This isn’t funny. It’s really not funny. Locked in a bloody room in a mock-Tudor mansion with eight people, one of whom has got to be a murderer! Coz it has to be one of us doesn’t it? There wasn’t anyone else in the house. Mr White pushed off down the pub as soon as we turned up so even he wasn’t around. I wasn’t Phil’s greatest fan but him being dead wasn’t on the agenda tonight. Now we’re shut in here while forensics do their thing and what are we doing? We’re writing. Every one of us, scribbling like fury. It’s like we’ll explode if we don’t. What are the others writing? What are they thinking? Whodunnit I suppose.
Douglas is looking bloody shifty and he’s always been jealous of Phil. Not his writing, good God, Phil wrote some indescribable tosh. It was Phil’ s success with Pamela that dour, old Dougie couldn’t stand. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he took the opportunity of the black out to whack him over the head with a candlestick.
Jeez, it’s like being stuck in a game of Cluedo! Except there’s a real body sprawled next door. Dripping blood onto the White’s antique, Wilton rug.
Marjorie worries me too. She’s behaving strangely. Not unusual in itself, she’s a bit of a barmy old woman to be honest, but tonight she’s twitching more than ever. What motive could she have though? Phil treated her like his own dear mama. He even seemed to enjoy her bodice-rippers, which she scrawls longhand, in prose that’s like swimming through treacle.
Then there’s Dave. Everyone’s mate, is our Dave. Whether you like a pint at the pub or a foreign language film at the flicks. Dave’s your man. Did he get on with Phil? If he didn’t, he did a bloody good job of hiding it. They often seemed to be sharing a private joke, usually at Doug’s expenses.
Doug again. Seems his name is cropping up a lot.
I suppose it could have been Audrey. She definitely had a thing for Phil but it was clear she went right under his radar. Seen her looking daggers at Pam on more than one occasion. But could she do it? Did she have the bottle? Nah, surely not. Far too timid, although they do say you need to watch the quiet ones.
Fran’s a weird one although that doesn’t make her a killer. I like to be a bit subversive in my writing but she takes it to a whole other level. I can’t see her lashing out though and I bet she’d be a lot more creative if she wanted to kill someone. Of all the people in this room she’s the least likely to have done it. Ok, so I like her, so what?
Sitting in the window seat, where I can just see her out of the corner of my eye, is Phil’s floozy, Pamela. She’s married but then so is he. Was. I guess I should say that now. God, it’s hot in here. I’m starting to feel claustrophobic. Princess Pamela’s always made it obvious she doesn’t like me. Probably sitting there, wrinkling her pert little nose, thinking I did it. Well, let her!
Having a look back over what I’ve written I’m making poor old Phil sound like a nineteenth-century philanderer. Perhaps it’s the dark wood panelling in here. Or am I channelling the collective subconscious of the writing group? Whatever, it is I’m being a bit unfair. Phil was my best mate. Life and soul of the party until somebody bludgeoned the life bit out of him. I keep imagining him, slumped in a bloody heap across Mrs White’s mahogany coffee table, the back of his head gone. Shit, shit, shit. I’m going to puke. Need to think about something else. Nowhere to puke in here, not even a plant pot.
Have I forgotten anyone? Oh yeah, the fragrant Amanda. Every so often I can feel her eyes on me. So hot they’re burning a hole in the back of my jacket. Does she know what I’m thinking? Does she know, that I know, she and Phil had a thing going? He was an indiscreet bastard! Told me everything even though he knew I didn’t want to hear it. Three women on the go, including the missus, and two of them in the writing group. He had lived life on the edge that’s for sure.
The last actor in our cast of possibly crims, is old Mrs White herself. She’s in a proper mess. No doubt been looking forward to reading an excerpt from her latest Regency romance to a captive audience and, instead, she got this. She hasn’t stopped snivelling yet and we’re all too relieved that we don’t have to listen to her to pay her much mind. Don’t judge me too harshly, you haven’t had to sit through it.