A Family of Suspects

Submitted into Contest #34 in response to: Write a story about a family game night.... view prompt



“I accuse… Miss Scarlet, in the ballroom with the lead pipe.”

“Ah, sorry. Here, look at this.”

Lucy was still frowning as her mother showed Uncle Keith a card. He gave his usual hum of consideration as he studied the evidence, then he did his over the top secret note taking. Across the table Dad made a note as well, but Lucy was still busy glaring at all of them with her arms folded.

One of them committed the heinous crime, and she was going to find out who.

So, what did she have so far? Miss Scarlett and Reverend Green (Mum and Dad) had been in the lounge, watching TV. She’d heard them discussing what was on that afternoon over lunch, and arguing over which film they were going to watch.

“My go, my go!” Jacob was dancing from side to side in his seat. “I accuse Colonel Mustard-” Uncle Keith, still a suspect. “-with the dagger in the hall.”

“Oh no, I’ve got nothing,” their father said. “Lucy, do you have anything?”

With a grunt she passed one of the cards over to her little brother, which he barely looked at before he started sulking. Typical Jacob.

“Okay,” her father said. “I accuse Mrs White-” Anna, who was Lucy’s prime suspect at the moment, or rather at all moments. It was just the sort of thing she’d do. “-with the candlestick, in the study.”

No, the study was empty. It was locked on weekends, to stop Dad overworking. And the downstairs bathroom had been empty, she’d walked past the open door on her way to the crime scene. And no-one went in the laundry room when the washing machine was running, it was too noisy-

“Well Lucy? You got anything?” Anna was smirking at her now then. Proof of her guilt? No. Anna wouldn’t have been sneaky about it, she’d have rubbed it in Lucy’s face by now. After all, that was what big sisters were for. She wouldn’t have had anything to gain by hiding it.


“Ah, naff. Fine, whatever. Your turn sis.” Anna turned back to her phone- the candlestick- as the game kept dragging on. A classic sign that she was bored, or too cool for her family.

Definitely not Anna then; if she’d done it she’d have been more engaged, if only to see if Lucy had noticed yet. That only left four suspects. “I accuse Professor Plum with the revolver, in the kitchen.”

“Nu-uh,” Jacob moaned as he kicked his legs about. “I’m a Professor- why would I be in the kitchen?”

“Why would a Professor be killing someone?” Anna replied.

“But I didn’t! It’s not fair that she accused me!”

He had a point. As the youngest Jacob was the obvious choice, but he was still really messy and noisy. Would he have been able to do it unnoticed, and then been able to cover the crime so well?

“That’s not how it works Jacob, come on. Though he is right- you’re wrong Lucy.” Typical Anna, bossing everyone about. “Here, look.” Anna waved a card at her. The kitchen.

Except Jacob was looking shifty now. Had he- no. There was soda in the fridge. That was what he’d have been going for. She’d heard him getting a drink, he must’ve gone for the stuff he wasn’t suppose to have without permission. Guilty then, but not of the thing she cared about. Although she could hold that information over him later, if she needed a favour.

“My turn then,” Anna said. “I accuse Mrs Peacock, in the dining room, with the rope.”

“Are you three even trying?” their father laughed. “You can’t just keep accusing each other you know. You’re supposed to be working it out, deducing.” In his desperate attempt to encourage them he waved his pencil at them, but Lucy wasn’t in the mood for playing along with their version of the game, not when there were higher stakes involved. Anna thought it was beneath her, and even from the other side of the table it was clear that Jacob had just drawn smily faces all over his clue sheet.

Lucy knew that she, Mrs Peacock, didn’t do it. If she did it wouldn’t have been a crime after all.

Anna started sulking as she was called out and showed the relevant proof, which made their mother giggle as she weighed up her options.

“Hmm… I accuse Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the revolver,” Mum said.

No- Lucy had been in the library, so the crime couldn’t have occurred there. And if the ‘revolver’ had been in the library then, yet again, there wouldn’t have been any crime. She’d have had it, and could’ve enjoyed it while she played on their games console. After all, wasn’t that what Easter holidays were all about?

There were too many people in the lounge for that to have been the scene and the hall was too open, which left only the conservatory or the dining room. As for suspects, she was down to Miss Scarlett, Reverend Green or Colonel Mustard.

“No, sorry,” Uncle Keith said, picking out a card to show.

On the table next to Uncle Keith was the book he’d been reading before they’d all started playing, his alibi for the crime. If he’d been reading while the TV was on though then he’d have been in the conservatory, for some peace and quiet, and it was too hot in there for the crime to have happened.

That gave Lucy the object and the room, and she was down to two suspects.

“I accuse Miss Scarlett in the library with the revolver,” Uncle Keith said.

Miss Scarlett, or Reverend Green? Lucy eyed up each of her parents across the table, but neither of them were giving anything away. There had to be another clue.

“Aw, no luck for me then. Come on Jacob, your turn.”

“I accuse Colonel Mustard with the dagger in the billiard room!”

The dagger! Yes, of course. When Lucy had come back to the lounge after discovering the crime she’d seen her mother with the TV remote. And if she had the remote, then Dad would’ve been sulking that he couldn’t change the channel, but it would also mean that he could sneak off unobserved and-

The final definitive proof was the small burp her father gave just then, and the guilty look on his face as he apologised.

Lucy slammed her hands on the table and shoved her chair back as she spoke over everyone else.

“I accuse Dad in the dining room with MY chocolate bar!”

March 27, 2020 23:47

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