This was too exciting a temptation to resist. Pine had his back to the table. Harry slipped his hand in his pocket, retrieving a small vial.
He kept it in his hand, threw a rapid, furtive look around him to confirm no one was watching him, and dropped the liquid in Pine’s champagne.
The drink fizzed a little and Harry walked nonchalantly away from the small table, mingling among the other guests of the party.
He straightened his crisp white shirt and slipped his hands back in his pockets, leaning against the wall, his head angled slightly upwards.
This always gave him a boyish and dreamy look, complete with his crystal blue eyes and light blond hair.
He watched Pine from his position, already drunk, reaching for his glass to drink again.
The boisterous man’s movements were uncoordinated and sluggish, and to Harry’s dismay, he knocked his champagne flute to the floor, shattering it,
the contents seeping through the expensive carpet.
Never mind, thought Harry. He could always try something else. He walked around the room, grabbed a champagne flute in passing and observed Pine, noting his every movement.
He saw the man hardly moved from his present position, kept in place by laziness and his company of three young and pretty women.
Above him was the heavy electric chandelier, the centre precisely above his chest.
Harry climbed up the small staircase to the small balcony on the side of the room, running around the entire room, like in the theater, and saw the crowd from above.
He produced a small knife from his pocket, and nicked his finger. He hissed through his teeth and sucked on his finger. The pain receded slightly and Harry carried on.
Once again, he checked behind him and began cutting the thick wire holding the chandelier up. He heard heavy footsteps coming up the stairs and quickly hid the knife behind his back.
He hurriedly slipped it between his skin and trousers, fumbling with it, trying to push it out of sight so it would not produce an odd bulge.
He felt a strange sensation in his lower back, but it soon passed and he faced the approaching person. It was only an elderly bearded man, who had come up for a break from the party.
Enraged and defeated once more, Harry climbed back down the stairs.
He paced around the room, desperately thinking, ignoring the other guests. Wait. He had another idea. Harry straightened himself, grabbed another glass of champagne and walked to Pine.
“Ah Pine, how good it is to see you here!” Harry exclaimed, clapping Pine on the back.
“Yesh, yesh, ‘Enry it is? Or was it Arthur? Or maybe...” Pine said in a slur.
“Dear, dear, Pine,” Harry cut him off. “Why don’t we straighten you out a little, eh? See here, your tie’s all crooked; let me fix it for you.” Harry said.
“No, no, s’ fine. I’m not as think as you drunk I am.” Pine chuckled, but all the same let Harry tighten his tie.
Harry’s stable fingers fiddled with the knot, tightened it and secured it around the curtain tie back on the wall.
He did all of this with utmost dexterity and discretion and when he saluted Pine goodbye, the man noticed nothing, and waved him away happily.
Harry walked back all the way home, breathing the fresh air of the night. There was no way Pine was going to live through this one.
The drunken man would slip, fall, and be caught by his own tie, choke and at last, die.
“Hoppins, cause of death?”
“Well... you see, sir, there seems to be two.”
“Yes, sir, there was traces of poison found in the victim’s stomach, right index finger and in a little vial in his pocket.”
“Well, Hoppins, a suicide by poison then?”
“Well, sir, no. The man apparently bled to death as well.”
“Yes. But it seems he was stabbed well before he bled out.”
“What do you mean, Hoppins?”
“It is a particular case, but I believe that he was stabbed, but his attire was too tight to permit blood loss, coupled with the fact that the blade was still in his flesh for a while.”
“Curious. Any suspects? Possible motives?”
“Well... no. We think it was an accident, and that in fact, this Harold Hyers was trying to kill someone else it seems.
There was an accident last night, over at Mr Pine’s, where he was hosting a party.
It seems his tie got caught in the curtain tie back and he nearly choked to death, if it hadn’t been for bystanders. He’s alright now though.”
“Right, Hoppins, let’s wrap this up. And write me the report on this mediocre murderer, would you?”