|A Classic Poisoning|
Okay, gettiing you out of the faith argument with some fresh crap from my dysfunctional mind. Here's a little something to chew on. It's just for school, no need to edit or play around much. Not even Sci-fi, I just want you guys to see it :D
Knock. Knock. The sound of knuckles tapping his office door made Axeric raise his head.
“Who is it?” asked Axeric, stopping his writing for a second.
“It’s me, Jacobs. Who else would it be? “answered the man on the other side of the door, somewhat irritated.
“Oh, go ahead. The door’s open.” replied Axeric, picking his pen up again.
Axeric heard a small puff of anger, as Jacobs walked into his office. Nearly two meters tall, he towered over most people around him.
“So, what happened?” inquired Axeric, looking at Jacobs and putting his legs on top of his desk and crossing his arms over his chest, a casual gesture that he often executed when someone walked into his office.
-Murder. Mr. Beckett was found dead in his room, a white powder found on his fingers and his cup. Some powder was also found on the rim of his cup. A classic poisoning. A bit careless though, to have left so much around the cup...
- Hmm...Yes, very careless... Any suspects?
-No. The obvious suspects, wife and butler, were away. Mrs. Beckett has been visiting her mother the past week.
-Could she have gone and be back there?
-No. Her mother lives a day’s train ride from here. She couldn’t have been.
- You mentioned the butler...
-Ah, yes... He had been dismissed by Beckett hours earlier. He was the one who found him.
- I want a poison book check of every chemist shop in a ten mile ratio. I want to know if anyone with clear access to Mr. Beckett is in one of those. I want the powders found on the cup; I’ll need to run a few tests. I’ll be at the Police Station.
- You’ll run the tests? Shouldn’t we get the chemist to help us?
-I am. It comes quite handy. I don’t think we’ll need the chemist’s help.
Axeric walked outside, and called for a coach. It stopped in front of him and he sat inside, closing the door behind him.
“G’day Master Axeric...Where to?” said the driver from atop the carriage.
“Police Station. Quick as you can.” answered Axeric.
The carriage stopped in front of the Police Station. Axeric stepped off, tossing a few silver coins to the driver.
-Thank you...This is a lot more than my services cost.
-Keep the change good man.
Axeric walked into the Police Station. He was a greater help than a nuisance and had cracked more cases by himself than the whole Department had cracked in its history. He walked over to the chief’s office, and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” replied a deep voice from within the office.
Axeric walked in.
“Heh... I knew it was you. Only you make the door rattle like that.” replied Chief Hutchett, leaning over his desk “Have a seat.What can I do for you?”
“I need a sample of the powders found in the rim,cup, and hands of Mr. Beckett. I’d like to run some tests.” said Axeric, cracking his knuckles.
“Hmm...I was just about to run them by the chemist. Why would you want them?” answered Hutchett.
“I studied chemistry. I’ve done a certainly extensive study of poisons. I think you’d be better off if I had them with me.” said Axeric.
“No problem then. Don’t take the cup; I’m sure you’ll find all the powder from the hands to be enough proof. Go by the evidence storage, “he said, writing down a note, then handing it to him “That’s the permit you need. Godspeed Axeric. Beckett was a good man, I want this demon in my hands.”
Axeric stood up and walked out of the room, heading towards the evidence storage area, holding the slip of paper in his right hand. He stopped in front of the evidence storage, waiting to be attended. The room had heavy walls, and a thick wooden door. Only a counter exposed the contents of the room, through heavy metal bars. Officer Wallace walked over to Axeric, with his everlasting mask of serious calm.
“Hullo Axeric. What do you need? This time don’t steal it, just ask, it’s not nice of you to be taking crucial evidence. Permit?” said Wallace, extending his hand to receive the permit.
“Oh, right here.” said Axeric, handing the slip of paper to Wallace.
He quickly scanned the paper.
“I’ll be right back.” Said Wallace, walking off to get the powders from the back of the storage area.
Stroke of luck...The cup was close...But not enough. He knew it was the right one. Intuition maybe. He pulled a set of lock-picks from his left coat pocket, and started work on the lock. A soft click and it was unlocked. Axeric put it in his pocket and walked to the glass, picking it cup softly, careful not to touch the rim.
Step. Step. Wallace was coming back.. He sped through the door, putting the lock back with one swift movement and stepping in front of the counter again.
“Here.” said Wallace, handing the powders to Axeric.
“Thank you. I must be leaving now, your help is much appreciated.” replied Axeric, walking out of the Police Station. Gray clouds covered the skies. The stone streets of Salisbury were now littered by the first falling leaves of autumn, a cold wind blowing in Axeric’s face. The carriage was already waiting outside, and he walked inside again.
-Home, if you please.
-On the house, Master Axeric.
The carriage went off, hoofbeats filling the air.
Axeric was now in a hurry. He picked up his keys and entered his home, locking the door behind him. He walked down from the lavish foyer to the top floor, almost flying up the stairs. He walked into his room, and walked to the wall on the left. He ran his hand through the smooth stone, as if looking for something lodged between the rocks. He finally found it, a larger stone, bulging just a bit farther than the rest of them. He pushed it, and stepped back. The gargantuan stone wall was pushed back, to reveal a perfectly clean and well-lit room, filled with chemicals of all sorts and colors. A table with a microscope was found on the left corner of the room, ready for use.
“Perfect. Time to work.” said Axeric, walking to the table.
“Axeric! Where are you?” screamed Jacobs , searching around the house. He was just back. Only two chemist shops out of town. He’ll check them later. After all, without knowing the poison, how could he know?. He just had to report in. Too late to check the body too, they had already taken it out of the morgue and the funeral would start in soon. The case was in the poisons. The case was the poisons. Jacobs ran up the stairs, and knocked on Axeric’s room’s door. He checked the knob. It was open... How strange. Jacobs looked around the room, and was suddenly startled.
“Holy Christ! What’s that?” blurted out Jacobs, looking at the hole in the wall.
With a mix of fear and awe, he walked into what seemed to be a small chemist’s lab.
“What’s this?! You never said anything about this room!” screamed out at Axeric, concentrated on his task.
“Well, you never asked,” replied Axeric, looking carefully through his microscope.”Did you find anything?”
“There are only two shops , beside the one here on Salisbury. I’ll check them later, I thought I’d need to know what poison we’re talking about before storming into a chemist shop and checking the poison book.” answered Jacobs.
“There is in fact, not one, but two poisons. They may look alike in such small quantities and without a close look, but the poison in his hands was arsenic, while the one in the rim of his cup was cyanide. The killer knew what he was doing. This isn’t our run of the mill assassin. This one knew poisons, and was clever enough to use the arsenic as a diversion. I’ll need you to check the chemist shops out of town as quick as you can. I want to know who bought either poison. This could be more than one person, working together.” said Axeric, now standing up from the microscope table.
“Good, I’ll get on that.”
Jacobs walked into the house, a clear look of frustration on his face. Axeric met his on the foyer.
“How did it go?” asked Axeric.
“Not too well,” answered Jacobs, plopping down on the nearest chair, “None of them had any purchases of arsenic. Only one purchase of cyanide, apparently for some minor use. Only a small quantity. Both had only a single employee, also the owner, so I don’t think the poisons were stolen. But we still have to check the Salisbury shop, might be the missing key.”
“Well what are we waiting for?” said Axeric, walking out the front door, with Jacobs right behind him.
The chemist’s shop was actually very close from the residence, and they decided to walk. It had gotten colder outside, and even with his coat on, Axeric felt a certain chill.
“Maybe it’s not the cold...” wondered Axeric as they walked down the block to the shop.
Jacobs pushed the glass door open and a small bell rang. Axeric, followed his minside. The shop was well-stocked and well-kept, all chemicals found behind the counter. On the small sitting area was Mr. Hastings, the shop owner hugging Mrs. Beckett, the late Mr. Beckett’s wife. She seemed to be none too shocked at her husband’s death and only a few tears trickled down her face. Mr. Hastings raised his head and stood up.
“Hullo Jacobs, hullo Axeric. How may I help you?” asked Mr. Hastings.
“I was wondering, do you have cyanide and arsenic in your chemical storage? And if you don’t mind, I’d like to check the poison book.” replied Axeric.
“Actually, yes,I have some of both chemicals. Give me a minute to get the book...” said Mr. Hastings, walking off .
Axeric directed his attention to Mrs. Beckett. She was still a beautiful woman, of indefinable age, at most 40. Her long, golden hair and green eyes revealed she was a fair maiden in her finest days, desire of many young men. Axeric sat down beside her.
“My condolences, I assure you the killer will be caught. The case is in my hands, this killer won’t slip through. I know this isn’t easy. You might feel like blaming yourself. You might think if you had been there, nothing would have happened. It’s not your fault. Some heartless devil robbed him of his life. This crime shall not go unpunished.” Said Axeric, a tone of true sadness and anger marked deep in his words.
“Why? Who would want to kill him? He was a great man, successful, and giving! Who would dare?” replied Mrs.Beckett, her voice rising.
Mr. Hastings came back, holding a large, leather-bound volume in his hands.
“It’s a bit dusty, no one has bought a poison here for ages...” he said, handing it to Axeric.
He put it on the counter, and checked the pages, one by one, as if he were trying to feel the killer’s hand in these pages, writing the book for the poisons he used on Beckett.
“Nothing!” muttered Axeric between his teeth, checking the book for a second time.
Axeric handed the book back to Mr. Hastings.
“Thank you for your help. We’ll be leaving now.” Said Axeric, pushing the front door open once more. Jacobs followed, and so did Mrs. Beckett.
“I’ll leave too... The funeral will begin quite soon.” Said Mrs. Beckett, walking by Jacobs and Axeric.
“She seemed a bit nervous...” commented Jacobs as they walked back home.
“Yes...Strangely nervous.” said Axeric as they turned the block and walked back home.
-Ben? I could tell there was something else behind your little speech for Mrs. Beckett. Perhaps you hide something from me?
-Forget about that...We need to solve this case, let’s just focus on that.
-I want to know. Tell me.
-This has nothing to do with the case.
-Yes it does. This case is biting at you. There’s something deeper.
-Beckett was like an older brother to me. A mentor. He had taken a certain brotherly affection since I was just a child. Always stood up for me. I owe him so much... The least I can do is find the barbaric fiend that took his life.
-You are letting your emotions get the best of you. You must keep a cool head if we’re ever going to solve this.
Axeric sat down in one of the foyers large chairs.
-That’s better, Ben.
-Let’s see... Who could have access to the poisons, and get away without having to register the ownership of the substances... All three shops had a single worker, no one else could have known where the poisons were... The deeper we go into the case, the more jumbled it gets!
-I don’t think so. So, one of the chemists has to be the killer...
-But which one? My greatest suspicions lie on Mr. Hastings. Perhaps some kind of vengeance for old crimes...
-But which crimes?
-I recall Hastings and Beckett being classmates in high school. They were both courting Victoria Radcliffe, now Mrs. Beckett, at the time. Obviously, Beckett won her over.
-I think we might have to pay another quick visit to the shop...
The pair once again walked into the shop, where they found Mr. Hastings. They had devised a clever plan: accuse him, until he confessed. They knew he did it, they just needed a confession. Mr. Hastings appeared quite taken back at their sudden appearance.
“Erm...Eh, hu-hullo you two...” stammered Mr. Hastings
“You did it. Don’t play games, we know.” said Axeric.
“Did what?” asked Mr. Hastings, now very nervous.
“You killed Beckett.” answered Jacobs,
“I-I-I never would...” muttered Hastings, trailing off.
“Don’t lie. We even know how it was done.” replied Axeric.
“I wouldn’t...” continued Hastings , now losing his head.
“Yes, you would.” interrupted Axeric.
“I’m i-i-innocent...” kept on Hastings, now terrified.
“Don’t lie!” screamed Axeric.
Finally, Hastings broke down.
“Yes...I ki-killed him...” said Hastings, sobbing, tears rolling down his face, ending their trek on the shop’s floor.
“Why?” inquired Axeric.
“Because he was perfect, and I wasn’t! I never won a single game in school. With him around, I seemed to be destined for second place. It was frustrating. There wasn’t a single thing I could beat him at. He was just...perfect. It finally snapped when he got Victoria. It was too much. And then he left. The perfect little lawyer when he came back home. I’ve planning since then. I finally got the courage a few days ago. I had seen his butler on the town and I knew Victoria had left to visit her mother. So I paid a little surprise visit. He brought some drinks, and when he left to get some snacks, I poisoned his glass. He drank it without suspicion. A quick death. When he died, I planted the arsenic.” said Hastings, a clear explanation of the committed crime.
“Jealousy drove you. It grew to hatred. And you killed a good man. You never looked at it the right way. He drove you to be better, to grow stronger. And you paid him by killing him” said Axeric.
Hastings was now crying, a mix of anger and hysteria.
“I shouldn’t have... So wrong...I did it for all the wrong reasons” now muttered Mr. Hastings, as Axeric pulled out some handcuffs from his left coat pocket. He proceeded to cuffing him, and escorted him to the Police Station.
“Handcuffs? What else do you keep in those coat pockets?” inquired Jacobs, a tone of humor in his voice.
“Unknown mysteries my friend, unknown mysteries” answered Axeric, as they strolled through the stone streets of Salisbury, leaves falling all around them.
(September 2nd, 2002, 4:07 pm)
The writing is pretty good, but it hardly leaves us guessing :P
A couple of times I thought you were hinting the detective himself did it, which would have beeen a nice surprise, but hey :P
(September 2nd, 2002, 5:58 pm)
I really did like this. I'm not the sort of reader who tries very hard to out-think the author - so stories that aren't very suspenseful still work for me. :)
I had fun reading it, and I was honestly interested. Good job.
The few things I were confused on: I did not realise that the only powder visible was arsenic. You might clarify that.
And, you have your traditional super-detailed and super-rigid writing style. Bad / Good? Who can really say? But I will say this - Any teacher who thinks this is lame writing needs to be shot. :)
(September 2nd, 2002, 11:25 pm)
Erm... Yeah, i know it's kind of rigid. I wanted a certain seriousness. I would have made it looser, with worse language and the occasionnal curse, but well. he teacher would kill me :P. And I will clarify the cup thing, thanks for pointing that out.
(September 2nd, 2002, 11:30 pm)
I was thinking also of dropping a "red herring" on soemoe else... But I decided I wanted to end this :D
(September 2nd, 2002, 11:36 pm)
Well, the poison on the cup was also visible, it's stated near the beginning. MAybe somewhere else I forgot to re-say it? But well, the PD maybe wasn't all that efficient.
(September 3rd, 2002, 1:43 am)
What I'm talking about is the fact that I thought that the cyanide and arsenic were both visible. They are both white powders, so I was confused as to how the PD kept the two powers different.
When Axeric went into his lab, and differentiated the two - that's when I was confused.
(September 3rd, 2002, 9:29 pm)
The poison found in Beckett's hand was stored separately from the cup. he got there before they stored the cupo and stole it :D
(October 17th, 2002, 3:33 pm)
ummm, I have to be honest here... I didn't like it, it did absolutely nothing for me.
the beggining, the setting for the story is a little bit too long compared to the rest, if I wasn't set for reading the whole story, I wouldn't have finished it. while it sets out to create an atmosphere and introduce the characters, it fails to do so, to the point that I found it hard to remember who was who and what was doing there.
perhaps, it might be of use to create some sort of anchor, a description (for a setting or one of the characters) that would stick to the reader's mind and establish a strong story line.
the intended comedic effects came a little bit too late and were extremely predictable, almost making no sense. I kept wondering : but who is that, what's he doing here and most importantly why...
while the style is easily read and has a real potential to be highly enjoyable it has nothing IMHO to support it. you seem to change your ideas about how the story should be, creating some sort of blurr and confusing the reader (me, that is)
hopefully you would find this short comment of use and not regard it as malevolent, because it isn't.
(October 18th, 2002, 12:15 am)
Tell you the truth... I DOn't really describe characters physically or anything of the sort(Not usually anyway) . This was a quick thing I needed for English class. SO I had to cut it short. The ending I find to be perfectly fine, I just need more clues to support my mystery. Besdides, I HATE writing these kinds of stories. My other ones are a LOT better than this shite.
(October 18th, 2002, 12:17 am)
And I think this never needed a strong storyline... Too short to bother... I'm 14, I have other bull to do...
(October 18th, 2002, 4:35 pm)
while you needn't give a physical description, still some sort of characteristic is necessary in order to fix the personage into the reader's mind.
I am told I'm not very diplomatic in my criticism, too blunt.
obviously I have hurt your feelings. I'm sorry but the truth is you're going to get much worse than that even if your story is good.
A free piece of advice someone gave me in a workshop: never find excuses. If it sucks then write something better to prove the critic wrong.
Also everything needs a strong storyline IMHO i'd kill for one :)
(October 20th, 2002, 12:11 pm)
To tell you the truth, I never cared much for the story...So, go ahead, d whatever you want with it. You have full permit to edit as you wish.
(March 24th, 2003, 9:07 pm)
A little cliche'd me thinks.
I wanted it to be Axeric! Would have made a more interesting plot twist.
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