Humor Fiction posted November 4, 2022


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I Haven't A Clue

by Douglas Goff

Murder, We Wrote Contest Winner 

A scream rang out across the halls of Boddy Manor, causing several people to rush into the study where they found Miss Scarlet standing over Mr. Boddy. The elderly businessman was slouched over his desk, blood matting his white thinning hair.

“It’s okay! I’m a biology professor!” Professor Plum announced, and rushing forward, he placed two fingers on Boddy’s neck. “My God, he’s dead!” The good professor wore gold-rimmed glasses and a red bowtie. He was a middle-aged intellect.

“I found him this way when I came in to bring his morning tea,” Miss Scarlet sobbed. She was an attractive blonde woman in her late-thirties, and daughter to the dead Mr. Boddy.

“Looks like I found a clue,” Professor Plum stated, pointing directly at a bloody wrench lying on the table amongst several documents and a half-empty glass of brandy.

“That could very well be a clue of some type, or sorts, possibly,” Mrs. Peacock mumbled. She had been an elegant woman in her younger years. She wore a blue dress and a large hat with a blue feather extending from the top.

“Quite!” said Colonel Mustard, who had entered with Mrs. Peacock. The military man wore a monocle in each eye.

“Do you think that it's the murder weapon?” the professor asked the Colonel.

“I haven’t a clue!” Colonel Mustard exclaimed, while reaching over and pinching Miss Scarlet on her derriere.

“Why did you do that?” the distraught blond woman exclaimed.

“Looking for clues, my dear,” the Colonel explained.

“The Colonel and I will move Mr. Boddy’s body to the conservatory, so that we can better investigate this room. The rest of you go wake the others and let’s all meet up in the lounge in half an hour.” Plum's words were punctuated by a large crack of thunder.

“Might possibly take us longer. We may need thirty minutes to get this done,” Colonel Mustard suggested.

“Make it thirty minutes then,” Professor Plum agreed.

Several minutes later, Professor Plum entered the lounge room, carrying a magnifying glass and wearing a brown trench coat with matching cap. He was looking the part of a proper detective. Sitting in chairs and couches were the other occupants of Boddy Manor.

On the main couch were the proper Mrs. Peacock and the distraught Miss Scarlet. In the love seat sat Miss Peach, a young and cute southern belle. She was dressed in a low-cut peach colored sun dress. It was said that her elevator didn’t go all the way to the top floor when it came to brains, but it would be more apt to say that it was actually stuck in the basement. But her looks more than made up for what she lacked in intelligence. The young Miss Peach had been recently engaged to the elderly Mr. Boddy.

Sitting in a corner leather chair was Colonel Mustard, his bushy moustache and eyebrows looking like a perfect match. In a similar chair to his left sat Mr. Green, Mr. Boddy’s business partner, who was known to have few scruples, less morals, and was extremely cheap.

Standing by the only table in the room was Mrs. White. She was an elderly woman who worked for Mr. Boddy as his cook, maid, and general assistant. She was dusting a flower filled vase on the table, while sipping on a half-empty glass of brandy that was held in a crystal glass.

“As you all know, Mr. Boddy was murdered last night.” Professor Plum paced with his hands behind his back and raised his eyebrows for effect. “I spent the last thirty minutes going over what was on his desk and found some interesting papers . . . possibly clues.”

“Who died and made you a detective?” Mr. Green questioned, his voice raspy from a few thousand too many cheap cigars.

“I thought it was quite obvious. Mr. Boddy did. Boddy’s body is in the conservatory as we speak," Professor Plum explained as it began to pour rain again outside.  

“My God man, haven’t you been paying attention?” Colonel Mustard raised a bushy eyebrow at Mr. Green.

“I am clearly the most educated man in the room, and as a biology professor, quite capable of conducting a thorough investigation,” Professor Plum advised them, then said, “Besides, I always wanted to be a detective since I was five. Mummy and Daddy insisted that I attend Princeton and follow the path of an educator. But clues man . . . those are my first love.”

“Well, I for one don’t have to sit here and listen to this poppycock!” Mr. Green started to rise; his twenty-seven-dollar black suit un-wrinkling as he did. “I’m departing.”

“Nobody is leaving,” Mrs. White spoke up, and after taking another long pull at her brandy, explained, “The bridge is flooded from the storm. It's the only road in and out of the grounds. We shall all be stuck here for at least another day.” Thunder cracked outside, punctuating her claim.

“So, are you saying that we are stuck here?” Miss Peach didn’t seem to be catching on. “I have a three o’clock wax and tan.”

“Yes. We're stranded for now,” Mrs. White reiterated.

“Quite!” Colonel Mustard exclaimed.

“I swam in the nude with Marlon Brando and Elvis,” Mrs. Peacock interjected.

Professor Plum completely phubbed Peacock as he checked the weather on his phone and then held up a bloody document in his left hand. After making a pretense of studying it with his magnifying glass, he disclosed, “So, as I was saying, I found some interesting documents, most important being the will!”  

“Well, that is why we are all here isn’t it?” Miss Scarlet inquired. “Daddy said that he was going to announce some major changes in his will.”

“Quite!” the Colonel sounded off.

“Oh, and changes he made.” Plum nodded. “It would appear that the old man was going to leave everything that he owned . . . to Miss Peach!”

“Guess he was quite fond of those peaches,” Mrs. Peacock snickered, adjusting her hat. “Speaking of fruit, I’m missing my left toe.”

“Daddy would never cut me out of his will!” Miss Scarlet seemed genuinely shocked. “He loved me; besides, he has only known that southern trollop for three months.”

“Thank you.” Miss Peach smiled sweetly at the blonde woman, not realizing that she had just been insulted.

“Guess that gives you motive.” Mr. Green nodded knowingly at Miss Scarlet.

“Me? What about the wrench that we found? Didn’t you just borrow one last night from Daddy to fix your bedroom sink?” She pointed the blame right back at the dubious businessman.

“You're accusing me?” He looked shocked, pointing a chubby finger at Miss Peach. “She had the most to gain. Anna Nicole Smith here now has more money than Hunter Biden!”

“Well, let’s just hold on there.” Professor Plum held up his hands. "I checked the body temperature . . .”

“Right through the old tailpipe, I would assume,” Mrs. Peacock blurted out. “That’s how one checks a turkey to see if it’s done cooking.”

“Anyways, it would appear that Mr. Boddy was killed just before midnight.” Professor Plum raised his pointer finger in the air for emphasis. “I can assure you that it wasn’t Miss Peach because I was with her in the ballroom from 11:30 to 12: 00 midnight.”

“Whatever were you two doing in the ballroom at that late hour?” Mrs. White asked, pouring herself another full glass of brandy.

“We were having sex,” Miss Peach said innocently and smiled brightly.

“What? But you were with me from midnight to 1:30 in the ballroom!” Mr. Green revealed.

“Was anyone else checking out Miss Peach’s peaches in the ballroom last night?” The professor looked upset as he had secretly announced his undying love to the southern bell just yesterday.

“Quite! 1:30 to 2:00 am. I had a jolly good go of it,” Colonel Mustard admitted.

“As if! There was nothing jolly or good about it. And besides, it was more like 1:30 to 1:40 you old curmudgeon,” Miss Peach revealed.

“Well, I guess there couldn’t possibly be any others,” the professor sighed.

Miss Scarlet raised her hand, an embarrassed look on her pretty face. “From 2:00 to 4:00 am, I enjoyed those peaches.”

“Guess we all know why it’s called the ballroom now,” Mrs. Peacock whispered, rising from the couch. “I need a drink.”

“Well, Miss Peach obviously has the strongest alibi in the room,” the professor frowned.

“Quite!” the Colonel sounded off.

“That brings me to you, Colonel Mustard,” Plum advised.

“Me?”

“Yes, you. Any idea why I found this on Mr. Boddy’s desk?” the professor said, holding up the Colonel’s driver’s license.

“Haven’t a clue,” the military man said, looking uneasy.

“Yes you do,” Miss Scarlet interrupted. “You told daddy that you were in your late forties. He didn’t believe you and wanted to see what your real age was and demanded your license.”

Professor Plum studied the card with his magnifying glass and began to snicker. Quietly at first, then louder.

“What? Is it the age?” Mrs. White asked. “He looks to be in his hundreds to me.”

“No, although it says that he is sixty-nine. Here, have a look.” The professor handed the license to Mrs. White. She studied it for a moment and then burst out laughing. The license was passed around the room, causing snickers and chuckles.

“What's so funny?” Colonel Mustard looked uncomfortable.

“It says here that your first name is Yellow,” Mrs. White revealed.

“Quite,” the stodgy Colonel agreed.

“Your name is Yellow Mustard?” Mrs. Peacock laughed, making her way over to the table that Mrs. White had just cleaned. “Makes me want a frankfurter.”

“Yes. I have even been called Mr. Yellow in the past. So, what of it?” the Colonel asked.

“Well, why would your parents do that?” Mr. Green chuckled. “I mean, what could your middle name possibly be?”

“Nothing odd, I can assure you. My middle name is Dijon,” the Colonel advised, causing the room to break out into laughter.

“My God man, did your parents hate you?” Mr. Green stared at him.

“Haven’t a clue.” Yellow Dijon Mustard shrugged, while reaching over and pinching Mrs. Peacock on the tushy as she stood nearby.

“Ohhhhh my!” the elderly woman exclaimed.

“No clues there,” the military man advised the group in a matter-of-fact manner.

“Since we're picking on Colonel Yellow Mustard, can I address the elephant in the room? I mean, why are you wearing two monocles man? Wouldn’t that just be the same as glasses?” Mr. Green asked.

“I haven’t a clue.” The military man shrugged again.

“I found some other oddities in Mr. Boddy’s desk drawer. Seems that he did a lot of business in England,” the professor advised, returning the group’s focus to the murder.

“Oh, yes, he spent half of his time there. He owned a mansion called Tudor Close,” Mr. Green revealed.

“Yes, but why do these papers say that he lived under the name of Dr. Black? And how was he a doctor in England, but not in the United States? These things are all very odd and glitchy, but I'm not sure if they had anything to do with his murder.” Plum scratched his head.

“I’ve been to Tudor Close when I was much younger. I stayed there for several weekends,” Mrs. Peacock revealed. “Such a beautiful place. Always thought that it should've been called Arlington Grange.”

“None of this makes sense.” Miss Scarlet looked perplexed.

“Quite!” the Colonel threw in for good measure.

“So thirsty,” Mrs. Peacock said, and after grabbing the flowers out of the vase, she held it up to her lips and began to drink the water inside. “Oh my, there's something in here!”

The woman pulled out a .38 snub-nose revolver from inside of the vase. It was dripping water. Everyone raised their eyebrows as they stared at it.

“I say old chap, isn’t that the gun that you showed me just yesterday?” Colonel Mustard rubbed his thick moustache again, staring at Plum.

“No. No, I certainly don’t think so,” the professor denied ownership.

Mr. Green stood up and took the weapon, saying, “Well it most certainly is your gun professor. You showed me this exact same weapon yesterday as well.”

“Oh, by golly, I guess that it is mine,” Plum said smugly, his eyes darting back and forth as he took the revolver and asked it, “Just how did you get in there.”

When he held it up, they could all see a long white hair hanging from the butt of the gun. The only person in the manor with white hair had been Mr. Boddy. All eyes turned towards the good professor, who took a couple of steps backwards.

“Look, no bullets. Never had any,” he said popping open the chamber. “Besides, anybody could’ve taken the pistol from my room. Don’t you agree, Colonel?”

“Haven’t a clue,” the military man said.

“Well, I’ll have you all know that I ruled myself out as a suspect,” Professor Plum stated, further explaining, “When I realized that I didn’t do it.”

“Makes perfect sense to me,” Mrs. Peacock mumbled. “Reminds me of the time that I sucked the cat up in the vacuum sweeper.”

“Quite!” Colonel Mustard pulled at his bushy moustache and stood up.

“Oh my goodness, what is that?” Miss Scarlet said, pointing at a large bulge in the Colonel’s pants.

“Looks like someone is getting a little too excited over this investigation,” Mrs. Peacock giggled. “Like a randy poodle making a batch of doodles.”

“Trust me. It isn’t that big.” Miss Peach rolled her eyes.

“Do you all think that this is some kind of game we are playing?” Colonel Mustard admonished them, and blushing, pulled out a candlestick from his trouser pocket and handed it to the professor, saying, “I found it on the floor in the hallway, just before we found the body. I realized that it belonged in the library, and was going to return it to its proper place.”

“It has blood caked on it.” Plum discovered with his magnifying glass. “None of this is making any sense.”

“Quite!” the Colonel felt that this was a great place to throw in another one.

“You see, I found this under Mr. Boddy’s desk, at his feet.” Professor Plum held up an old hand axe, the flat end covered in blood.

“Seems we have way too many murder weapons for one murder.” Mrs. Peacock pointed out the obvious, then added, “I killed a hooker once in Hollywood.”

“Anyone else notice that there's no loo in Boddy Manor? My God man, how does one relieve himself?” the Colonel inquired.

“Oh. I thought that I was the only one holding it in,” Mr. Green grimaced.

“I just pee in the plants,” Mrs. Peacock admitted.

“May I speak with you for a second?” Plum pulled Miss Peach aside, because she was the only one that he had ruled out as a suspect with her multiple alibis.   

“Of course, and you can take even longer if you need to,” the less-than bright woman answered.  

“I need to go and re-examine the body of Mr. Boddy. Can you bring everyone to the conservatory in fifteen minutes.”

“I thought that we couldn’t leave? I mean, why would we all go to a college for the arts at a time like this, anyways? My daddy always used to say that me in college would be akin to seeing a hobo in Red Lobster.” Miss Peach looked confused.

“Oh, never mind.” Plum turned to face the group, and said, “Everyone meet me in the conservatory in fifteen minutes.”

Once they had reassembled in the conservatory, Mrs. White brought in a tray of brandies in crystal clear drinking glasses, slurring out, “I brought out the Remy Martin for thisss very exciting reveal of who had done all of the bassshingsss on Mr. Boddy’sss noggin.” She had already emptied four herself, and after letting out a loud hiccup, handed the others the remaining full glasses.

The group noticed that the body of Mr. Boddy was lying face down on a pruning table, exposing the wounds on the back of his head. Colonel Mustard leaned over and casually pinched Mr. Boddy’s body on the booty.

“Harrumph,” the Colonel sighed. “Not a single clue to be found.”

“Oh, on the contrary Colonel Yellow Mustard. The body is the clue. Take a closer look at his head,” Professor Plum said, pointing at the bashing and handing the military man his magnifying glass. “Upon further inspection, I have deduced that the body of Mr. Boddy was struck not once, not twice, not thrice, but actually four times.”

Colonel Mustard held the magnifying glass up to one of his monocles and spouted, “Quite!”

“Oh okay, I can’t stand the guilt any further, you have captured me!” Miss Peach exclaimed in full southern dramatic fashion. “I came up behind my fiancé and struck him on the head with the old hand axe. I meant to do it with the sharp end, but the dang ol’ thing didn’t come with any instructions, and I couldn’t figure it out. But I promise, I only hit him once.”

“But why?” Plum gasped at his not-so-secret beloved.

“Why for the money of course. I saw that new will, and decided that I didn’t really want to wait until the old fart died.”

“But you had a lot of good alibis, my love.” Plum seemed distraught.

“Not really,” she said. “I hit him at 1:35 am, causing him to fall face first onto the desk. I remember because I saw the time on that old grandfather clock in the study.”

“Wait a minute, I thought that you said that you were with the Colonel in the balling room from 1:30 to 1:40 am?” Mr. Green questioned, chuckling at his own pun.

“Well, it was actually 1:30 to 1:32.” The southern bell shook her head in disappointment.

“That gives new meaning to minute man,” Mrs. Peacock interjected, then added as an afterthought, “I forgot to put on underwear.”

“Quite!” Colonel Mustard exclaimed loudly, while staring at his feet with a red face.

“Well, I’m not letting you go down alone, my love. Professor Plum looked quite guilty now. “I too snuck up on Mr. Boddy at 1:20 am and gave him a good whack with the butt of my pistol, because I wanted Miss Peach all to myself.”

“As if that is ever going to happen. She is like 7-Eleven, open all night,” Mr. Green whispered behind his hand, just loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

“And you Mr. Green? I found your fingerprints all over the wrench,” Professor Plum said aggressively.

“Alright, that bloody fool Boddy was going to cut me out of the business. That is some thanks that I got for all of the money that I have stolen over the years. At about 1:15 am I cracked him on the noggin with the wrench. He deserved it.” Mr. Green sat fuming at his misfortunes.

“I can’t believe that you fell for that. I mean, I don’t even have a fingerprinting kit, nor do I have your prints for comparison. That was pretty dumb of you.” The professor beamed at the success of his own ruse.

“Wish I had that wrench right about now,” Mr. Green mumbled.

“Well, now I feel like we are really getting somewhere.” Professor Plum scratched his head. “But there should still be one more basher from the marks.”

“Well, it wasn’t I,” Mrs. Peacock volunteered. “I stabbed Mr. Boddy at about 1:00 a.m.”

“That is just about enough nonsense from you woman,” Colonel Mustard said.

“Check for yourself, the knife is still there.” She prompted Professor Plum to roll Boddy’s body over and check. Sure enough, there was a three-inch knife hilt sticking out of the middle of his chest.

“Some detective you have turned out to be,” Mr. Green quipped.

“Quite!” the good Colonel sounded off.

“In my defense, I was investigating the head area, and not the rest of Boddy’s body.” Plum gave up a feeble excuse. “Why would you stab him?”

“Because most of you may not know that Professor Plum is the illegitimate son of Mr. Boddy and I. He promised to leave my boy a nice fortune in his will, but then he cut him out,” she explained, then asked, “Anyone want to go kayaking this morning? I hear that it is going to be a lovely day.”

“Still, nobody has admitted to the fourth dent on the deceased’s head,” the professor mused.

Mrs. White cranked off a loud gassy belch, then said, “Better out the attic than the basement, I always say.”

“Quite!” you-know-who bellowed.

“Well, don’t look at me, I didn’t bash anyone.” Mrs. White popped the stopper out of the brandy decanter and started drinking straight from the container, staggering a bit.

“I thought that I was caught anyways,” Mrs. Peacock volunteered. “Because the Colonel came into the study while I was leaving, carrying a candlestick.”

“I thought you found that candlestick in the hallway,” Plum questioned, accusatorily.

“Bloody woman is a babbling brook of nonsense all day, and suddenly becomes lucid when it’s time to tattle on me,” Mustard complained. “Alright, I did sneak in at just before 1:00 am and whack-a-doodled Mr. Boddy on the back of his head with the candestick. You see, I am in love with his daughter Miss Scarlet. When Boddy discovered my true age from my license, he forbade me to pursue any further relationship with the young lass.”

“Well, that leaves you Miss Scarlet, as the only innocent in the group.” Professor Plum stood there shaking his head.

“Not quite,” the attractive blonde woman said in a quiet voice. “You see, I too had seen the new will and was quite angry with daddy for cutting me out. I snuck in at 12:30 and strangled my father from behind with a rope. Surprisingly, he didn’t put up a struggle.”

“Missed another clue did ya, Sherlock Holmes?” Mr. Green shook his head.

“Again, I was investigating the head, not the neck,” Plum said, now looking at the obvious purple and deeply bruised ligature marks around Boddy’s throat. “Anyone could have missed these.”

“Still, you said that his body temperature from your anal probe showed that Mr. Boddy died before midnight,” Mr. Green reminded them.

“Quite!” the Colonel shouted.

“Well, I never said anything about anal probe, but the evidence certainly pointed towards a pre-midnight death. No mistaking that,” Plum advised.

“Are you certain that you didn’t do a crappy job on your butt poking?” Mustard unintentionally punned.

“Again, no butt action was required, but no, the time of death is factual. He died before midnight,” the professor insisted.

“I guess that it’s just another mystery that will never be solved,” Mrs. Peacock said. “Just like the Lincoln assassination.”

A loud raspy sound came from Mrs. White. She began spitting up brandy. “Oh my God. I drank from the wrong dispenser! This is the one that I poisoned Boddy with. I gave him his evening brandy at 11:00 pm and he was dead by 11:30.”

“What? Why woman? You were a loyal employee of his for years,” Colonel Mustard inquired.

“Why? Because I am Miss Scarlet’s mother. In our younger years, Mr. Boddy and I canoodled every weekend. He called it my ‘bonus.’ I couldn’t stand the fact that he was cutting his own daughter out of his will,” Mrs. White admitted, then after staggering backwards, fell over dead.

“This is preposterous!” Colonel Mustard exclaimed. “There is no poison in Boddy Manor. Completely against the rules.” Then he too fell over.

“Some reveal!” Professor Plum said, noticing that all of the others were now suspiciously looking at their crystal glasses. Except for Mrs. Peacock, who was already staring at the ceiling with lifeless eyes.

“I think that we may have all been poisoned,” Miss Peach whispered as she fell to the floor.

“Quite,” Professor Plum repeated the Colonel’s word, his now empty glass slipping from his hand and smashing onto the lounge tiles. 

Within minutes, Boddy Manor became eerily quiet, its occupants no more.  




Murder, We Wrote
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November
2022


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