Bea Chapter 6
We had one and half lessons before we were free to have another discussion.
"Meeting after school," Hetty whispered, as if she'd read my mind "At the tree, 3:45 on the dot,"
"Silence girls, on with the tableau! Silent, but breathtaking!" declared Ms Colour, our Drama teacher.
She wore bright silk scarves that were draped round her neck and long bead necklaces that jangled. Her wrists were covered in mismatched bracelets and she had dangly feather earrings. She had us performing tableaus nearly every drama lesson, and today we were doing Macbeth. I was King Duncan, sleeping peacefully as an enraged Macbeth (Rose Whitter) held a dagger over me. Fiona Nevan and Hetty were the guards, and at the other end of the room Cassie, Aileen Crazzle and Nancy-Maria were the weird sisters.
Ms Colour had not been the slightest bit angry about us being late ("Indeed, girls, just in time, fate will find paths for all of us!") and had given us parts in the tableau. Meira was sitting by the door, listening to a play (as she was blind, she couldn't watch the tableau) and fiddling with her delicate silver necklace. I frowned, noticing a pendant on it.I had never noticed a pendant before, I always thought it was just a plain chain on it's own. It was silver too, a a strange shape. I peered closer. A triangle? A rhombus? No, it was a mountain, a very high, steep mountain. The pendant was shaped like a mountain. Why?
"No, no, NO! It's wrong, wrong, it's all wrong! King Duncan, you must banish that expression! It throws everything out of proportion!" exclaimed Ms Colour "Adopt an innocent, trusting aura! You are King of Scotland, Macbeth's friend! You have no idea of your brutal death that is lurking so close by, so close in the near future..."
I wondered if my own death would come like that, then shook my head. I was a detective, and a dead detective was no use at all.
"Mr Inkling?" Fiona Nevan raised her hand in Maths. Fiona was a soft, kindhearted girl. She rode horses out of school and loved all animals. She had light fair hair, dip dyed pink, and brown eyes. She was Flora's best friend and they always looked so different: Flora was small and slight with dark, sleek, chocolate brown hair to her waist, mostly strewn with pale pink petals as she ate her lunch and did her homework underneath a cherry blossom tree. Flora had had large pale blue eyes and very white clear skin with pink lips. Fiona was tall and strong from her horse riding and her hair was wavy and shoulder-length, her skin tanned and her eyes dark. But they had been best friends, and I felt a pang at not telling her the truth. But she would know someday. That thought gave me more motivation to solve the crime.
"Mr Inkling?" asked Fiona "Where's Flora?"
Hetty clutched her stomach at that and I bit my lip so hard it turned white. Mr Inkling turned from the white board and smiled. He was a tall, thin man, with short hair and glasses. His smile made me even more scared.
"Flora Appleby has moved schools," he said "I was told this morning in the staff room. You seem confused? Did she not tell you? Maybe you should contact her tonight,"
"I've been texting and texting her, but she isn't responding!" wailed Fiona "I've tried phoning her, but it goes to voicemail!"
I felt a fresh pang of pain, so cold I nearly doubled over.
"Oh dear," Mr Inkling said "oh dear oh dear oh dear. Perhaps try going to her house, Nevan, she has probably lost her phone, careless girl,"
He smiled again with his pointy teeth, looking like a barracuda. My insides dropped out of me and I fell with them, down, down, down into a cold cold sea of terror. None of us were safe from the murderer.
Meira nudged me, looking pale but amused. Cassie leaned forward to whisper in my ear.
"Four minutes to the bell!"
Suddenly Hetty gasped and wheezed, coughed, spluttered and wheezed again. She sneezed, gagged and made groaning noises. She moaned feebly and collapsed put out her seat, hit the ground and tossed around weakly. Her eyes popped and her body shook as she coughed painfully. Her eyes shut and face was drained of colour.
The bell went, slashing the terrified silence.
Hetty hit the floor and was still.