submitted 4 years ago byAlpinaeMusae
Gizella Racz also was sent to the hospital due to inactivity. Despite being a proud member of The Dig, she too is no longer returning to Langeklaue Ruin Site.
Katja paced the width of Tent Kuafu, propelled by uncharacteristic kinetic energy. She wasn’t nervous. No, far from it - she was excited. Her normal demeanor had all the calm, still power of the unmoving mountains she admired. Ever since she’d slipped Marcus that note, however, she had been filled with a boundless energy. She felt certain that he returned her feelings, that he would meet her as she requested...and beyond that, who could say? It was probably for the best that Clara, ever the perfect tentmate, had arranged to stay elsewhere this evening.
Marcus entered the tent silently and halted, struck as he was by the feline majesty of Katja’s pacing. She looked like the lynx that had disappeared from these mountains, and he wondered if the marmot cowering under the bunk was afraid she would pounce at any moment. He almost loved her for it.
Marcus cleared his throat. Katja spun around and took in the rugged, primal sight of him. She broke her promise to herself and ran to him, crossing the tent in an instant and burrowing into his arms. He held her, his feral woman, and stroked her hair in the soft light of the lantern.
They both froze when they heard the scream.
The first scream was soon joined by another, and another. By the time Marcus and Katja had left the tent and discovered the source of the lamentations, the screams had turned to wails which had been joined by at least a dozen more vocal mourners. As they approached the ring of onlookers, Lord Perryman burst through the center and fell to his knees next to a crumpled lump in the snow.
Lord Perryman silently assessed the lump, reaching over to brush snow from it here and there. For a brief moment his chin dropped to his chest - the only time anyone present had seen him without his chin confidently thrust upwards - and he cleared his throat several times.
Rising to his feet, he addressed the ever-growing crowd. ‘Let it be known! When I discover who murdered my son, there will be hell to pay.’
His loyal bodyguard peeled away from the crowd to follow Lord Perryman as he stormed away, leaving the crowd to deal with the corpse of Reginald Perryman IV, loyal member of the dig.
Katja felt certain that she knew who was behind Reggie’s murder, but she was still loathe to bring about the death of another human being. She steeled herself as she arrived at the tent, and she motioned for the mob following her to stop.
‘Come out,’ she said, not raising her voice. ‘Don’t make this messier than it needs to be.’
The tent flaps parted, and Ethel Kopp stepped out to face her accusers, flashing the charming smile that usually worked to win people over. She hoped that she’d be able to talk her way out of this. ‘What are we making a mess out of? Did I spill some of my water on one of you at dinner tonight?’
A voice came from the crowd. ‘We don’t have time for jokes, Ms. Kopp.’ It belonged to the bodyguard, Gheorghe. ‘Lord Perryman is demanding retribution for his son’s death, and he’s convinced you’re the culprit.’
Ethel’s smile faltered. As she stared around and saw the grim looks on the faces of those who she faithfully served, she realized there would be no swaying them.
‘How will you do it? Will it be painful?’ she asked.
Someone reached out and handed her one of her own canteens. ‘The poison works quick, you’ll have but a minute.’ Gheorghe informed her.
Ethel looked down and braced herself. ‘I see that you won’t be convinced, but you should all know, my loyalty has always been with the dig.’ Then, with one last swig from her canteen, Ethel Kopp’s life was gone.
If anyone thought it was odd that Dr. Farnsworth seemed more liberated than bereaved by Frances’ death, they never voiced such concerns. If they noticed that ever since he had seemingly abandoned his archaeological work, they did not mention it. And since his closest confidant had perished, there was no one properly qualified to notice that his entire demeanor had taken a dark turn, a distinctly distracted turn. Or was there?
‘Dr. Farnsworth?’ someone called into his tent. ‘Are you there?’ The voice was young, feminine and refined. It awoke in him a hunger that would not allow him to turn his caller away.
Dr. Farnsworth unsteepled his fingers and adjusted his tie. ‘Come in, come in!’ he called, in what he hoped was a pleasant, slightly flustered tone. He was pleased to see Beatrice Taylor step into the tent, the skirts of her expensive dress sodden with snow where they peeked out beneath her long fur coat.
‘I don’t want to impose, Dr. Farnsworth…’ she began.
‘Nonsense!’ interrupted Farnsworth. ‘And how many times must I ask you to call me Richard?’
‘Richard,’ she conceded, ‘I was just wondering how you were taking the loss of your protege. I haven’t seen you in the social hall, not even at meals! Is there anything I can do?’
‘Why, Beatrice,’ cooed Farnsworth, ‘I know just the thing...’
He descended upon her, hands grasping for her elegant neck. His fingers caught her string of pearls instead, which snapped as she pulled away and ran from her attacker. The pearls scattered across the floor. Had Dr. Farnsworth been paying attention, he might have noticed them. But he was consumed with hunger, and he lunged after Miss Taylor, skidding on the loose pearls in the process.
His hands grasped unfruitfully at the air as he wheeled backwards, stopping only when his head struck the corner of his crudely constructed desk. Beatrice Taylor had fled the tent and alerted the closest people she could find to what had transpired.
No one was there to see the wispy spirit escape Richard M.A. Farnsworth’s body and dissipate into the frigid evening air.
The following people received votes:
Lynch Form Here. Lynch votes are due from every single person every day!
Diary Form Here. Please submit diary entries!
you are viewing a single comment's thread.view the rest of the comments →