NaPoWriMo 2013, Day #09 – Detective/Noir

The prompt for Day 09 was:

“I’m a sucker for a good mystery novel, especially the hard-boiled noir novels of the thirties and forties. There’s always a two-timing blonde, a city that keeps its secrets, and stuck in the middle, a man who just can’t help but rabbit after truth. Today I challenge you write a poem inspired by noir — it could be in the voice of a detective, or unravel a mystery, or just describe the long shadows of the skyscrapers in the ever-swirling smog. After all, “you know how to write a poem, don’t you, Steve? You just pick up a pen and you write.”

The Death of Mr Noir

I was called to the murder of a Mr Noir, a rich gentleman who lived on the outskirts of Paris.
It was cold, it was raining, it was Monday.
The gates were open on my approach,
and skidmarks were left in the gravel by the escape car.

I gathered Mr Noir’s close friends and asked them if they had seen anything suspicious.
None had.
I began my investigation.

Mr Noir had died three days ago.
He was found in his library, with bruises and cuts on his head, arms and torso.
There had clearly been a struggle; candlesticks had fallen off a nearby mantelpiece,
rope curtain-tiebacks had fallen from the nearby window,
and fingerprint-bruises were dotted all over Mr Noir’s body; someone had tried to restrain him.

The murder weapon appeared to have been a flat, blunt object.
Under the long curtains nearby, I found a piece of lead piping.
It was bent in the middle, having clearly sustained a large amount of force and resistance.
I guessed the resistance was Mr Noir’s head.

I took in each of Mr Noir’s close friends for questioning;
A professor of economics from the nearby university,
A maid that worked in the mansion,
A female philosophy student,
An ex-Army veteran,
An actress,
and the Parish Priest.

As soon as I met her, I knew it was her.
The actress.
She had a real fancy story of where she was on the night of the murder,
including where she was and what she was doing during every minute of the evening.
But I knew.
I examined her house for evidence, and I found what I was looking for.
In her dustbin, a cream dress stained with Mr Noir’s blood.
No wonder she had chosen her specific stage name.
Miss Scarlet.

My work was finished.
It was Miss Scarlet, in the library, with the lead piping.

My friend checked the cards in a small, black plastic wallet.
I was right.
I had won.
I love Cluedo.


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