Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Short Story Mystery

Seoul Food by Elizabeth Ludwig

Part 3

Detective Dho pointed to the person closest to Cho Hee’s still body, an elderly woman whose sharp eyes said she missed nothing.

“You! Did you see what happened?”

“I saw only when Cho Hee fell,” the woman replied, her thick accent rolling the words heavily. “She screamed. When I turned to see why, she was already on the ground.”

Interesting, Detective Dho thought, stroking the fine hair growing on his chin. “And did you see from which direction she came?”

The woman lifted her gnarled hand to point. “She comes every Tuesday and stops there, at the vendor on the end, to buy meat for her guests.”

Dho’s eyes narrowed. Of course. That explained so much. But just to be sure. . .

Dho carefully lifted the basket. As he suspected, it was empty.

Ignoring the surprised stares of the throng, Dho whirled and strode to the vendor. “Are you the merchant who sold Cho Hee the snake for her dinner?”

The vendor’s wrinkled face paled. “Cho Hee comes every Tuesday.”

“But on this day in particular, you had something special for her, did you not?” Dho demanded. “A poisonous snake that you sedated until Cho Hee was far enough from your booth?”

“I. . .I. . .”

“Tell me,” Dho said, “what grudge did you hold against Cho Hee, that you would murder her in cold blood!”

A gasp went up from the crowd. Suddenly, the vendor’s face flushed with rage and he pounded both fists against the wooden counter until the jars and baskets on its surface rattled. “It is true! I killed her, but her death was necessary. The crimes of her regime must not go unpunished!”

“Indeed,” Dho said quietly. He signaled to a couple of men who promptly took the old vendor by the arms. “But it is your crimes that will be punished this day, old man, for no one who chooses to cast his lot with a serpent will ever live to see his deeds prosper.”

Stay tuned next week for a brand new Short Story Mystery!


Susan Page Davis said...

Loved this story, Lisa! Thanks for sharing it.

Linda Kozar said...

Great premise for a murder mystery!

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Thanks, ladies! I'm glad you enjoyed this short story mystery.

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