A Difficult Case – a story beginning of ThingsUnspoken

Written to an anonymous prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call.

“This is going to be a difficult case.”

Viola Candroon frowned at the case file. Her secretary’s tidy handwriting filled three pages, detailing every piece of the puzzle laid before them. For the most part, the text was devoid of expression. Maxwell was a very solid investigator in his own right and tended to keep the interviewer out of the interview, as the saying went.

“I dare say ‘difficult’ isn’t going to be the half of it, ma’am,” Maxwell offered. “If you’ll see…”

“I see, yes.” In the middle of page three, Maxwell had circled and underlined The Lord and Lady Hatsfordshire. “This is… this is going to take a delicate touch.” The residents of Hatsfordshires Manor were very set in their ways, and their ways did not involve the techniques Miss Candroon and her agency employed. “Who’s the client?”

“Ah. That would be their butler. He was quite uncomfortable with the whole matter — but then again, he’s been working for them for two months and has already taken to spending every free moment in town, with his elderly mother and even more elderly aunt.”

Viola cringed. “So he knows.”

“He is, shall we say, newly converted to seeing things as they are. He did not believe the rumors — until his first full moon working for the Hatsfordshires. But the evidence he brought forth.”

“I see it, yes.” Viola glared at the paperwork. “So the rumors are true.”

“True, and more so. If you’ll see note three on page two…”

Viola read it again. “You’d think they’d thank us for burning the place. It would get rid of all the evidence.”

“Nevertheless, our dossiers on these two suggest that there will be no thanking involved. Shall you go about things in the direct manner, or would you prefer to investigate first?”

“I do believe I’ll make a cursory investigation. At least then, when we go to set the fire, we’ll know best where to lay the accelerant.”

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0 thoughts on “A Difficult Case – a story beginning of ThingsUnspoken

  1. Oo, werewolves? Ooooooooo!! ‘Ware wolves! • The residents of Hatsforshires Manor -> Hatsfordshires • “Who’s the client.” > Question mark, unless that’s really her tone of voice, and we haven’t had a chance to know about that yet.

  2. This starts off feeling like a detective noir setting, but hard-boiled heroes like Mike Hammer don’t usually go around setting fire to buildings. Perhaps these are closer to hired assassins or a paranormal elimination agency? I’m unclear if the Hatsfordshires would merely lose their manor in the fire, or if they’re intended for incineration as well. (Currently leaning toward them being the target of the incineration, but the line “You’d think they’d thank us for burning the place. It would get rid of all the evidence.” is giving me pause.)

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