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.


Camy Tang said...

BRAVO!!! Great twist, Brandilyn!

Camy, who has risen from the dead. I'm sure all the chick-litters are weeping, "Noooooooo, just when we thought she'd finally shut up!"

Mary DeMuth said...

I so so hope they give that poor gal a shave in the slammer. The image of hairy, skinny legs made me shiver.

Illuminating Fiction said...


I knew it. You just can't trust a man with women's attire in his closet.

Lynette Eason said...

I have been reading the posts voraciously. I so wanted to be at MH this year. Alas, it was not to be. Financial constraints and all. I did wonder if Mildred would show up again this year...just didn't expect her to be the me again. Clever.

I must also comment on your cleverness at WEAVING "web of lies" into the story. Nice promo there. Grin.

Blessings and hope to be at MH next year,


Unknown said...

Thanks Brandilyn, that was great!

Cara Putman said...

What a fun end to the story. I know I'm missing the Mildred connection, but enjoyed it anyway :-)

Domino said...

Oh, Mildred! Poor woman. I'll start a razor fund for her.

To think that this was going on all around me - and I never saw a dead body. Not one. tsk tsk

I'll have to keep my eyes peeled next year. -- Oooow! That might hurt.

Stuart said...

hmm... So when does the Made-for-TV movie come out? And who would your choice of actors be for playing the various roles?

Great story & fun twist! :)

sally apokedak said...

Very funny. Or do I mean punny?

I find it fitting that Dave, who wants the best all for himself, was suckered into purchasing Shaving Babbitt.


Anonymous said...

Drat. I can't believe I didn't suspect Mildred. At least I got the red hair right.

Please tell me Randy hasn't signed a deal to play Dr. Robert Elliot in a remake of Dressed To Kill.

Anonymous said...

Ha! That was a hoot. I'm still afraid to go to ACFW, but we'll see.

Julie Carobini said...

I AM NOT AFRAID, Mt. Hermon! Next year, I'll be the one handing out brownies wrapped in plastic and tied with a flip-flop necklace. (Of course, only I will know the ingredients-mmwwhhaaa...)

Beach-lit author

Catherine West said...

I'm still not put off.
Maybe next year - hopefully there won't be an attack
on romance authors!!
So how was it really??
Looking forward to the report.

Dineen A. Miller said...

ROTFL!!!!!!! Great wrap up, Brandilyn. Now I know why my I woke up with such scraped up knees. LOL! Tackling is hard work.

Well, now that Randy is "missing," who will Brandilyn get to pick on at the ACFW conference? :-D

Southern-fried Fiction said...

Crimes and clues will be rampant at the ACFW conference. Who will Brandilyn pick on next? Those quiet, dignified women's fiction writers? Or will she bare her teeth in a demonic grimace and go after the Ick-Lit authors? Tune in to the next episode in September.

michael snyder said...

Um...anybody know how to get in touch with Chip M.???

(I'm not that smart, you know...)

I'd like to sue him for busting up my guitar with his head.

He is filthy rich, right?

Karen Eve said...

This has been so fun and it does take me back to the hijinks and fun that take place at MH. It seems that Mildred is determined to secure her place is history.
So did you stop by the pokey in Felton to interview her?
God Bless,

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

A brilliant conclusion! Brava!


T. Suzanne Eller said...

See what I miss by not going to Mt. Hermon?

Suzie Eller

Lynette Sowell said...

Dineen truly was amazing. I was and am so proud of her! Since this was my first time at Mount Hermon, these moments will be etched in my mind forever. People always told me going to Mount Hermon is unforgettable. Now I now why!!!

Anonymous said...

The truth can now be told. I was able to interview "Mildred" in her cell and . . . it turns out she was NOT Mildred! As reported, it WAS someone with red hair. Someone skinny. Someone who runs a LOT. Someone known to spin a web of lies in the dead of night until the stain of guilt takes her to the very brink of death. As reported, she does have hairy legs. She confessed all.

Mary DeMuth said...

Randy I:

I supposed Mildred was the red herring, then? All to throw others from the real redhead's trail? You're a clever one.