Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 65
Ten word challenge: parasite, meals on wheels, crows, it's my fault, everything but the kitchen sink, on sale, patriotism, the love of my life, library card, common sense
Mini: blackmail, California, stethoscope, postage, crank
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 12 - Diana's confession
If the butler had seemed like an impregnable castle, meeting the brigadier general's granddaughter was like running into a waterfall, Lieutentant Skittles thought.
Before he had even decided whom to call in next, Diana came rushing into the library and threw herself into one of the big leather arm chairs.
"It's my fault," she sobbed. "Arrest me if you must, I deserve it. I'm a parasite, that's what I am. Living here all these years and never really appreciating it. I can't bear it. Almost killing my own grandfather! I do love him, you know, but sometimes I couldn't stand it, all this talk about war and patriotism... And all these stupid things he kept wasting money on! Stuffed crows and whatever. There were times when I wanted to put just about everything but the kitchen sink on sale. Like all these first editions of old books" - she made a theatrical gesture around the walls of the library where they were sitting – "what do you need them for? Why not just a library card at the public library? Grandma tried to make up for it all I suppose, with her charity meals on wheels and whatever. I guess she had some common sense, but I never quite understood that until after she was gone…" She took a handkerchief out of her pocket and made a pause to blow her nose.
Skittles took advantage of the pause. "Let's back up a bit, please," he said. "What do you mean, it was your fault? Were you actually trying kill you grandfather?"
Diana stared at him. "Of course not," she said. "But I shouldn't have left him alone for that long out in the sun, on a day like this. I only did because he insisted on it. And I was sure old B would be coming out with the drinks at the usual time, to check on him. How was I to know B would be late, on this day of all days? And Adam, who is always late, for once in his life being early! It all just goes to show that you really cannot trust anybody, not even yourself." She shook her head, and added: "Adam is the love of my life, you know, although he's not aware of it. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him with his stethoscope around his neck."
"Eh," said Skittles. "I'm afraid you've lost me again."
Diana gave an impatient little sigh. "On an afternoon like this, grandpa always wants to sit in the sun for a bit. Sometimes his assistant, Miss California as I call her, keeps him company, but she's off on vacation this weekend. I offered to sit with him instead, but he said he wanted to rest his ears. Don't know what he meant by that. Anyway it seemed safe to leave him, because following his usual schedule, old B would be bringing out his afternoon drink in just a little while. He's usually on the dot. So that's why I dared my little experiment. It was for my book, you see. And old B never seemed to mind my jokes, not really. He might seem an old crank sometimes but he's always been very patient with me." Diana's eyes filled with tears again.
Skittles was beginning to feel an increasing need for that Aspirin that he had sent Bumblebee to fetch for him.
"What experiment? What book? What jokes?" he said. "Please try to keep to one thing at a time."
"Well, you see, nobody knows about this yet, but I'm trying to write a detective story. It has a very complicated plot involving blackmail and postage, but another important thing is getting the timing right, so I had to try it out for myself, to see if it was possible."
"If what was possible?"
"To get the sausages to burst at the precise moment when Bumblebee came out with the Sunburst cocktails. Without actually being there myself. But obviously, I'll have to rethink my plot now."
"Obviously," said Skittles, rubbing his temples.
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