The Misplaced Gargoyle

Voice Card  -  Volume 19  -  John Card Number 22  -  Tue, Apr 16, 1991 2:57 AM

Paul recently requested that I start up another serial voice card saga, like the old Crab Epic. In return, he PROMISED to participate in this one. This time I thought we'd try a murder mystery.

The idea is simple. I will present a brief opening to a story. All you have to do is create a response to this card and add another paragraph. Send the story off on a wacky new tangent. Try to create an impossible situation. I promise not to spend more than five minutes inventing this opening. I suggest you put in a similar level of effort in creating your response...


Inspector Gridlock was not looking forward to this one. A murder at the Frobisher Estate would probably involve bizarre circumstances and excessive press coverage: a real media circus. With any luck at all, he could nail the culprit before Lou Ann Gleason, the flamboyant but abrasive red-headed crime reporter at the Star, got wind of it. But when it came to Lou Ann Gleason, he was seldom lucky.

The Frankenstein-like butler who answered the door immediately opened his mouth to indicate a missing tongue. A mute. Tough break. Without even waiting for Gridlock to show his badge, Frankenstein turned and led the way into a richly appointed library.

Two women were glaring at each other over the body of a balding man in a scarlet smoking jacket. The older woman, apparently Mrs. Frobisher, seemed ready to slap the tear-stained face of a gorgeous young blonde in the rather scanty uniform of a maid.

"Inspector Gridlock, NYPD. Please step back from the body." The maid collapsed onto the sofa while Mrs. Frobisher moved off to the window, showing little interest in the body of her billionaire husband. But the inspector was too startled by what he saw to pay much attention to either one of the women. At least there would be no doubt about the murder weapon.

Atop the crushed skull of Horace Frobisher was a huge granite gargoyle, bloodstained but otherwise serene. Gridlock tested the gargoyle: five hundred pounds if it was an ounce. But what was a gargoyle doing in the middle of an oak-panelled reading room?

Inspector Gridlock began to gnaw at his knuckles. This was not going to be easy.