Nancy Liu: Mystery of the Dead Bride

January 1, 2011
To Nancy, every day started with a bright, sunny morning in San Francisco, giving her a glorious reason to be awake. The sun's pearly, blue-purple hue gave the sky a serene atmosphere so that one would instantly forget all their troubles just gazing at the spectacular scene. In addition, the warm, fluffy smell of pineapple bun baking in the ovens at 9 a.m. just made one's mouth water with delight. Sometimes, Nancy would even splurge for a slice of strawberry cheesecake. Decorated with exquisite icing and a colorful array of red and white, it was a breakfast to be enjoyed for ages. Yet how could one forget his/her complications when he/she were headed for another repetitive wedding, thought Nancy Liu on her journey to Hollywood. It was her father's sixth wedding, and this time, he was marrying Vietnamese fashion designer Crystal Song, who was renowned for her fabulous wedding outfits. Crystal Song always strutted out in public like a peacock, proud and arrogant of her status. She relished in tossing her lush, loose chestnut hair nonchalantly in the air, smiling her dazzling smile in between. Crystal was 5'4'', and never was absent from a single public event. She had insisted on designing Nancy's clothes, but Nancy preferred to wear a swallow-blue, strapless gown matched with a black belt and sleek Prada high heels. Compared with Crystal, Nancy thought of herself as hideous. She was nineteen years old, a wallflower that had sleek black hair and large innocent eyes that peered up with purity. Her nose, however, was a disaster, since it was too short and totally disfigured her face's outlook. Nancy was most proud of her lips, her lush, red lips that were small but not too small. Whenever she went out, she always dabbed a bit of Vera Wang perfume on her figure, just to make herself even more luring. Indeed, Nancy could not understand what her father saw in Crystal... honestly, her seemingly nice character was a witch waiting to unleash her real outlook...
When Nancy arrived, everyone was already seated, jubilantly awaiting the bride's grand entrance. At that moment, Nancy shivered chillingly, feeling as though something was amiss: the red and gold Chinese characters of Prosperity, the overwhelming smells of Sam Woo char siu and egg rolls, and blinding Kuas (Chinese dresses)? Apparently, she must be the abnormal, paranoid girl at that time! Just then, the traditional wedding march sounded, and as everyone turned their eager eyes on Crystal, Nancy forced herself as well. Crystal strode in dazzling in her silky, 10 feet long Vera Wang wedding gown, eyes aglow with blue eyeshadow but shimmering with multiple teardrops, lips heavily made with lipstick,and hands firmly grasping the roses that none could match her pure beauty. Perhaps, Nancy thought grudgingly as she sneakily sipped her warm cup of boba milk, Crystal might be her destined mother towards feminine maturity. Suddenly, Crystal's face and limbs began turning a nauseous yellow like butternut squash, so that in two minutes, she was violently swaying back and forth, eyes glassy and mouth madly foaming. With horror, Nancy realized that these were no ordinary symptoms and hurriedly dialed 911...
"Is my future stepmother doing fine? What happened to her?" Nancy urgently questioned the doctor, but he coldly ignored her, instead slowly removing his stethoscope and gently placing it on the counter.
"Well, your hopes are definitely dashed this time, because your future mother has died of an extreme chemical poisoning mixed with an undecipherable form of dog disease. We have tried our best, but there is nothing we can do. I am sorry," the doctor solemnly replied and with that, he exited the room. The next minute, Nancy and her dad were sobbing heavily in each other's arms as they grievously gazed upon what could have been a new member to their tiny family...
"I do not get it. How could Crystal have been infected with this disease? She never had any medical issues, and this morning, she was completely fine!" Nancy's dad wondered aloud.

"Do not worry, Dad. I will get to the bottom of this mystery so quick that in one day, I can tell you who is the filthy killer!" Nancy replied resolutely.

The next day, using her Confucian detective skills, Nancy's mind received word from her trusty guidance, Mushu, that she should start at the wedding room. Before Crystal entered the church that morning, she was in there, preparing her Qi Pao with her best friend and Nancy's dad's long-time employee, Ms. Cho. When Nancy arrived, she fixedly scrutinized the area and immediately spotted a yellowish-stained glove crudely shoved into the table's corner. The liquid matched Crystal's toxic breath that day, smelling like rotten pineapple mixed with dog poop, but Nancy would have to make sure. Next, she found a hurriedly scribbled note in Chinese saying, "My dear god, Heng Lee. Once I put glymocerin into Crystal's milk tea, Crystal will be a dead corpse down the aisle!" Finally, Nancy uncovered one more item: an ordinary, scientific flask containing a drop of the yellow liquid with "Cherry Cho" inscirbed on the surface!
"Dad. where is Ms. Cho? I need to talk to her now!" Nancy demanded passionately.
" Well, she is taking care of the decorations in the basement, but do not dawdle. I want to take both of you out to P.F. Chang's tonight!" Nancy's dad answered.

With the reply, Nancy strode quickly to her destination. When she entered, she went straight to business and roughly approached the murderer.

Ms. Cho at the moment appeared as cool as a cucumber, dabbing on Lubriderm green tea lotion on her arms. She smelled like pineapple cake, with black eyes and short cropped brown hair that went down to her neck. Her complexion was freckly and so nice that when one gazed eyes on her, they would never think of her as a criminal.
"Ms. Cho, you are the culprit to Crystal's murder! How could you do something so wicked to your best friend? She deserves a happy start to her life but instead you put glymocerin into her drink, cause her to faint, and then unleash an instant, painful death to her soul! As I have investigated, the symptoms point to tryasdate, a breakout that involves "madness" and horrid color change. When a certain food or drink is first mixed with a mixture of vinegar, alcohol, and grape wine, set dry for five hours, and then reheated and mixed with glymocerin, it ignites the symptoms that we saw with Crystal that day! Why would you do this?" Nancy asked, disturbed.
"Yes, I am guilty of this crime, but I am proud to have done it, because all these years, I should have been the one that got the ring and worn that exquisite dress down the aisle with joy lit like a candle all over my face! I desired your father desperately, and what does he do? He flings me away and instead gazes upon some other woman that would never match his style! With this last death, I can avenge my victory! Come here!" and with that, Ms. Cho forcefully dragged Nancy across the tile to another cellar. When she pried open the door, Nancy gazed with horror upon all the other brides that were once gleefully betrothed to her father.
"Since I cannot let my secret out, you will be one of them as well!" and with that Ms. Cho rudely shoved Nancy inside, locking the wooden door tightly. For myriad times, Nancy banged desperately, trying to break free. In the end, she heaved up a bride and strongly broke that crude barrier. Surprisingly, Ms. Cho had overlooked the fact that there was connection outside, so Nancy quickly notified the police. In three minutes, they had arrived and together rushed to Ms. Cho's rooms, where Ms. Cho was coaxing Nancy's dad to quickly marry her and move to New York.
"Ms. Cho! You are now strictly under arrest for murder and poisoning! Put your hands up instantly!" Grumbling, Ms. Cho surrendered while Nancy grinned triumphantly.
"Nancy, what has occurred? What crime is Ms. Cho arrested for?" Nancy's dad stuttered.
"Come, Dad. Tonight, while we enjoy our orange chicken, our shrimp dumplings, and converse over going to Yale or Harvard University, I have a bloody tale to retell..." and with that, arms around her shoulder, Nancy and her dad headed for an Asian dinner.

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