Monday, July 25, 2011

FICTION: The Cherry Murders by Chris Audsley

“Great party Bertie,” roars the Chief Superintendent.

“Here, here.” echo the other men.

They had left the party in the main house and moved to the out building for brandies. The Cherry Murders have been solved and they're lapping up the accolades.

To celebrate the success Bertie decided to host one of his parties. Stood wearing a smoking jacket, cradling a large brandy and chomping on the most expensive cigar the shop had, Bertie's mood is unusually sombre as he reflects on the case. The crowd are unconcerned as they know all about his wicked sense of humour.

“I'm not sure we got the right man.”

“Oh, tosh my dear Bertie. Your reports were exemplary as usual. We were able to get the bastard into court. The judge and jury do the rest my dear Bertie, and they found him guilty.”

“So true, so true,” echo the rest of the room.

Bertie takes a long drag on his cigar and blows smoke rings across the room before the final exhale fires a gust that annihilates them.

“Yes, but what if I told I lied to frame the man.”

The room laughed.

“Oh, Bertie, you tell a good tale.”

“Is it? I could be the killer. I could have poisoned each of those people and as the only coroner in a thirty mile radius written what I wanted.”

The room applaud Bertie's ludicrous tale. A loud “cheers” to the host and the four men down their brandies. They each take a long drag on their cigars and fill the room with a thick cloud.

“My dear Bertie, why would you decide to tell us now?” asks the Chief Superintendent.


“What, a form of guilt that you didn't feel while committing murders, but towards a local pest the village despises?”

Bertie takes a sip of brandy and reflects on the Chief's question. “Why, yes.”

“So, why raise it now?”

“For a sense of relief. It doesn't matter whether you believe me or not I'm already feeling better.”

“Should this be true then we will have to take you down to the police station and question you. And Bertie, we couldn't possibly lose our great host.”

“Here, here,” cries the rest of the room.

“Anyway, it's too late.”

“How so?” asks the Sergeant.

“I've laced each of your brandies with the hemlock I had always been using and not the cyanide I reported on. Before you came over I switched the gas to this building off and loosened a pipe. Once you all collapse I'll switch the gas back on and your cigars will…BANG.”

Everyone jumps.

“Oh Bertie, you have a fabulous sense of humour,” scoffs the Chief Superintendent.

On the opposite side of the room the Chief Constable starts to wobble. He tries to grab the back of the chair but misses and hits the floor face first. One by one the others fall. Bertie, enjoys the rest of his brandy and their demise.

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