Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Will

Inspector Smith-Jones looked down at her feet. She sighed. Size 43 boots. Ever since she was a little girl her feet had been a problem. What had the specialists called it? Supermegapodiatry, that was the loathsome terminiology. The other kids had called her SuperMeg. These monstrous feet had been following her around her entire life, hounding her. No matter where she went, there they were. Another sigh. Well, everybody had their cross to bear.
“I’m sure you’re familiar with those popular films, ‘Lord of the Rings,” she finally said.
“Lord of the Rings? Of course - those fantasy movies with all those weird creatures and what-not.”
“That’s right. You might remember that there were dwarves featured in that film. Well, the director, Peter Jackson, is a real stickler for details. So he hired several real dwarves as consultants, to, you know, add authenticity to the film. Clive was the assistant to the head of the dwarf division.”
“I didn’t know that. I’ve been out of touch for years. I’ve been abroad.”
“Then you also couldn’t know that Gideon Stone, Head Dwarf, befriended Clive; he became his mentor. The two were inseparable, two peas in a pod. It went so far that Gideon re-wrote his will, making Clive the sole inheritor of his rolling estate in Northumberland. As you might imagine, that didn’t sit too well with everybody. What I’m now going to tell you is, at this point, confidential information. I didn’t say it, and you didn’t hear it, is that clear?”
“I’m not so sure I want to hear it. I’ve got a lot on my mind just now,” Joe said. He felt himself sliding further down the hill, closer to an opening abyss.
“Oh, you want to hear this, my friend. Because at the very last moment, the name on Stone’s will was changed. Clive was removed and your mother’s name written in. Yes, your mother had become Gideon Stone’s secret lover.”
“What? No, this can’t be!”
“Yes, and what’s more, two days after the will was changed, Gideon Stone was found murdered, shot fifteen times in the heart with a .44 Magnum.”
“Do you think Clive . . .”
“No, Clive had a solid alibi. And anyway, he loved Stone as his own father. Who shot Gideon Stone? I thought that should be pretty obvious by now. But perhaps even more interesting for you is Clive’s alibi. He couldn’t have killed Stone. Joe, I just lied to you about that horrid painting. I thought I had to. That painting is Clive’s alibi. It’s part of the will. You see, on the night Stone was murdered, Clive was . . .


Misssy M said...

First there was Return of the Dwarf! Now there's Return of the Painting!

JES said...

One of the things that keeps me laughing is the way these segments often reveal more about the psychology of the author than they do about the plot or characters.

Here, like Misssy says, Son announces his displeasure that his (on many levels) hugely successful painting was shoved aside earlier and drags it back front and center. There's also "Gideon Stone was found murdered, shot fifteen times in the heart with a .44 Magnum," which is a way of saying to the rest of us: "Listen up, you people. I used Stone to refocus the story back and tie some loose ends up, but don't even think of bringing him back to life for your own (quite possibly constructive) purposes. He is DEAD."


Son of Incogneato said...

Ha-ha! Well, you got that right. I thought the painting got relatively short shrift considering all the previous hub-bub about it. It was kind of a deux ex machina.
And yes, with 15in the heart I am trying to keep our active dwarf level (ADL)down to a managable level.

Misssy M said...

Oh I am enjoying this hugely!

Now trying to work out how I can use the phrase "Active Dwarf Level" in a conversation today and get away with it.

Son of Incogneato said...

Misssy, if you manage that I 1) will be very impressed and 2)think that we deserve to hear about it.

I am also thinking that it might be an interesting T-shirt text, as in 'Ask me about my Active Dwarf Level'. A real icebreaker at parties . . .

Rowena said...

Son, I didn't mean to shove the painting aside. I thought it added greatly to the depth and character of the detective, whom SOME people keep wanting to make into a joke. Here she's this passionate painter and she has to hide it from a world that doesn't understand her.

I thought her painting passion could come up later and be a part of the story... but not any more. She's just a big footed flatfoot.

So. We have dueling purposes.

Now what, Son. I say. Now what?

Son of Incogneato said...

I stand corrected. And, after forcibly ripping her artistic abilities away from her, I’ve gone and given her big feet to boot. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
I’ll try to be more patient next time . . .

Rowena said...

Although I have to say that was a very good way to tie the painting into the plot. Here I was just going for character development, and you made it an alibi. I had no idea how to work it, that's why I made it a mistaken exposure of her "other" side.

And don't you worry... I will get Smith Jones her secret life back.