Fiction: In the Library With a Candlestick


Read More: A short interview with Sonia Greenfield

Colonel Mustard was stunned, once the blood cleared from his eyes, to find Mr. Boddy dead on the floor of the library, heavy candlestick still in the colonel’s steady military hand, its fluted, polished edge smeared with a little hair and skin. Stunned, after so many years of stoic control, to have lost it in a single minute, as if all that anger stuffed deep down inside had burst forth, and there poor Mr. Boddy lay crumpled on his side, a steady trickle of blood ruining the Turkish rug. Luckily for Colonel Mustard, a few small technicalities during the trial had him serving three years in a minimum security prison where he took up water painting and letter writing, his main correspondent being Mrs. Peacock—

—who, after her stay at the manor, divorced Mr. Peacock as a matter of course because she found file upon file of photos, so many naked men, their cocks sprung out from the pornographic images as if the computer screen had a third dimension. Thus she moved off to St. Barts where she became a masseuse at a resort, which wasn’t such a bad way to live, putting her hands on all those bodies, disappearing into her mind while her fingers worked the musculature of the young and old. In fact, she was surprised to find herself running her strong fingers along the flanks of Miss Scarlet—

—who she had mostly forgotten once the trauma of the murder had worked its was through her psyche. But there Miss Scarlet was on the table, vacationing after her marriage to her husband of seven years, no longer Miss, no longer Scarlet. And as she lay there harkening back to that terrible day— reminded again by this chance meeting with Charlotte (honey, don’t call me Mrs. Peacock anymore), who was actually very competent— all she could think about was the look on Professor Plum’s face when he found out that his mentor had been murdered by the Colonel, and how that vulnerability and pain so nakedly exposed on the intellectual’s face had her instantly smitten. And when he said, “You can call me Chuck,” that’s when she knew that he was hers— […]

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Sonia Greenfield is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer who calls Los Angeles home where she lives with her husband, son, and feral dog. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including The Massachusetts Review, The Antioch Review, Rattle, and 2010 Best American Poetry, and her chapbook, Circus Gravitas, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her latest pieces of fiction can be found in PANK online, and her latest essays can be found on Role Reboot. She teaches writing at USC.