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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Mysteries By Members  / Short Mysteries  /

Thursday was an ideal day for a grisly murder to occur. But, the murder had happened on Wednesday, which discouraged Simon somewhat. Wednesday was bright and sunny. Thursday, though, was dark and rainy. To Simon, it seemed like a different sort of rain. The clouds had extinguished the familiar brightness of the sun and the rain pelted down in big, stinging drops. But, a setting was a setting, and Simon knew there were more important things than that.

The murder had taken place early evening, so Simon had had the dark on his side. Simon had left his flat breathless, the sort of excited anticipation a schoolboy would have on a first date. He remembered adjusting his derby hat to shield his eyes, and fingering the knife which lay in one of his pockets. It had taken Simon an hour the day before, polishing it, giving it that brilliant shine. Simon had whistled while he’d reviewed the plan, so simple that nothing could go wrong. He’d supposed that he was the antagonist. No, he was the protagonist, wasn’t he? No, the main character, good or evil, was still the protagonist. He nodded his head in silent recognition.

Simon listened to the rhythmic pitter-patter of the rain outside. Even remembering last night’s murder brought back the giddy, strangely euphoric feeling he had had when he’d finished. No, he was getting ahead of himself…Best start where he’d left off.

Simon remembered turning the corner, leaving the pleasant atmosphere of 13 Avenue. He’d turned into a back alley, where he’d hoped to find a single street person. A victim, preferably male. Killing a female seemed, to Simon, unfair. Simon hated back alleys. He hated the dirt, the garbage, and the disgusting people who dwelled there. He did up the last button of the green raincoat he had purchased for the occasion. The raincoat wasn’t his style, long and bulky with tons of pockets for who knows what. Only one pocket was full. Full with the wonderfully sharp knife.

“’Ave you got a copper to share?” A loud, slurred voice had asked him. Simon shuddered unnoticeably, staring at the man with a kind of hatred he couldn’t fathom. This was the one! The one who’d give him countless bestsellers! Do it! Do it now! A steady crescendo of voices echoed in Simon’s head, which was pounding. He glanced around for any witnesses…He’d patted the knife in his pocket…He’d even considered running, but no, it had gone on to long. He needed this to happen. Simon drew out the knife, and, and well he’d done it. No use recounting the gory details. Simon remembered the shocked expression on the hobo’s face. How the man had try to cry out…Simon had made sure he was dead, and ran. Oh, how he ran. He wanted to leave the dirty, musty alley, and get back to his cozy, clean little flat, where he sat now, listening to the rain and going over details of last night’s murder. It wasn’t till he was home when he felt the way a murderer should have. Elated, ecstatic, euphoric, the murder had given him the kind of joy that he had felt only once, when his novel had been published.

But that was ten years ago. Ten years ago when NightSongs by newcomer Simon Burbank had been published. Simon had been twenty-one, with no job, no hopes, and no future. Then this idea had come, and idea for a mystery novel. Simon had felt inspired, although he had never written anything, and only read philosophy.

It had taken Simon only six months to finish, and Simon couldn’t remember even sleeping. Writing his novel had become an obsession, a need, something that from which Simon couldn’t escape. He would sit at his typewriter, night and day, till he had finished. Shockingly, NightSongs was published immediately. No second drafts, only minor changes were made. The publisher loved it, as had the critics. NightSongs, though, had sold poorly. Simon had been devastated. His novel! It was then when Simon Burbank had realized that he wanted to be famous. He wanted to have fans. He wanted a bestseller.

God only knows how hard he tried. The hours, days, weeks, months, even that he had spent in front of the typewriter, looking at a barren sheet of paper, daring only to write ‘By: Simon Burbank’ on the top. How frustrated he became. How he’d yell. How he’d curse. And finally, how he’d weep. Simon remembered the nights he’d spend, banging his fists against the walls in utter frustration, and then bursting into tears. Wondering what was wrong with him.

To Simon, writing another novel had become a personal mission. Some days he’d be determined, others cynical. Some days he’d amuse himself by practicing his autograph, then by practicing acceptance speeches from various literary awards. And there were days where he’d scream and cry. This had gone on year after year, but Simon seldom realized that.

Then, a few weeks ago, Simon had been inspired. He had finally thought of a cure for his mystery writer’s block. He could commit a murder himself! He was sure it would al

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (1 previous message)
- 04:30pm Jun 11, 2000 PST(#2 of 7) Delete Message

Seeing the man on the floor made Simon sick. He ran to the bathroom and vomited in the toilet, feeling even worse. Soon someone would come checking on him. What was he to do? Kill them as they came? I didn’t want it to come to this, Simon thought frantically, I’m just a mystery writer. I’m not a murderer, not really, anyway. Simon felt sick again. He tried to slow his breathing. My motives were purely altruistic, I was just doing my job, I just want a bestseller, he thought hysterically. But even that sounded shallow, to his ears. He had a pounding headache. Couldn’t…think…straight…. Okay. What does the protagonist do now? Think like a mystery writer.

But who really knows how mystery writers think, anyway?

Aggie - 08:02am Jul 2, 2000 PST(#3 of 7)
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ee cummings

I like this story, Leah. And, if I could answer that last line, I would hope to have a best seller myself!

Leah_Young - 09:32pm Jul 3, 2000 PST(#4 of 7)
"I have something to say: It's better to burn out, than fade away!"

Thanks. No kidding with the bestsellers. I'm having a heck of a time with a novel I'm working on. Do you write lots?

Heather Luvs Cows - 01:49pm Aug 6, 2001 PST(#5 of 7)

Leah, Very well written and a great story. It had me hooked and I couldn't stop until I was done. I liked how you wrote it from the murderers point of veiw and you told us that the murderer was slightly insane and needed help. I also liked the way they said that a fan saw him and identified him as the killer, When he thought he had no fans. Fantastic ending and I give my conpliments to you and your story!!!!:)


dianawolf - 07:00pm Jan 21, 2004 PST(#6 of 7)
Procrastination is a virus

Leah - I loved the story. I must admit I suspect I've seen this plot idea before, yet, you should be proud. Great writing! You had me really going. It sounds like Alfred Hitchcock, and in fact, I was stunned at the ending. This reader felt the floor drop out from under. I had more than half expected your murderer to discover that the policeman was bogus, and horror upon horrors, his victim was a lonely, mentally disturbed fan of his first book.

Kathleen Myrah - 04:30pm Dec 10, 2004 PST(#7 of 7)

Leah - I really liked the story! Kinda reminded me of Poe - a tad bit eerie?

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / Mysteries By Members  / Short Mysteries  / HOW TO CURE MYSTERY WRITER'S BLOCK (A story) By: Leah Young

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