The folks over at Craig Crawford’s normally sane Trailmix really needed a break from all the election aftermath “Sturm und Drang” so they had some “add a line” fun to a mystery story. This is the first chapter.
It is 11 degrees out with snow on the ground. Jake, the cat is standing on the top step of the back porch looking back at me flipping his tail saying “this is bullshit, fix this now”. As usual it is all my fault.
if you don’t include the body at the bottom of the stairs staining the white snow bright red.
Katherine Graham Cracker
It was a nice looking body too, except for being dead, nice clothes for the beach not this weather.
Apparently, bare back and face down in the snow, he or she had fallen, nay tripped, over the garden gnome on the way to the only shelter visible during last night’s blizzard.
The potting shed door was open, beckoning survival or at least pot. Unfortunately, the now gnome slain and dome crushed would not be comforted by either possibility leaving the viewer with one question. Was the gnome placed capriciously, maliciously or suspiciously?
But what the hell am I thinking? I put the damn gnome there years ago when I thought garden gnomes were cool because I liked how it looked there. And no one was seeking shelter in the potting shed from any snow storm when I put it there five, or was it six summers ago? And why do there appear to be two sets of footprints between the body and the rear gate that someone left open? I ain’t a detective, but no way the small bare feet of that body made what looks to me to be two sets of tracks made by large boots?
But what really caught my eye was the scarlet and black opera cape snagged and left hanging on the gate. It was definitely not mine–I hadn’t been to the opera in weeks.
So I take out my pipe and put on Madame Butterfly on my old victrola – I needed time to contemplate what these signs meant. As the smoke started curling around my head I had an epiphany.
My reasoning began with the premise that I had not delivered the body or I would have known about it before Jake did. At the very least, I would have written myself a note. Next, I ruled Jake out because he is too small to lug a human out of the house and down those steps. He also never wears boots, although he does have white stockings. However, he would probably not be able to carry the body around from the front of the house and through the back gate either.
Stumped, I phoned my friend Solar Homes, a famous detective of Bakoda Yards. He said to meet him at Nino’s on the Lincoln Highway for a Bud brainwash and sardine pizza. Fish is brain food, he says.
Ima tired and cold, just finished painting a room….so now that i’m finished i’m resting on my sofa….when all of a sudden i get a call from Minnesota….its Xr wanting some Ninos and some buds…..we can do that….but please no sardines in my pizza.
He tells me about Jack’s dilemma…and wants to know if i can help with this riddle……What a mistake i started reading all of this from the middle…..so i think that i have…we all have to start from the beginning………I think that jack is wrong when he thinks that the cat tells him its all bullshit and to fix it now…….with all of the hints…..that are all over the fence and the snow….we better take another look to see if mrs Jack is involved in this riddle….she just got back from one of her trips and brought back……………..
I check out Mrs Jack, she has an iron clad alibi, She was out of town sitting on a warm beach, But she did bring Jack a bottle of cheap scotch, which he gave to me as he doesn’t drink. Lucky me.
As Jake the cat walked around the corpse, sniffing and eyeing me with suspicion, I grabbed the scotch and a red solo cup poured three finger in it and took a long drink. It was 7 in the morning but I needed that burn. It was going to be a long day for I knew the wearer of the boots and the owner of the cape and the police weren’t going to buy my story. For like Jake they are going to believe that I’m the one that put the body where he likes to take his morning dump
Poor Craig is going to drop in and wonder what in the world has high “jacked” his website. Does anyone know if either he or David have an opera cape? Mask? Get Away Gondola?
our story continues…
So as I pondered my fate, realizing that I was likely to be the prime suspect when the police became involved and wondering how in world I could convince them that I knew nothing about the body in the snow in my back yard I poured three fingers more scotch and sipped as I watched Homes closely examining the body. He stood bolt upright and exclaimed, “Aha!”
He seemed frozen, about to sneeze. Or, perhaps the smell had gotten to him.
Now, I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I’m prejudiced against our Extinct American neighbors – some of my best friends have gone over to it – but after a several days dead folks, like house guests, begin to stink. I mean, even Mark Twain said so, and he’s dead. With this thought, it occurred to me that if Miss Wrong insists on occupying Jake’s defecatorium until morning, maybe I should phone my old pal Tony, who cleans up for a living. Homes appeared to agree for he again exclaimed, “Aha!” and pulled out a hankie.
To Be Continued at some later date when a dose of silliness is required.