Saturday, June 11, 2011

Group Story: Railway Murder Mystery

Recently, after reading Nathan Bransford's blog post about character names, author David Jace suggested a scenario whereby each of our characters would board a train under a fake name. His suggestion inspired me to post the start of a group story – something we haven't done on Come In Character in a while.

Specifically, I thought it might be fun to explore a murder mystery aboard a train – one in which our characters would pretend to be other people and creatures. So, here goes (and, please, forgive the purple prose – it's late where I am, and my brain isn't functioning as well as it could be):

As the train rumbled past endless fields of undulating wheat, touched by the golden rays of the setting sun, Juliet Raven stared through a window of the nearly filled dining car, gazing at the scenery and sipping a much-needed amaretto sour. While she mused about the various young men she'd noticed on board and wished she weren't currently alone at her table for two, a piercing scream permeated the lively din, and all voices fell silent...


Frank said...

Frank Holder, a wiry, intelligent looking man with gray-green eyes shoots up from his seat and strides quickly through the car, searching for the source of the scream. He stops beside an elderly, hawk-nosed man slumped sideways against his young, very attractive blonde companion.

Sylvia said...

Sylvia Street (buxom, forty-ish, well-dressed, and well-coiffed) stares with everyone else as Frank feels for a pulse, not needing to hide her acute interest in the old bird's fate.

Frank said...

(to the young blonde, his face tight) What happened?

Virginia Trevant said...

(A thirty-something redhead with a pleasantly freckled countenance looks over her shoulder, curious and alert. All she can see is a man bending over someone. Not wanting to stare, she turns back and sips her coffee, glancing at her husband with raised eyebrows. He is younger than she is, but poised and watchful as a cat, and has a full view of the situation.)

David Jace said...

(Pardon me, are we in past tense, or present tense?)

The young woman took the opportunity of everyone's distraction to slip through the door of the dining car, heading for the read of the train. In her haste, she didn't notice the slip of paper that fell from her bag.

Laura Martone said...

(Well, David, I technically started the story in the past tense, but somehow, it shifted to the present tense. No worries, though, we can just continue in the past, as you've done. Thanks for checking!)

Jil said...

Tony was only fifteen and on his way to another foster home after being thrown out of his third for stealing. He didn't figure he'd done anything wrong, taking what he needed was how he'd survived before the county took charge of him. So it was natural to lean over and snatch the paper that fluttered from the hurrying woman's bag. It might be money which would decide whether he'd have lunch or not.

David Jace said...

In fact, it was not money, but a map (hence the green designs that may have appeared to be money) folded around plans from the rebel camp. There was a rebellion under foot, and she was key to it. She hurried through the next car to the cargo area, where Yorik and Breg were waiting for the food she had smuggled from the dining car. They couldn't have risked buying tickets, or being seen by the wrong people.

Laura Martone said...

The initial scream and hectic aftermath had been unsettling to say the least. Juliet no longer had a taste for her amaretto sour, and the passing scenery no longer riveted her. She now focused her attention on the hubbub in front of her. As Frank - the nice man she'd met the day before - searched the eyes around him for an answer, Juliet noticed the buxom blonde, who'd been sitting beside the dead man, bolt from the car.

Quickly, she bolted from her seat and headed for the door, bent on following Sylvia.

Frank said... said...

"Wait a minute," Frank said, bolting upright and grasping Juliet's elbow. "Where do you think you're going?"

Brandishing a detective's badge, he glanced around at all the passengers and announced, "No one's leaving this car - much less this train - until I get to the bottom of this. It may look like this man died of a mere heart attack, but there appears to be a puncture wound on his neck." He covered his badge. "And his murderer isn't going anywhere."

Laura Martone said...

"That may well be, Detective," Juliet retorted. "But I wasn't fleeing the scene - merely chasing after the most apparent suspect. Since you're such a fine lawman, it surely hasn't escaped your notice that Sylvia Street is no longer here."

David Jace said...

Gemma turned as she heard the door behind her, but not fast enough to avoid a head-on collision with the blond woman she'd stolen some biscuits from. The food scattered out of her bag and across the floor, along with her best fighting knife, as they both tumbled in the middle of the boxcar. What a ridiculous mistake!

Jil said...

Tony was disappointed the money he'd hoped for was only a map but he stuffed it into his pocket and jumped up alerted by shouts at the other end of the car. When he reached the two women fighting on the floor, he laughed with delight, never having seen such a ridiculous thing before, then he saw the crackers and scooped a handful into his mouth.
"Look that young man is stealing something!Search him! Who are you, boy?"Frank holder loomed over him.
"Of course Tony couldn't speak with his mouth so full and before he knew it his hands were tied and he was being thoroughly searched.

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