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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

January 22, 2004



It was one of those days unique to London; a cold, dank day when ennui filled the air and the fog was so thick it seemed one could jump out the window and be wafted to the ground as if on a feather pillow.

"Remember when I jumped out the window expecting to be wafted to the ground as if on a feather pillow, Blancmange?" said Colonel Broadbeam, late of the Royal Horse Marine and biographer of Inspector Blancmange.

"Yes, my dear fellow. As I recall you were in traction for six months. I must write a monograph on that episode!"

Just then, there came a knock on the door.

"I think you'll find, Broadbeam, that there's someone knocking at the door."

"How do you do it, Blancmange?" Broadbeam asked, with understandable admiration.

"Well, for one thing, I'm not brain damaged from jumping out of windows" Blancmange thought, but chose not to express aloud. "I suspect that for someone to venture out in this beastly weather they must be sorely in need of our services!"

Once again the Great Detective was correct. When Broadbeam answered the door, standing in the hallway was none other than young Sir Charles Blunderville, son of the late Lord Bevis Blunderville.

"Come in, Sir Charles, and warm yourself by the fire!" said Blancmange, "I trust you're here to seek my help in solving the brutal murder of your father!"

"You must be able to read minds, Inspector!" said Blunderville. "Or is it because of the unusual circumstances of his death that have been so recently sensationalized in the tabloids?"

"You must admit, my dear Sir Charles, it's not every day that a man meets his end in such a way. It took quite a sensational demise to move Jack the Ripper off the front page of the Times!"

"I would not have believed it myself, had I not seen the results with my own eyes. You see, Blunderville Hall, our ancestral home, is situated in the Macken Mire, a bleak and godforsaken place on the Brackish Moors. When one spends his life in a place such as that, one sees many strange things. Things beyond the ken of mortal man, indeed, things no doubt beyond the ken of a merciful Heaven! But this episode was bizarre even by the standards of that profane and wicked place!"

"I say!" said Broadbeam.

"Yes, so I can say it would appear to be true, gentlemen, just as was reported in the popular press! My father was pecked to death by a huge, demonic chicken!"

"I say!" said Broadbeam.

Blancmange lit his pipe. "Surely a man of science such as yourself doesn't believe in such things! I've read your works on tuba playing among the Hottentot, and your paper on dementia in kelp is something of a classic! So, then, Sir Charles, why do you seek our services? Surely not to trap this hellish fowl."

"No, Inspector. Unlike the simple folk who live on the moors, I have no superstitious belief in ghosts, wraiths, banshees, demonic chickens or the glowing hedgehog that's said to make its appearance every Guy Fawkes Day. No, I know my father was murdered, and it was not by any supernatural livestock! The chicken was merely the instrument of his demise, manipulated by some Svengali for reasons unknown. But, there's more, Inspector Blancmange! Since his death at the hands, er, beak of the chicken, strange things have been happening at Blunderville Hall!"

"I say!" said Broadbeam.

"Broadbeam," said Blancmange patiently, "Doesn't the fog look soft and inviting?"

"So it does, Blancmange! I'll wager that one could jump out the window and be wafted to the ground as if on a feather pillow!" He proceeded to put his theory to the test, with predictable results.

"Well, Sir Charles, now that that's out of the way, tell me about these curious events."

"As I was saying, strange things have occurred beyond my father's death. First, Puckish, my manservant, was found in the oven, trussed up and stuffed with bread crumbs! That very night, my favorite boots, which I'd left out on the sidewalk to be blacked, disappeared! Then, as a final straw, someone replaced my regular coffee with Folger's Crystals!"

"This is curious, indeed! I think a trip to Blunderville Hall is called for! We shall leave on the noon train from Paddington Station. We must get to the bottom of this before this poultry manipulating fiend strikes again!"

You can't imagine how grateful I am, Inspector!

"I say!" said Broadbeam, entering the room disheveled but none the worse for his adventure. "Luckily, a street urchin broke my fall. Oh, well, plenty more where HE came from, eh?"

And with that they all had a good laugh.






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©2003 Brian Codagnone
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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
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Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11