Devil in the Details

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


It's the roaring 20's, and in a city filled with lights the shadows of society are stronger than ever. Luckily, there's a woman with a heart of justice and a soul that's strong enough to find them,
the Devils in the Details. These are her stories.

Submitted: February 18, 2018

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Submitted: February 18, 2018

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Devil in the Details

A Danielle Deville Mystery

I have been in this city so long, it is inside my dreams. The bright lights across every street, the happy people marching along. The salesmen, the office workers, the mothers and fathers all heading out for their families. It’s a beautiful city, full of light. But that light casts a dark shadow. For every good man that wishes only for a good life, there’s someone bad who does terrible things for his own ends. As for me? I’m just a woman who finds their darkest secrets and brings them to the light. I’m not trying to call myself the best detective in the world, or a master of deduction. I just have a job to do and a heart that still believes in justice to do it. My name is Danielle Deville, and I…

Can NOT believe someone is knocking on my goddamn door in the middle of the night!

My dream of the city is interrupted by knocking on the glass door of my office, which I stupidly have connected to my apartment. “ALRIGHT! Just a minute!” I yell through the open connecting door. It stops for now. I drag myself out of my bed, still in my clothes from yesterday. Black slacks, with a white button up shirt, and suspenders. I take a quick stop by my bathroom to freshen up, and make sure I look alright. You should always be presentable to potential clients.

No new wrinkles, no black eyes, no scars. Looking good Dani. I button my shirt back up, slap on a coat, and go to answer the door. “Alright, how can I help you?” I ask, looking at my intruder.

“Dani, glad to see you’re up! There’s something I urgently need your help with.” A friendly police officer says with a smile. “Geez, Ricky. Couldn’t this have waited for later? It’s in the middle of the night!” I complain. Ricky Smith is one of the nicest cops you’ll find, an old friend, and my employer more often than not.

“Middle of the night? Dani, It’s already 8 in the morning.” Ricky says to me. With intense confusion I walk over to one of my curtained windows and throw it open, letting the morning light of the city into my dark room.

‘Huh, he’s right.’ I think to myself

“Huh, you’re right.” I say

“Hmm, I’m right!” He says with satisfaction.

“Alright, it’s time to go to work, I guess. Fill me in.” I say, walking towards the living section, with Ricky following me and closing the office door. “Ever heard of the name Adam Alexandria?” Ricky asks me.

“I may be an old gal but I’m not socially dead, Ricky. ‘Course I’ve heard of him.” I reply. Adam Alexandria was a young, prolific movie star. He had good presence on stage, and in his Broadway career his acting skills were top notch. He was also quite a looker but that wasn’t a big deal to me.

“Well, tragically, he’s been shot in his home here in town.” He continued. “Well that’s a damn shame. Any witnesses?” I say, turning the bathroom sink on. “Sadly, no. The house wasn’t too big that a killer would have a lot of places to hide or leave, but it was big enough that the people in the house weren’t present until he was already shot.” He explained.

“Fwo washs hall in sha howshe?” I asked, toothbrush in mouth. “Come again?” He asks. With a quick spit I rearrange myself. “Who was all in the house?” I ask again. “Ah, well aside from the victim, 4 people.” Ricky begins. “Well then, let’s go meet our cast, Ricky.” I say, finishing up and heading out.

With a quick car ride, not a fun time, we are at one of the richest neighborhoods in the entire city. Of course, it wasn’t as grand as North Settlement Gardens, but it was fancy. Walking up to the house I could tell what Ricky meant. It was bigger than a standard house, but it wasn’t the size of a mansion. It looked more like a pair of two story walkups, melded together.

I walk into the house and Ricky already has his investigation team making quick work of the scene, gathering evidence and testimonies. “Hey, Ricky. Why do you need me on this case?” I ask of him. He gives me cases all the time, but usually stuff that the other officers snub their noses at.

“Well there’s been a bit of a crime spike, and all the district detectives are on different cases. It’s been hell, but we should be getting it cracked down soon.” He says. “Now, we only have the 6 house attendants for suspects right now, but I got a feeling you’ll have all you need for right now.” Ricky says, opening a door.

Before me are 4 different people, in many ways. One of the officers at the scene hands me a notebook with initial testimonies. I can hardly read the damn chicken scratch, but it should be legible enough. They’re gathered in the dining room, around the large table. I begin to walk around them, trying to gauge their reactions.

“Lana Westerberg. 28 years old novelist, fiancé of the victim. My condolences. You say that you were in the library at the time of the…tragic incident.” I say. Her eyes are red, and makeup is smudged, clearly, she has been affected. “Y-Yes. I often read in the morning. Helps my mind wake up.” She says, forcing a smile to address me.

“Leopold Crawberry. 65 years old, head butler for over 10 years now?” I say. Slim, wrinkled, white hair but in the professional way. This guy was a stereotypical butler through and through. “That is correct. Me and my wife had been serving the young masters family for around 17 years now. Although she tragically passed away recently.” He lamented. “It says you were out checking the post, and you’re the one who heard the gunshot?” I asked.

“That is also correct madam. It wasn’t very loud, but I heard a strange pop from inside as I was checking the mailbox, then I came running and found the young master dead. Lying on the couch as if he was sleeping.” He recounted. It all matched up with the testimony.

I continue. “Anne Talbot, 18, newly hired maid. It says here you started two weeks ago, and that you were in the laundry room when it happened.” I say. “Yes, that’s true ma’am. I was hired after Mrs. Crawberry passed, and I heard Mr. Crawberry’s commotion, and was the second to the body.” She explained. She seemed nervous, avoiding my eye. Red hair, freckles. Seems like the stereotypical orphan. “Talbot, I feel as if I’ve heard that before. Have any family in the papers recently?” I ask.

“N-No ma’am. But, Talbot is a very common name in the west, I’m from California originally.” She replied. I moved on to the final suspect.

“Edward Johnson. Co-Star in an upcoming movie with Alexandria, and according to your report you were in the bath at the time. No given age?” I question. “A true star never ages, gal. That aside, I am eternally 20. I was taking part in my daily skin care routine at the time. Of course, I couldn’t continue after such tragedy, but I’ll sacrifice a few wrinkles in mourning for my dear friend.” The gaudy, blonde man said, shedding a fake tear.

“If you do not mind me asking, who are you?” Lana asked kindly. “Me? I’m one of the best detectives this town has seen in the entirety of the 20’s and the decades before then. My name is Danielle Deville, and I swear that I’m going to find your fiancés killer by the end of the day.” I tell her confidently.

“Also, I ain’t a ‘gal’ pretty boy.” I say with a glare. He jumps in his seat and avoids my stare. “Now, I will take you all one at a time to where you said you were. Eddie, you’re first.” I say with a bit more of a malicious grin. He sheepishly gets out of his seat and walks with me to the bathroom.

We walk in and I shut the door behind us, and even with a light shove it slams with force. “Are all the doors as heavy as that?” I ask. “Oh yes, even the front and back doors. Adam liked to practice here in the home, but he didn’t want to disturb people, so he installed these heavy doors.” Eddie explained, leaning against the door.

“Seems like a real standup guy.” I commented as I looked around the bathroom. “Yeah, he really was. Been the same way all the years I’ve known him.” He said, with a wistful look in his eyes. The room was filled with all kinds of products, and checking the tub I saw water in it, mostly around the drain. Clearly it was used recently.

“How long did you know him?” I asked, continuing my check. “Can you keep a secret, Mrs. Deville?” He asked. “Just Miss, and better than anybody.” I replied. “The media likes to play us up as rivalling co-stars, but in all honesty, we’ve been friends since childhood. Went to the same acting classes, same events, same auditions. We did everything together. It’s why we are even in so many movies together now.” He explained.

I looked out the window, seeing a small fire escape leading out of it, but it looked to be closed. From behind me, I heard sobbing.

He was crying now. Not like the tear he shed with the others, these were genuine tears. “He’s really gone, isn’t he?” He asked, choked up. “I’m afraid so. I don’t mean to be rude but getting shot is a very hard ailment to cure.” I reply.

“Forgive me, I know it’s dumb. But he always told too many jokes for his own good. I’m still half expecting him to jump up and laugh at us all! He’d get pummeled for sure, even old Mr. Crawberry would get in a punch or two. But it would still be better to see his smile again.” He said.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” I said, putting my hand on his shoulder. “But I promise, whoever did this, isn’t going to get away with it.” I reassured. He gave me a kind smile but didn’t say anything.

With that done I led him back to the room and let him take a seat, calling the maid, Anne, to come next. She leads me down to the laundry room. It had a few simple washing machines, one with a crank handle, and drying racks. It was also the only one with a regular door and no windows.

“This rooms different than the others, isn’t it?” I asked. “O-Oh, yes, it is ma’am. Mr. Crawberry told me that the fumes from cleaning chemicals would have suffocated the maid, so Mr. Alexandria didn’t add those thick doors to this room to keep it better ventilated. He also had all these vents put in as well.” She said, pointing around the room.

“But, no windows?” I asked. “Well this is technically the basement, so there isn’t much space for them. But the vents lead right outside! It actually causes a bit of trouble on rainy days.” She said with a light chuckle. “I really wish I could have worked for Mr. Alexandria more. He seemed like a really pleasant fellow.” She said.

“He even had a nickname for me, Green Gables. From that old book!” She remarked. I walked over to the machine and checked out the inside of it. It was wet and smelled of chemicals, but not as much as it should have been. I crank the handle and it gives off a deafening squeak.

“Ugh, again! I’ve greased that handle at least 10 times now!” Anne said in frustration, walking over to a can of oil and dropping a few drops on the joint, fixing the squeak for now. It added some more stains to her sleeves. Didn’t notice those before, but at least it wasn’t gunpowder.

Or maybe it was. “Anne. Does the name Ethan ring a bell?” I asked. She freezes. “I-I don’t believe so, m-ma’am.” She stutters out. “I think you do, Anne. Ethan Talbot. A young man, just a few years older than you, arrested for serial robbery just last week. Apparently, his method was to profile the houses of rich folks who left town a lot and rob them on leave.” I explained, taking a few small steps closer.

“Distinguishing features: Red hair, and lots of freckles. Sound familiar, Anne?” I ask. She doesn’t respond. “Talbot isn’t as common a name as you might think. As a matter of fact, it was made up. Ever read The Wolfman?” I continue, she still says nothing. “Is that what you did? Follow in big brother’s footsteps? Maybe it was to provide for a family, or to keep yourself fed. But Alex caught onto you and you shot him. Is that right?” I ask.

“N-NO!” She shouts out. “But this is the only room in the house anyone would hear anything from! It’s the only one you couldn’t escape, and the only one you could wash the gunpowder off your sleeves, am I right?” I ask.

“NO, YOU’RE WRONG! YOU’RE ALWAYS WRONG!” She shouts, standing up. But then she covers her mouth and shies away. “My brother is Ethan Talbot. He’s a criminal. That’s true. But I’m not! We’re from Ireland, originally.” She begins, slipping into her, I can only assume, native Irish accent.

“We just got Talbot from a book. It was me, him, and our younger sister. I told him so many times to just get an honest job. But no one wants to hire immigrants. Then he got hauled off to jail and suddenly, my little efforts meant nothing. Then I met Mr. Alexandria. He hired me without a second thought, saying that he needed a new maid. He even offered to let me and my sister live here, since he’s gone so much.” She said to me, eyes full of tears.

“I just want to live an honest life, Miss Deville. Me and my sister. Please, please don’t tell anyone about this.” She pleaded with me. Now I feel like a huge jackass.

“I’m sorry for antagonizing you so much. In my line of work, we must investigate every possibility. You can go back now.” I told her. She dried her eyes and walked back with me.

Dear god I am just making people cry so much today. I hope that isn’t a trend. I lead her back to the dining room, noticing that most of the police officers have cleared out already. Ricky gives me a look, asking if I need him around, and I wave him off. He leaves, making it just the medical investigators and myself.

“When you go in there, tell them I’ll be back in just a second.” I ask of Anne. She nods and heads into the room. I take this chance to check out the body. Like Mr. Crawberry said, he was lying against a couch, with a bullet wound right in the heart. It seems like he was sleeping when it happened. Poor fool never saw it coming.

As I look around, I notice a piece of fabric hanging from the couch. I put on my leather gloves and pick it up. It seems to belong to one of the couches throw pillows, as it matches one that’s already on the couch.

I silently peek over the edge, and see the rest of the pillow, with what appears to be blood on it. “So, that’s what kept it silent. Clever.” I say to myself. I have a hunch about where this case is going, but I need to finish checking the alibis.

I walk back into the dining room, with one last police officer keeping a watch of the suspects, probably under Ricky’s orders. I call him over and whisper into his ear. He nods and heads out of the room. “I’ll take Mr. Crawberry now, this won’t take long.” I say, leading him out.

He leads me out the front door and to the mailbox of the house. “You were right madam, this won’t take long. I was out here, checking the post and greeting the postman. It’s a daily routine, you see.” He says. “Yeah I figured you’d say that. I sent the officer over to the post office to double check that, but I think you’re fine.” I say. Then, I take a big inhale.

“The air is always so clean on a Sunday morning; don’t you agree Mr. Crawberry?” I ask. “I do certainly believe so, madam. My wife, she always appreciated how clean the air was here.” He recounted. Oh god, this is going to lead to more crying. “She was the hardest working woman you could ever find. Never took a day off, never complained or whined. A model housekeeper.” He said.

“Do not worry, Madam. I have found peace in her passing, and I intend to enjoy the memories of her with a smile. Shall we return back inside?” He asked. “I think we shall.” I reply, going in after him. As we walk back in, I remember the couch. “By the way, I checked the couch and noticed it had a sharp corner sticking out. Know anything about that?” I asked him.

“Ah, yes one of the springs inside has proved rather troublesome. But Mr. Alexandria wasn’t a wasteful man. He’d rather work something to the bone before getting rid of it.” He told me. “But I shall fix it after this whole sordid mess is taken care of.” He added on.

We head back to the dining room and find Anne fixing everyone up some tea. “I-I hope this is alright Ma’am, it’s just that everyone was feeling a bit parched, and I figured some tea would help that, and calm our nerves.” She sheepishly said.

“Hey, the murder didn’t happen in the kitchen, I’ll take a cup too.” I say as she hands it all out. Before I can take a sip, the officer returns. “Oh, you’re back, what did the postman say?” I ask. “It all checks out Miss Devil, we’re good to go.” He replies.

“Great. Here, have some tea.” I say, handing him my cup. “Miss Lana, if you don’t mind it’s your turn. You can bring your drink with you.” I tell her. She stands up and grabs a coaster to carry her tea with.

I walk up the stairs and to the Library with her. It’s a small room but the walls are lined with shelves, and those are filled with all kinds of books. “So you came here right from waking up, correct?” I ask.

“Well not immediately. Me and Alex tend to wake up around 5 in the morning. By that time Mr. Crawberry has already began to work and has prepared coffee or tea along with breakfast. We eat our meals and then Alex begins his rehearsing. I tend to come here and partake in a few chapters of any given novel to wake myself up.” She details. “Although, I did feel strangely tired today. I’m not sure if that’s entirely helpful.” She adds on. “I’m sure I’ll think of something. Another question, what did you think of Alex and Eddies relationship?” I asked while checking out the bookshelves.

“You mean their oh-so-secret friendship? I am the only other person besides our parents to know about it. I was a childhood friend of theirs as well, but I was more literary than theatrical, so I wasn’t as attached at the hip.” She said with a laugh. “So, you and Alex, that was a childhood sweethearts sort of deal?” I asked.

“Well not always, to be quite honest I found his jokes and pranks detestable in our younger years, and during our older ones I honestly expected him to come out of the closet any day. But one day he asked me on a date and I didn’t have anything to lose. It was to my surprise that, when you aren’t his friend, he was a very charming and kind gentleman. Needless to say, I feel head over heels.” She monologued.

As I look at the bookshelves, all rather dusty. I noticed two spots that weren’t. “If you don’t mind me asking, what book were you reading this morning?” I ask of her.

“Oh…um, it was…” She said, turning red. She then mumbled something I couldn’t make out. “Miss Westerberg, that door is heavy and shut, you can say it.” I reassure her. She takes a big sigh and repeats herself. “Red hot Passion from the Ranch of Eros.” She says.

I couldn’t help but stifle a laughter. “I didn’t take you for the ‘cowboy romance’ type.” I said with a chuckle. “Well usually I’m not but it is necessary for any proper novelist to take in all genres!” She said defensively. “I must tell you Miss Westerberg, cowboys are never that romantic.” I tell her with a laugh.

But the other spot worries me. I grab that book and hide it in my coat for now. “One last question before we leave, do you think there might have been any jealousy between Alex and Edward?” I ask.

“Those two? Heavens, no! Whenever the cameras aren’t on them they are the closest friends one could find, more than even brothers! Honestly, I was a tad jealous of them in our younger years, until I learned that their friendship is very much unrealistic. I even based my most popular novel after them.” She says with a smile.

“That was the one about the two kids who end up trekking across the country right? I actually liked that one.” I commented, she seemed pleased. “Any chance he could have been jealous of you?” I ask, restructuring my original question.

“I understand the insinuation Miss Deville, but if Edward had been jealous of me, I doubt I would be here talking to you. Besides, we’ve been under the same roof more times than I could count. He would have had many chances. That being said I do not believe him the type.” She said, but then started to mumble and bite on the fingers of her opera gloves, white but slightly dirtied.

“Miss Westerberg?” I ask, drawing her attention. She looks up as I tap her shoulder and stops her tendencies.

“Forgive me, Miss Deville, but you have caught me in a very harrowing state. My fiancé is dead and one of my closest friends is being questioned before my eyes. It is discombobulating to say the least.” She says, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

“Alright, we can go back now. I think it’s time.” I say.

I send her back into the room and step outside, lighting up a cigarette and closing my eyes. As I do, I mentally enter a place that’s nothing but black, and I imagine myself sitting in front of me.

“So, what do you have?” My copy says to myself, and we begin.

My mind might not be what one calls normal. The reason I can figure out these cases so well is that I store a lot of information, and then go over the case with myself. It might be handier to have an assistant, but this works well enough for now.

We have a man dead, shot while sleeping, with a pillow to cover the sound of the gun. He was killed sometime between 6 and 7 am, considering how long it would have taken the police to get there, take the preliminary details, and then come get me at 8.

We have three suspects out of four who could not have heard anything, and the one who did is innocent. I know that much.

We have a close friend, clearly infatuated with the victim who could have harbored many negative feelings. Lana claims it would be impossible, since it would be jealousy in the wrong place, but many people can have the mentality of ‘If I can’t have you, no one can.’

That being said, just thinking of Alex brought Edward to tears. It could have been an act, but for all intents and purposes it seemed genuine. Then we have the Fiancé.

She was awake at the same time as Alex and could have been alone with him with no one questioning it. She also seemed to be very neurotic, or possibly guilty. She also had that library full of fiction and non-fiction, and I’m sure many detailed deaths were in that entire library.

Then, we have a butler. An old man who couldn’t put up a fight, but was the first to find the body, and faintly heard the gunshot fired. My only guess for that would be the thinner windows in the front that usually come with this house.

With all these pieces, all these players, and all this time. Only one person finds out. Once again, and like always, I have found the Devil that hides in the details. It’s time. 

I open my eyes to the bright Sunday morning once again and stomp out my now finished cigarette. I open the house and ask the four suspects to line up.

“Thank you all for being so complacent today. I know it’s been hard. But never fear, I have found the true culprit.” I say, pacing between them and the couch where the victim lies. I have the medical officers against the walls as well, to give me the space needed.

“Thankfully, you all made this a bit easy for me. All of you had some hidden depths or possible motives for committing this murder. Three of you had the access to do it. Two of you had the ample time, but only one of you has a hole in your alibi.” I say as I pace back and forth.

“Mr. Johnson. You had a deeper relationship with Alex than you let on, even to the people in this house. Perhaps you were jealous or envious. But, as you said, you were in the bathroom taking care of your skin. The different, used products in the bathroom, and the tub with water but no soap, tells me that you began to apply them, but didn’t wash yet. That frees you of the crime.” I say, and he gives a sigh of relief.

“Miss Talbot, you were the only one in a room that you could have heard anything and had the means to clean the evidence. However, the chemicals and recent water in the washing machine proves that it was used, and as it is a crank machine which was recently oiled, it required your immediate attention. Not to mention, you aren’t the type to kill.” I say, giving her a reassuring pat on the head. “By the way, check if there’s a loose screw on the handle, that should fix it.” I tell her with a smile. She gives one back.

“Mr. Crawberry. As the butler you had access to meals, laundry, chores, almost anything in the house on top of the fact that you could be with Alex alone, and there would be no questioning. However, as you said, you were outside checking the post on this Sunday morning. I doubt you could have easily snuck inside with the heavy door, and as he was shot from the chest, it was clear you couldn’t have done it through the window.” I explain.

“Finally, Miss Westerberg. Some of the same reasons for Edward could apply for you. Jealousy or Envy over their relationship or maybe his fame. Perhaps the fact that he left so much. Or maybe, you’re secretly a gold digger.” I began, earning a look of disgust on her face. “You were in the library at the time, and judging from the dust on the shelves, it seems the cowboy romance book you were reading was indeed pulled out. However, so was another book.” I say as I pull it out of my coat.

“It might not be obvious, from the plain brown cover, but looking through the pages makes it clear this a book on how to load, operate, and clean many forms of pistols. This was also seen from the dust to be pulled out, and even the pages have less dust, so it was clearly opened. However, you mentioned feeling tired in the library, and your gloves have saved you.” I say.

“My gloves?” She asks. “Exactly. There are evident bite marks, and lipstick stains on the fingers of your gloves. Meaning you haven’t changed them since this morning. If you fired that gun, then there would be residue on those gloves, but there is none. What is there, however, is dust. Dust that I can only assume was from the old books in the library.” I finished.

“But…Madam, if what you are saying is all true, then that means none of us was the killer!” Mr. Crawberry points out. “That’s exactly right. Which is why one of those reasons is a lie!” I say, stopping and pointing dramatically at the line of suspects.

“Before I say what it is, would anyone like to think about what could possibly have been a lie, on this beautiful, Sunday morning?” I say with a smirk. I can see all four faces thinking hard and fast, when suddenly, there is a deep gasp.

“It seems you have finally realized your mistake, haven’t you…”

“LEOPOLD CRAWBERRY!” I declare, exposing the name of the killer.

“Miss Deville this is absurd! Crawberry would never have killed Alex!” Lana protested. “Is that so? Well then, let me ask him something.” I say. “Were there any special packages today?” I ask.

“N-No” He replies

“Anything hand delivered?”

“No!”

“Any sort of special telegram, any sort of strange mail!?”

“NO, NO, NO! What is the m-meaning of this interrogation?” He asks.

“Because, Mr. Crawberry, with the exception of the items I have listed, mail is never delivered on Sundays!” I reveal to him, causing a shocked look on his face once again.

“Maybe they do it differently wherever you’re from, but here in America you don’t get mail on Sundays! Not even bills arrive. So, what is it you were doing, Crawberry?” I ask of him.

“I-It was an honest mistake!” He pleaded.

“You’ve been working with this family for 17 years, and I can only assume you’ve been in America for longer, and yet you still didn’t know when mail wasn’t delivered?” I question.

“I thought I heard someone outside! I-I was checking the post because I assumed there was something delivered!” He claimed again.

“Not happening! You said that you chatted with the postman, who never would have been here on a Sunday! You yourself just confirmed that there wasn’t any special delivery!” I continued.

He stuttered and mumbled, but mostly the room was just silence. “Please, Mr. Crawberry, say something. Anything…” Lana said, reserved. “Crawberry, I’ve known you almost as long as I’ve known Alex. Please tell us the truth! We know you wouldn’t do this!” Edward pressed.

He still said nothing.

“M-Mister Crawberry, I haven’t known you long, but you’ve taught me so much! You’ve always been kind, so, I have the utmost faith in you! You’ve taught me how to be a proper maid! Please tell her what happ-” Anne began, before being cut off.

“SHUT YOUR MOUTH YOU LITTLE WHELP!” Crawberry yelled out in anger, giving everyone a shock.

“You…I HATE YOU ALL! Especially that BASTARD!” He said, standing up and pointing to the dead body. “Me and my wife, my darling Christine, worked DAY AND NIGHT for you! She NEVER had a day off! NEVER a moments rest! He worked my sweet, kind wife into an early grave! And what does he do about it? Hires some little urchin to replace her, not A WEEK AFTER SHE IS IN THE GROUND! HE EVEN CRACKED A JOKE ABOUT IT!” He continues to rant.

“So, this morning, when you made their food. You put a sleeping agent into it, didn’t you?” I asked, looming above him. “That’s right. That energetic bastard always downed his coffee. Lana, ever the reserved Tramp, barely had any of her tea.” He admitted.

“So, you Amazonian BITCH. Do you want to tell them the rest or shall I!?” He asked me.

I take a deep breath in. “I think the rest is obvious. You use a pillow to cover up the gun, brushed up on how to use it with the book, and killed him after the sleeping agent took its affect. Afterwards you knocked on the library door, which alerted Edward and Anna, and acted like you knew nothing.” I finished.

“So, there you have it. The butler did it! It’s cliché, but I have my justice! I have my peace! And that is more then ANY of you will have!” He shouted out again. “There’s just one thing you forgot to check for, Miss Deville.” He said.

One of the medical team shouted out “THE WEAPON!”

“THE MURDER WEAPON!” He repeated, pointing the gun towards me.

‘Oh yeah, the murder weapon.’ I thought to myself. But then, looking at the gun in front of me…

The world went red. Flashes of a deranged man standing over me with a gun played out, like a slideshow at full speed, and when the world regained its color, I had Crawberry pinned to the ground, hands behind his back, and then guns barrel broken in two on the floor.

“I think we have all we need now.” I say, panting. “Take him away, boys!” I shout, as Ricky and his police force come back into the room. “W-When did they get here!?” Crawberry cried out. “Oh, I always knew the mail thing was total bullshit, so when I sent the officer out, it was really to tell Ricky to be here soon.” I said, standing back up.

“So…I was found out the whole time.” He said, resigned, as he let himself be dragged away.

“One second, please!” Lana cried out. The police held him for a moment. “Mr. Crawberry…Alex, he joked, far too much. But the jokes he cracked at the worst times. They were his way of coping. You and Mrs. Crawberry, were like family to him. He always pleaded her to take time off, but she insisted to keep working.” Lana confessed, tears streaming from her eyes.

“I understand your pain, I cannot understand your evil. But please understand what you have done. That is all I have to say to you now.” She said, turning away from him, with Edward comforting her.

As he stood in shock, realizing he killed a man in as much pain as he was, Crawberry let out a small chuckle. “That was just like her, my wife.” That was the last thing we heard from Crawberry before he was locked up in jail.

“I must say, that was an impressive takedown, Miss Deville. You must be rather strong!” Anne said, coming up to me. Instead of giving a reply, I merely roll up my sleeve and flex my arm muscles. Not to toot my own horn, but they are pretty big.

I roll my sleeves back down, and head over to Lana’s side. “So, what are you going to do now?” I ask. “For now, just recover. Anne, you will stay employed with me. It’s what Alex would have wanted. Perhaps one day I shall be able to laugh in memorial, but I think for now. I have no option but to grieve.” She said, solemnly.

“I’ll stay here with you, as long as you need. I think we both need a friend right now.” Edward said solemnly. Anne sheepishly joined them, as they all hugged one another and cried tears for the lost, both physically and mentally.

With apologies and farewells, I take my leave from the house. “Need a ride back, Dani?” Ricky asks. “Nah, I don’t think so. It’s a nice morning out, I think I’ll walk.” I say as I walk away from the police cars and the house. As I do, I almost swear I see a large woman in a maid’s outfit, and the victim right next to her, waving at me as I leave.

I stare and blink for a few seconds, and they’re gone. “Jesus, I need more sleep.” I say as I walk away. But first, I need a damn drink.


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