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  • Marie Minzlaff

A Silent Scream: Part Two

“So, now tell me why you wanted to see me, of all people.”

“What do you mean?”

He leaned forwards, resting his hands on the table separating them.

“Don't pretend you don’t dislike me. We both know you did not come here just to make small talk. So, why are you here?”

“Well, clearly Cordelia’s death was not an accident, and so I need to find out who brutally cut her life short like this.” A tear traced its way down her cheek. “She’s been my best friend since, well, forever, you know?”

“I know, she told me a lot about you.”

“Really? I'd have thought that she wouldn't have mentioned me at all; she hid away from me for so long. I was beginning to think that she hated me! And now that we’re on the subject, what happened to her in those last few months? She locked herself away from everyone, including me, and you were the only one who could talk to her. I-”

The butler came in through the door and interrupted her speech.

“Madam, the forensics team is finished with the body. You may go and see her.”

Emily followed the butler down the hall again to the gracefully curving staircase. Bittersweet memories came rushing back to her, of how she and Cordelia had played on those stairs, of how they had been gently reprimanded by Mrs Ellen, Cordelia’s nurse since babyhood, for sliding down the polished banisters, and how they had taken it in turns to be the princess walking down the red carpet at a ball…

The butler opened Cordelia’s bedroom door for her, and Emily gasped at the scene of devastation that greeted her. Cordelia’s body lay sprawled on the bed, her hand flung dramatically across her chest, next to a gaping wound in the white nightgown. The arched window was broken, and bloody footprints led from the velvet-curtained four poster bed to the cushioned window bench and out the window. A policeman stood in the corner of the room, and everywhere there was evidence that the forensics team had investigated every inch of the room. Emily felt dizzy. She walked over to the bed where Cordelia lay and looked at the face she knew as well as her own. A dark bloodstain spilled over the sheets, and the face of her childhood friend was suffused with fear.

“She must have been awoken by the murderer.” She said this out loud quite unintentionally, then fell to her knees and started sobbing.

“I know, I know. But I really do miss her.”

“I understand,” said Mrs Ellen. Emily had gone to her comfort since she knew that Mrs Ellen had been taking care of Cordelia since the day she had been born. She was a plump, motherly woman, and Emily loved her more than her own mother. “At least she had been happy in her last few months.”

Emily stiffened.

“You really still don’t trust him, do you? But she did love him. Shortly after they got engaged, she changed her will so that everything would go to him when she died.”

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