Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Short Story Mystery

Sweet Charity by Elizabeth Ludwig
Special FOUR part series!

Part 3

“Ouch!” Jasmine’s lips parted in surprise. Her eyes widened and then, soft as a whisper, she slipped from Charity’s embrace to the floor.

“Jasmine? Are you all right?” Charity backed away from Jasmine’s limp form—far enough so everyone in the room could see her hands were empty. Among the guests, gasps and questions clamored.

“Jasmine?” Concern colored Ambrose’s voice as he knelt at Jasmine’s side. He touched her cheek, his brow furrowing. After a moment, his fingers went to her neck where he checked for a pulse. Jerking his head to the puzzled crowd he ordered, “Someone fetch my bag!”

Footsteps pounded the floor as someone, Charity didn’t see who, ran to obey. Curious, she inched forward, despite Luisa’s warning earlier, before they’d left her room. Death sharpened Jasmine’s pale features, made her even more beautiful in repose. Jealousy unfurled in Charity’s stomach like a banner.

“Is she—will she be all right?” she asked, as though she did not already know the answer.

Instead of answering, Ambrose stared at the floor, toward a spot near Charity’s feet. He stretched his hand forward. She backed away, but Ambrose followed, fingers reaching. Finally, he snatched at her skirt and raised the hem high. His head lifted and anguish filled his face. “Charity,” he groaned, “what have you done?”

For Discussion: What did Ambrose see that made him suspect Charity of murder?

Stay tuned next week for Part 4 of Sweet Charity.

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