This is Auntie Carol and I have just seen a most disquieting sight. I am most certainly in a dreadful state. The police contacted me early this morning to come over to “Death by Chocolate” an upscale chocolate shop in the heart of the city owned by one Honore de Balzac, (no not that one, silly). And what befalls my startled eyes but an unknown man boiling away in a huge vat of chocolate. Dare I say it? “Oh murder most foul”. A little bon mot for you by the Melancholy Dane, Hamlet. There was a note left not far away which said “Good Night, Sweet Prince.” It was certainly an arcane little witticism and by that I deduced that our killer was a an English major. Lord knows they are a dangerous lot. Well at any rate our killer was highly educated: that was apparent.
The police, such study lads, fished the body out of the huge tureen of boiling chocolate and inserted the body in a body bag. One of them licked his fingers and I cannot but think that it was a tad cannibalistic. His features were unrecognizable and his fingerprints were all burned off. One of the policeman proposed we call the victim, “Mars bar” but I stepped right in and informed him it was not seemly and that no gentleman would propound such an insensitive idea. I suggested we call it “The Godiva Caper” which met with uniform applause and approval.
The owner, Honore de Balzac, was so beside himself, he went around muttering in German phrases, “Ach du Meine Gutte (Oh My God). Nein, nein, nein. (No, no no).” When the police tried to interview him he became hysterical and cried into a kerchief. This was a job for a woman. I must describe Monsiour Honore. He was dressed in a tailor made yellow satin suit of the kind seen in the court of Louis XIV “The Sun King” and lavender stockings. It was foppish to say the least. And he was given to dramatic hand gestures. I reassured him by acting like a dear motherly women and I becalmed him. I found out that he had locked up as usual and that the keys were owned by himself and the manager Mr. Helmut Stumpf, and that he had been at a private screening of Felini’s Amarcord at a “men’s party” the night before. Ah, “The Love that dare not speak its name” (Oscar Wilde). And that was his alibi which checked out. This was a typical crime passionelle.
Before I describe Herr Stumpf, I should spend a few moment describing the victim, a huge man well over six feet tall with a “massive instrument”. I sneaked a look when the police were backing up the van to load the body in. Curious minds need to know. He was portly and very muscular. Why people don’t know how to swim is beyond me. Over 98% of the earth’s surface is water. Go figure! If I was in a capsized ship I would simply swim to shore or float until further notice. Of course there is no accounting for pernicious sharks nor boiling chocolate for that matter. Alors! I do digress. What a perilous world we live in. The more I solve these cases the more I realize we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.
At any rate Herr Stumph, came marching in and I do mean marching. He had a more than passing resemblance to Adolph Hitler with little beady raw umber eyes and unkissable lips topped by an abbreviated moustache. He was as immense physically as Monsiour Honore was frail. It was obvious that there were multiple perpetrators as the victim was so immensely muscled, tall. and heavy. Sometimes the more peculiar people do not commit such crimes as they are dreamers and live in their own heads On the other hand, sometimes they do commit the crimes. It can go either way. Human nature is a fearsome conundrum, a Rubix cube, if you will. At any rate, Herr Stumpf, indignantly declared his innocence and said he was his French mistress, FiFi, Le Blonde Dum. I called her and she said he was with her all night long and she gave me a message to give to Herr Stumpf. It was that he would have to pay more since he killed her “pussy”. Not that kind silly. Her cat. In a fit of passion he strangled the poor unfortunate creature. I am reminded of E.A. Poe’s story, “The Black Cat” in which the animal takes revenge on her cruel master. One can only hope, dears.
The third suspect, was sarcastically, called “Mr. Jolly” as he never smiled and was always making morose statements like “Life is not worth living: I think I shall fling myself over a cliff.” Or at other times he would say, “I am not attractive to the opposite sex” or “Mother never really loved me.” They kept him around because he was the only person who would work for the wage they paid him. He faintly resembled James Joyce with his thin face and wire rimmed glasses. I looked in his eyes and realized he was a true psycho and like all other known psychos, he had a stutter, and lived in an attic. He was in charge of the nuts. No silly, not that kind. Pecans, walnuts and peanuts. In his hand he had Doestoevsky’s book, Crime and Punishment, and he also carried a biography of the serial killer, Ed Gein. So to put it daintily, I hope I shan’t meet this character in a back alley or a lonely country road. And he had no alibi as he was home reading the night before and in his own words was “improving his mind.” Yet with my psychic ability I discerned that this psycho would only kill women, and was at that moment, thinking of strangling me with my own panty hose. I made a mental note to myself, “We are not responsible for our thoughts. Stay far away from this horrid man. And you might well meet him at future crime scenes. But he is not the killer at this particular time.”
Then like a bolt of lightning, I had a vision of The Black Orchid and her two robust male acolytes putting a screaming, squirming man into the huge vat of boiling chocolate. I did not tell the police about this revelation and made a quick exit holding a sachet to my nose and fanning myself with an Oriental fan to make them think I was overcome with revulsion. You know, a “mere woman.”
When I got to her palatial estate she greeted me at the door without me even knocking and said, “I’ve been expecting you, Carol. I knew you would comes for me.” And his lush emerald eyes filled with tears. She was dressed in a leopard skin leotard with hot pink tights and held a bar bell in her hand and a rank sweetness assailed my nostrils. She was shiny as a spit upon pearl from her workout which was three hours a day every day.
“I knew your psychic powers would lead you to me yet as you fully understand, psychic revelations are inadmissible in court and there is no DNA evidence in this particular case. The boiling chocolate took care of that and we all wore rubber suits, gloves, and hair hats to prevent the loss of even a single strand of hair. I was a thief on the streets of Calcutta in 1200 AD. and there is no lock which can encumber me. I have murdered people for less reason my dear. We immortals are not subject to middle class morality. I do not meant to negate our friendship. Do not forsake me, Auntie Carol.”
“What was the reason?” I asked.
“He was an imperfect piece of excrement is why. He seduced Las Cabronas and they were living in my house under my protection. They were subject to his whims and dominance. He told them he would have them expelled if they didn’t service him. They were the innocent victims of a Vile Seducer. He seduced them with wine and chocolates. Those who live by chocolate shall die by chocolate. I have spoken. Then there’s the matter of him being my favorite love slave. I was injured beyond repair and as they say ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ You cannot convict me Carol. I left only one bit of evidence, the Death card in the Tarot deck, and you’ll never guess where I put it. Up his ass,” and with that The Black Orchid broke into her panther like laughter.
I confess it was eerie and that I am always alarmed when she laughs. It kind of reminds of the scene on the bed when Linda Blair’s head turns around backwards. It gives me the chills.
“Will, you have a chocolate cherry, my dear?” inquired The Black Orchid.
Yes,” I replied. “Why stand on ceremony?” I said.
And we never mentioned this incident again. Let sleeping dogs lie as the saying goes.
Written by Carol Ann Author of Poems of Thunder @ Amazon & BN.com