Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Serial Killer at Mount Hermon--Part 2
Dear BGs, I continue the sad and horrific report from Mount Hermon. The day has not gone well.
This morning—a fourth body. Sharon Hinck, new chick-lit author, was found hanging by a red cape from the cafeteria ceiling. Not a nice sight to behold while you’re chowing down on omelets and bacon. Steve Laube spit out his mouthful of bagel. A second client author down. (Or she we say up?) Mortgage statements flashed through his head. He shoved to his feet and screamed at Dave Talbott: “Stop!! We have to end the conference now, before any more of my royalty-producing clients die! Whoever is doing this, start bumping off Janet Grant’s clients! Why me?!!
Inspector Ingermanson was too busy working his tiger marketing with hot new author Austin Boyd to give the corpse a second thought.
“Wow!” screamed the suspense authors. “Look—a body! How coooool!! Let’s go inspect the petechial hemorrhages!”
Undercover agent Rich Bullock elbowed through the crowd. “Anybody got a ladder?” Chip MacGregor somehow produced one, and Rich climbed the rungs. Cut the cape and began to bring down the body. But . . .
His foot slipped on the tenth rung. Down he fell, Sharon’s corpse upon his shoulders. He slammed to the floor, hit his temple and was knocked unconscious.
Randy glanced up from his tiger marketing and growled.
“What we need!” yelled Chip MacGregor, “is a plan!”
(Agents turned publishers are notoriously slow.)
As conferees bore Sharon’s body from the cafeteria, quick-witted suspense author Dineen Miller noticed something. “Halt!” She grabbed Sharon’s inert hand, checked beneath the fingernails. “Skin evidence!”
Heads throughout the cafeteria turned, each person looking to his neighbor. Searching for scratches.
Chip M. ran outside, calling for the coroner.
Karen Ball screeched a whistle. “Listen up, folks!” The room fell silent. She belted out a hymn for the poor, dead chick-litters.
Bring in all the shoes,
Bring in all the shoes,
We shall stop rejoicing,
No more Prada shoes.
Steve Laube sang with tears streaming down his cheeks. At the last note, he fainted dead away.
Michael Snyder poured water in his face. Steve awoke with a snort.
The coroner’s van bore Sharon’s body off to the morgue.
Michael helped Steve to his feet. Inspector Ingermanson prowled over to help, still spouting his tiger marketing spiel. “I know the answer!” he cried. “We need more meta tags!”
The romance authors slumped into chairs and wailed.
The conference was in chaos. No more classes. Conferees crowded the shuttle vans, fighting to leave the grounds. Chip dashed for the driver’s seat, Austin Boyd and Michael Snyder on his heels. Chip slipped behind the wheel, gunned the motor.
“Wait!!” Michael gripped his shoulder. “What’s that on your face?”
“Nothing, it’s nothing, just a paper cut.” He shoved Michael away, tried to close the door.
Michael whipped out his guitar and crashed it over Chip’s head. Chip slumped over and fell from the van.
Inspector Ingermanson ran to the scene. “Hear, hear, I have brought justice to Mount Hermon! A scratch on his cheek means he’s guilty!”
Is he right? Is it a red herring? Has this gone from a chick-lit story to a full-out suspense? Tune in tomorrow, same blog time, same blog place.
(And leave your cape at home.)