Mystery and Crime Fiction posted July 8, 2020

Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted
a rose story

Denise and Mousie

by Iza Deleanu

She was looking in all directions, frighten and confused. The masks could hide so much. Denise comes back to search for her diamond ring, her royal sign. She had it on her finger before the dance, but then it just disappeared. That item is going to be her pass back to the palace and will keep humanity safe. Who took it, and why? Who else knew about it?

Denise took a deep breath and looked around: they all seem so happy and worry-free. They didn't know that death was waiting at the door. The only difference between life and death was that damn ring. Her mom told her not to wear it in public, but how else could she come to that Ball? The ring provided the necessary disguise to get into the room.

Obviously, somebody else knew about it. Could've been that charming masked figure that danced with her a few minutes ago? But how did he manage to take it out of her finger unnoticed? Now she is stuck here and close to death. At midnight, the veil will fall, and everybody will disappear without a trace.
She needed an ally and fast.

-Hey, Denise, I will help you!

Denise turned towards the voice, but nobody was there.

- Look down Denise and don't scream, OK?

She looked down, in front of her feet was a small funny mouse dressed as a musketeer; it even wore a mask. Despite her dire situation, Denise found Mousie amusing.

- OK, Mousie, I hope you don't mind calling you that.

- No, I don't! I like it.

- How are you going to help me? Do you know where it is?

- I might; it was that Lady with the pink dress and the pink feather mask, I think she has it. Come this way, I saw her running down that corridor.

- No offense, Mousie, but you are dressed exactly like the person you described.

- Oops, you are right, and I even walk on two legs, right?

- Yes. I am glad that you see my point. And why will you help me? What's in for you?

- Once, I was in your shoes, plus I don't want once the midnight comes to disappear or worst to die. I am still young, you know, and I have not met my Princess yet.

- Mousie, I am in trouble right now, because of that damn Prince. He supposed to be at this boring Ball, but he never showed up!

- What a jerk. If he only knew, what beauty is behind this mask?

- Yours or mine?

- Both!

- So let's recap: pink women, feathers, mask, diamond ring, scary corridor.

- Yup, that is right. Let's go this way. Oh, I forgot to tell you she was wearing a red rose, too.

Mousie and Denise started to walk towards the dark corridor. They both wanted the same thing: freedom and to stay alieve
. So why not join forces? Denise thought no matter how unusual this was, she needed an ally, and Mousie seemed to be a gift from heaven.
Suddenly, they started to smell roses. Denise whispered.

- Mousie, do you think the Pink Lady is close?

- Yup, I can't forget this perfume, man, smells like trouble one-on-one! And I think I have smelled this before... in the dungeon of your castle.

- Yeah, you are right. I think I smelled this before too: the smell of death and rebellion.

- OK, forget about it, and let's focus. We don't have too much time left. Soon will be midnight and the end of this world. I think the smell comes from that chamber, oops I meant room.

- Yup, you are right, Mousie. Let's try to approach this in silence. I want to know who is hiding behind that rose.

Mousie and Denise approached the darkroom with caution. To their surprise, they found the pink disguise on the floor abandoned as a broken skin. The rose was missing.

- Mousie, I think we need to follow the rose.

- OK, let's go. I still smelled it in front of us.

After walking for what seemed like an eternity, they saw the rose glowing and floating in the darkness.

Mousie took out his sword and screamed. "Stop right there, you filthy thief!"

Denise ran towards the rose and tried to catch it, but it burned her fingers.

- Mousie, I can't touch it, it's too hot! I think the situation is more complicated than we can handle. Hey, Lady, give me back my ring!

- The rose poses for a second and said: "Finders keepers!"

- No, you didn't find it, you stole it!

- Potato, tomato! I like sparkly things, so I took it!

- What the heck, are you a cat? My cat likes shiny things.

- Sometimes I am, sometimes I am not!

- Mousie, do something, I am tired of this charade, and we are running out of time!

- I smell a rat!

- What?

- Yeah, Denise, I smell a freaking rat under that deadly rose perfume. And I know exactly who it is! Geronimo, have you drunk again? And how the heck did you manage to pass for a lady?

- Mousie, you must admit it was fun to chase me, and that gives me an aura of mystery, even for a short time. You forgot that I am a master of disguise?

- OK, never mind, where is the ring? Give it back; we have only five minutes left until midnight.

- Mousie, if you catch me, the ring it's yours.

Denise, tired of this game, stepped on the rat's tail and lifting him up in the air said:

- Give me the ring, or I kill your right here, and I don't care if I disappear without a trace.

- Mousie, help me!

- Sorry, Geronimo, she means business. The faith of the entire human race depends on that sparkly that you stole, you sorry bastard!.

- OK, fine, but I don't have it! It's in the pink disguise in the darkroom.

- Mousie?

- No, worries, Denise, I will be back in a jiffy with your sparkly.

Mousie ran like crazy and finally got to the pink costume. He saw behind the mask the sparkling ring. He took it and put it in his pocket and ran as fast as he could back to Denise. Running out of breath, he gave her back the ring.
Denise took the ring and slowly murmured:

- Ring, ring shine your bling, shower us with your protective light. Come upon Earth and safe us from the darkness and grant me safe passage back to my kingdom. Mousie, thank you for your help, and you, Geronimo, please stay away from me.

Mousie fell under a spell and floated up in the air. Suddenly, the masque fell, revealing a beautiful Prince.

Denise approached him, amazed.

- Mousie, are you Louie, my date?

- Yes, my Love. Sorry I drunk the wrong wine, and I was transformed into a mouse, but your ring broke the spell.

Geronimo whispered: "all is good when it ends well. Thanks to my theft, they finally met. Hurray, for the Ball and the masquerade that I pull out.

Masquerade Ball Mystery contest entry
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Raoul D'Harmental at

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