Death on the Montpelier
World famous French-Canadian detective, Henri Pinchot, stood his ground upon the deck of the cruise ship Montpelier. He grimaced at the stunning woman before him and adjusted his expertly coiffed mustache. “Nevertheless, Mademoiselle, you are in grave danger!”
Heiress Veronica Brown smiled down at the diminutive, pudgy man. “You’re very thoughtful, Monsieur Pinchot, but there is no murder to investigate. That is your specialty isn’t it?”
“Sacre bleu! I am trying to prevent a murder!”
Miss Brown bent down, her unscrupulously cut dress wafted open. She pinched Pinchot’s cheek and said, “Well, if I’m to be murdered, then I want to go out with a bang.” She sashayed back to her cabin, hips swaying like a ship in a rogue storm.
Later in that hot Algiers night, a scream erupted across the decks of the cruise ship. The scream shredded the night. It drew out, pulling all who witnessed it into the depths like a ship’s dying song. Birds fell from the sky and the ship’s very wood began to weep.
Passengers huddled around the locked door of Miss Brown’s cabin, chattering earnestly. Pinchot and his companion, Captain Hillary, waded through the crowd. “Hillary!” said Pinchot. “You must break down the door!”
The affable Hillary paused. “I say! Shouldn’t we knock first?”
“At once, Hillary!” insisted Pinchot. “She may be dying, n’est-ce pas? If we act expeditiously we might still save her life!”
After several great thrusts of his shoulders, Hillary crashed through the door. He leaned in, and rather quickly closed the door back again.
“What is it, Hillary?”
Hillary gulped. “You should see for yourself, Pinchot.”
Pinchot peered in, then closed the door hastily, his face pale and drawn. “I have investigated murders for years, Hillary, but never have I witnessed such a thing. The human spine cannot bend in such a way.”
The door opened once more and Miss Brown looked out. She wore a neglige that hid almost nothing, and a silly grin that confessed much more. “If you boys are quite finished with your peep show,” she said. “My friend and I would thank you for a little privacy.”
Pinchot tipped his hat and smiled sheepishly. “My apologies, Mademoiselle. We shall withdraw at once.”
As the two walked across the ship’s deck, Hillary said, “Sorry, old bean. “You didn’t get your murder.”
“I must confess I am in error,” said Pinchot, tapping his temple. “I did not realize Miss Brown possessed such unusual hunger. The little grey cells have failed me tonight.” He stood straight once more. “However! I am not completely wrong. There may still be a death on the Montpelier this night!”
“How can you be sure?” said Hillary.
“Did you not see them? In that pose, at the frenetic pace, it is unlikely that Miss Brown’s companion will survive the night!”
Lately, I’ve been inspired by the British TV series, “Poirot,” which is based on Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels about the fictional detective, Hercule Poirot. If you can find it, I highly recommend it. Here’s a brief clip:
This was written for the Sunday Photo Fiction weekly writing challenge. Look here to see what others wrote in response to the prompts. https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/sunday-photo-fiction-august-9th-2015/