The Unfortunate Happenings of Missy Plume(republished for MovellistoftheyearAustralia comp entry)

A dead man, an unknown relative and an agency seeking bloodthirsty revenge is what one girl stuck in the depths of a grimy jail cell calls her story-like reason. "Wow, I didn't know you could write so well!" says my best friend

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2. His Hat

CHAPTER TWO

His Hat

Marietta was striking the keys of a very flash grand piano in the living room of her parents’ big apartment in the midst of what is called the city of love, or more commonly and officially named Paris on that very rainy day. Her life was complete; she had her parents whom she loved dearly and a great life in the middle of a great city. She was content, she couldn’t possibly be happier. The low notes blurred out of the piano as she pressed the black and white keys one by one, eyes closed, her lips turned up in a slight smile; the notes perfectly matched the pouring rain outside the window. There was a very pleasant smell coming from her mother in the kitchen. Her father was-well, she wasn’t quite sure but he was working somewhere.

Thunder cracked outside and the front door of the apartment was pushed open with extreme force. A willow man stood in the doorway, the grey light coming from outside coating him in a thick layer of shadow; which he slowly stepped out of. His face was hiding under a top hat; all that was visible from under it was strands of red hair sticking out at all angles and a grin filled with a set of pearl white teeth and a gold canine on the left side of his mouth. He pulled his hat off and his dangerous green eyes looked down at her menacingly, his grin growing ever wider. There was only one word to describe him properly; evil. Marietta stared worriedly at the black hat in the man’s arms waiting for something to happen, there was something wrong about it-nothing to do with the man who had just stepped through the threshold- that was her father’s hat gripped tightly in his long, thin hands. It couldn’t be anyone else’s; it even had the stitched up brim and the seam had its small hole that flapped in the breeze. It was definitely his; there was no doubt in that. A few steps closer and out of the kitchen on Marietta’s left, her mother scurried up to the man.

“What is your business here?” she said, her messy bun of slowly greying hair bouncing as she looked the man up and down again until he answered.

“I have come to bring you the pleasant news of your husband’s death.” he announced a glint briefly appeared in his eyes before disappearing almost instantly.

“W-w-what?” mother quivered

But before either of them could utter a single word, the man pulled one hand away from the hat resting against his chest and pointed it at them moving the gun in his tight grip from left to right; from one person to another as if he didn’t know which one to shoot first, letting his other hand holding the shaggy hat fall to his side dangling aimlessly as he continued to decide who ought to die first; who deserved to die first. His hand shook as he moved it from the little girl to the cripple old woman, he pulled the trigger and shot. The bullet raced through the air whistling as it picked up speed growing nearer and nearer to its target until it hit. It pierced her chest; blood splattering everywhere and a chillingly distinctive crack sounded as the bullet passed her fragile rib breaking the bone and continuing as it reached its destination; her old, dying heart. All that past through her lips was a muffled attempt at a scream as she crashed to the tiled floor.

“Ma!” Marietta screamed as she ran towards her mother laying flatly on the floor not even intaking a last breath of precious air in reply, “Ma? Ma?” She kneeled in the puddle of blood by her dead mothers side as she began to weep uncontrollably as she waited for the man to kill her, but he didn’t and Marietta began wishing for her life to be over with. That place where she had felt content, where she was with everything she had ever cared about had gone and she was left alone in the cruel, unfair world.

Above her the man pulled the trigger but nothing came out, like the tears welling in her bloodshot eyes; they wouldn’t run down her miserable face, gun wouldn’t fire. He turned on his heel and briskly walked off towards the grey streets of Paris outside the doorstep of the place she had been left all alone to suffer as more red ooze drained from her pale Ma.

The thing was I couldn’t leave her there waiting for death to take her downhearted soul too.

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