Monday 15 April 2019

#AtoZChallenge: The Mystery of the Missing Moonstone

It was a maelstrom in the manor. Someone, obviously with a magpie’s eye for shiny things, had stolen the Moonstone. Stolen, the Marquis was certain. It hadn’t just been dropped behind the dressing table or been left in the extra handbag or something stupid like that.

You see, when not worn, the Moonstone was displayed on a velvet pillow in a bulletproof glass case that was secured to a shelf that was chained to the wall in a maximum security vault which was guarded 24/7. Except, the guard had been found unconscious with a lump on his head and the glass had been shattered and the gem was missing. Now everyone in Maelstrom Manor was running around like headless chickens and screaming bloody murder, contributing to the general mayhem.

Marco, the Marquis of Maelstrom, accused his wife’s mischievous nephew, Matthew, who was visiting for the summer. Marigold sat in the corner crying and protesting that her nephew was a good boy, he was, and would never do such a thing. How would he even knock out the guard when he was such a small, gentle thing?

Mary the Cook shook her head. Matthew was at least six foot tall, a giant of a youth though he was only fifteen. And he was mischievous enough to think of such a trick. She was quite sure it wasn’t him, though, because Matthew had spent the whole day in her kitchens getting underfoot, sticking fingers in her pies, and eating up her freshly made macarons.

So who had done the dastardly deed? Who had taken the missing Moonstone? The hapless guard, once treated for his misfortune, was grilled by both the Marquis and his wife, but couldn’t give any clues as to the perpetrator. He had heard the cawing of a magpie and had gone to see if some poor bird had gotten stuck in the bars of the window. The minute he’d opened the door to the vault, someone had bashed him over the head.

Three days later, the mood at Maelstrom Manor was still poor. Marco stormed about the manor in a bad mood whilst Marigold stayed in bed with hysterics. Mary cooked more and more food because the only way she knew how to calm people down was to give them something to eat. Only Matthew acted more or less normally, eating everything he could beg from Mary and wandering all throughout the manor.

“Look what I found,” Matthew said late that evening, emerging from his explorations covered with dust. Mary could even see some twigs sticking out of his hair.

Mary stared at the gem in his hand. “Where did you get that? That’s the Moonstone your uncle and aunt have been tearing the manor apart for!”

“At the top of the tower, there’s this magpie’s nest. It’s great—it has everything! I even found this beautiful hat with a feather!” With that, Matthew pulled on a wide-brimmed hat that had a huge peacock feather stuck in its band.

“Well, that’s certainly macaroni,” Mary said, “but you’d better give the Moonstone back to your uncle before his mood gets worse.”

The Marquis was delighted to get the Moonstone back, Marigold recovered quickly, and Matthew was recognisable all around the manor and about town for his hat. But still, no one knows the mystery of who had taken the missing Moonstone and how it had appeared in the nest at the top of the tower.

No one, that is, except the Magpie of Maelstrom Manor.


Today's suggestions were:
  • marigold, from Barbara Harrison
  • Moonstone, from Andrea Stoeckel
  • mayhem/murder/mischievous/misunderstand, from Cherie Osier
  • magpie, from Sharna Steinert
  • maelstrom, macaroni, from Donna Smith

aaaaaannnnd I hit everything except misunderstand, although I cheated with some. :p
But, obscure bit of trivia about macaroni, as I'm using it (in the yankee doodle sense). 

This year's A to Z is flash fiction based on words provided by the community... which is you! Explanatory stuff HERE, Google sheet link HERE.

1 comment:

  1. What a delightful post - I do love a little magpie mischief! :-)