Friday Fictioneers – And Shuddering Fear

10 01 2013

Friday Fiction time. I found it really hard this week to generate an idea. Not easy to twist two cellos in a box into a sci-fi masterpiece. I also heard a rumour they’re not cellos, but I was way too far down the road by then!  So I went for a walk and came up with the idea of trying to write a murder mystery in 100 words. Not sure I really succeeded, but it was fun trying. As for the title, it’s from a Shakespeare quote, look it up later.

Copyright Roger Cohen

And Shuddering Fear

The Detective Inspector crouched to examine the body. Blood oozed slowly from a puncture wound to the woman’s neck.

“Mary Wickham, Sir,” said his subordinate. “Principal cellist with the Hexford Philharmonic. Was due to perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor tonight.”

“Suspects?” the Inspector asked.

“Five. A harpist, two cornet players, a percussionist and another cello player. Shall I bring them in?”

“No.”

“Sir?”

“Music speaks to the soul, in this case a dark one. These fibres on the edge of the wound look like horsehair. The wound was made by a cello bow. Somebody had ambitions. Arrest that cellist!”

– – – – –



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40 responses

10 01 2013
wmqcolby

Cool! You know, this is the kind of thing where I see if anyone has any experiences with music and I see you know something about it. Good story! Fun!

11 01 2013
writeondude

Ha ha! None whatsoever. Just good at research. Wikipedia is a wonderful thing! 🙂

11 01 2013
sustainabilitea

Take a bow–or is that a bow (long o)? You did it and well, too.

I find this phrase “wound to woman’s neck” awkward. It would read better with “the” inserted before “women’s”. If you need a word, you could say, “a percussionist, another cello player” which reads more smoothly to me. Just a thought.

11 01 2013
writeondude

I seem to have lost a word, it was supposed to be ‘the’ woman’s neck. I’ll correct that as it’s a typo. It started out as ‘a wound to her neck’, but that was confusing as I could have meant the detective!

I think your version of the list would be better if I’d started the list with a colon. But as it’s a self-contained sentence, I think I’ll leave it as it is.

Thanks for the comments; always happy to learn.

11 01 2013
muZer

That’s a great detective story in 100 words. And the case closed so fast! Liked the flow of the story.

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thank you. If only all cases were so easy!

11 01 2013
elappleby

This reads a bit like the two minute mysteries I used to read as a child. Excellent 🙂

11 01 2013
writeondude

It might have been a good idea to read some of those as research. I feel like I had too much info in the first half, leaving less room for the reveal at the end. Must look them up on the internet.

11 01 2013
kz

how you told all that in 100 words is fantastic!

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thanks, kz.

11 01 2013
bridgesareforburning

Hi Pete,
Artists are competitive in thier field. Thankfully the forensic evidence pointed to the cellist! Death by bow. Gruesome! Ron

11 01 2013
writeondude

Some of the bows I came across doing research had some really wicked pointy ends! Thanks, Ron.

11 01 2013
billgncs

the evidence telleth against the cellist. A 100 word who done it. Excellent!

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thank you.

11 01 2013
Tom Poet

That was a good fun murder mystery.

Nice work Dude.

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thanks. It was a fun thing to try.

11 01 2013
Sandra

A succinct little tale. Nicely done.

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thanks, Sandra. Glad to see you on the BCF site too. I’ll post mine there today or tomorrow.

11 01 2013
Sandra

Yes, BCF is very much of a challenge. 🙂 Look forward to yours.

11 01 2013
rochellewisoff

Dear Pete,
Well done and kudos on research. I love Wikipedia. This week the research took me in a direction I didn’t expect. Nice You Tube selection.
Shalom,
Rochelle

11 01 2013
David Stewart

That’s an astute eye that can tell the murder weapon at a glance. I love the final line, “Arrest that cellist!” 🙂

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thank you, David.

11 01 2013
Perry Block (@PerryBlock)

A true minute mystery, match wits with the Detective Inspector. And I agree “arrest that cellist!” has the potential to become a new catch-phrase in the language!

11 01 2013
writeondude

Hmmm. Might have to try and sneak it in again one week and see if anybody notices!

11 01 2013
tedstrutz

Sounds like Sherlock or Hercule, methinks… Well done, you captured their spirits perfectly. Thanks for the serenade too… my she’s a serious young thing…

11 01 2013
writeondude

Thanks, Ted. At one point it nearly ended up as Clouseau.

“This woman has been stabbed with a bew.”
“A what, Sir?”
“A bew!”

11 01 2013
unspywriter
11 01 2013
Abraham

A cell for the cellist! 🙂
Good work!

11 01 2013
writeondude

They say English is one of the hardest languages to learn, you can see why.

11 01 2013
R. E. Hunter

Elementary, my dear Watson. Nice one.

12 01 2013
Jan Brown

Yes, an evil-minded but ambitious cellist just might kill to play the Elgar concerto in the right venue! A very well-informed murder mystery, indeed!

12 01 2013
Linda Parkinson-Hardman

This would make a great story for Midsomer Murders or Lewis Pete – I really enjoyed it 🙂

12 01 2013
myothervoices

Was this a pastiche? I kind of like Sherlock but people who are always right tend to become a bit of a bore, no?

12 01 2013
brudberg

In the absence of the butler it has to be the cellist. Well done.

13 01 2013
train-whistle

magnificent way to tell an entire story in 100 words. bravo.

14 01 2013
kindredspirit23

Well, for having a tough time this week, you did fine!
Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/cliches-friday-fictioneers-late/
Scott

14 01 2013
Douglas MacIlroy

Dear Pete,

Sherlock Holmes played the violin. I like your inspector. Gets right to the point.

Aloha,

Doug

14 01 2013
Sarah Ann

An awful crime quickly resolved. My only worry is that one of the other musicians might have framed the cellist?

15 01 2013
rich

is it wrong to say “no shit, sherlock.”? well done.

16 01 2013
nightlake

How did the cellist think he would get away? perfect for 100 words and interesting

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