Friday, February 25, 2011

"The Peacock Buckle Mystery"

Golden Sponge Stick 2010
Short Story Competition Results
Bryony from The Red Maid's School won third prize in the over 11-13 category for this
brilliant bath-house murder mystery set in the past and the future

An excerpt from "The Peacock Buckle Mystery"

...And Claudia, after the reassurance, slid into the pool and leant against the warm pool sides. The steam was gradually clogging up the room, the rays of golden sunlight blindingly bright against the misty air. Amica was appreciating the room, it's near silence, only the lapping of water and light splashing of Claudia's body gliding around.

Then there was a loud slapping sound that echoed about the steam pool. A footstep. A shadow formed in the steam, but it was so faint Amica couldn't even see if it was male or female. Claudia climbed out of the pool and slung a wet arm across her shoulder, lifting her dripping lips to Arnica's ear.

"The peacock belt."

Then the figure lunged out of the mist.

Screams were heard across the baths and Romans rushed about, following the sound of sheer pain. In the steam rooms, a crowd gathered. Lying on the floor was a young, naked woman and an even younger slave girl - who was ignored. They were lying in a pool of blood. Everybody knew the woman, she was Flavius' wife. Flavius was the friendly merchant but now his dear wife was lying, dead, on the floor.

The crowd was dumb-struck for a moment until another piercing scream filled the air. They turned as one to see the slave-girl lying on the floor, a stab wound in her arm. It was bleeding furiously, oozing out, delighted to be free of the containment of her small body.

Plantanius, one of Flavius'close friends, ran over to help her, "What's your name?" he asked.

"I... I am Amica," the small girl squealed, her breath ragged and uneven.

"What happened?" the man pressed, shaking her shoulders urgently, "Tell us what you saw, girl!"

"I saw..." images flashed past her eyes, too fast to make sense, but she needed to help her mistress before she died. Only one image lingered, "The... the peacock belt."

by Bryony Salter (12)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Wow! This is story is brilliant! You have a talent that cannot be ignored.