared his throat. “I believe it was Mr. Boddy, in most rooms, with the candlestick.”

“Hmmm. It appears as though I had the weapon was wrong.”

“Perhaps next time, sir.”

“Perhaps. Do you think those rich adventure-seekers will ever realize that it’s not a board game I’m advertising?”

Let me know what you think.

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