Prompt: I shot my butler.

“I shot my butler,”  Mrs.  Smythe-Wilcox sat on the edge of her seat.  Her back was rigid and her ankles crossed.  Her gloved hands rested on her lap. “But I didn’t expect him to get hurt.”

“Uh-huh,” I answered skeptically, and leaned forward in my seat. “I find that very hard to believe, Mrs. Smythe-Wilcox. Guns aren’t known for being gentle.”

She merely raised a delicate eyebrow.

I took a deep breath, and flipped through my notebook. “If I’m not mistaken, the two of you were having an affair?”

“She turned her face away from me. Her snow white hair was tied in a neat bun at the base of her neck. “I’m embarrassed to admit that I did take an interest in the man, and we did have. . .relations.  But, ultimately he did not return my affections.”

“So you shot him?” I pressed, jotting down notes.

“Not for something as petty as that.” She sniffed. “I merely took a deduction from his salary.”

“And how did that work out for you?”

“The silver started to go missing.” Her voice was sharp, but I noticed her shift slightly in her seat.

“So you shot him?” I repeated.

“No.”

“How did you know it was the butler who was stealing?”

“It had to be him.” She stated matter-of-factly.

I waited for her to continue, but she remained silent.  I sighed, “And then what happened?”

“I decided to take matters into my own hands and investigate his room.”

“And what did you find?”

When no reply was made, I glanced up from my scribbles. Her lips were pursed in a thin line as her gaze pierced my own.

“Mrs. Smythe-Wilcox, please answer the question.” I rubbed my temples.

She mumbled something unintelligible.

“Please speak up.”

“I found the revolver he kept to fend off intruders.” She answered reluctantly. “I thought I remembered him saying it never worked probably, though.”

“So you shot him.” I repeated. “You must have been pretty angry he’d steal your silver. Especially after he stole your heart.”

“I only wanted to scare him enough that he’d stop stealing. I didn’t think he’d be hurt.” She stressed. The sense urgency in her voice paired strangely with her calm demeanor.

“And why was that?” I asked, hoping this time she’d provide an answer.

“Well, he told me he’d been shooting blanks for years!”

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