Chapter Six of Entitled to Murder: A Cozy Mystery Short Story
Hello, Book Lovers!
Here it is the sixth chapter of my cozy mystery short story titled, Entitled to Murder. Yes, I’m still calling it a short story, even though I suspect the story will be the length of a novella. At the moment, I’ve reached the twenty percent mark of the story, and I’m about to start writing chapters seven, eight, and nine. I am hoping to keep sharing chapters every day on this blog. Hopefully, I won’t hit a writing snag that requires substantial research. Fingers crossed.
Every few days, I will release a chapter from Entitled to Murder on this blog throughout the next few weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for the next chapter. If you want to receive notifications via email, then sign up for updates by filling out your first name and email address in the opt-in form below, and you’ll receive an email from me, letting you know the latest chapter is available, plus a copy of the ebook when the story is finished. By the way, the story you will receive will be professionally edited just like the copy I plan to sell on the various ebook retailers.
Before, I dive into the opening chapter of this cozy mystery short story, here’s a brief description of the story for those who are new here.
About the Short Story
Bookworm and recently widowed, Lucy Hobbs has lived a sheltered life. The only danger she has ever faced was turning the pages of a murder mystery novel. All of that is about to change. It’s Halloween, Lucy’s favourite time of year, but it’s more than just a holiday—it’s her grandfather, Alfred’s 87th birthday. After months of grieving this is the one thing, she has been looking forward too. Little does Lucy know she is walking into a family feud, a lost sheep, and murder. On the day of Alfred’s Will reading, Lucy learns of some unexpected changes that cause her to look at the birthday party’s events under a new light.
Can Lucy figure out who the murderer is before they strike again?
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information, address the publisher at: hello at ameliadhay dot com.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
A haunting “boo” echoed through the dark house, followed by a scream. Lucy rolled her eyes as she sat at the kitchen table in the darkness. Colin. She shook her head.
From somewhere behind her, Lucy listened as her grandfather wandered around the kitchen, opening and closing drawers and cabinets. He groaned. Another “boo” echoed through the house, followed by a scream. This time it sounded like her cousin, Peter. A muffled giggle cried out in amusement.
‘Colin, stop being so immature,’ Lucy shouted toward the hallway door.
‘Dad, what are you doing?’ Jane asked as she reached out and grabbed Lucy’s hand.
‘It’s just Colin larking about with Peter.’ Lucy patted her mother’s hand.
A drawer slammed shut. ‘I can’t find where Henriette keeps that damn torch.’
The old man continued to wander around the kitchen. Turning around in her chair, Lucy leaned forward and narrowed her eyes to see in the darkness.
‘Granddad, why don’t you open the curtains? Maybe we can use the moonlight until someone turns on the electricity.’ Lucy inched forward as she listened to Alfred shuffle around the floor. He flung the curtains open.
A single beam of light burst through the kitchen window, across the island, and through the open door.
‘There’s not much light,’ Jane said.
Lucy grimaced as she waited for the inevitable response.
A third “boo” echoed through the house. Whoever was pulling the age-old Halloween prank was getting closer to the kitchen. It has to be Colin.
Alfred groaned. ‘I’ve had enough of these shenanigans. I’m going to fix the fuse box.’ Alfred ambled towards the kitchen door.
Lucy sighed. ‘Granddad, let the boys fix it.’
He shook his head as he continued to saunter towards the door.
A chair scraped across the tiles. ‘Dad, stay here with us,’ Jane pleaded as Alfred disappeared out of the only ray of visible light provided by the moon.
‘I’m going to the fuse box via my study. Both of you stay here.’
A creak, followed by a click, broke the silence of the room as Alfred closed the kitchen door behind him. A lump formed in the pit of Lucy’s stomach as she pictured her granddad wandering around the house in the dark. What if he falls over and gets hurt? She bit her lip as a tear trickled down her cheek.
Fearing her grandfather was hurt, Lucy got up from her chair and ambled towards the door. It had been twenty minutes, and her granddad had not returned to the kitchen. After several minutes of deliberation, Lucy decided to head to the study, then retrace his steps to the fuse box. Now, all she has to do was remember where that was. Easy, sort of.
‘Lucy,’ Jane said with a hint of panic lingering in her voice. ‘Where are you going?’
She sighed. ‘It’s been twenty minutes since grandad left. I’m going to check up on him.’
Lucy turned the door handle and pushed it open, then strolled along the dark hallway. It was strange the house was empty. No one else seemed curious about why the electricity went out. Did everyone else think it was a prank? Perhaps the others have more light. Following the hall to the left, Lucy saw a beam of light poke through the frame ahead. That must be the entry.
Lucy strolled through the door and stepped into the second small hall. From within her grandmother’s study, more light guided her way to the stairs. She listened to the stillness of the house. All Lucy could hear was a faint murmuring coming from the drawing room. No footsteps could be heard from the upper floor.
With a sense of urgency, Lucy dashed down the hall and up the stairs to the first floor. It, too, was covered in darkness. Lucy ambled through the hall and followed it around to the study. Ahead of her, far off in the distance, was a pair of yellow eyes. Tiberius. Granddad can’t be too far away.
‘Tiberius,’ Lucy said as she inked towards the open study door. ‘Come here, boy.’
She clicked her fingers, but the two yellow eyes remained motionless. A faint meow called out to her in the darkness. Why don’t you just come here?
A chill ran along Lucy’s spine, causing the tiny hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end. Thump, her ballet flats struck something heavy lying on the floor.
‘Tiberius, did you knock something over?’ Lucy crouched down and felt a pair of legs.
Her heart sank as she felt the familiar denim fabric between her fingers. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she realised that her granddad was lying face down on the floor. Did someone scare him and give him a heart attack? With her heart racing, Lucy tiptoed around her granddad’s body. As she reached his shoulders, Lucy paused, stretched out her hand and searched for a pulse on his neck. Just like her husband Christopher, her grandfather was cold and without a pulse. Not again.
Lucy sobbed as she got up and tiptoed toward Tiberius, who immediately dashed down the hall the moment she reached out to grab him. And that’s when she saw it. Against the skirting boards, near her grandfather’s hand, was his gin glass. Lucy stood and leaned against the wall and sobbed.
I hope you enjoyed reading the sixth chapter of my cozy mystery short story, Entitled to Murder. Now, I need to get back to writing, because I have a huge goal that I need to meet today. Fingers crossed, I finish the day off with chapters seven, eight, and nine written, edited, and ready to share on the blog.
As I mentioned earlier, over the next few weeks, I write and edit the subsequent scenes and chapters. At the same time, I will be sharing chapters over on Wattpad, so be sure to follow me if that’s how you prefer to read.
Once I draw closer to pressing the publish button on this story, I may remove everything after the first chapter, depending upon whether I choose to enrol this book in Kindle Unlimited or publish it on all ebook retailer platforms. But that’s a long way off in the future. If you are interested in receiving email updates alerting you of new chapters plus a free copy of the ebook, Entitled to Murder when it finished, subscribe for updates by filling out the opt-in form below.
I’m Amelia. I write mystery and thriller novels under the pen name A. D. Hay and I’m the author of Missing the first book in the James Lalonde series. I’m the host of the Book Nerd Podcast and The Authorpreneur Podcast. Right now, I’m editing my soon to be published mystery novels, The Candidate, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity. When I’m not writing, hosting my podcasts or coaching aspiring authors, I love to travel around Europe with my Husband Roland, drink tea, and eat pizza.