Wednesday, October 4, 2023

A Weekend At Munson Manor -- Episode 10

A Weekend at
Munson Manor

A Weekend at Munson Manor
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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.

A Weekend at Munson Manor

Bryce scribbles something in his notebook before turning back to you. “What do you think happened to the body?” How do you respond?

  • I’m not convinced Charles is really dead.
  • I think there’s a secret passage and whoever killed Charles moved the body when we all went to answer the door.

Detective Bryce looks at you like you have two heads. “A secret passage? Really?”

You shrug. “You asked. That’s my opinion. It’s a classic trope in murder mysteries.”

“A classic what?” He waves a dismissive hand. “Nevermind. This isn’t one of your little murder mystery novels. This is an actual crime. With a real dead body. And frankly, I find your flippant attitude suspicious.”

He closes his notebook with a snap. “You’re staying here this weekend?” When you nod, he frowns disapprovingly. “I will have Gibson escort you to your room. You are to stay there for the rest of the evening. Understood?”

“Yes, sir.”

He is halfway to the door when he turns back to you. “And no one is to visit with you, either.”

Without waiting for your response, he opens the study door and peers into the hallway. You remain in your seat while the detective has a brief conversation with the officer. Eventually, the detective turns his attention back to you.

“Doctor? Gibson will escort you upstairs.”

You enter the hallway to see the officer at the foot of the staircase. As you join him, you see the detective returning to the dining room. Probably grabbing another witness to interrogate.

You walk to your room in silence, the officer in your wake. When you open the door, he peers in. You raise your eyebrows. “Everything okay?”

Gibson nods. “Just making sure it’s empty. You’re to remain here for the evening.”

“Yeah. The other guy said.”

Without another word, the officer closed the door behind him, leaving you alone in your room.

Sitting on the edge of your bed, you contemplate the events of the evening. You’re obviously in the middle of a mystery. Two, really. But are they the ones you are supposed to be solving this weekend?

Confused, you change into your nightclothes. Even those have been provided for you this weekend. Light blue cotton pants and a button-down top. Not something you’d wear at home, but not entirely uncomfortable.

Why, though? Why did Mr. Munson provide pajamas for the weekend? Did he intend for something to happen during the night? Is it still going to happen?

You are too full of questions to retire for the evening. It’s still too early, anyway. You wish you had a book. Too bad you’re confined to your room. A house like this probably has a fantastic library. Filled with mystery novels.

With a sigh of resignation, you flop onto your bed. If this were a genuine mystery, you wouldn’t be sitting in your room right now. What would you be doing?

Possibly talking with the other guests. But what if it were later at night and everyone was in their rooms? Then what would you be doing right now?

Certainly not sitting here bemoaning not having a book. You’d probably make a list of what you know about the mystery and potential suspects.

To do that, you’d need paper. Maybe there’s some in the desk. Jumping to your feet, you open the drawers, immediately finding an old-fashioned fountain pen and a box of stationary. Taking a sheet, you sit at the desk and start writing.

Everyone you met tonight, except the police, is a suspect. Even the chef and housekeeper. In fact, they and Mr. Kline were the only ones not in the dining room when Charles was killed. You place a star beside each of their names.

Beside each name, you write what you remember about each person, making a special note of Mr. Kline’s story. You heard Charles tell Mr. Munson everyone was here and later learned Mr. Kline was upstairs. Was he lying about being told to remain upstairs? Maybe he just didn’t want to join everyone for dinner. Maybe he was using that time to hurt Charles.

He’s also the one that said Charles was dead. Maybe he was lying. Maybe Charles got up and walked away. But why? Why not come find everyone and tell us that he was fine? Or accuse someone of attacking him?

Unless he really was dead. But then, why would someone move the body?

Because Charles wasn’t supposed to die. Whoever attacked him only wanted to hurt him. Maybe scare him. Not kill him. And now that he’s dead, the attacker got scared and moved the body.

But how? A secret passage is the only answer. This old house has to have one somewhere. If only you could go looking for one.

Frustrated, stretch your arms above your head, forgetting the pen is still in your hands. When you drop it, it rolls behind the wardrobe.

Shaking your head at your own stupidity, you crawl on the floor. But your hand won’t fit under the wardrobe. Hoping it’s not too heavy, you get to your feet, wrap your arms around it, and move it forward a couple of inches.

It slides easily. As if there were felt pads on the bottom to facilitate moving it. As you take a step back, you realize why.

There is a gaping hole behind the dresser. What is on the other side?

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