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Old 12-31-2012, 07:00 AM   #9
Agatha Chicken
Super Star Crime Writer
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[Episode 8]

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And searched through the book for the typos1 that lurk2.
His fingers a blur as they tapped at the keys,
He fixed up the text with the greatest of ease.


A deathly silence fell on the diminished3 crowd. Then frightened voices erupted in a mad babble of sheer panic, filling the room with their cries.

"I'm not going to stay in the same room with HarryT if he's upset about his precious book."

"I didn't do it! I swear I'm innocent."

"Maybe the butler did it." *snicker*

"I'm hungry."

"Papers must be signed before midnight."

"Hey - where are the rest of my Wiki-Blocks?"

"ENOUGH" shouted Alex. "Here's what we're going to do. Jellby and I will walk HarryT to the library and search it to make sure no one is lurking there. Then we'll lock him in. Then I'll go back to the office with Jellby and sign those darn papers. The rest of you stay together until I get back! If you have to split up, stay in pairs! Got it?"

Five heads nodded silently in unison4.

Alex, Jellby, and HarryT walked down the hall to the library. After a short time, they heard the key turn in the door lock and Alex shout "You're safe now Harry! No one can get in until I get back -- I've got the only key."

Alex and Jellby then left the house, Jellby clutching his clipboard and murmuring endlessly about increased coverage limits and personal liability5.

WT Sharpe, dreams, DaleDe, and Nate sat down and tried not to stare at one another. The silence became almost painful in its intensity. The stockings swung slowly, like pendulums, while the fire crackled cheerfully.

"I'm beginning to envy Harry" muttered DaleDe, "At least he's getting to do something fun .... that is, fun for him. While we have to sit here and try not to get murdered."

"I know, let's play a game to pass the time" suggested dreams. "Who's up for Hangman6?"

She became aware that everyone was staring at her. "OK, bad choice. What would you suggest?"

"Truth or Consequences7?" someone sniggered8 in a low voice.

"I heard that! That's not funny! I'm innocent! I'm being framed! And I'm getting tired ....."


CRASH


dreams' tirade was abruptly cut short by a loud bang that shook the entire house!

"What was that? Did a tree fall on the house? An earthquake?"

Plaster9 dust drifted slowly down from the ceiling like a gentle snow flurry10, dusting the upturned perplexed faces.

"It sounded like something heavy fell over ... like a refrigerator or something." Nate speculated.

Just then, ravenne poked her head around the kitchen door and asked "What fell over? It knocked all the glassware off the shelves! It sounded like a ton of books!"

dreams screamed "HarryT! He's in the library! Surrounded by bookshelves! Tall, heavy bookshelves! We haven't completed the digitization project yet."

The group ran down the hallway in a mad rush. WT Sharpe suddenly skidded to a halt. "Wait a minute ... Alex said he had the only key ... so how are we going to get in to see if HarryT is all right?"

Everyone shrugged and took off again. As they slid around the last corner, their eye met a horrible sight. The library door was open ... wide open .... and one light was on.

The cautiously approached the open portal and peered11 inside.

"Oh no! It can't be! It's not possible!" screamed dreams.

All eyes were glued12 to the grisly13 scene. A bookcase had fallen on top of Harry's favorite reading chair, crushing it (and HarryT) flat .... underneath the Mystery and Crime Reading Recommendations section. The heavy mahogany shelving had toppled over14, spilling tons of hard cover books atop the chair. Only HarryT's shoes were visible, poking out from under a stack of Arthur Conan Doyle tomes15.

"How the heck could anyone push over that shelf? It must weigh tons." asked DaleDe. "And where is the murderer?"

Everyone began frantically searching the library, looking for clues .... or a hiding malefactor16.

"Look guys! It was a booby-trap17!" shouted WT Sharpe.

Everyone ran over to WT Sharpe -- white faced and shaking ... pointing to the floor. "The murderer used an umbrella as a fulcrum18 ... pushed one end under the bottom of the shelf and the handle under HarryT's chair. When he sat down, his weight pushed the umbrella, lifting the shelf enough to topple it on top of his chair! The cunning fiend laid a perfect trap! HarryT killed himself by sitting down to read!"

All eyes turned once again towards dreams .... who retreated towards the open doorway, trembling in every limb.
"Yes, that's one of my umbrellas, but I didn't put it there. I leave my umbrellas all over the place ... anyone could have picked one up and used it!"

"But dreams," pointed out WT Sharpe, "Didn't you tell HarryT to edit his book in the library tonight? Why else would he dare to come here alone?"

"Yes, I did .... but that was before all the killings began! How was I to know that it wouldn't be safe?"

The others began to circle dreams, as she continued to head towards the open door. She abruptly turned and ran back down the hall to the living room.

"I wonder who unlocked the door..."


AIIIIIEEEEEIIIIIEEEEIIIIEEE!



"Guys? Where's Nate?"

[End of Episode 8]

1 typos: Tippfehler, Druckfehler
2 to lurk: sich versteckt halten
3 diminished: vermindert, kleiner geworden
4 unison: Einklang
5 personal liability: Privathaftpflicht
6 hangman: Galgenmännchen-Spiel
7 truth or consequences: Wahrheit oder Pflicht
8 to snigger: kichern
9 plaster: Gips
10 snow flurry: Schneetreiben
11 to peer: spähen
12 glued to: en etw. kleben
13 grisly: grausig
14 to topple over: umstürzen
15 tome: Buchband, Wälzer
16 malefactor: Übeltäter
17 booby-trap: Falle
18 fulcrum: Hebel
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