The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to the body below.
A terrible sight met dreamsí eyes causing tears,
A miniature BOb, with his feet by his ears.
' blood-curdling screams rang through the halls as she stared at the horrible sight! The other mods rushed to the window and shared her terrible fright! There ... below on the snow ... pilotbob
's lifeless body lay tangled amidst the the strings of lights he had been hanging on the roof!
They all ran to the front door, some hoping he still lived, others hoping it had at least been mercifully quick and painless. Dr. Drib
bent over the still corpse and closed pilotbob
's staring eyes. WT Sharpe
, and poohbear_nc
belatedly arrived at the scene, eyes wide open at this unexpected sight. They stood in a grimly silent circle around their fallen comrade, refusing to believe their eyes.
"He must have slipped and fallen while trying to attach the lights around the chimney"
never took chances on the roof! He was always very careful!"
"Maybe a reindeer pushed him off" *snicker*
"Was it suicide? People do get depressed during the holidays."
"Look, the lights are still blinking."
All the moderators were talking at once, trying to make sense of this senseless tragedy. All wanted to know: how? why?
They were so engrossed in their hysterical babbling that no one saw Nate the great
coming back from the mail box, along with Alex
"Hey guys! What'cha doing outside already? Caroling doesn't start until it's dark. And look who I found driving in circles, trying to find a place to park."
The circled moderators parted slowly to reveal the spectacle at the center.
! Stop kidding! That's not the way you make snow angels! Here, let me show you ...." The moderators gaped in disbelief as Alex
lay down on the snow next to pilotbob
. And quickly discovered the terrible truth.
"Holy **** -- what happened?"
fell off the roof while hanging the lights" dreams
sobbed. "He loved decorating the chimney every year."
"Hmmmm .... I wonder if our insurance covers this. I better give the company a call." Alex
feverishly punched in the phone number on his cell phone, trying to recall the Accidental Death clause in the policy. "Good - you'll be right out then? We'll wait here for you. Errrr .... Is it OK to move the .... remains .... inside? Hungry squirrels are starting to gather in the trees. Right. OK. Will do."
"OK everybody ... let's get pilotbob
moved inside before the carolers start coming around. WT Sharpe
, can you untangle the light cord so we can pick him up? Give me a hand here, Dr. Drib
." Grab his legs HarryT
! One ... two ... three... lift!
As the impromptu funeral procession slowly climbed the steps, WT Sharpe
stood staring at the light cord he had removed from pilotbob
"What's the matter WT Sharpe
? What are you looking at? Did the light cord break and make pilotbob
fall?" asked dreams
.... the cord was cut almost all the way through here ... see the clean edges? Then, when he put his weight on it to stretch it around the chimney, the rest of it pulled apart .... see the frayed ends?"
"This was no accident! This was murder! Cold blooded, premeditated murder!"
"The murderer needed something really sharp to cut this thick cord so cleanly .... like those big scissors you used to cut the wire to hang the cards tonight. Let's go find them ... there's bound to be fingerprints on them."
raced back into the fire-lit room, back to the mantel where the cards swung gaily over a cheery fire. Dr. Drib
had returned to his laptop, sitting quietly in the corner, again happily zapping spammy posts that relentlessly appeared. poohbear
was there, toasting himself while staring fixedly at the stockings. He moved one stocking after another, comparing their size to his own puny one, continually muttering "It's not fair."
"The others are helping Alex
back to his room. They figure that leaving the window open will keep him from smelling up the place until we can bury him. I kept sneezing from getting chilled outside, so they told me to go away and get warm" explained pooh
, moving away from the hearth. "I'm going into the kitchen now to start popping the corn."
"Good! He's gone. Let's find those scissors before anyone comes back downstairs." whispered WT Sharpe
. "Dr. Drib
won't see what we're doing through that thick cloud of pipe smoke."
They searched frantically but the scissors were gone! Someone had been here, and tidied away the evidence!
Defeated, they stared helplessly into each others stricken face!
DING DONG DING DONG
[End of Episode 3]