The "Murder"

Here's a fail effort at writing a story for a humour contest . *eyeroll* I wasn't going to post it, but since someone actually wanted to read it's epic failness, I thought I might as well. *winks*

The "Murder"
By BushMaid

The day started ordinarily enough. Wake up, shower, breakfast, work. I was quietly seated on the lounge sipping my second cup of coffee for the morning after my parents had gone out, musing over my article I had balanced on my knee in the form of my laptop when it happened.

My younger sister by two years came tearing up our short drive on foot, throwing herself at the front door of our house, scrabbling for the doorhandle as she did. Upon finally getting the door open, she flung herself inside and slammed the door, leaning on it as if to keep a wild animal out. Her hair was in disarray and the bags of goods she carried looked ready to fall from their plastic carriers.

It took her a moment to catch her breath, before her wild eyes finally rested on me.

“I’ve just witnessed a murder!” She gasped.

I blinked. Kelly blinked. There was silence in the room. Kelly continued to gawk at me. I was waiting for her to drop the bags and pitch forward in a belly laugh, with a raucous cry of “I gotcha!” But it didn’t come. She must read me too easily now...

I shifted on the couch and returned my gaze to the computer screen. “Very funny,” I said lightly. “Phone’s on the wall, ring the police. I’m sure they’d love to hear about it.”

She didn’t reply, and while my eyes stayed on the screen I heard her move slowly over to the phone. That got my attention. I looked up and saw that she was dialling 9-1-1.

“Hey!” I exclaimed jumping up, spilling hot coffee down the front of my shirt and dropping my laptop on the ground. I snatched the receiver from her hand and banged it back on the hook.

“A joke’s a joke! But you can’t just go calling the police every time you want to make one!” I said, annoyed.

“It’s not a joke! Rosie, I just witnessed a murder!” Kelly’s eyes were wide with fright, and her hands were trembling.

“No way!” I said, believing her. “Really?”

Kelly nodded. My heart started beating double time. Computer and coffee-soaked shirt forgotten, I grabbed Kelly’s free hand and dragged her to the couch, bags of shopping discarded on the floor with a thud and a crash, their contents spilling everywhere. Pushing her into a sitting position on the couch, I sat down next to her.

“Tell me what happened, every detail, and we’ll discuss where to go from there.” I said persuasively.

Kelly paused, gathered her thoughts, and began to retell what had happened.

“I’d just been shopping. I went out early this morning because I know Dad wanted some canned corn to go with his salad. You know the special stuff he likes? The one with the red wrapper, with the brand name that starts with—”

“Yes, yes, yes! I know!” I said exasperatedly. “What about the murder?”

“Ah yes,” Kelly went on hurriedly. “On the way home, I was going past Mr Sherman’s place...”

“Mr Sherman’s?” I echoed, with a hint of trepidation. Sherman was an old guy who lived a few blocks up from us. He lived in a creepy old looking house that stood out against the newly painted houses along the block. The house wasn’t huge, but it was rundown, and most kids hurried just a little faster past it. Sherman was a hermit and most people were obliged to let him be.

“Yes, Sherman’s place.” Kelly repeated, wide eyed. “There were lights in the window, and I could hear him shouting. It was so scary...” She shuddered.

“Go on!” I pressed.

“I saw his silhouette in the window, and when I stopped I heard him yelling, ‘How dare you sneak into this house! I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll not soon forget!’ and I saw that he had a frying pan in his hand!” Kelly spoke faster as her fear returned. “Just as he raised it over his head, I heard a woman’s voice cry out in fear, and then there was this sickening ‘Crack!’ as he swung the pan!”

She paused the retelling to see my reaction. I was silent for a second.

“A frying pan?” I said quizzically. “The murder weapon was a frying pan?” My face must have showed my unbelief.

“Well, why not?” Kelly said defensively. “Colonel Mustard used one in Clue...”

“There is no frypan in Clue!” I exclaimed.

“Whatever, that’s what he used,” Kelly retorted, beginning to pout.

“Fine, go on.” I conceded.

“Well, I wasn’t going to stand there witnessing a murder right on the sidewalk, so I dashed to the tree on the corner of Sherman’s house and hid behind it.” Kelly went on. “The second I was out of sight, Sherman’s back door opened, and he came out into his backyard...”

Kelly trailed off again, catching my look.

“Alright, alright! So I climbed the tree so I could see over his fence! How else was I to know what was going on?”

“What if he caught you?” I replied. “You would’ve been next on his frypan-clobbering spree. And what about the groceries---?”

Kelly ignored me. “As he came out the door, he was lugging a sack over his shoulder. After he closed the door, he turned and started walking up his backyard. As he did, I saw—and this was the worst part—A flow of dark hair spilling out of the sack! I was so scared by then; I shinnied back down the tree and ran home as fast as I could go!” My sister relayed the ending dramatically with a rushing breath.

I had to admit, it sounded like murder was a pretty correct assumption. This had me worried, and Kelly also looked worried because she could see I looked worried. We were a pretty worried looking pair, I also had to admit.

“What do we do?” Kelly asked in a hushed voice.

“Well... I guess we call the police.” I said at length. It was then I heard a muffled guffaw behind me. Both Kelly and I spun around and saw our brother, Max, standing behind us.

He was standing in the living room doorway, his muddy boots stopping just before the carpet. Looking a little rumpled, he was leaning on a shovel with a hat perched rakishly on his head, grinning all the while.

“What are you laughing at?” I said accusingly. “This is really serious! Kelly has just witnessed a murder!”

“Well, if Kelly’s the witness, and Sherman’s the murderer, I guess that makes me the undertaker.” His grin widened as he held up his shovel.

“Wha--?” Kelly began, but was interrupted by the front door opening. Our parents were home.

“Hey!” Our Father exclaimed, as he kicked his toe on the discarded bags of groceries. “What’s going on here?”

Mother also entered the room looking at us as if we had just lost every remaining marble in our heads.

“Kelly witnessed a murder,” Max spoke up, still wearing that ridiculous smile. “By Mr Sherman.”

Mother and Father burst into peals of laughter. “Is that what they think?” Father finally asked Max.

By now, Kelly had had enough. “Could someone please tell me what is going on?!” She exclaimed to everyone in the room.

“On our way to the meeting,” Mother began, “We got a phone call from Mr Sherman. He said that he needed Max to do a favour for him.”

“So, we rang Max,” Dad went on, “and he went over to Mr Sherman’s.”

Max took up the story. “Turns out, Mr Sherman had his niece staying with him, and she found a raccoon in the kitchen. Well, Mr Sherman hates it when creatures find their way into his home, so in a mad fury, with his niece screaming like a banshee, he takes up a frying pan...” Max mimed out the action, swinging an invisible pan up over his head, “and he clonks that coon right on the noggin’.” He brought the invisible pan down with a whoosh and Kelly flinched.

“Well, the favour Mr Sherman was asking,” Father continued, “was that Max would bury the raccoon for him. So whilst Max found a shovel and headed on over to his place, Mr Sherman put the coon in a sack, and took up to his backyard for Max to do the deed.”

My jaw went slack as I gawked at my family. “The victim... was a raccoon?” I said in disbelief.

“Yup!” Said Max smugly. I swiftly turned to Kelly. She had gone a bright shade of cherry, and her mouth was opening and shutting like a fish out of water.

“I... it... the coon’s tail... it looked like a woman’s hair.” She finally got out. Our house rang with our laughter, and Kelly soon joined in out of relief.

“Well, if you still want to ring the police, by all means,” Max finally got out through laughs. “But you’ll be reporting the murder of a raccoon!”

Kelly shook her head and rolled her eyes at herself. “As convincing as it was, I sure won’t be making that mistake again!” She said.

“Rosie!!” I winced as the front door crashed open and the groceries clattered to the floor. Kelly was home again.

“What now?” I said from my place on the sofa, three weeks after the “murder”. It taken Kelly ages to get over the embarrassment of that incident, and it was certain her family was never going to allow her to forget it. Now though, I was experiencing a severe case of déjà vu.

“I just found a dead body!” She breathed.

I glanced at her over the computer. Kelly’s breath was short and her wild eyes ogled me. I returned my gaze to the computer screen. “Good luck with that,” I said indifferently. “Whose corpse is it this time? Mr Hardy’s cat?”

“Nope.” I heard a laugh lurking behind my sister’s voice. Looking up at her again, she reached into the remaining grocery bag that she had in her hand.

“It’s Mr Steggles.” Grinning she held up a packet roast chicken. She threw her head back, hooting with laughter as I rolled my eyes at her, chuckling.

“You got me!” I laughed. 

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