Episode Two: The Art of Murder

            It was late at night, and Colonel Jack Mustard was slightly drunk. He’d decided to leave the party slightly early than he’d originally planned. It didn’t really matter much, anyway, what time he left at.
            He parked his car and stopped the engine. He sat for a while in his seat, staring over the dashboard. He listened. After a while, he shrugged. He thought he’d heard a noise. He must’ve imagined it.
            Mustard got out of the car slowly, and promptly tripped over his own feet. “Damn it,” he muttered to himself. He fumbled around in his pocket for his house keys. Finally, he managed to find the right key, and unlocked his door. He swung it open. “Honey, I’m home!” he shouted, turning on the lights. That’s when he caught sight of the couch— more specifically, what his wife and a strange man were doing on it! She noticed him and gasped, pushing the man off of her. “Jack! Why are you home so early?” she asked.
            “Who the hell is he?” the stranger asked her.
            “I happen to be her husband!” Mustard exclaimed in anger.
            “You’re married?” the man asked her. “Wow, to this loser?”
            At that moment, Colonel Mustard lost it. He went straight to the drawers where he always kept a loaded gun… for emergencies. A shot rang out. His wife screamed. He shot again and again. “Take that, you son of a bitch,” Mustard growled. The stranger, eyes still wide open, as if he was shocked to be dead, hit the floor with a thud.
            There was another scream. “Shut the hell up, Gail!” Mustard yelled, slapping his wife. “Don’t you dare make a fucking noise!” Gail made an effort to silence herself. She no longer saw her husband in front of her. She saw a bloodthirsty monster.
            Mustard went over to the body. What to do? he thought. He picked up the man’s body , and dragged it over to the front door. After putting his shoes back on, he lifted the dead body, and carried it boldly from his door to the pickup truck. He tossed it into the back, and immediately covered it. He looked around. He didn’t think anyone saw him.
            After one last glance, Mustard came back to the door. “If you say anything about this to anyone,” he threatened his wife, “I’ll kill you. Clean up the blood— I don’t want any signs of it when I get back.” He slammed the door, got into the pickup, started the engine, and drove off. Before he knew it, he was at the riverfront. He glanced around. No one was there to be seen. After all, who would be at the riverfront at this time of the night? He took the body out of the back of his pickup, and threw it in…
            When he got back home, he got the shock of his life. The pool of blood hadn’t disappeared at all. It had gotten larger. By the pool of blood, his wife’s limp body lay there… She had slashed her own wrists…

            “Lovely story, don’t you think?” Boddy grinned wickedly. He stared right into Colonel Mustard’s eyes. He put down the sheet of paper. “I wrote it all myself.”
            “I’m sure George Lucas will be chasing after you for a film adaptation,” Mustard replied, in as sarcastic a tone as he could manage.
            “I wonder what would happen if such a story were made public?” Boddy pried further.
            “Well,” Mustard appeared to consider. “First, I would get my lawyers to contact you. Then, I’d sue you for libel. And after I won the multimillion-dollar lawsuit—“
            Boddy cut him off. “You’re expecting a promotion soon, aren’t you?”
            “Yes,” Mustard shifted uneasily.
            “What’s next after Colonel? General?”
            Brigadier-General.” Mustard made sure he stressed the words.
            “Whatever. It’s all the same to me,” Boddy replied, dismissively. “Any hint of a scandal like this would ruin your chance, wouldn’t it?”
            “What the hell do you mean?”
            “I mean I have proof that you killed that guy. I have an eyewitness. You thought no one saw you come out of that house with the body. You were wrong. Someone did, but they were, until now, afraid to say anything. They’re willing to appear on the witness stand, as long as I can guarantee them that he can win the case.”
            “I can win the case.”
            “What do you want me to do about it?”
            Boddy slid an envelope across his desk. “Inside, you’ll find my demands for payment. Do what it says there and I guarantee my client that he can’t win the case. Then, there’s no need for embarrassing evidence or a trial.”
            “How do I pay you? When?”
            “This weekend, I’m having something of a weekend get-together. Something like a party. Anyhow, you’re on the guest list. I’ll expect you to pay me in full by Sunday afternoon, or your secret’s out.”

            Colonel Mustard had since left, and now, in his place, Monsieur Brunette was in the room. He had brought in a painting which Boddy was examining at the moment. “All right,” Boddy finally said, stopping his examination of the painting. “Looks good. How much do I owe you?”
            “It’s a $10,000 down payment,” Brunette replied,
            “Yeah, no problem.” Boddy simply unlocked his desk drawer and pulled out $10,000. “Look, I hope you don’t mind,” he then began.
            “Yes?” Brunette was listening.
            “Well, I’m going to have something of a party this weekend at my mansion, and I would like to invite you.”
            “Well, I don’t really—“
            “What I want you to do is evaluate the value of certain paintings at the house. Could you come?”
            Brunette reflected. “Well,” he finally conceded, “it won’t do any harm.”
To be continued…