Lady Beryl’s Demise

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Falcon, Sep 12, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 1:00 a.m.

    The Fairview city chief of police sighed and ran both hands through his thinning hair. He felt like hitting his head against a wall, repeatedly. His jail was full tonight, and not with the usual thugs and Friday evening drunks. No, the patrons who currently occupied the cell block were none other than the costumed party guests of the woman commonly known around town as the mysterious owner of the house on Monarch drive. No one had ever even seen the woman; all business was done with the live in cook and housekeeper, Widow Jennings.

    “Is Mrs. Jennings all right?” the chief sighed trying desperately to keep his temper.
    “Shaken up, but physically unharmed.” A reedy detective answered in a rush. “She was hysterical when we finally got to the house, and she insisted on not staying there alone, which quite frankly I don’t blame her.”
    “Has she been able to provide any informa—“
    “Well, no,” the detective interrupted, “but we’ve got all the others. I reckon if we interrogate them each separately so they can’t keep talking over each other like they have been doing—“
    “Bring Mrs. Jennings in here.” The chief grunted. “I need to hear how things started. And bring her a cup of coffee or tea or something . . . poor woman.”


    5:00 p.m. - The night before.

    The afternoon was cold and foggy as the elderly woman known as Sarah Jennings waddled about the dining area, putting the last touches on the various trays of finger food that would stand in place of dinner. Each tray had its own place in the buffet line set up in the dinning room and there would be more than enough food for all the guests to eat their fill. Mrs. Jennings prided herself on her hospitality. Someone had to be hospitable, the other woman in the house was somewhat on the antisocial side.

    Still, the poor widow gladly performed the job she had to do that night. It wasn’t often she got entertainment such as this. A moment later the house other human occupant bustled into the room draped in chocolate and ocher satin, a little top hat pinned jauntily on top the false, brunette curls of her wig. A fitting costume, Irene Adler, on so many levels.

    “Mrs. Jennings,” The woman paused eyes an empty spot among the desserts on the table, “What happened to the double layered chocolate fudge cake? That was on the menu was it not?”

    “Oh don’t worry, Madam.” Widow Jennings tittered back, “There was just a bit of a brewha with one of the new bakery boys. They should be finished any moment now, and when I’m done with these garnishes I’ll just pop down to Fairview and get it. I’ll be back before any of the guests even decide they want dessert.”

    “All right, all right. I suppose I can handle them on my own for a bit.”

    “Of course you can dearie,” Widow Jennings carefully placed the last bit of parsley, wiped her hands on her apron and preceded the other woman into the kitchen. The old woman’s eyes didn’t miss the way the younger one’s hand clenched in her skirt for a moment. “I’ll be back as quickly as possible. You just do what you need to do, Madam.”

    “Mrs. Jennings, it is Lady Beryl tonight.”

    “Of course it is.” The elderly woman was gone a minute later, cell phone, oversized bag, and keys in hand. As the little white Subaru puttered down the drive the first drops of rain began to fall.

    5:15 p.m.

    The doorbell rang, heralding the arrival of the first guest.
    Gathering her skirts in hand, Lady Beryl swung the door wide, a broad smile plastered across her freckled face.
    “Welcome, welcome, do come in!”
  2. The Professor, darkgreen Professor Malachite bowed his head politely as the door opened. "Ah, Lady Beryl I presume." He smiled behind his mask and continued "It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He said, stepping inside. "Might I say, you have a lovely house." He looked around briefly, noting the silence of the house. "Why, it appears that I'm the first one to arrive." He remarked, stepping further in. All things considered, the professor expected that he would have to wait for the rest of the party to arrive before she would speak of her motivations. That wouldn't however, stop him from enjoying himself in the interim.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. Ms. Garnet, Maroon
    Ms. Abigail Garnet was the second to arrive, rapping the door with her scepter and waiting for an answer. When she was greeted by a woman clad in ochre and brown silks, with a fitted brown wig, she found herself taken aback, something that the other, younger woman seemed to pick up on.

    "Ah, you must be Ms. Garnet," she said, holding out her hand. "I'm Lady Beryl, your host for the evening. Please, do come in."

    Abigail smiled inwardly and breezed past Lady Beryl's waiting hand, into the house. She immediately removed her large fur coat and thrust it towards her host for the evening, "Goodness, Lady Beryl, do you now have any housemaids? For someone with such a sizable mansion, I would have expected at least one maid and a cook." She tittered to herself, "Still, I suppose it can be difficult to find the right staff, can't it? It's just so hard to know who to trust."

    Changing tact, she held up a bottle of red wine that had been previously clutched to the folds of her dress. "Here you are, darling, a gift for our host. It's a 2004 Margaux that, if you like red, I'm sure you'll love. Have any of the other guests arrived?"

    "Professor Malachite is waiting in the lounge," replied Lady Beryl. "You're the second to arrive."

    "Then I shall go and make his acquaintance. It's not often that one rubs shoulders with a professor," said Abigail before walking through into the lounge where the professor was waiting.

    "Professor Malachite," she said loudly, drawing the man's attention to herself. "How do you do?" she enquired, hobbling towards the man and taking rest upon a stiff-backed seat near to him. "It's not often that I find myself in the company of a professor! Pray tell, what do you profess, sir?"
    • Thank Thank x 1
  4. Aquamarine

    Aquamarine was the third guest to arrive. She stepped up to the large door, using one of her gloved bunny hands to knock. Lady Beryl opened to door, illuminating the steps on which Aquamarine stood.

    "Hello, you must Aquamarine." Said Lady Beryl. Aquamarine said nothing as she was ushered in to the large home. "The other two guests are waiting for you in the lounge, it would be wise to join them."

    She entered the lounge, her large bunny feet making no noise on the shiny floor. She shambled over to a tray set out, with small glasses of champagne. Picking one up, Aquamarine noticed the two other guests chatting quietly together. She then proceeded to spill champagne all over her bunny face as she pretended to drink it, watching them through the black soulless eyes of her bunny head.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  5. The door was in the process of closing behind Aquamarine when a very well polished black limo pulled up in front of the mansion. A squat, bald driver hopped from the front passenger's seat and made his way to the rear, opening the door to allow Miss Opal to step out on to the driveway. She ran her hands along her sides to straighten out her sequined dress and adjusted the bun in her hair before placing her hat on her head.

    "Thank you, James." She said, waving her hand at the man. "Now kindly move along. I'll give a call when I'm ready to be picked up. And don't forget to pick up Arthur's dry cleaning on the way back."

    James nodded and made his way back to the car, closing the door as it began to drive away. Miss Opal jumped at the sound of the engine revving and mumbled to herself the entire journey to the door. Knocking loudly, she shrugged her fur coat slightly off of her shoulders as the door opened. Making no attempt to hide her surprise at the fact that Lady Beryl herself had answered the door, Opal's eyes darted across the beautifully painted walls of the room inside before she smiled sweetly to her host.

    "Lady Baryl? I'm Miss Opal, it's such a pleasure to meet you. I have to be honest, I would have expected someone else to answer the door. You know, a good hostess always entertains her guests."

    With a wink and a grin, Opal slipped past her hostess and made her way to the other guests, wasting no time in grabbing a drink and lighting a cigarette.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  6. The Professor, darkgreen Professor Malachite shifted his gaze towards the new arrival. "Criminal Psychology." He replied, his tone cool and relaxed as he pulled the cloth that covered the lower half of his face away and finished the glass that sat beside him before pulling it back up. "And I'm afraid you have me at somewhat of a disadvantage. You have my name already, so if I may be so bold as to ask, who might you be?" He asked, his tone nothing but cheerful politeness. He didn't like being outside of the loop of information, so it was always best for him to learn what he could about the people around him. He was after all, quite aware of why he was there, and he expected that the rest were the same concept. What they were capable of however, he had no idea, and that lack of knowledge concerned him.

    His eyes flicked over to the others as they filed their way in, and he observed the way that each of them moved, what they headed for first, every detail he could pick up from them could save him an endless ordeal of trouble. That was the way he was. Always preparing for the worst circumstance. It wasn't just the people he was taking in though. He was noting places that looked like good escape routes, things in the house the could make improvised weapons, even things that could be used as makeshift cover if someone had brought a gun in. He doubted he would need to apply any of it, given the behaviour of the guests thus far, but it was still something he was mindful of.
    • Love Love x 1
  7. Ms. Garnet, Maroon
    The older woman smiled and her eyes sparkled brightly, suggesting that she wasn't merely some old crone, but rather someone with enough mental faculties to still be of worth. "Why, professor," she said, feigning innocence, "Isn't it obvious? I am the Queen of Hearts."

    Whilst speaking, she had raised her arms and held them out to her sides, letting the movement tug the folds of her dress out too, better showing off the magnificence of her costume so that Professor Malachite might be able to take it in. After holding such a stance for a few seconds too long, and easily long enough that most people might start to question her lucidity, she began to titter quietly, before shaking her hand. With a polite, warm smile, she held out her gloved hand towards the professor, "I am Ms. Abigail Garnet, owner of the Garnet Hotel chain. Perhaps you have known the good fortune of staying in one of my fine, welcoming establishments? I'm sure a professor such as yourself has cause to travel from time-to-time."
    • Like Like x 1
  8. 5:20 p.m.

    The woman currently known as Lady Beryl surveyed her guests, or those that were there.

    "Welcome, All," she stated spreading her hands and gesturing around the living room where everyone was in the process of making themselves comfortable, or not, as the case may be. "I am simply delighted that you were able to accept my little invitation. On that invitation I believe I asked you to RSVP with an alias of your choosing based on a type of stone, which you have all done, some more cleverly than others." Here she raised an eyebrow at Ms. Garnet who had already begun the discussion over her hotel chain. "As you already know the name Lady Beryl it seemed only fitting to continue with the theme."

    The woman currently known as Lady Beryl crossed the room to pick up a champagne glass of her own, absently noting the state of Aquamarine's bunny suit, but did not drink. Instead she looked around at them all again and smiled. "I would tell you why you all have been invited, but unfortunately we are still two guests short. As I prefer not to repeat myself we shall have to wait for them. In the mean time, please, there is all sorts of food set out in the dining room," here she waved a hand at an open door in the far right corner, "and you may eat at your leisure. Feel free to explore the courtyard as well." again she gestured, this time as a set of open french doors that seemed to lead out into a very well maintained little garden. Light rain drops were beginning to splatter the ground though, so the area was not quite so appealing as it might have been had the night been fine.

    "You may tell each other as little or as much about yourselves as you like, just remember that for this evening your aliases stand. - and Miss. Opal, if you insist on smoking, please do so by an open window or in the courtyard."

    Outside the first peel of thunder could be heard in the distance.
  9. "Really Howard, I'm fresh out of fucks about being late for this thing. If the two-bit tart wants to get upset, I need a new handbag," Lady Lazuli muttered, shifting her grip on her bag, which appeared to be a very cleverly-crafted woman's head, her necklace functioning as a strap. Lady Lazuli herself shifted in the backseat of the limo she was riding in, a fruitless endeavor considering that she and her dress took up most of it. The porcupine-esque quills of her dress clinked and rattled gently as the car ground to a halt and she sighed, pushing a blonde curl out of her face.
    "Well, let's hope tonight is fruitful. I hate it when parties are a drag," she said, wrestling herself out of the limo and heading up to the doors. She knocked impatiently, but when no one came she let herself in and on her way to the dining room passed by a young woman dressed as a flapper, smoking by an open window.
    "Move it or lose it," she growled, pushing past the girl and making her way into the dining room. She grinned crocodile grin at Lady Beryl and waved when she got into the room, tucking the grisly bag under her elbow.
    "Hello darling, interesting looking lot that's here. Especially the, er, rabbit. Really, what on earth? Some people," Lady Lazuli muttered, smoothing her dress down as she walked over to the rabbit and tapped its nose, looking into its eyes.
    "And what are you supposed to be, hm?"
    • Love Love x 2
  10. Aquamarine

    Aquamarine watched the other guest mill around still holding her empty champagne glass. Lady Beryl had just walked in, announcing that they were just waiting for a few more guests to arrive. She then noticed another one of the party members pushing her way through into the lounge, glancing at Aquamarine strangely. The woman stopped and reached out, bopping her plastic nose and asking her what she was.

    "I am a rabbit." Replied Aquamarine quietly, patting her nose with a gloved hand, smoothing down her now champagne soaked bunny fur. Placing the empty glass back down, she gazed back at the woman through the fake eyes. She reached for another glass and lifted it up to her pseudo mouth,then proceeded to dump more over her suit.

    "The champagne is delicious, you should try some," she said in a monotone voice. " Very bubbly."
    • Love Love x 2
  11. Ms. Garnet, Maroon
    Ms. Garnet, along with most of the room, had turned her gaze towards Lady Beryl and listened to her brief non-announcement. Given that someone had turned up in a full rabbit costume, it was quite apparent that some people were taking privacy and dressing up further than others, but she turned back to Professor Malachite and held her hand up to her mouth.

    "Oh my," she said, raising her eyebrows, "I do believe I've upset the good Lady Beryl. Perhaps I should watch my tongue for the rest of the evening, and you, yours, professor. I'm sure a criminal psychologist such as yourself already knows the value of listening more than talking." She slowly rose to her feet, a little unsteady, and with her hunch more pronounced after sitting down, before attempting to bow slightly further. "I'm sure we'll speak later in the evening, Professor Malachite, but for now it seems that the best thing to do with this clumsy mouth of mine is to find it an alternative occupation to chit-chat, so that I need not make another faux pas. I bid you good evening, sir," she said, before turning around and slowly making her way across to the dining room. As she passed, the older lady nodded in the direction of Lady Beryl and offered her a far-from-sincere smile.

    True to her word, Lady Beryl (or her staff, if she had any) had put on quite a spread in the dining room, with all manner of fine meats, cheeses and breads adorning the long dining table in the centre of the room. To Ms. Garnet it seemed rather uncouth to arrange places at a table, but not to formally declare that dinner had been served. One must either lay places and invite their guests to sit, and eat, or one must arrange a banquet, with no formalised seating, where guests may come and go as they please. Such social inelegance seemed to be the trademark of Lady Beryl, a clearly wealthy woman with a fine home that opened the door to her guests herself, instead of hiring a housekeeper to do the job. Sighing for the loss of old traditions and decorum, Ms. Garnet began filling up her plate with a mixture of meats, breads and salads, before sitting down at the table.

    Being the first to enter the dining room came with one major benefit; should anyone else elect to join her, Ms. Garnet may be able to converse in private with them, away from the easily-annoyed Lady Beryl. Unless, of course, Lady Beryl should be the first to join her. Then things might prove to be even more interesting.
    • Love Love x 1
  12. The Professor, darkgreen Quietly, Malachite listened to what everyone said, nodded towards Miss Garnet politely, his long beaked mask making the gesture all the more apparent. After she left, he relaxed in his seat, listening to the sound of thunder. Thunder, as it turned out, was one of the most relaxing sounds in the world to him. As much as he enjoyed the sounds however, he never stopped his observation.

    The Rabbit had the majority of his attention. Their displays of social etiquette had left him with the very strong impression of a low-functioning sociopath. Of course, that could also be an act, something to throw off onlookers, such as their host. The only question in that case however, would be, to what end?

    Lady Garnet was quite the opposite in effect. Sociable, polite, open about her business. A woman with few if any real surface concerns. He expected she was the kind of person who would cut someone's throat with a smile on her face, all the while telling them what a pleasure their company had been. She was certainly one to watch.

    The other two, not counting the lady of the house, were more unknown to him. The movements of the one speaking with the rabbit implied a sort of dominating personality. The kind of person who felt they were always in the right. Rude, intolerant, but rarely the sort of person to actually resort to violence. The other was more difficult to recognise. She hadn't really done much, and so he was resigned to keep a partial eye on her.

    In the meantime, the thunder rolled, and the professor smiled. "Such a beautiful sound..." He murmured quietly.
    • Love Love x 1
  13. "You may tell each other as little or as much about yourselves as you like, just remember that for this evening your aliases stand. - and Miss. Opal, if you insist on smoking, please do so by an open window or in the courtyard."

    Coughing a bit on a puff of smoke, Opal nodded and began to make her way over to the window. She had only been standing there a few moments when the newest guest arrived and passed her by, grunting as she went.

    "Move it or lose it."

    Staring at the woman as she continued on, Opal took one last quick puff before putting her cigarette out on the windowsill and following closely behind. No one was going to speak to her like that, and it would be better to enlighten Miss Smarty-pants before the night got any older. Eavesdropping on the conversation, Opal slowly made her way up to the two, intentionally bumping into the snarky woman's hip as she bent to pick up a glass of champagne.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. She watched the rabbit pour champagne over herself with a sort of horrified glee until the woman from the hallway bumped into her, causing her to stumble a step. She turned to the young woman in a tinkling of spines on her costume and raised an eyebrow.
    "Honey, if we're having a war of feminine assets, you aren't going to win," she hissed acidly, straightening her bodice and dragging the rabbit over to the buffet table. Lady Lazuli had an extreme, almost pathological fondness for anything unusual or kitschy, and a girl in a rabbit costume pouring champagne over her face definitely fell into the unusual category. Not often an overly expressive woman outside of disdain, Lazuli was almost trembling with excitement as she sat the rabbit down and put some food in front of her. Plopping down next to the girl, she began to snack off the plate as she spoke.
    "Really, you're the absolutely right kind of tacky, I just can't imagine anything more perfect. Do you have a name, or is that a secret? You're just too perfect, my god."
    • Like Like x 1
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.