Story Snippet 2: Suicide in Townsend Mansion

I wrote this story when I joined short-story mystery writing contest on Wattpad, it was about some months ago. I didn’t edit the story so it really a first-rough draft. The story came from the prompt about main character’s (Betty) father suicidal in Townsend Mansion. I’ll only put the snippet of the story here (It’s about 3k words). You can read the full story (about 5k words) for free, HERE if you curious (plz, be curious) 😛


 

Suicide in Townsend Mansion

1920,

Everything in Betty’s life was perfect. She lived in the middle of the luxury of New York marrying a handsome police detective, Tony. Betty often helped Tony in many cases. Murder, thieve, kidnapping were usual dishes for Betty. But not until today, when a telegram came to her house.

The telegram was about the suicide of her father. It sent by her brother that lived in the main house, Townsend Mansion. She never had a thought that came a day she must solve the case of her own beloved father. The suicide was ridiculous. She knew her father well. He was not that kind of man who took his own life easily. And to prove her doubt, she went to her hometown, Africa.

Tony was so disagreed with Betty’s idea going to Africa to solve his father case alone. He wanted Betty to wait for him. But Betty was stubborn and sailed to the Africa by herself. She wouldn’t let any evidence disappeared minutes by minutes while she sat here waiting for her husband. Betty left Tony with no choices and he let her go to the Cape Town alone. Even though Tony had a bad feeling about this, he would catch up with her after finishing his job in New York.

On the ship, Betty read again the letter from her father which sent 3 days before the telegram came. It was about how his diamond business going and he found a rare diamond which had a price same of a mansion in the New York. It was a sea blue diamond, his father named it Atlantic. When you saw it, made your eyes submerged inside of its blue. Betty read the last paragraph of his father letters,

You know Betty, human is a weak creature. They controlled by their desire and greed. When they see a baeuty in their eyes, their mind will want to possess it. It’s liek a story of a young man who sailed aruond the sea and he found a beautiful land. He wanted that land, he wanted to conquer it and took everything for himself. Even though he must kill and slave the people who actually own the land. It’s same with this diamond, Atlantic. Somedya, three will be peolpe who want it from me. They will take it from me, even thouhg they have to kill me. That’s why I hide it in a place where only us knew, our sceret place. When the time comes, you must find the diamond. And if you, I approve eveyrthing you will do with that diamond. I love you, be happy.

Her tears fell to the letter. She folded back the letter to the envelope which sealed by wax with a letter T on it. Her father was the only one he had. Her mother died when giving the birth of Betty. From she was so small her father always took care of her with much love and care. This was still like a dream for her. Why can she be with her father little longer.

~

Betty arrived in front of a big luxurious mansion. Even after 10 years, the mansion still looked same. Even the faces of her servants were same. They seemed shocked seeing Betty came to the main house. This was Betty’s plan. She didn’t inform any people in the house about her visit. She didn’t want to scare the murderer who killed her father.

“Oh my… Mrs. Betty! This is so sudden!” Amahle opened the big oak door as she saw Betty stood in the front door.

“Amahle! I miss you so much!” Betty hugged her tightly. She was like Betty’s mother who took care of her when she was only a child.

“You don’t change at all.” Betty caressed her face and smiled.

“No, sweetheart, didn’t you see my wrinkles?” She grabbed Betty’s hand tightly like she grabbed her own daughter who went for a long time and didn’t want to let her go again.

“But you still looked beautiful and energetic as before.” Betty chuckled.

“What is it Amahle? Why are you so noisy in the middle of the day?” A woman with silvery voice appeared. Her hair covered with caramel scarf and her slim body dressed in a long maroon gown.

“Hello, Aunty Devi.” Betty smiled at her and her face was suddenly stiff.

“You surprised me, Betty! Why didn’t you say anything before?” She hugged her and patted Betty’s round head.

“Why should I report my visit to my own house?” Betty answered with a fake smile.

“Oh… don’t say like that, honey. We can prepare some food for welcoming you if you inform us before. Now, we didn’t have anything,” Devi smiled warmly and caressed Betty’s curly hair. “You are still beautiful as always, did you come with your husband?”

“No, Tony has some works to do. He’ll catch up later.” Betty rolled her eyes then brushed away to take her bag.

“No Mrs. Betty, let me bring it!” Amahle helped Betty.

“It’s heavy, Amahle.”

“I’ll call Bokamoso to bring it. Amahle, prepare Betty’s room.” Devi went to the back of mansion and left the Betty with Amahle.

Betty followed Amahle into her room upstairs. When she walked into the corridor, she passed her father room.

“Umm… do you bring my father room key?” Betty asked to Amahle.

“yes, I just cleaned it this morning.” Amahle took the key from her pocket.

“Great, I want to check something” Amahle gave it to Betty.

“Mrs. Betty, I’m sorry about Master Samuel. It must be hard for you.” Amahle looked at her with concern.

“It’s okay Amahle.” Betty smiled and went to his father room impatiently.

She opened her father room. The room seemed same like 10 years ago. The King bed in the corner beside the door. A study desk faced the side window. The balcony was straight from the door so Betty could directly saw a beautiful view when opened the door. The room was in the corner of Mansion which made the room had more windows and got more sunlight. Her father was very like the bright and wide room. He was the type who didn’t like being tied or imprisoned.

Betty walked straight to the balcony. Her father’s body found right down below the balcony. They said he killed himself by jumping from the 3rd floor from his own room. Betty looked at the garden below, and she still could feel his father was there, Laid down with so much blood. His skeleton crushed and it was an instant death.

“What a cruel man.” Betty wiped her tears which already fell. When she looked down in the balcony stone fence she found a stain.

“That’s strange.” She whispered and bent her body forward like she tried to jump. The stain was clearer. It was a red stain. Betty took her nose closer and the smell like a metal.

“Blood!” Her eyes widened.

“Just like in my thought, this wasn’t a suicide. There are two possibilities from this blood stain. First, someone hit my father and pushed him down. Second, they fought and the killer killed him.” Betty crouched and tried to found another clue.

“Maybe there is another clue…” Betty’s eyes suddenly caught a little flash from the gutter below her foot. She stepped away from it. She wore her gloves and opened the cage which covered it. She found a white button like button from the shirt.

“Father doesn’t like a buttoned shirt, so who’s button is it?” Betty smirked and put the button inside the pouch. Betty crawled and tried to find another clue but she didn’t find any. When she woke to stand, in front of the glass door she found the glass was cracked. The cracked glass was ten centimeters from the floor so of course, people wouldn’t notice it. And the crack was not that bad.

“So, this is the second possibilities, they were fighting.” Betty stood as the door opened and it was Amahle.

“ah… good time Amahle!” Betty walked toward her and Amahle still confused with Betty’s energetic attitude.

“y… yes Mrs. Betty?”

“Can you tell me what happen in the night before my father died?” Betty asked as she sat on the bed.

“Yeah…” Amahle still confused and continued, “There was a little party before. It was to celebrate the success of Master Samuel diamond business. It was an only family dinner party. There were Master Solomon, Lady Devi, Master Richie and his wife Lady Rosa, then Master Samuel himself.”

“So, it’s only a party of the people inside the house.” Betty imagined it.

“yes…” Amahle nodded.

“What did they wore? Each of them. Tell me in detail.” Betty asked again looked at the Amahle eyes.

Amahle looked at her with confused eyes but she still answered it. “Master Samuel wore a thin caramel sweater. Master Richie wore a white long shirt. And Master Solomon wore a black suit with the white shirt inside it. Lady Devi wore a front buttoned blue dress. And Lady Rosa wore a long brown gown.”

“About Richie, uncle Solomon and Lady Devi, did they have a scar after father death?” Betty asked a strange question again.

“Umm… I’m not sure it was after Master Samuel death or just the day after, but I think they all have it.” Amahle touched her chin and her eyebrows frowned.

“Really? Where are the scars?” Betty jumped and grabbed Amahle hands

“Lady Devi got it on her palm, she said it was because of a paper knife. Master Richie in his head, he said he bumped the door. Master Solomon on his hands and I didn’t know how he got those many scars.” Amahle explained and Betty frowned.

“and the last question, did from the three of them need a sewing kit?”

Amahle paused and her face very confused, “No… no one.” She answered.

“I see… then I need your help. I want you to do something.”

~

Dinner was ready, all Townsend family gathered in the dining room to enjoy the feast. Betty just headed to the dining room and she met Bokamoso the head of the servant in this mansion.

“Mrs. Betty! It’s nice to see you!” He greeted Betty with a big smile.

“It’s good to see you Bokamoso,”

“I’m sorry Mrs. Betty, about Master Samuel. I couldn’t protect him like you said.” Bokamoso looked at her with teary eyes.

“It’s okay, you did your job well. It’s not your fault.” Betty smiled.

“I just can’t believe it. How a great man like Mr. Samuel died like that.”

“yeah… my father wouldn’t do something like that.” Betty answered.

“Did you find something strange Mrs. Betty?”

“Why do you ask like that?” Betty raised an eyebrow and looked at him curiously.

“It just my thought, I don’t want to accuse someone or anything…” Bokamoso suddenly seemed restless.

“Just say it, I will not say anything. If it’s the truth don’t hide it. I know someone tries to kill my father.” Betty looked at Bokamoso with her sharp eyes.

“Umm… it was the night before Master Samuel death…” Bokamoso looked scared but Betty’s eyes pushed him. “I saw Master Samuel was arguing with Master Solomon.”

Betty’s eyes widened, “did you hear what were they arguing about?”

Bokamoso nodded, “Master Solomon talked about the blue diamond and wanted to sell it. But Master Samuel disagreed about it. Then Master Solomon got so angry.”

“And then?”

“He left the room. I was in the corridor and saw him left.” Bokamoso looked at Betty’s eyes with sad eyes.

“did you go to my father’s?”

“yes, after that I went to the Master Samuel room and he was still alright. I put the coffee on the table and he talked about greed.” Bokamoso looked like he wanted to cry, “he said this family was blinded by greed. Money changed everything. He said this mansion became colder and colder, no laugh, no smile, even at the dinner they just thought about their own self. And He felt lonely. Then he said he missed you so much. You were different. You always brought a smile and light to this house.”

Betty’s tear fell down and she cried very hard. Bokamoso tried to calm her and wiped her tears.

“Mrs. Betty, I knew you will back and unfold the truth. I know you can, and I will support you.”

“Thanks… thanks, Bokamoso.”

Betty went to the dining room after wiped her tears. The family greeted her with a fake smile. Her uncle and her aunt tried to look happy with her visit even though they didn’t. Betty knew for a long time that they wanted her father wealth. And her brother, Richie was so cold like always. She didn’t know why her brother always hated her. Even though when they were a child, they never talked properly or getting close like family commonly. Her brother’s wife also looked so unfriendly and didn’t even want to look Betty in her eyes.

Betty observed them carefully. Every move, every facial expression, she learned it from her husband, Tony. She knew that Rosa didn’t have any appetite because of Betty’s presence. Then Betty’s eyes came to her uncle. His hand really had so many scars and the scars looked new.

“Uncle, what happen to your hand?” Betty asked.

Solomon suddenly turned stiff and his eyes tried to avoid Betty’s. “ah… um… just a scratch. I got it from work.”

“work sure is tough.” Betty commented still didn’t believe him, “you also aunty, your beautiful hand, did you get it from the work? House work I mean.” Betty gave her a fake smile.

“No honey, I got it when I opened a letter with a paper knife,” Devi answered calmly like always. Betty sometimes didn’t know her. She was too smart to hide her expression.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Devi. You got it because of me.” A new maid suddenly interrupted while she poured the tea in front of her.

“It’s okay, Gaea. Next time, be careful.” Devi gave her a smile.

“Why did you suddenly feel concerned about us? You never visited the main house and you come with your high and mighty attitude.” Suddenly Richie retorted.

Betty changed her position facing her brother, “well, this is my house. And it is up to me to visit it anytime I want.” Betty paused as her brother looked at her with sharp eyes. “And when I’m not around, you shall be glad. You know, Betty isn’t in this house. You all can do anything without being afraid.”

“What do you mean by ‘being afraid’?” Richie put down his fork on the tabble.

“You know what I mean, brother.”

Richie clicked his tongue and his palm tightened, “Ow… stop beating around the bush, if you hated us…”

“No, you hated me.” Betty interrupted and wiped her mouth like she was done with her dinner.

“Did you blame us on father’s death?” Richie raised his tone and looked at Betty with his wide eyes.

The dining room suddenly turned quiet and Betty stopped her action.

“It’s also your fault! You never come back here. Even only a day you never see your father after you left! You forget about him and enjoy your luxury life with that rich detective!” every Richie’s word was like a stab for Betty. His brother was true. Betty was the person that knew it the most.

“Richie…” Devi tried to calm him down.

“You are right,” Betty answered and looked at Richie in the eye. “That’s why you hated me. Even though I never came, father still loves me. Even though I was not by his side, he still trusts me. That’s why I’m back now. Because I trust him, I know he will not give up easily, I know he didn’t kill himself.”

The room suddenly turned quiet. Everyone looked tensed. There was no one who dared to look Betty’s eyes. Betty knew it. Something was wrong with this family. She got up from her chair and left the room with a cold face, “it was a delicious food.”

~

The next day, Betty woke up because of the telegram from Tony. It said he would arrive in the next day.

“Do you need anything, Mrs. Betty?” Amahle asked with a concerned face. She looked at Betty who stood on the balcony.

Betty turned her back and looked at Amahle, “bring me the breakfast, I eat here.”

“umm… the key, did you want to borrow it today?”

“key… hmm? Oh my god! Amahle!” Betty suddenly jumped.

“what?” Amahle shocked seeing Betty.

“My father room, did it locked when the suicide happen?” Betty asked looking at Amahle with impatient eyes.

“o… of course… Master Samuel room always locked.”

“So, who had the spare key?”

“No, no one has it.” Amahle shook her head.

“Where the key is at that time? How do you get it?”

“it was in the door keyhole. We called a locksmith to open it. And Master Richie asked me to hold the key until now.” Amahle explained carefully.

Betty looked in the deep thought then she asked again, “then how about the next room? Who held the key?”

“The room always unlocked,” Amahle answered.

“I see… and about the thing I asked?”

“I’ll do it after I prepare the breakfast. It’s the usual time I clean the room.”

“Alright.” Betty nodded.

“Please put the breakfast here. I want to check something.” Betty went out from her room in a rush.

Betty ran to the room next to Samuel’s. She opened the room. It was an empty room without any furniture inside of it. Betty began to observe the room. She checked the balcony but there wasn’t any trace. Betty turned her head to her father balcony and it was so close. An adult could jump into Samuel’s room easily. Betty closed her eyes and tried to imagine everything in her mind.

The killer came from the front door. The key was still clinging and it was bed time. Father always put the key inside the drawer when he slept. He didn’t trust anybody. So, father opened the door for the killer that night. They talked or maybe argued and then fought in the balcony. The killer feet hit the glass unconsciously. He was too focused to push my father down. My father still fought him. He grabbed the killer shirt and made his button tore. The killer still too focused and didn’t realize it. Father clawed him trying to break free. The killer was being impatient and pushed him hard. My father hands tried to resist the force from the killer, so he put his finger in the fence and left the blood stain on the fence. The trace was stretched so he still gripped the fence until he pushed down. The killer must be strong. It’s impossible if Aunty Devi who did it.

Betty opened her eyes and saw her father’s balcony. She could imagine how the killer stood there and saw her father laid on the ground.

“How did you still couldn’t find it? We didn’t have much time!” Suddenly a voice broke Betty’s imagination.

She looked at the garden below her and saw Devi and her husband were quarreling.

“That man, he hid it well.” Solomon held a shovel. he was messy. His face had some of dirt on it.

“We must find the diamond before her!”

-To be continued

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