Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Serial Killer at Mount Hermon--Part 3
As the nation mourns the loss of chick-lit authors Kristin Billerbeck, Meredith Efken, Camy Tang, and Sharon Hinck, the Mount Hermon conference grounds lie silent this morning. Such was not the scene yesterday morning . . .
As conferees fled for their lives, only the seventy-member writers’ conference faculty remained. Inspector Ingermanson and his trusty sidekick, Rich Bullock, prowled the grounds, questioning agents and editors. Trying to piece together the quadruple murder puzzle.
“I didn’t do it!” Chip MacGregor smacked a Band-Aid on his cheek. “I swear this is just a paper cut! Some wannabe James Frey went off when I questioned some of the details in his memoir, My Life Among Mohican Aliens and Their Floating Body Parts—and threw a few choice pages in my face.”
“I didn’t kill ’em!” Jeff Gerke gave Inspector I. a look of utter astonishment. “I’ve been too busy watching the tree limbs. I ain’t into murder, mayhem, and a fine man am I!”
“You’re nuts if you think it’s me!” Steve Laube wagged his head. “Why would I knock off my own clients? I do not have a secret life! A Strangle And Hang Man I am not!”
“Ain’t me.” Michael Snyder spread his hands. “I’m no fink. Just ask my clairvoyant dog.”
“If you believe I did this,” cried Dave Long, “you’ve got far too much faith in fiction. Just visit my discussion board! My groupies will chew you up and spit you out!”
On and on and came the denials. Inspector I. had plenty a premonition, but no one would own up to the heinous transgression.
“This is getting us nowhere!” cried the suspense authors. “Will no one untangle this web of lies?”
Dineen Miller whipped out an evidence bag. “Look what I’ve been hiding. Scrapings from underneath Sharon Hinck’s fingernails. DNA evidence will lead us to our killer!” She stalked the grounds, waving the bag over her head. “Come out now, you chick murderer, and confess—or the evidence will doom you!”
Dineen stood with her feet wide apart, a fist in the air. “This is your last chance! John Olson has invented a superfast DNA conductor/detector. We will know the results within minutes. Come out now or face the death penalty!”
A stir in the bushes.
Dineen laser-focused on the trembling branches. Slowly approached. She bent down, parted the leaves.
The ugliest woman in the world leered back. Wild red hair. Fire in her eyes. She shot to her feet and ran.
“Rich, help!” Dineen raced after the woman, took a flying leap—and tackled her by her skinny, hairy legs. Flipped her over on her back.
“No, no, no, no!” The woman bucked and screamed. “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it!”
Rich sprinted over, snapped the woman’s hands into cuffs. Lifted her to her big feet.
Dineen stared. Her mouth dropped open. “Mildred Koppelheimer! Why?”
The woman’s face crumpled. “I couldn’t help it! First I just wanted Kristin’s Prada bag. But then I couldn’t stop myself. Those chick-litters were so cute and perky!” Defiance rippled her face. She drew herself up straight, smacked away her tears. “You’ll thank me—you’ll see. The world is a better place without their first person, present tense attitude.”
Dineen and Rich led Mildred, slump-shouldered and wig askew, off to jail.
She faces arraignment tomorrow.
Since Mildred’s arrest, Inspector Ingermanson has not been seen, and is feared missing. Search teams are now scouring the Santa Cruz mountains.
Steve Laube wears an inexplicable expression of vengeance.
Dave Long has acquired a new novel titled Shaving Babbitt, by Anonymous.
Mount Hermon is already working on its brochure for the 2007 conference. Chick-lit authors can attend free.