Murder and Matchmaking

Murder and Matchmaking
A novel mashup of Sherlock Holmes and Pride & Prejudice

Monday, May 17, 2010

SVU: Special Vaticide Unit

(Inspired by Johnson’s dictionary’s definition: Vaticide - a murderer of poets)

SCENE 1 EXT. outside a grotty downtown apartment, late at night.

DETECTIVE BUNSON has just arrived on the scene to join her partner, DETECTIVE STIBLER. They talk as they make their way up to the victim’s apartment.

STIBLER
Sorry to drag you out here at this hour. I know this was supposed to be your night off from solving horrific crimes.

BUNSON
It’s part of the job. I knew what I was signing up for when I joined this unit. You said you were sure it was vaticide. Did the killer choke the victim on pages of their own verse?

STIBLER
Like that Sonnet serial killer? It still chills me to think of those poets’ dead faces, forced to eat their own words.

BUNSON
Death by iambic pentameter. Not a nice way to go.

STIBLER
The press were all over it. Calling him the ‘Shakespearian Sonnet Slaughterer’ when he killed writers of Petrarchan sonnets as well. They’ll stoop to anything to get an alliterative headline.

BUNSON
But it can’t be him. We put that poet killer away for life. You’re not suggesting a copy-cat killer?

STIBLER
No, the victim was stabbed, not choked with poetry.

BUNSON
Stabbed? With a writing implement?

STIBLER
No, a knife.

BUNSON
Why are you so certain it was vaticide then?

STIBLER
You’ll see.

BUNSON and STIBLER arrive at the open front door. They duck under the crime scene tape across the doorway as they step into the apartment to observe the scene. A dead body lies in the middle of the floor in a pool of blood with numerous stab wounds in his torso.

BUNSON
Maybe he just interrupted a burglary?

STIBLER
Look at the floor over there.

BUNSON
My god. The victim scrawled out a message in his own blood: ‘There was once a man from Nantucket.’

STIBLER
Definitely the first line of a limerick.

BUNSON
You’re right. He even used his kidney as a comma at the end of the line.

STIBLER
I’m not sure that was intentional.

BUNSON
What do we know about the victim?

STIBLER
One Edgar Wilkes. Single, white, twenty-eight years old. Worked as a sales rep at the Bargain Electronics store. No publications that we can find. A lot of poetry and literary journals on his bookshelves though.

BUNSON
Sounds like he had a serious poetry habit. Reading as well as writing the stuff. Were there any witnesses?

STIBLER
They’re interviewing the neighbours now but it seems no one saw or heard anything. It seems our poet liked to keep to himself.

BUNSON
The reclusive type, huh?

STIBLER
Aren’t they all?

BUNSON
Let’s not generalise. If my four years on the Vaticide unit have taught me anything, it’s that poets come from all walks of life. Some of them you wouldn’t even know from looking at them that they spent their evenings up to their eyeballs in frantically scribbled verse.

STIBLER
You’re right. They’re people, too. They all had hopes and dreams and families before their lives were cruelly stamped out by some poetry-hating psycho!

BUNSON
Take it easy. Let’s just find this killer before they strike again and take out another limericist. We don’t want another Haiku Hacker on our hands…

STILBER
Killing five poets one night, seven the next…

BUNSON
And five on the last. We should investigate.

STIBLER
I’ll just call my wife, this could go late.

BUNSON
Careful, Stibler. You just rhymed with me and that could sound dangerously close to poetry.

STIBLER
You think the killer could be listening?

BUNSON
You know what they say about killers. They always return to the scene of the rhyme.

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