Some of you may be aware that I recently took a trip down to Devon and while there visited the home of one of my literary heroes, Agatha Christie. It was such a thrill to see her house and it really felt that she was still there, maybe just popped out to get a pint of milk. Inspired by my trip I wanted to write a story based on one of the minor characters that she’d written. So here is my attempt:
Miss Felicity Lemon sat at the desk in her study, the morning light streaming through the window, and did what she always did at that point of the day, she made a list. Always methodical, she sat down every morning and made a list of the all the tasks she intended to do. She left out the mundane things, like washing, attending to her hair and breakfast, but listed all the other tasks in a systematic and thorough manner. An early riser, she always wrote her morning correspondence first thing, so that she could ensure her letters went off in the morning post. It was too early for most people to make her necessary telephone calls, people seemed to be quite upset if you rang before 9am.
As she wrote, her eye fell on a silver-framed picture that had pride of place on her desk. It was a picture of her one of her former employers, Monsieur Hercule Poirot. Of all her employers, he had been the most satisfactory. He had a sense of order and method that matched hers, and a sense of decorum that sadly was lacking generally nowadays. Looking back on those days as his secretary, she remembered him fondly. He had been a great man, a private detective and though very famous in his day, now seemed to be almost forgotten. She considered it strange that when the fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, still loomed large in peoples mind the greatest detective, M. Poirot, had sadly diminished. Lacking any British sense of modesty, he would have vehemently agreed with her view, but despite his ego, he was undoubtedly the best. Not without acrimony, she considered it a shame that he no longer had the fame he so deserved.
She had a frisson of emotion, remembering those times when she had helped her employer solve a gruesome murder. She would never have admitted it to anyone, but underneath her calm and ordered manner, she had enjoyed working on those cases. Each one, like a jigsaw puzzle or a crossword, so impossible at first, but as you slowly slotted things into place, the solution became clear. She’d never murmur the phrase, ‘little grey cells’ but she had used her own methods and often had guided her employer to the right conclusion. Not that he ever really knew she had. She was always discreet. Oh, how she sometimes longed for something like that to happen, just like the old days. Her life had become so humdrum, and while she looked very much like the person who preferred life to be dull, predictable and humdrum, and she would never be one to actively court adventure, she did enjoy it when life brought something to her door.
She finished her last letter, a complaint to the laundry who had taken to using far too much starch on her collars and having stamped and addressed the envelope she stood and walked towards the front door. As she did so, she heard a loud scream come from one of the other apartments, followed by a frantic ringing of her own doorbell.
No English person ever rang a doorbell in that persistent and demanding manner, foreigners often did but only in a state of pure desperation would an English person ever hold down the doorbell for longer than two seconds.
Opening the door, Miss Lemon was surprised to see a young woman standing there, her long brown hair dishevelled and looking quite pale and distraught.
“Oh, please help, there’s been a murder!” the woman said.
To be Continued…..
I have included the following word prompts: