Gin and Daggers
I stood outside Marjorie's bedroom door. It was ajar, not enough so that you could see through the opening, but certainly not closed tight. I put my ear to it and listened, heard nothing but silence. The steeple bell at a nearby country church suddenly went into action: one, two, three chimes. It was three o'clock in the morning, unless the clock controlling the bell hadn't been set correctly.
I placed my fingertips against the door and pushed. It was heavy and did not swing open, had to be pushed more. I did that and peered into the room. Marjorie's bed was king-sized and covered with a canopy. The room was dark except for a sharp shaft of moonlight that poured through an opening in the drapes. It was perfectly aimed, as though a theater lighting technician had highlighted a section of a stage where major action would occur.
I stepped over the threshold and walked to the side of the bed, like a moth drawn to a summer candle. A whole arsenal of grotesque sounds rose up inside me but stopped at my throat, sounds of protest, of outrage, of shock and horror. Yet not a sound came from me as I looked down at the body of Marjorie Ainsworth, the grande dame of murder mystery fiction, sprawled on her back, arms and legs flung out, a long dagger protruding from her chest like a graveyard marker.
- 1989 MCA Publishing Rights, a Division of MCA Inc
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