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Drabble Thread: Jan. 5 (Knives Out)


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Some random little ideas I've had since seeing "Knives Out." 

Lots of spoilers. 


Marta was so nervous she was practically buzzing and when she saw Detective Blanc make a beeline for the door leading to the back patio, she was equal parts curious and terrified. What if he’d found something incriminating? How could she ever explain herself? Although she was dizzy with anxiety, Marta stepped out onto the veranda, wrapping her arms around herself.

Blanc had his back turned to the house, his back unusually rigid and still.


He held up a hand, index finger raised, silently asking her to wait a moment. She thought he might be on the phone, but that wasn’t it. Once she was able to see his face, she found the Detective with his eyes closed taking slow, measured breaths through his mouth making little puffs in the cold air. He had a handkerchief clenched in his right hand about chest high—as though he couldn’t decide whether to put it back in his pocket or not. Marta couldn’t imagine something upsetting him to the point of tears, but even with his eyes closed, she could make out a bit of dampness clinging to the lashes.

“Detective, what’s wrong?” she asked quietly, laying a hand on his arm.

“Mart—ahh huhh huhAHHTCHHoo! huhAHHTSCHHooo!”

“Bless you!”

“Forgive me I—” he was cut off by another shuddering gasp before snapping forward into the waiting handkerchief a third and forth time. uhh Hahh AHHKTCHHoo! AHHTSCHHooo! He sniffled and reached under his glasses to wipe the tears from his eyes. She didn’t have to be a nurse to see he was having an allergic reaction.

“Come on, sit down,” she said, tugging him towards the low garden wall. If her medical kit wasn’t in evidence she’d have gone to grab her stethoscope, but settled for reaching over and loosening Blanc’s tie and unbuttoning the first two buttons of his shirt. “Any wheezing? Tightness in your chest?” she asked, turning his wrist over in her hand and quickly checking his pulse. He chuckled that warm, low laugh that (despite everything) made her feel safe.

“I’m fide, dear girl,” he said, consonants muted with congestion. “A bit embarrassed you’ve seen me in such a state, but otherwise unharmed.”

“I’m a nurse, remember? I’ve seen much, much worse.”

“I suppose that’s true. Excuse me.” He turned away from her and blew his nose. His breath hitched sharply but he narrowly avoided sneezing again, only turning back once he was certain the sensation had passed.

“Do you know what triggered it?” Marta asked.

“Linda’s perfume. I must have cleared my throat or sniffed or done something yesterday while in close proximity to her.”

“She doesn’t miss anyone’s weakness,” Marta said.

“Indeed she does not, Watson. She practically bathed in it this morning. Barely made it outside before that sneezin’ hit me. Clever and ruthless.”

“Sounds like Linda.”




The atmosphere in the house was oppressive—like a keg of dynamite waiting for a match. When Ransom came bursting through the doors Marta was pretty sure the match had finally arrived. The family members were shouting at each other while she, Detective Blanc, and the officers hung in the doorway observing. It was all blurring into white noise for Marta until something sudden and unexpected cut through: a sneeze.


It was Ransom and a stream of profanity followed. Marta had never heard such vitriol directed at lilies (which were all over the house since the wake). He sneezed again, harshly and openly probably just to further annoy his family.


“Maybe it’s a good thing you skipped the funeral after all, you ungrateful little—” Marta stepped in before Walt had a chance to finish.

“Ransom, you should get some fresh air,” she said.

She followed him outside and closed the door behind them.

“I’m fine,” he said.

“I know. I just figured you could use a break from them and they—”

“Could use a break from me?” he finished for her. Marta tugged at the edge of her sweater and took a couple steps backwards. “You’re a good person, Marta,” he said. “I see why Grandad liked you.”

“I should get back inside,” she said.

Edited by matilda3948
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On 12/30/2019 at 3:58 PM, Loverofreading said:


Thank you!! :hug: 

Here are a couple more



Of course, Blanc didn’t hesitate when she’d asked for his help figuring out life post-inheritance. The Detective ran background searches on every new person Marta needed to work with (from financial advisors, to house painters) as well as supervising new security measures for the house. So it was common for him to drop by the house with little warning, just to pop in for a chat or to check on how Marta was doing. Today when he pulled up to the house, there were several moving vans out front and the front doors were wide open. Blanc bounced up the stairs and almost immediately found himself face-to-face with Marta’s mother.

“Thank goodness it’s you,” she said. “You try and talk some sense into her,” she added, poking Benoit in the chest with a bony finger.

“What exactly am I supposed to—”

“Go and see her yourself,” she said, shoeing him towards the patio. “She doesn’t listen to me.”

Having, apparently, been dismissed to deal with some unforeseen problem, Blanc made his way towards the back of the house as movers continued to bring boxes and a few random pieces of furniture out to the trucks. He sauntered around to the side porch (Marta’s favorite spot) and found her seated at the table where she’d shared so many conversations with Harlan.

“You havin’ a yard sale?” he asked by way of greeting.

“Benoit! I didn’t know you were coming out today,” Marta said, getting up to give him a hug before they sat down across from each other.

“I think it’s a good thing I did. Your momma seems fit to be tied.” He eyed the box of tissues on the table as well as the pile of used ones next to it. “You two have it out over something?” he asked, assuming she’d been crying.

“She wants me to—” Marta stopped abruptly and snatched a tissue. ehhKtschhew!

“God bless you,” Blanc said.

“Thank you.” She scrunched up her nose and added the tissue to pile of used ones. “I had the Thrombeys send a list of things they wanted from the house to my lawyer—he’s been wonderful, by the way.”

“He better be. We’ve been friends since damn near the start of time,” he said.

heh ehh ehhptkshhew!

“God bless you, Marta.”

“Thanks. Anyway, nothing that violates Harlan’s intentions of course, but childhood items, keepsakes, that sort of thing. The lawyer let them know we’d have those things boxed and sent to them.”

“That’s very kind of you,” Benoit said. How the young woman managed to show that horrible family anything other than outright spite was beyond him. He frowned as he watched her try and fight off another sneeze. Marta fanned a hand in front of her face as her eyes drew shut, her head tilted back towards the sun.

Ehh heh hehIHHktschhew!

“God bless you. You comin’ down with something?” He stood up and brushed the hair out of her eyes before placing the back of his hand against Marta’s forehead. No fever, but she was flushed and her nose was pink around the edges.  Marta shook her head no but had to duck out from under his hand to catch another itchy sneeze.


“Sorry,” she sighed. “I’m allergic to dust.”

“Ah. Let me venture a guess? You’re insisting on cleaning this enormous house yourself and—”


“God bless. And your dear, sweet mother wants to hire a cleaning service instead.”

“Close. She wants to clean it herself while I sit outside. Outsourcing domestic work isn’t exactly in our comfort zone.” Benoit hummed in understanding.  Marta rolled her eyes and made a grab for the tissues again. As the movers packed a room, she came behind and attempted to clean. She’d only made it to the second bedroom when the dust overpowered her and she’d had to seek refuge outside.

ehhktshhew! ktschheew!

“Oh, my dear girl, God bless you.” Blanc pulled his cell phone out of his jacket pocket. “It sounds like my next project is to locate a reputable cleaning service and evaluate their staff.”

“But mama—”

“You leave her to me,” he said. “I’m sure I can get her to come around.”



If it had been anyone else testifying (possibly including himself) Blanc would have stayed home and in bed where he belonged. Sadly, it was Marta’s day giving testimony to the grand jury and he simply couldn’t send her into the courtroom with only her sister to provide support—although the youngest Cabrera could certainly handle herself. So, despite being stuffed to his eyes with one of the worst colds he could remember having, Blanc swallowed a few Dayquil, doubled up on handkerchiefs, and made his way to the courthouse.

He shivered and drew his coat tighter around himself as he waited for her car outside the courthouse. The Thrombeys shot daggers at him as they filed in for the day, but he kept his face neutral. A cab pulled up and Marta got out of the back. It would be tough to say which of them was paler in that moment. He smiled and put a hand on the small of her back, guiding her up the courthouse steps and into the warm hallway.

“Good morning, Marta,” he said. She frowned at the sound of his voice—deep and nasal. Marta knew he hadn’t been feeling well the last couple of days, but the man looked truly done in this morning.

“Aw, that cold finally hit you?” she asked.

“It seems it did finally get the upper hand,” he said.

“Alice too. I made her stay home today,” she said.

Ah, so that explained her sister’s absence. Benoit attempted to inquire after her own physical and mental wellbeing, but had to settle for a stuttering “beg your pardon” as he swiftly got a handkerchief and turned away from her.

huh uhh Ahh…ahhNGMFshh! HahGNMFSHHoo!

“Bless you! You should be in bed,” she said. He shook his head and gave his nose a quick blow.

“I’ll be fide and there’s no way I’d leave you to face today alone.”

Marta smiled and gestured towards a bench where they could sit until she was called. Benoit was, frankly, glad to be off his feet for a few minutes. Now that they were seated closer to each other, Marta could see that he was probably feeling quite ill. His eyes were glassy and had deep bags under them, his nose irritated and red around the nostrils, and his usually sharp posture was slumped from fatigue. If Blanc had been slightly under the weather the last few days, he was well and truly ill this morning.

“Thank you for being here to support me,” she said.

“Nowhere else I’d be,” he said with a tired version of his usual smile.

Both their eyes snapped to the courtroom doors, but it was just someone stepping out. Marta pressed her lips in a thin line, feet bouncing with nervous energy. Benoit placed a hand between her shoulder blades.

“Deep breaths. I’ll be sitting right there the whole time. Just answer the questions and keep your eyes on me—I’ll be theehh HuhhGNMFSHHoo! AhhNGZSHHoo! Forgive me. As I was saying, I’ll be the one sneezing the whole time.”

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Keeping a close eye on this thread! I just saw the movie again and it was still amazing. I love how good CEvans looks in those sweaters 

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