Dr. Orchid sat still and breathed, cards in hand. Ordinarily, an accusation of assault would send bristles erupting dangerously, but this particular game required careful self-censorship. One slender finger slid a card across the table to the accusing party. Rope.

“Ooh, I knew I got another one!” crowed Mrs Peacock, checking her newly acquired card. She ticked a box on her notes with a tut of “don’t you go looking, now,” to Colonel Mustard beside her.

Mustard harrumphed behind his disgusting moustache. A man of few words, Orchid knew. Bluff or true?

“Your turn!” said Peacock. Her chirping grated. If not for Game Night Treaty, Orchid would have done away with her months before. The meeting style was new, brought in by The Group’s line manager after hearing that bonding over games helped cement ‘families’. As if.

The only reason they’d not yet killed each other was that the weapons on the board were fake, and all others were supposedly left at the door.

Orchid rolled the dice. Ten. They moved the bright pink piece eight spaces to the central staircase. The others gasped. It was only round four.

“The unintended victim… was terminated using the dagger, in the conservatory, by Miss Scarlet.” Orchid’s voice was deliberately soft and smooth. Miss Scarlet narrowed his eyes at Orchid, but said nothing as the envelope was opened.

“Oh dear, it appears I was wrong.”

“Ha! You’re out!” sang Peacock.

“Makes sense,” commented Scarlet. “I never use such plain daggers.”

Mustard harrumphed.

Mr. Green, their newest player, simply grinned and gave a “bad luck.”

Orchid nodded in response then sat back, folding their arms. The game continued. Orchid watched, checking off their own internal list of tells and tactics against the players.

Another round passed. Satisfied with tonight’s deductions, Orchid rose from the table.

“More tea, anyone?”

Heads shook all around. “I’ll take a black coffee, if you’re up for it,” said Green. He was the latest to lose his guess. Someone would win in the next round, for sure.

“Coffee. Okay.”

Orchid stepped away, careful to keep one eye towards the other players at all times. The boiler steamed and they prepared two cups, sneering at the plastic spoons.

Green came up to take his coffee. “So, you a girl or a guy?” He laughed as Orchid bared white teeth at him. “Aw, no offence meant! It’s all I have left to figure out, you know.”

Deliberately, Green turned his back and returned to his seat. Message delivered. He raised the coffee cup in thanks, and suddenly Orchid’s fingers were burning. The plastic cup had crumpled, spilling coffee. No matter. Green could wait. Shaking off the droplets, Orchid made another. Drank slowly.

Scarlet won the game. “Poison, in the billiard room, by Dr. Orchid!”

“Hang on.” Mrs Peacock snatched the cards from Scarlet. “There’s no poison in Clue! What’s this card?” She checked her notes. Frowned.

Orchid allowed a slight smile. There was now.

Old Board Game by
Header image: Sunday Afternoon Cluedo by antony_mayfield at Flickr

Would you like to play along, dear readers? If so… answers in the comments, please.

Q1: Who died?

Q2: How?

Q3: Why?

This story originally appeared on Reddit: Writing Prompts in response to Theme Thursday: Whodunit . Thanks to the WP community for voting it in to First Place that week!

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