Prelude to a Mystery
Andrew R. Crow
Flash Fiction Winner
(found among the remains of Mrs Alfred Keystone)
17th July 1918.
My Dearest Cousin Agatha:
If I weren't already dying, I doubt I would be writing this at all. That does sound delightfully morbid (something you will no doubt appreciate) but truer words were never written.

There are only four of us left, huddled in the drawing room, the only door locked and barricaded with a delightful Louis armoire. There is no food and Lord Ashfordly and his shameless child-bride Veronica have all but finished the last of the sherry. The offer of a holiday on the isolated island estate of Dowager-Lady Penelope was a thrill I haven't had for ages. A short time, if only for a month, to rest and enjoy what little time I have left on God's earth.

And what a shock, a few days in, to have Lady Penelope lose her grip on reality. We had no idea what had really been transpiring, (some of the guests gone off on their own, exploring, we'd assumed) until we found her hovering over Major Bill Kingsley, axe in hand, frothing at the mouth, yelling at the horrid way we'd treated her all these years. She'd managed to take three more of us before we managed to lock ourselves away here. I though you'd especially appreciate my strange demise, if we ever make it out of here. Who knows, maybe you'll use it in one of those mysteries you've been trying to publish! I'll continue later, if there's time.

First published: November 2005
comments to the writer: Knob'