Monday, February 22, 2010

It had been a wonderful week and Aurelie felt sad that she had been surly that last day she and Danijel had spent together in Paris. When she said goodbye to him at the Gare de l’est, she could see the sadness in his eyes. She had apologized but, still, her behavior had tarnished an otherwise romantic interlude.
She’d make it up to him she said; “next week when I come to visit you in your hometown, Bratislava.” She was looking forward to meeting Danijel’s parents. Although, she had to admit she was more than a little nervous. It was important to make a good first impression before she and Danijel told his parents about their wedding plans.
The original plan was for both of them to travel together by train from Paris to Munich on the night train. The next day they would take the train from Munich to Vienna, spend a few hours there and later in the afternoon take the hydrofoil across the Danube to Bratislava. But she couldn’t get away from her job and he had to get back to his job at the Hotel, where he was the head desk clerk.
Danijel wasn’t at the station when she arrived and she was puzzled, wondering if he was having second thoughts after her behavior last week. “I’m sure there’s a perfectly good explanation” she thought, as she got into the taxi. She gave the driver the address Danijel had written down for her on the back of a box of matches. Even though he didn’t smoke, Danijel always had a few of his hotel’s match boxes in his suit coat pocket. He used them like most people used business cards.
After repeatedly knocking on the door to Danijel’s apartment and getting no response, Aurelie went to find the super. After explaining her situation, he agreed to accompany her while letting her into Danijel’s apartment. The stuffiness was oppressive and the room was very cold, as cold as the outside temperature of forty degrees Fahrenheit. They saw Danijel lying on the sofa as still as a stone. The space heater by the sofa was cold also. His complexion was cherry red. On the coffee table beside the space heater and directly in front of the sofa was a box of matches half open, one partially burned match lying atop.
for more Magpie Tales go here.



Blogger Teri said...

Great story. It leaves me wondering what happened to Danijel...his face was red, not white (as if dead). Was he OK. This is great fun, isn't it? Willow has some pretty good prompts for us and it is fun to see what these photos spark in everyone. Nice meeting you via your blog.

7:55 PM  
Blogger willow said...

Oh, I wasn't expecting this ending! Is he dead? Scary! And why the one lit match? Good one, Rel.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

delightful read...what a great twist...and sad...why is he red and whats with the one match? sends teh mind a wandering...

8:02 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

How interesting! When I've got a spare minute or two later, I must look into Magpie!

Great, Rel!

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I wasn't expecting that either. Do you plan a serial? Not not be a bad idea. I love this idea.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Uma Gowrishankar said...

Rel,really good but am left with this haunting feeling - a real twist that gives drama to the romance that seemed to run on a smooth turf!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Always smiling said...

Omgosh, not the ending I was expecting and were we to infer that the spent match lit the heater that then blew out and he died from the escaping gas?

4:47 AM  
Blogger rel said...

Inspector Ralbovsky made this assessment when he arrived on the scene: The young man had been dead for at least two days, committing suicide by closing all the windows and lighting the kerosene space heater causing a fatal build up of carbon monoxide gas in the room. His first clue? A cherry red complexion is a classic sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.

5:07 AM  
Blogger SUN DANCE HILL said...

Great read - wonderful imagery - and leaves me wanting more! Very compelling and thought provoking. Thanks!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Vicki Lane said...

Ah, dem old carbon monoxide blues ...

Great atmosphere!

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rel, thanks for stopping by my post today. I am a retired RN but did not know the red face implied carbon monoxide poisoning. That makes your piece even more crafty. You know your stuff.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Pat transplanted to MN said...

Unexpected! I wondered too why the cherry red face; your comment and others clarified I have learned something. went on to read your first Magpie post that I had missed; I enjoyed it as well. I'm glad to be linked

9:42 AM  
Blogger willow said...

Okay, it was poison, wasn't it?

10:07 AM  
Blogger Peter Goulding said...

Sorry, rel, but Inspector Ralbovsky is leaping to conclusions. Danijel had just spent a great time in Paris, the love of his life was coming to see him, so there was no earthly reason why he should want to commit suicide. The state pathologist actually called it death by misadventure.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

So, will there be an ending? not knowing is killing me.

12:55 PM  
Blogger JeffScape said...

There's a lot to infer here, isn't there?

1:33 PM  
Blogger The Muse said...

the lady and the tiger...ah, you leave us hanging on a cliff!

4:19 PM  
Blogger steviewren said...

Unexpected ending. I'm left wanting more.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous susan sonnen said...

This is a fantastic story, Rel! I will be perusing your blog now...

10:20 PM  
Blogger joanny said...


Great mystery story! I was expecting Sherlock Holmes on the scene or being called to the scene for the next episode --- from the above comments you really had us all fooled--- clever and mysterious, indeed good piece of writing.

Thank you for honoring my blog with your comment, kind sir,


11:48 PM  

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