Darlings this is Ye Old Hag, or as the Black Orchid calls me, Auntie Carol. I think of all my cases the case of C. Percy Newberry has the most dramatic and certainly the most lurid potential. And I shall read from my actual transcripts. Oh Lord, me, I do rejoice that my little business The PrimRose Detective Agency has grown from a two person office to a firm of over fifty detectives and support staff.
Just last week we solved a major diamond heist involving Nick, the “Butt End,” Aeoleo and his frightful paramour, Lucretia Le Bump Poo Poo. Two more nefarious characters I’ll never know, I deign to say. They were ambitious enough to pull off the robbery yet not smart enough not to use credit cards even with phony names such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I attribute this to the fact that neither of them watched Unsolved Mysteries or Cold Case Files on the television. Instead they watched the Jerry Springer show which gives no information whatsoever as to how to be a criminal mastermind. In fact one could say the thought process does not come even come into play in this instance.
Oh yes where were we? The heinous case of C. Percy Newberry. Oh, “murder most foul” as Hamlet would say. He murdered his lovely wife, Clytemestra, his partner of thirty years. They found her in the Italian market hanging from a meat hook with all the dead boar, rabbits, and geese. She was dressed in her wedding dress, with a look of absolute bliss on her beauteous Croatian face. She was impeccably made-up and coifed, and her pale luminescent flesh imbued the scene with a Madame Tussaud kind of effect like a candle melting in the darkness. She had black hair the color of a raven’s feather, and her alabaster skin had the faint tinge of pink on the cheeks like the dying rays of the setting sun. Her raw umber eyes glowed with a preternatural light like that of Ligeia in Edgar Allen Poe’s tale of the same name. Of course the major difference, I might add, is that unlike Ligeia she did not come back to life. Her full pouty lips inspired many men to bite them to taste the raw honey of her lust, and Percy hated her as he also loved her. Oh Lord, me a “tainted” love.
I shall describe this wondrous personage as it goes to the over all etiology of this most horrendous crime. In body she was elegant as a long stemmed white rose, thin and curvaceous in the derriere. Not only was she a ravening beauty but she was an accomplished pianist and she possessed a double degree in English literature and astro-physics. She was a mail order bride par excellence and a credit to her race. The scent of lavender always permeated the air as she strolled by. Men desired her and women hated her except for the lesbians. She was very very spiritual and dreamy, a kind of shimmering mist enveloped her which put one in the mind of a fog arising on the moors. Upon meeting her, people remarked, and murmured, “What an extraordinary woman!” as she wordlessly passed by.
Now why in heavens name should such a wondrous creature meet such an untimely death? Why, indeed? The answer, to cut to the chase was sex. No, silly, she was not “frigid”. Au contraire. She was a tigress in sex, multi-orgasmic, insatiable, even a tad bit brutal for she would rake Percy’s chest with her long leonine fingernails at the point of climax. Yes darlings there was blood. Percy, a “Rock Hudson” look alike, only straight, and a titan of industry gloried in her excesses. He bedded her quite often and she was his raison d’etre. His heart went out to her like a valentine candy “Be mine Broken One.” For she “broke” him on the axis of passion. Her every wish was also his desire, so besotted in her was he.
Then one night, Fate intervened, or as Edgar Allen Poe in the poem, Annabel Lee so prosaically said, “The angels not so happy in heaven/went to envying her and me.” With her legs up behind her head and Percy thrusting in her like a rutting goat, she banged her head on the headboard. She then fell from consciousness and was in a coma for two weeks, and Percy never left her side. The doctors warned him that she might never regain consciousness again, such was the damage to her frontal lobes.
Then miracle of all miracles, she awoke one day and her brown eyes, were clear and bright and she was absolutely luminous. Percy was absolutely ecstatic and dumped one dozen red roses on her bed sheets, and screamed at the top of his lungs, She’s alive! Alive! I love you, my little monstrosity. My minx!” He then uncorked a bottle of Dom Perignon pouring her a full glass which she downed like a drunken sailor. Then she a ponderous look came over her face and she enjoined him with this quixotic phrase, “I am vexed. Am I not without mercy”. Percy perplexed, replied, “Have I displeased you in any way, my little Cuckco Dove?” And she paused, with a contemplative look, and uttered the same phrase again even more insistently. In fact that was all she ever said for the rest of her tragic life for the next twenty years. And even more horrendous when she said that phrase she got a joyous, triumphant look and dimpled up, and seemed to think she had delivered The Sermon on the Mount or something equally earth shaking.
At first, Percy loved her even more intently for what is more appealing than an injured, helpless beautiful person. The ugly ones get kicked to the curb. A sad but true fact. Alors! And Heavens, no. What is more charming than a tainted love I ask you? Making love to a brain damaged wife was even more titillating as she was even more passionate and wild in a glutinous, absurd, and devastating way. Her skin was even several degrees hotter than it formerly was.
But as my husband Herman Sherman so crudely puts it, “Man Does Not Live by Poontang Alone!” Percy began to tire of all the eroticism and her inability to communicate in any logical and learned way. It was if her soul had fled her and only her lovely, bumptious, bodacious body remained. He began to refer to her as “The Succubus” and to avoid her at all costs. He quit giving lavish, sumptuous dinner parties and avoided his numerous kind, and jolly close friends. He considered her a monstrosity and he was ashamed of her and burdened by her abject dependency and increasing slothfulness for it was clear that she still deeply loved him and this made it worse. Much worse. He began to spend late nights out with the lowly criminal element, gamblers, pimps, and whores who were all too delighted to spend his vast fortune. In short, he became a rotter. He shunned culture, art, beauty and literature, and all the things that made him a fine human being.
When he finally came home at late at night he would find her sobbing her heart out and playing Bach interludes on the Grand Piano. It was like a scene from Phanthom of the Opera, only not in a “fun” way. Then she would recite timidly and hopefully, “I am vexed. Am I not without mercy?” These words would grate on him in much the same way as Chinese Water torture operates. The repeated one drop of water on the forehead over and over would begin to echoe inside the head of the prisoner and it would drive him mad. Her words drove Percy quite insane, and her rank, sexual smell nauseated him like a dead carcass rotting in the woods. He could not stand the sight of her: it was enough to make him retch, the very idea of her, this dreadful morass of neediness. He determined to poison her slowly so as not to invite suspicion on the part of the police, untraceable ancient poisons from Eqypt, the poisons the blessed Cleopatra used to dispatch bothersome lovers. Yet she would always awake, cheerful, loving, and hopeful with the same ghastly phraseology delivered in a boisterously loud voice. In his mind she became a grasping, insatiable strumpet intent on destroying him one syllable at a time. He came to view his malaise in spirit as solely caused by her, the obstreperous whore of a woman. He came to think, “It’s either her or me. And it’s gonna be her goddamnit!”
Then he dressed her up bathed her and did her hair as she used to wear it and he applied her make-up meticulously and perfumed her in lilac. He dressed her in her wedding for he was not without a sense of irony. Why shouldn’t death be humorous he reasoned and he had his criminal friends gut her with the meat hook an leave her hanging in a meat locker for the surprised proprietor to find the next morning. They complained that she took a long time to die and said “I am vexed. Am I not without mercy?” with her last breath. One of the whores commented in pity, “She died a beautiful death, Lurch. Just Beautiful.”
Now Percy resides in the House of Funny Forever. He’s fond of saying, “Women you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.” And he still looks dashing or at least I think so.
By CAROL ANN author of Poems of Thunder @ Amazon & BN.com