A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and new articles throughout the week, including — movie reviews each Monday at 7pm and live events Wednesdays at 7pm. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — there's something for everyone… and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.

Previous post:

Next post:


Murder, Deconstructed: An Original Mystery Short Story

IN THE September 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTerrific Tales
SECTIONS

by Barbara Eliasson

“This is inappropriate.” The chairman of the English department looked down at the chalk outline of the late unlamented literary critic, Brutus Pannem. “Dragging the body of a man like that into our conference room!”

The members of the department, gathered around the chairman, nodded. Over the years Pannem had dripped acid on their works. Understandably, all were secretly gleeful.

“Was he, indeed, dragged here from elsewhere? Or were there signs of a class struggle?” Professor Karle wanted to know.

“There was certainly no systematic pattern of signs,” said Professor Peers.

“It’s rather beautiful,” said Professor Jacob, staring at the figure in the carpet. “A perfect example of form without content.”

“What do we know of the historical and cultural context of this event?” asked Professor Green.

“Since when have you employed euphemisms?” demanded Professor Blunt.

The chairman tried to pacify his colleagues. “What’s important here is the meaning.”

“What meaning?” said Professor Derrman. “What can we know? Whatever appears to be the case here can always be undermined.” His colleagues rolled their eyes. In his youth Derrman had been overly influenced by the Yale critics.

“I’ll bet a woman did it,” offered Professor Missogh. “These female scribblers are everywhere, and some of them are vicious.”

“Oh, my God!” Professor Walter glared at Missogh. She looked as though she would gladly have substituted him for Pannem in the just-removed body bag.

The combatants were interrupted.

Standing in the doorway to the conference room was Professor Eccles, the maverick of the department. “One of those with no clearly thought-out theoretical stance,” the chairman muttered.

Eccles didn’t mutter; he roared. “What are you standing around for? Pannem was a narrow-minded, mean-spirited bastard. Evidently, someone agreed with me.”

He waved his hands at his colleagues with a shooing gesture.

“Go!”

They went.

Barbara Eliasson has published articles and columns in the Gannett suburban newspapers, Catholic New York, Riverdale Press, Norwood News (a community newspaper), and The New York Times. She is currently working on the final revision of her novel, Too Many Bodies, an academic mystery.

Send to Kindle

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail FarrellyNo Gravatar
Twitter: @gailfarrelly
September 29, 2012 at 11:20am

Fun story, Barbara!

Reply

2 Jackie KingonNo Gravatar
Twitter: @twitterjackiekingon
September 29, 2012 at 12:21pm

Loved the take on the academic analysis of the professors. A really clever read. Way to go!

Reply

3 Jackie KingonNo Gravatar
Twitter: @twitterjackiekingon
September 29, 2012 at 12:22pm

Loved this. So clever a take on academic analysis.

Reply

4 bobbi chukranNo Gravatar
Twitter: @bchukran
September 30, 2012 at 6:56am

So funny! Thanks for sharing it with us! bobbi c.
A recent post from bobbi chukran: Free herbal e-book for three days only!My Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

Twitter ID
(ID only; No links or "@" symbols)

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post:

  • Arts & Entertainment

  • Books & Tales

  • Community

  • Education

  • Food

  • Helping Hands

  • Hometown History

  • Pets

  • Teens

  • Terrific Tales