Footprints in the Blood Part 3
A loud, groaning creak erupted from all around the room, making all of us jump slightly. Then, movement. Coming from the fireplace. As we all just stood there in complete awe and utter amazement, the groans and moans were slowly ascending, and we all either had to cover our ears, or cringe horribly.
When the musty, yellow dust finally lifted, we saw that the fireplace had completely disappeared!
In its place, an old, narrow, metal spiraling staircase winded up into darkness.
“This must lead up into the third floor!” Abigail exclaimed in delight. “Well done, Detective Roy!”
“And look,” Detective Roy pointed out. He stood on the last pair of red footprints near the fireplace. “If I stand exactly on these footprints right here, I can just reach the book that had caused this fireplace to transform. I just thought that in most mystery stories, there is always a library. And there is always a secret room in that library. But it is caused by the pulling of a book or the pushing of a wall, something like that. I just happened to try it out.”
“I don’t think we’re just finished,” Lauren said shakily. “There could still be someone in the house. And right up there, as well.”
We realized she was right.
There was quite a long pause. Suddenly, someone said, “I’ll go up first. Everyone may follow me.”
Cameron stepped out and proceeded to start the climb of the dark, dingy stairs.
Detective Roy was close at his heel, then me, then the girls, and Lucas last.
We all came up, and suddenly Lauren gasped.
“Mother?” her eyes were unbelievably wide.
All there was upstairs was a little lamp, and a dark figure sitting there.
The shadow shifted, and swiveled around to face us. It turned out to be a harmless, old woman. I almost burst out laughing.
“Mother? What are you doing here? I thought you were back in France!” Lauren asked again.
“Why, didn’t your husband tell you?” she replied. We officers decided to not interfere. “I thought he had told you I was coming over. Well, when I arrived, you weren’t home, and your husband had to go for work, so I was left alone yesterday.”
“B-but… wh-why are you up here?” Laruen was lost for words.
“Oh, I was in the kitchen, spreading some of my home-made strawberry jam on toast, and decided to have a good book to read as well. So I went upstairs to the library to look for a book. I pulled one out, though it was stuck, and, somehow, the fireplace disappeared and was replaced by this staircase. There were no comfy sofas to sit on, so I thought there was some up here. And, I’ve been here ever since. It’s a very good book, indeed.” The mother finished her babble breathless.
“Oh.” Lauren said. “Just one more question: why is there a red pool of crimson in my bedroom with footprints leading from it?”
“Oh, I must’ve dropped some on the way to the library through your bedroom and then carried on walking.”
There was a long pause following.
“Well, that explains everything, really,” Zoe laughed suddenly.
And we all chimed in.