Title: The Secret in the Basement, part 1
Rating: PG so far
Character/s: Arthur, Morgana, Morgause, Uther, George and more to come
Summary: A sudden death leads to a mystery
Warnings: somebody dies suddenly, but not violently
Word Count: 690
Prompt: Two prompts worked together: 1. How could you do this?, Angelqueen04 from 2012; 2. http://www.traveladventures.org/countries/jordan/images/kerak05.jpg
Author's Notes: It's longer than I expected.
Arthur pulled up the long driveway to the manor house he called home. He parked his car in the garage and made his way in. He found his sisters, Morgana and Morgause, eating a snack in the breakfast room. They informed that the cook had left sandwiches and fruit in the fridge for lunch but otherwise ignored him as they nattered on about some boring girl thing. He counted himself lucky as he grabbed a coke and a couple of sandwiches to take to his room
As Arthur approached the stairs, his father’s most loyal servant (and his least favorite), George stepped out of the library and headed toward him. Technically, now that he was 17, George had no power over him but Arthur avoided him nonetheless. He knew that the man wasn’t above reporting any activity he deemed inappropriate to his father no matter how minor. He couldn’t help but notice, however, that the man lurched as he moved. Arthur set down the things he was carrying and moved toward him, “George?”
George pitched forward only to be caught by Arthur. Arthur could see the lack of color on the man’s face as he struggled to breath. “Easy now,” he said as he laid him down. He turned his head and hollered, “MORGANA, MORGAUSE, CALL 999.”
As Arthur turned back to George, the man reached for the large set of keys that were always with him. He managed to pull them off his belt but dropped them on the floor. Through the stress of his laboured breathing he managed to utter the word, “basement.”
Morgana stumbled into the room followed by Morgause with a phone in hand. It was thirteen very long minutes until the ambulance service arrived. George, however, quit breathing some moments before. The three siblings stood staring in shock as paramedics declared George dead and carried him away.
After the paramedics drove away, Arthur and Morgana faced each other. He said “Odd” as she said, “Even.” Each said nothing else as they pounded their fists against their hands. Morgana threw out three fingers while Arthur put out two.
“I’ll call him in a bit,” Morgause stated.
Arthur nodded, grabbed his coke and sandwiches and headed for his room but found he had no appetite. He thought about calling a friend to tell what happened but realized he should say nothing until his father was told. It felt wrong to play the video game he had planned so he laid down for a nap. He had been tossing and turning for a bit when he sat up suddenly remembering George’s last word. It took only a moment to get down to the bottom of the stairs. George’s keys had been knocked under a small table.
As Arthur went down the stairs into the basement he looked about trying to figure out what George might have meant. The open area at the front with the big tele and the pool table was spotless as always. As Arthur started toward the back he passed the wine room which was spotless. Farther back he passed the laundry room and storage rooms. As a child, he had not been permitted to play down here so it had, of course, been great fun to come down here and poke through the rooms. Nothing, however, seemed out of the ordinary as he made his way back to the very old iron gate. Arthur had never been allowed past the gate. He had always been told that while the upper parts of this 15th century manor house had been restored, the original cellars were unsafe.
Arthur stood and stared at the gate trying his best to figure out what George could have meant. Nothing had looked out of place except the floor. Arthur stepped closer to the gate. It was clear that someone had opened it recently. He grabbed at the keys till he found the oldest key in the bunch. It slipped easily into the lock and the door opened smoothly, quietly. Arthur felt a chill run down his spine. He would freely admit he was trepidatious but something was pushing him forward.
To be continued….