This is a short story I wrote when I was in 7th grade. It has been edited by a few of my former teachers as well as myself multiple times. I have serialized this and will post a new section each Sunday for you to continue reading until you reach the end. I would love to hear feedback because I consider this still a work in progress. I hope you enjoy…
It was a warm and overcast June day, and the wedding of Vivien Hailman and Stephen Tailord was taking place at the beautiful 200-acre Victorian home of Vivien’s parents, Dave and Joanne Hailman. The guests were just arriving in the ballroom for the reception when Vivien and Stephen flowed in like the summer wind. Vivien looked beautiful, being tall and thin in a fitted white silk gown, her auburn hair glowing with curls cascading down her back. Stephen looked handsome with his dark hair freshly cut, his blue eyes dazzling and his strong, but meek physique in a black tux. Vivien’s sister, Tabytha, a pretty young girl with flowing blond hair, a petite figure, energetic personality, and the total opposite of her sister went straight over to Vivien when she came in. “Vivien you look so extraordinary today!! I hope I look like you when I’m a bride.” “Tabytha, I know you will! Oh, I’ll have to talk to you later, I see an old friend and there are so many others to greet. Bye!” she exclaimed. Vivien moving ever so swiftly, but suavely to her friend, “How have you been?! I haven’t seen you since graduation!” “I’m doing fine, but I almost wasn’t able to be here; my mother is ill,” her friend said solemnly. “I’m sorry to hear it; is she going to be okay?” Vivien responded. “She will now, she had some tests run and everything is going to be fine, so we hope,” she said reassuringly to herself while crossing her fingers. Vivien cut her short, “I am so glad to hear that she will be okay. Can I talk to you later? I have so many guests to greet and we are about to cut the cake.” “Sure,” she finished, feeling shunned.
Stephen and Vivien cut the cake and had some pictures taken while everyone watched enjoyably. Then, while everyone was mingling and having a good time, the lights went out unexpectedly. There had been a hint of a storm coming up earlier in the day, but no rain or signs of weather trauma had begun. The only explanation was that bad weather had started, and with all the festivities, no one had noticed due to all the wedding excitement. Suddenly, a shot was fired; the lights remained off. The reliable maid, Emma, had immediately searched for candles when the lights went out and returned successfully with a tray full of waxy wicks and several boxes of matches, she not hearing the unexpected sound.
As quickly as the lights went out, they emerged back on as bright as ever, giving hardly enough time to light any candles for temporary sight. They were so bright that what everyone in the room could not miss was the figure of a man in a tux lying on the floor in a large pool of thick, red liquid oozing from his chest. Vivien ran over to him, crying out, “Oh, Father, somebody call the police, a doctor, just please help him!! !” The body on the floor was Vivien’s father, Dave Hailman, a handsome older gentleman with thick graying hair and a trim very well taken care of body for a man his age. Dave was a self-made man, very rich, shrewd businessman, owning a clothes-manufacturing company. Being shot was the furthest thing from his mind.
Vivien’s relatively handsome older brother, Dave, Jr., had Emma call an ambulance immediately. Joanne, Dave’s adoring and dutiful wife, and the rest of the family, rushed to their father’s side. The ambulance did not take long to arrive, along with the police. When Emma called it in, she reported that it was a shooting, so the police were anxious to begin questioning. They all rushed in, but when the EMTs bent down to administer help to Dave, one of them looked up and said, “I am so sorry, but this man is already dead.” The police immediately had the EMTs move away from the body and one of the officers called into homicide to come right away. They had all the guests moved to several of the other rooms in the house, so the ballroom could be cleared for the crime scene investigation. They moved the immediate family into the library after they heard the horrifying news.
While this was going on, a strikingly tall man with square features around 30, having thick dark hair, and the most striking blue eyes, waltzed in looking around for someone in charge. He asked one of the officers, “I’m Detective Charles Christopher from homicide, what has been done so far?” The officers explained to him where the family and guests had been moved to and how they were waiting on him to arrive. Along with Christopher, about ten other officers and investigators arrived with him. They began their investigation and questioning of all the guests, which would end up being a long and lengthy process.
Christopher himself went into the library to begin questioning the family who were eagerly awaiting any news they could get their hands on. “My name is Detective Christopher, and in these unforeseen circumstances I need to begin asking some questions to each one of you. Is there a smaller room that I can use for this purpose?” “There is a small reading room right over there just past that bookcase. My husband, uses, um, used it quite often for privacy.” Joanne responded quite distraught. “Thank you ma’am. I have a list here of your names from the other officers, so please bear with me on this. Will Dave, Jr. please come in here with me first?” Christopher beckoned. Dave, Jr. willingly followed him into the small cozy little room.
“Mr. Hailman, do you own a gun?” Christopher got right to the point. “No sir, I do not, Dave, Jr. answered sharply. “Please do not get upset, this is something that I have to ask everyone. Do you know if anyone in your family does?” Christopher asked. “I am really not sure,” Dave, Jr. said. Christopher responded with, “How did you and your father get along? Did you have a good relationship?” “We had a wonderful one, no father and son could have had one any better than ours,” Dave, Jr. sincerely answered. Charles asked, “Do you know of anyone who did not get along with your father?” “Well, no, but… ” he unassuredly responded. “Please don’t stop, continue with anything that you have to say.” Dave, Jr. continued, “Before the wedding started today, I wanted to go in and wish my sister good luck. When I was walking to her room, which is two doors down from my father’s study upstairs, I overheard Dad and my younger brother, Adam, having an argument.” “Can you recall anything that might be of any kind of relevance to what has happened?” “Well, I hate to say this, but my dad forbid Adam to marry his girlfriend. He doesn’t, or didn’t like her at all. During their discussion, Adam said that if he wouldn’t let them get married that he…. that he…. he would kill him, so that he would be free of him and his prison.” Charles asked, “Do you think that Adam might have done it?” “Possibly, Adam feels very strongly about this girl and my dad could be very strict.” “Who is Adam’s girlfriend?” “Her name is Becki Bennett. I really don’t know why my dad didn’t like her; she comes from a good family and everything. I hope that I didn’t get Adam into any kind of trouble by saying what I said; he’s a good kid,” he said reassuringly. “That will be all, thank you. Please send in your mother,” Christopher requested.
“Yes sir,” Joanne said still in shock. “Mrs. Hailman, please sit down. I am sorry I must ask you these things so soon, but I hope you understand. Do you know of an argument that your husband and your youngest son, Adam, had before the wedding?” “Yes, I did,” she responded quickly. “Why didn’t your husband like Becki?” he asked. “Well, he thought that she wanted to marry him for his money, but she was rich herself, why would she need the extra money….” as if talking out loud to herself. “Mrs. Hailman,” trying to get her to focus, “do you know of anyone else who would want to bring harm to your husband?” “No, I do not,” she said fighting off the tears. “Thank you so much, you can go back to your family now and if you would, please have Adam come in next,” he asked politely, knowing that she was not going to be very helpful in the state that she was in.
Christopher was making some notes when he heard the door open. He looked up to see a younger version of Dave, Jr. step into the room. Even though the resemblance was very remarkable, he could tell that Adam was in personality very different from his older brother. His walk was very confident, almost overconfident meaning that if a lawyer were in court with Adam on the witness stand, Adam would be considered a hostile witness. Charles knew that he was going to have trouble with this one right away.
“Adam, I am going to get straight to the point, I know about the argument that you and your father had before the wedding. What took place during this event?” Christopher asked bluntly. Adam heatedly replied, “Yes, we did have an argument, one of many that we continued to have up until a little while ago. He hated Becki and that made me angry. He had no right to say the things he said about her. She is a great girl and he had no right to judge. Nothing went on in that argument that had never gone on before.” “Are you sure? Did you threaten your father?” “Absolutely not!!! Where do you come off asking me such a thing? I didn’t kill him, if that is what you are asking! !” Adam screamed. “Do you own a gun or know anyone in the family who does?” Christopher asked knowing what the answer would be. “No, I do not!” “You can go for now, but if you remember anything when you cool off, I would appreciate it if you would come to me first,” the detective adamantly requested. “Sure, whatever you say,” Adam smugly responded. “Oh, when you get back to your family, please send in Becki.” Christopher stated firmly knowing that this would get a rise out of the boy. “She doesn’t have anything to do with this!” “Oh, but I think she does.”
The door opened and a very attractive, breathtaking brunette walked in with shapely curves, fair silky skin, and the most beautiful silky brown hair that any man would want to run his fingers through. This girl came from money and she knew it; but, at the same time, there was a certain shyness about her that almost seemed uncharacteristic from the life that she came from. She spoke ever so softly, “Detective, I am Becki Bennett. You called for me?” Scarcely able to speak from being mesmerized by her beauty and knowing now why Adam was hell bent on marrying this girl, “Um, yes…. yes, I did. Won’t you please sit down.” “Thank you; what did you want to know; to tell you that I think that Adam killed his father. Well, even if I knew he did, I wouldn’t tell you. He is the man that I love and I would do nothing to harm him. He and his father had their differences, but I think in time after our marriage, his father would have come to love me as his own, if he had had the chance,” she said in a different tone than when she had first come in. “Miss, I wasn’t going to ask you anything of that sort. You are jumping to conclusions. I was going to ask you if you knew anything that would help me in leading me to finding out what happened in the darkness when the shot was fired and why it was fired. Can you help me with those questions?” “No sir, I don’t think that I can. I’m sorry.” Becki said shyly again, it was as though she was playing a part, but if she was, it was one that Adam had her playing like a trained bird and Christopher wasn’t going to fall for it. “Well, if there is nothing that you can help me with, I need to keep on with my investigation. Thank you.” She gracefully stood up and walked to the door and closed it behind her. He didn’t know what to think now. He felt he was nowhere closer to finding the murderer than when he stepped through the Hailman door earlier that day.
He continued questioning the younger daughter, Tabytha, and her older sister; the new bride Vivien, and her new husband, Stephen, but no one could shed any light onto the case. All the family’s opinions and Christopher agreed on one thing: Adam was a hot head and he and his father didn’t get along. Other than that piece of news, the murderer was still at large lurking in the shadows, maybe, just maybe, waiting to pounce on his next victim.
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