Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Guest Writer: Rod Drake

The Murder Game
A Professor Clue Surreal Mystery

Who killed Mr. Monopoly, the mustached, monocled owner of the famous game that bore his name?

That was the million dollar question. And not monopoly money either. Plus he was only the latest in a series of ruthless game board murders.

But he was by far the most prestigious, and his murder was the most outrageous: crushed under a massive pile of hotels from his own game. Only his crumpled top hat and cracked monocle survived.

The prime suspects were the game next door on Parker Brothers Boulevard. Clue. Somewhat ironic, as that is my name as well. Let me introduce myself; Professor Clue, detective extraordinaire, genius without peer, mastermind of criminal doings. Oh yes, and modest too. My assistant is Quiz Boy, a youthful, high-spirited lad, still under my tutelage, and in desperate need of it, but on occasion, useful.

Quiz Boy had assembled the five suspects in the observatory, a nice, spacious and pleasant room. I believe one of them is the culprit behind the Game Board Murders, as the newspapers have dubbed this sensational crime.

There is Doctor Pomegranate, famed fruit disease researcher and physician; Captain Mayo, heroic military veteran of many wars; Lady C. Gull, the faded and slightly looney silent movie star; Miss Crimson, the sultry heiress to the Chinese Checkers fortune; and Mr. Verde, the adventurer, explorer and big game trapper.

“One of you,” I intoned dramatically, as is my wont, “is a murderer.”

“Oh pish and tosh,” drawled Lady C. Gull, “why would any of us commit murder? What would we have to gain?” She leaned forwarded towards Quiz Boy and whispered, “Where is the camera? Is it getting my good side? Where is that makeup girl?”

“This is not a movie,” I stated in my best Basil Rathbone voice, “but someone will be flashed across the television news, I imagine, in handcuffs.” Lady Sparrow perked up at that, until I said, “But it’s not you; you’re too frail to push those hotels down on Mr. Monopoly.”

“So Miss Crimson is eliminated too then, for the same reason?” Doctor Pomegranate asked.

“Perhaps,” I played with their anticipation. “But she has youth and an athletic body on her side, if I may be so bold.” I tipped a pretend hat at her.

“You may,” she smiled her dazzling smile, crossing immaculate legs, miles of them. “Daily Chutes and Ladders keep me in shape.”

“The murderer, Professor Clue? You said you know who did it. Can we get on with this?” Mr. Verde was impatient, often a telling detail in murder cases.

“Yes, Mr. Verde. You are a likely suspect. After all, Monopoly town and other game cities were crowding the wilderness out of existence, and without it, what good is a big game hunter?” Mr. Verde started to deny it, but I pushed on. “And Doctor Pomegranate, it is well known that you and Mr. M were not close, I believe something about a woman you both fancied—correct, Miss Crimson?”

At that remark, Miss Crimson turned crimson. Doctor Pomegranate looked positively squeezed dry.

Quiz Boy moved into position. “That’s brings us to Captain Mayo. Hero of Battleship, the Jenga offensive and the Mouse Trap campaign. Is that where you lost your eye, Captain?”

He nervously tugged on his black eye patch. “No, it was . . . the Yahtzee raid.”

“Interesting.” I strolled into the circle of the seated suspects. “Also interesting that you seem shorter, and if I may be painfully honest, a bit more rotund than I remember your appearance.”

‘He’s right,’ came murmurs from the remaining four.

“Could it be, that the eye patch is just a way to shield your myopic eye?” Quiz Boy then quickly pulled the patch off, revealing Mayo’s normal eye, “Since you need the monocle to see!”

“Holy Husker Du, Mayo is actually Mr. Monopoly! In disguise!” Doctor Pomegranate stated the obvious. “But,” he turned to me, “Monopoly was killed, we all saw—“

Quiz Boy slapped cuffs on Monopoly. “No, Doctor, you saw a top hat and monocle— Mr. Monopoly’s body was never recovered; it was thought to have been crushed utterly out of existence. That was what began my suspicions as to the ‘murder.’ And my infallible deductions to solve this case.”

I continued on. “Our clever friend here faked his own murder, to throw everyone off his scent after killing the other game board inhabitants. And you assembled here were to be next.”

“But why?” asked a confused Miss Crimson.

“Shall you tell them, or I, Mr. Monopoly?” I offered him the challenge.

“Because as long as other board games exist, I can’t be Monopoly! I’m one of many, and I must be the one and only, a true monopoly!” The police arrived then and took Mr. Monopoly away, as he screamed insanely about Community Chest, the B&O and Park Place.

To sum up this case, using the right vernacular: Monopoly took a Risk and ran his little Operation, but now he is Sorry that he failed at the Game of Life. It will be no Candyland in prison for him. Oh, I just kill myself sometimes.

© Rod Drake 2010

Rod Drake enjoyed tweaking the pulp detective style in this story, which hopefully will become the first in a Professor Clue series. Check out Rod’s other stories in Fictional Musings, Six Sentences, MicroHorror, Powder Burn Flash and AcmeShorts. You can find Cab Ride from Hell, Time to Go, Saturday at the Mall, The Storyteller, and Housefly Lament at Six Sentences, and The Adventure of the Whitechapel Murders at Fictional Musings.


  1. HAHAHA Delightful, you are. This was great fun.

  2. Yes, great fun! Tip top Tale.
    But if I may ask, who is Lady Sparrow?

  3. Very cute. I was just thinking to day about how much I enjoy the game of Life...

  4. Clever concept deligful twist

  5. Very well done. Clever, interesting and a great twist on the hard boiled detective genre.
    Adam Byatt @revhappiness

  6. Wow, this terrific tale surely deserved more comments than MuDJoB was able to supply. I hope that won't deter you from considering further submissions because the site is growing and on a future visit you're sure to garner more responses. Checked out the links you supplied and had a ball. You're a funny writer, and I look forward to a Professor Clue series. I'm putting in dibs now for you to think about sharing another of his adventures with us.


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