Work In Progress

Another Knock on the Door at the Murder Cabin

Hey, folks.

Just a quick post to say that I’m finally back from our adventure at Hidden Valley Ranch near Pecos, New Mexico. It was a hoot and I loved every minute of it. (Well, except for that one minute when I nearly perished in an unsatisfying manner, but I’ll get around to sharing that nugget of not-good in a future post.)

Whilst I play catch-up with the comments and whatnot, I thought I’d share the above photo. It was taken in the actual Murder Cabin, wherein Partner and I and Bubbles were dwelling during our stay. I like how the sunlight both revealed and hid what might be happening. More importantly, it cemented an idea in my head on the origin story behind the murder mystery that I have been promising to write for two years but I haven’t actually done so.

It’s all clicking now. Those of you who write profusely know exactly what I’m talking about, that one significant nudge that crystalizes the vision. Now I just need to align the planets, so to speak.

In the interim (because it will most likely take me forever to get around to writing the story that I keep promising to write), let’s make this a bit of an imagination prompt for compositions on your own blogs.

Why are the chairs empty?

What is happening just outside the window?

Why is this known as the Murder Cabin?

And who the hell designed those atrocious curtains?

Dazzle me with your explanations. I’m still aligning the plot-point planets in my head, and you just might tempt me to include your analysis in my Perilous Pecos Plot.



31 replies »

  1. Are you requesting serious answers?
    ’cause I’m going to be super serious and writerly.

    Why are the chairs empty?

    Because according to quantum mechanics, particles aren’t really there or… like… they don’t know what they are until they are consciously observed so I’m going with… they’re empty because they are suspended in a super position of both being filled (by two bum bums) and empty (of said bum bums) and because this is just a photo, it’s like Plato’s shadow cave right now they’re not the REAL chairs…no one is sitting in them until they’re being observed…um…by …like… people. They’re the Schrodinger’s Cat of chairs

    What is happening just outside the window?

    A parallel dimension where you and I exist watching what will happen avidly in this top end of the rabbit hole, while wondering who thought blood red, beflowered grandma chairs were a good idea for roomish ambience

    Why is this known as the Murder Cabin?

    Because it’s where spontaneous story ideas come to die a slow and agonising death of contrived plot mechanisms and convenient Deus ex machinas

    And who the hell designed those atrocious curtains?

    Your mum (classic cuss here in London)

    Or… Mata Hari?
    Salome? as she Eureka-ed the idea for the dance of the seven veils?
    Or…the dude who wrote that classic striptease tune… you know… da da daaa.. di da da daaa…

    Hope this helps.
    I think I nailed it

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Brian carried in the Costco bags into the cabin and checked his supply list. Giant jar of JellyBellys? Four extra large cans of espresso-grind coffee? PartyPak of Pringles? Gin? Vodka? 2000-tablet jars of ibuprofen? Carton of cigarettes he didn’t smoke but some overflowing ashtrays would certainly add that je ne sais quoi touch of Hemingway homage? Thirty apples to ensure a month’s worth of doctor absence? Check, check, and double check. He was ready.

    This was going to be the year he nailed NaNoWriMo. The year he wrote his soon-to-be-bestseller mystery, ‘Pecos Cabin Murder’.

    He positioned his laptop on the table facing the window and began to type.

    “The body slumped across the old chair. The first bullet tore up the cushion, the second passing harmlessly through the wooden chair arm. But the third was right above the staring eyes.”

    Brian paused. Who was the victim? Who was the murderer? He’d figure that out as he went along.

    Days turned into weeks. There were only two days left of NaNo. JellyBellys were at perilously low levels. He was on the last can of coffee. Characters, clues, red herrings—all had come and gone but he was still no nearer to figuring out the victim or the murderer. He eyed the cigarettes. What the hell. He lit one, coughed, and inhaled deeply. Again. YES! He had it!

    The door to the cabin opened and Barb wandered in, sniffing suspiciously before going over to open the window. Then she peered over Brian’s shoulder. “Oh, hey Brian! I saw this on Netflix last night. The victim was the blog follower and the murderer was actually…”

    Three shots rang out. Brian eyed the smoking gun in his hand, balanced it atop the pile of empty Pringles cans, turned back to his laptop, and began to type.

    “Barb slumped across the old chair. The first bullet tore up the cushion, the second passing harmlessly through the wooden chair arm. But the third was right between her eyes.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. They leapt from the chairs with alacrity upon hearing the screams coming from without the window. Dashing outside they found a once refined but now wild-eyed wild-haired woman. She ran a twitching hand through her the the ruination of her crowning glory, sobbing inconsolably as the other tremblingly touched the washed out but red rimmed curtains. ‘Someone has to have murdered the poor benighted interior decorator’ she wailed. ‘Harlot Scarlet and Snow White curtains AND New Mexican Teal on the windows and skirting boards?’ Martha Stewart dramatically collapsed, unable to face any further horrors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Why are the curtain patterns facing outside instead of inside?
    Why is there a rip in the fabric of one chair?
    The floor has clearly been replaced – blood is a bitch to get out of carpet as is the smell of death.
    Did this room have another window or no air condition or was the window rattler built into the wall?
    Why do the chairs match the curtains but not exactly?
    Why did the dinner table get replaced with the tiny occasional table?
    Someone was very nervous in the chair on the right because they scratched the finish off the arm rests (either the murderer had a tic or the second victim was tied there)?
    The sunshine outside is clearly very bright and there are no desert plants outside so it must be in a very strange side of town. And brian why push your luck on what sounds like a well needed fabulous vacation (which if I do not take soon I will lose my mind) by tempting the fates – and perhaps irritating them?
    I think a long poem is going to come out of my end I can’t wait to see the final edit of your story but the photo is very David Lynch-ian do you agree?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so uncreative. There’s a dead body in the garden and another person is in the kitchen making tea, ready to situate themselves in the chair to contemplate the dead body. Happy to hear you got the nudge and inspiration. Excited to see what emerges.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Murder Cabin

    Damn you Brian for intriguing me!

    The Notoriously Unpopular designer Flitz Kennelworth was hoping to regain (gain) his popularity by redesigning the room he was currently inhabiting.

    He did not take into account the dead body on the bed or the SWAT team outside his window preparing to breach.

    He was focusing intently on the blood stain his partner had so egregiously left behind on the chair. If he had simply agreed with Flitz on the choice of the curtains then the gun shot would not have been necessary. A good sidekick must always agree with the hero. It is in the Rule Book.

    As the door shattered inward, Flitz sighed. No one understood his genius, no one.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The chairs aren’t empty. Don’t you see the man with the bloody crotch to the right and the smiling woman holding a shotgun and a cross stitch that reads “Til death do us part” on her lap?
    Outside the window is the beginning of a flower garden where her beloved will rest, once the swelling goes down and it becomes easier to amputate various parts of his body.
    It’s called Murder Cabin for obvious reasons and the curtains were fashioned out of old bedsheets, which will later be used to wrap the dead body.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry, I’m just way too concerned with the crumbs on the floor and the overall condition of the chairs to come up with a coherent storyline. You didn’t sit in the chairs, did you? Please tell me you didn’t. Or if you did, that you first sprayed them and yourself with disinfectant and had a hot shower afterwards?
    Also, who paints the trim turquoise yet buys red chairs with mysterious stains? Clearly the person was unhinged… possibly psychotic….

    And there you have it: It was an unhinged, psychotic interior designer who eats Little Debbie Swiss Rolls while waiting for her unsuspecting victims to walk into the cabin. Lucky for you, Partner outwitted her and pushed her out the window.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Igor, having suddenly awakened to find himself outside in the sunlight and heat, cringed in terror. His back hurt, and as he glimpsed the comfortable chairs through the window of the strange house, he realised that they were the answer to his painful nights. But those curtains were the stuff of nightmares: of lace and tea and friendly old ladies. Yeech. That’s just not hunchback, he thought. But those chairs! So luscious! What’s a hunchback to do???

    But then, but then, Igor saw a mist, a fog, encircling the chairs. What fresh hell is this, he thought. Igor had seen a lot of hells, but nothing like this. It was smelly, like rotten mildewed feet, and clammy, like cold sweaty hands, and sickly-orange, like obscene grandiose phantoms. It was the ghost of the defeated Puppet Strumpet, but Igor relaxed. It was only a ghost, after all. A few white candles would fix the problem. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, this little snippet is clever as well. (Love “lace and tea and friendly old ladies”.) Sadly, this popped in after I had already composed the follow-up post wherein I amused myself by shining a spotlight on all the comments (up to a point, that is). Perhaps I need to do a secondary spotlight? We shall see… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Then there is the useless little table sitting between the chairs. Big enough for one beverage, but it would probably tip if it tried to hold two. What beverage, you may ask. Morning coffee or tea (please, let it be tea), midday lemonade or margarita, evening red wine or whiskey-and-soda. The chairs have seen a lot of life, but the table has never been used. except once… once when it was not a table, but a weapon…. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The twist at the end is terrific! As I mentioned in the above response to Lynette, these last few bits of creativity made their debut after I had already composed the next post, but I’m getting a yearning to do a Part Deux….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Perfect!

      Speaking of, I was an intensely-nerdy little boy who loved playing “Clue”, but I was always troubled by the fact that The Murderer was often The Mustard, more so than anybody else. Because I was also a contemplative little boy, I often pondered if The Mustard Angle was somehow a design aspect of the game or the result of my family members somehow cheating once again because they were soulessly competitive when it came to games. Hmm…

      Liked by 2 people

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