Wednesday, August 23, 2023

A Weekend at Munson Manor - Episode 7: Someone Killed the Butler

A Weekend at Munson Manor

A Weekend at Munson Manor is an interactive Choose Your Own Path story. Each episode, readers vote for the path they would like to take. Together, we will follow the path with the most votes.

You glance at the people around you before turning your attention to Mr. Munson. “Should we call an ambulance? Or is this part of the game?”

Mr. Munson steps forward. “Yes.”

His voice is shaky, and you aren’t sure which question he is answering.

What do you think?

  • Charles is an actor pretending to be dead.
  • This isn’t part of the game and someone killed the butler.

Mr. Munson swallows hard. “Everyone. You should return to the dining room. I will call the police.”

Mr. Giles rubs his hands together. “Fantastic. I love a good mystery.”

Professor Mills bits her lip. “Oh. Has the gave started? I thought Charles was hurt for real.” She leans closer. “Are you just pretending?”

Mr. Rollins looks ready to commit murder himself. “Ugh! For the last time—”

Mr. Munson steps forward, patting the air with his hands as if that can calm the room. “Please. Charles needs medical attention. I will call the EMTs.”

Mr. Rollins rounds on your host. “You too? There are no such things as paramedics! You’re going to call the local funeral home, to transport Charles to the hospital for treatment.”

Mr. Munson removes a cell phone from his pocket. “No. I’m calling 9-1-1. Charles needs medical attention.”

All the blood drains from Professor Mills’s face. “So, this is real? Charles is …”

Mr. Munson nods. “Yes. Now, please return to the dining room. I’m sure the police will want to speak with everyone.”

You do as instructed, following the other guests to the other room. Mr. Munson closes the door behind you all. You can only assume is he is calling for help. Thankfully, you can no longer see the butler. Although his image may be burned into your memory for quite some time.

You are halfway to your seat when you realize you are too jittery to sit. You continue to the wall before turning and walking back to the partition between the two rooms. As you do more laps, you notice the other people in the room.

Mr. Rollins is standing in the corner closest to the hall door. You nod to him as you turn around for your next lap. He is glaring at the opposite end of the room, where Professor Mills is speaking quietly with Mr. Kline. Judging by the way she is wringing her hands, you assume they are discussing what you all just witnessed.

At the table, Miss Lewis is sitting in Mr. Munson’s seat, speaking with Mr. and Mrs. Giles. No one is eating, although Mrs. Giles seems to be nursing her drink. She turns to you as you pass.

“What about you, doctor? What do you think happened?”

You shake your head mournfully. “I honestly don’t know. Maybe Charles was placing the gong on the mantle and he fell. Bumped his head. Maybe he’s not even dead.”

Mr. Giles turns to the other side of the room. “Mr. Kline. You found Charles. Are you sure he’s dead?”

Mr. Kline nodded. “Yes. I checked for a pulse.”

Professor Mills bites her lip. “But how? I didn’t see any blood.” She looks around. “Did any of you?” When no one replies, she resumes wringing her hands. “I can’t believe it. He’s dead. What if the police think one of us had something to do with it?”

Mr. Rollins harrumphs. “You don’t think that’s real, do you? What’s the point of the weekend? To solve a mystery.” He points toward the parlor. “Well, there’s the mystery. Now we have to solve it.”

Professor Mills takes a step forward. “You heard Mr. Munson. Charles wasn’t supposed to get hurt. Besides, if this was all part of the game, why would he call EMS using his cell phone?”

Mr. Rollins didn’t have an answer. With a smirk, Professor Mills flounced to her seat at the table, downing the rest of her water in one gulp. As she sets in on the table, Mr. Rollins seems to find his voice.

“Well, even if this is real, it’s still a mystery. Who hurt Charles?”

You glance around the room. “It couldn’t be any of us. We were all here.”

Miss Lewis points at Mr. Kline. “He wasn’t.”

As you all turn to look at the late arrival, he throws his hands in front of him in defense. “I didn’t kill him!”

Mr. Rollins glares at him. “You were the one who found him. We only have your word for it that he’s dead. Maybe you did kill him and we just caught you in the act!”

Professor Mills huffs out a breath. “Seriously. You are way to into this.” She turns to Mr. Kline. “Mr. Munson said you couldn’t make it. Where were you?”

“I was eating up in my room.” With a sigh, he sits in your seat at the head of the table. “When I arrived, my folder told me I was supposed to stay in my room. Charles would come get me and take me out a back staircase. I was supposed to go outside and around to the front, pretend to arrive late.”

Mr. Rollins narrows his eyes. “Why?”

He shrugs. “I’m not exactly sure. It was just part of the script.”

Professor Mills gestures to the parlor. “So, why did you leave your room?”

“The instructions in my folder. They said that if I heard the gong, I should proceed to the parlor. I heard it, so I went. Charles was on the floor. I checked his pulse, saw he was dead. I was about to call for help when you all rushed in.”

The sound of the doorbell interrupts your conversation. You all exchange glances, then rush to the door. Mr. Munson is already in the hall. He opens the door.

Who is on the other side?

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