Lawrence University Creative Writing Club Spring Serial Story; Part 1
From the memoirs of Detective Marlin, Esq.
Uncertainty, a poison more painful than any vile concoction. As I reached the summit of of my life, I sought to view my skyless space; my time without depth, but as I gazed past the horizon and under the valley below, a fog of heavy miasma clouds my perceptions, and obscures my memories. Now, the proof of my being is merely but a chiaroscuro of deceits and revelations; unable to discern the border between the two. As I hike down the cliff with earth beaten hands and clay scarred feet, I peer into the valley for the glimpse of a dove or the laugh of a lark, but all I see is a shadow crowned in gilded garland, and her face.
Since then, the potency of the haze has petrified, and the spread has reached the apex. My hands have become withered and my mind feeble. My perception of the present is but a glimmer of my youth. As I slip further away into my final daze, I recall that event one final time. Compelled to tell, but unable to write; I request the aid of Ms. Affleck guide my pen and write what’s true and proper, for my arthritic hands no longer can.
As my mind obfuscates into disarray, I get drawn back into that town whose name is lost between me and the potter’s field, but it is by this name that I will address the town, for no name better suits it. If I were to summarize the town’s history from fragmented memories of whispered truths; Potterfield, was originally founded during the 19th century as an agricultural hamlet in the Midwest during the Age of Westward Expansion. After the Second World War, there was a migration of veterans and their families into the area to escape the destitutions of a world forever wounded. Battlescarred and weary, the soldiers turned their community inward, escaping a society that wished they never existed. Since then, there have been no memorable events in the town’s history outside of tall tales fabricated by sugar-addled children and the manically bored. Outside of these histories, Potterfield, by all ways and means, is a town content with its own mediocrity and banality.
However, that changed when my station from the city got a call from Sheriff Dowager. It was said that, the day before, a man that went by Henry Elliot was found dead in the woman’s restroom of a local diner. He was last seen alive six days before during an office party that took place earlier as one of the many celebrations commemorating the engagement of the owner’s daughter Celia Bellarose and a Mr. G. Martin. During this celebration, Mr. Elliot barged into the party carrying a briefcase of unknown commodities demanding to speak with Mr. Bellarose; however, due to being a outsider, merely allowed to stay for business, alongside the absence of this Mr. Bellarose he was tossed into the alley with the utmost contempt.
Typically, it would be alarming that no one noticed a dead body for four days, but according to eyewitness testimony people did know that someone was in the restroom for an extended period of time. For you see, on the first day, no one complained because they didn’t want to cause a fuss about a person taking too long in the loo as it was seen as highly disagreeable behavior to first mention the act of defecation in polite society and to abrupt those who were partaking in God’s work. On the second day, there were mentions of a fruity smell that came from the bathroom, and someone went to check up on the stall, but there was no response. Wishing to respect the person’s peace and privacy, no one acted until the third day. This was when the stall started to smell of decay; by then people considered the smell to be more rude than any potential dispoliteness that may occur from complaining, and so they petitioned town hall van guarded by Anne Tilney to evict the transgressor. However, they had to wait two more days to first propose to town hall in their weekly meetings, to have the eviction voted on, and then one more day to enact the eviction. By then, the body was completely and utterly rotted.
With some difficulties, the body was then transported to the Fausette Funeral Home, founded in joint collaboration by John Fausette senior and the Martin family, to be inspected by Mr. Fausette the mortician and his sister Dr. Fausette the physician. According to the sibling’s report, the body suffered severe eviscerations, yet there was still lipstick found on the side of his neck. Alongside this and the decay of the body, there was also reports of poison that was discovered within his blood stream. Due to inability of finding the catalyst, the cause of death was determined to be unknown.
At first, no one could make heads or tales of what could of happened to Mr. Elliot. After a series of investigations that of which have escaped my faculties, such as that with Mrs. Allison Miller and her fortune telling services, no progress has been made. Despite learning to understand the ways of heaven.
That changed when Ms. Bellarose was spotted at the gravesite of Mr. Elliot during a foggy day. When we tried to catch up to her, she disappeared into the mist. After checking the gravesite we found lipstick matching the kiss mark on Mr. Elliot’s body and a note that read:
Goodbye my world, goodbye my love, may we meet again when the trumpets blow and the fallen fly, for I truly loved you.
The whereabouts of Ms. Bellarose is unknown. According to public records, Mr. Bellarose’s business was later bought by the Martin family. If I were to suspect, this Mr. G. Martin learned about an affair between Mr. Elliot and Ms. Bellarose; in anger he killed Mr. Elliot and took over Mr. Bellarose’s business. However, due to the family’s position it was reported on the newspaper that nothing of note had occurred that week.