- 'Horror at Film Studio'by E. Denison
This work has reached the exceptional level
Even in death, things aren't always what they seem.
'Horror at Film Studio' by E. Denison
3 Words In A Poem writing prompt entry

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of violence.
Is what most headlines read,
And in her Auckland hometown:

Found along the "Nile Setting"
(A man-made river on Lot 3)
Was the body of a woman,
Where an actress used to be.

She was dressed as Cleopatra,
Her kalasiri gold and white,
With a noted sanguine neckline,
From an apparent cobra bite.

The scene was cinematic,
But not beyond critique,
As the animal in question,
Left the studio last week.

So her neck was re-inspected,
And presented two red bands,
Which appeared to have been painted
By the starlet's own two hands.

For each palm was red and blushing,
But no mineral was seen.
The rouge flushing was internal;
The starlet's hands were clean.

Stranger still the observation
That no matter where you went,
Beyond the molded water,
Was a distinctly garlic scent.

And finally, the scenery,
Which was faulted at its core.
A death in Alexandria
Does not match the Nile's shore.

But as expense would have it,
To save on budget and the crew,
"Alexandria: the setting,"
Was installed within Lot 2.

So out of leads at one scene,
And desperate to find more,
A group was sent in earnest,
To the studio next door.

And within this makeshift city,
Props stacked far as one could see,
A faint cry for help was lifted,
From a dying Antony.

It was Colin King in costume,
Cleopatra's leading man,
Lying prone upon his stomach,
Without the strength, himself, to stand.

But as soon as he was aided,
Each was shaken to their core,
To discover he had stabbed himself,
Like Antony before.

But King was quick to comment,
For he had little time to spare,
"Did they see a sword to fall on?
Or just that bottle laying there?"

In the path where King was lying,
Shards of bottle glistened clear,
With several sharpened edges,
to make stab-like wounds appear.

When the shards were brought together
They presented quite the key
In a label with the spelling:

King reported he had fallen,
After he and Vera drank,
All the bottles of prop liquor
And this "prop poison" - as a prank.

Too late it was discovered
This was a poison not a Port.
And though she ran to get a drink.
The starlet's life had been cut short.

Writing Prompt
Write a poem of any type. These three words must be included in the poem: animal - horror - short


Author Notes
This work explores a small mystery centered around equivocal deaths. These are deaths that can appear to be due to several different factors until more information is uncovered. Several hints of exposure to arsenic are present throughout the work, and the setting on a film studio with the theme of the Cleopatra/Anthony Storyline seeks to "breathe" a little history and glamour into the work, while providing the possibility of an entertaining (depending on your preferences) framework to a poem requiring the three words of this contest. I admire Dark academia themes in storytelling; I know it is not everyone's cup of tea, but if it is yours, I hope you enjoy this work.

Image credit: nik gaffney (Creative Commons/Flickr):


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