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No Parking: A New Year’s Murder: An Original Mystery Short Story

IN THE December 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2011 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze

by Gail Farrelly

Gail has shared many of her short stories with KRL and we are excited to have this New Year’s story of hers to share with you now.

They say New Year’s Eve in New York is special. Well, this one was, that’s for sure. At least for me.
I stare down at the stained blue rug. The corpse has been wheeled out to the mortuary van, but the chalk outline of the literary critic’s tortured body remains as a creepy reminder for me and the other ten members of my writing club. The clock is striking twelve; the New Year has begun. But still — I can’t take my eyes off that outline.

She was a critic who had always ripped apart my mystery stories, saying that they lacked structure, realism and verve. And she had constantly reminded me that motive, means, and opportunity — all three of them — were needed to make a good mystery.

She would have liked tonight’s story. Except for the ending.

You see, she was allergic to peanuts, and I just happened to have a bag of them in my purse. And, oops! A few peanut crumbs had landed in her drink when she left it unattended on the piano for a few minutes. In my mind, I toast the late critic for reminding me about means and opportunity. As to motive? She herself provided that.

At many meetings of the writing club, I had quietly seethed at her ruthless criticism. She had taken my dignity, my reputation, and my pride while tearing apart my work. But tonight she had stepped over the line and taken something much more valuable.

It happened downstairs a few hours ago. Just as I was about to back my Jeep Cherokee into a nice big parking space down the block, she sneaked up from the rear in her mini Cooper and maneuvered herself into the space. My space!

I continue to stare at the chalk outline and feel no guilt. I could stand it when she constantly criticized my work and whittled away at my enthusiasm for writing. But this time she had gone too far. Enough!

As a native New Yorker, she should have known better. Stealing a parking space is punishable by death.
And there’s no appeal

Check out another story by Gail here in KRL called The Kindle Did It! Even more can be found in the Mysteryrat’s Maze category.

Gail Farrelly writes mystery novels and short stories as well as Op-Eds & satire pieces on TheSpoof.com, a British website. Her first mystery, Beaned In Boston was named to the Washington Irving Book Selection List. Gail’s other books are Duped By Derivatives & Creamed at Commencement. She’s working on a fourth mystery, The Virtual Heiress. Gail shares a website with her sister Rita, also a mystery writer; first chapters of the Farrelly mysteries are available on the website.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda
Twitter: @brendaperrott and wildeoscarcat
December 29, 2011 at 1:16pm

I love this!


2 Earl Staggs December 30, 2011 at 6:52am

Excellent story, Gail. You got me good at the end.
A recent post from Earl Staggs: Anne K. AlbertMy Profile


3 Gail Farrelly
Twitter: @gailfarrelly
January 2, 2012 at 4:15pm

Brenda and Earl,

So glad you enjoyed the story. We New Yorkers ARE kind of possessive about our parking spaces, y’know. LOL! Happy New Year to you both.



4 Margaret
Twitter: @margaretmendel2
January 5, 2012 at 11:25am

This story certainly does add to the long line of incredibly entangled tales surrounding NYC parking!!!


5 Mary Ellen Golden March 10, 2019 at 6:41am

Loved the ending.


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