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.)


Illuminating Fiction said...

My guess would be Steve Laube. His clients aren't bringing in enough cash, so he is making room on his books for new up and coming authors.

Hey, Steve! Want a New Zealand author? I'm free.

Cheryl said...

ROTFLOL! I'm going to be bummed when Mt. Hermon ends....

Unknown said...

This is funny for so many reasons.

That Austin Boyd may be the all american hero type but I'd keep an eye on him.

Mike S. jumped to a conclusion that a scratch on Chip's face meant guilt? Chip probably can be found with claw marks more often than not. He's a bit of a, how shall we say, wise-alec, which isn't the safest trait to have among chick-lit writers. Or women in general.

Poor Sharon. Hung by her own cape. She must not have watched The Incredibles. Edna had very sage advice: "No capes!"

Mary DeMuth said...

If you ask me, it's the narrator. It's always the narrator. How can she know all these details at once without being both omniscient and close?

If I were you, Mount Hermoners, I'd check Brandilyn's pen. Methinks there is poison in its belly.

Mwahhhhhh. Hahhhhh. Hahhha.

Stuart said...

El Kabong!

Hmm.. what would a paper cut be doing on Chip's face. I see only 2 options.

1) He had been snuggling up with a manuscript that had just landed him a major royalty deal.

2) It wasn't in fact a paper-cut, but rather a scratch from his super-expando pocket ladder. They are notoriously unwieldy when first expanding, and scratched faces are quite usual after handling one.

No, I think the real culprit is none other than... Camy Tang!

You see by making herself the second victim she has eluded suspicions. However it is a well known fact that not only does she write chick-lit, but she writes suspense as well. And with that new contract she just got, well she is obviously bumping off the competition.

But she is dead, you say? Well the little known fact is that poisonous wasabi only puts the victim into a coma -like state, very similar to death.

So keep an eye out, and if you see Camy wandering the halls of Mount Hermon. Run for your life!

Meg said...

New theory here. Has anyone checked out Mike Snyder's expertise in the realm of toad venom? He's a smart guy. Smart enough to disguise the cause of death as hanging. Smart enough to pretend he's turning 60, so we'll all take pity on an old man. Don't believe it. He's only 29.

Anonymous said...

I think the answer has been in front of our faces all along. RED cape. RED herring. Red HAIR-ing.

Brandilyn, you are guilty. If not of the murders, then of making us laugh - and of teaching us about our craft even when we don't know it. Thanks.

Now, hold out your hands so I can put the cuffs on. Don't worry - I got some with rhinestones on them so they'll blend tastefully with your outfit.

Unknown said...

That's funny Wayne! Now, we won't ask why you happened to have a pair of rhinestoned handcuffs. Some mysteries are better left unsolved. :)

Southern-fried Fiction said...

I was going to post a pithy, hilariously funny comment, but alas, it was cut. Either it was the culprit or Brandilyn is now murdering not just authors, but their words, too!

Unknown said...

Actually, folks, it's all a hoax! Why? To make us, the poor LEFT BEHINDS, writhe with envy that we didn't attend. That's it. Gotta be!

Diann Hunt said...

Be sure to keep an eye on the lady lit writers. In all the excitement they could suffer a hot flash and incinerate right on the spot! :-)

I, for one, am glad I stayed home where it's safe--unless someone laced my cold cream with . . . .

sally apokedak said...

I think it was Dave Long. Didn't Brandilyn report a couple of days ago that he was tetched?

sally apokedak said...

BTW I loved the super-expando pocket ladder and the rhinestone handcuffs. Funny, funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Dave Long, too! His Mt. Hermon blog entry at F*i*F mentioned competition among editors. It's all clear to me now.

Yeah, he's try to bumb us off so Deanne can stay on top. But you're goin' down, Dave. You're goin'





Janice said...

Next year I'm skipping ACFW and am going to Mt. Hermon. I can't believe I missed all the excitment.

Pammer said...

To think that I was worried about the spider I saw in the bathroom this morning (and I remembered someone said a spider murdered them and the suspense writers were next). So it was Dave, or Camy, or Brandilyn....or Robin. :D

This post is hilarious.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I'm with you Janice...I'm starting to save now! And Robin...I am writhing with envy!!*sniff, sniff*

I think it's got to be a red-herring...it's too early in the story for the real killer to show up!

Great fun, Brandilyn!!

Anonymous said...

I am not allowed to post because I am supposed to be dead. But I had to respond to a certain Saurian writer.

Stuart, you are SO dead.