Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Flash Friday Week 11 Entry

 For Week 11 of the Shenandoah Valley Writers' Weekly Flash Fiction Contest we were told to write a murder mystery in 150-400 words.
We had a choice of weapon:

And location:

I resisted the urge to say Colonel Mustard in the Library, and instead wrote the following flash story.

The small room would work for now. It was his, he’d decided.  He deserved it.  The Cardinal was a very busy man, and was going to get busier now that the other’s had handed down their decision.
No doubt, there were many groans being issued across the City at that moment.  He didn’t mind.  If anything, he relished it.  He imagined those who had argued against him gritting their teeth when they heard the news.  “He’s too young” “His faith is insincere” “He’s too busy with the Inquisition” “He’s too worldly”  They had tried, but in the end, the majority had spoken.
Those who had advocated for him were probably scouring the grounds, trying to share in his victory.  He would emerge from his hideaway when he was good and ready.  The miniscule room had once been used for something, possibly the same purpose for which he now claimed it.  When he had first opened it he found a small table with an empty wine bottle.  He had his own drink and food placed upon it next to the bottle.  He refused to move it.  It looked too elegant with the cork in place holding up draping spider webs.
He watched the light from the small window glint across the web as the glass of wine did its job.  Tomorrow he would become the leader of the world, at least all the parts that mattered.  This afternoon he was going to enjoy his solitude.
As he was bringing the glass back to his lips to try to shake the final drop free, his inebriation was joined by another sensation.  The glass suddenly felt heavy in his hand.  He put it down with more force than intended and stood up.  He grasped the table to steady himself as his head spun.
The Cardinal made it through the entrance to the hidden room and cleared four stairs before his legs failed him.  He fell straight forward, throwing  him head-first into the wall of the spiral staircase.  The blood was the color of the wine he had spilt on his white shirt sleeve.  What was it? he wondered just before the blackness enveloped him. The wine slipped to him by a conspirator, the small black spider crawling out of his stained sleeve, or the prayers of his enemies echoing across the City.

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