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Mystery Of The Bodies

SETTING: Older woman with telephone and a door or a screen to hide the people.


Oh, it’s you, Muriel. It sure is nice to have a friendly voice to listen to, I can tell you.

Well, you just have no idea what a friend is worth until something like this happens to you.

I wish I’d stayed in Dundalk, even if the snow did go up past an elephant’s eye. Forget the elephant’s eye. Last year it was piled higher than the chimney. I could have paid someone to shovel the blasted stuff. You sure can’t pay for friends, though.

It certainly is that bad! Am I the kind to complain about nothing?

It did seem like a friendly place, Muriel. You remember when you helped me move in. The next door neighbor was right over here and had us in for lunch. The one on the other side brought us salad plates for supper on her best china to welcome us properly, so she said.

I couldn’t even give those Royal Albert plates back to her, or her silverware. I finally left them wrapped up on her doorstep and would you believe it she had a lawn sale and sold those two plates and that silverware. How insulting can you get?

And to make it even worse, she asked only a quarter for the whole kit and kaboodle.

I went right over and looked, that’s how I know.

You know what she said to me, Muriel? “There’s nothing here you’d want.” Now, if that doesn’t mean, ‘Go home’ I don’t know what does.

Whether you can imagine it or not, Muriel, that is just a sample of how I’m being treated in this town! Why last week I saw the plumber across the street answer his portable phone when I called him. He hadn’t moved his carcass in a whole hour, except to guzzle beer and swoop up the phone when it rang. He was real interested in fixing the leak in my toilet until I told him who I was. He suddenly remembered the job he was right in the middle of that would leave one heck of a mess if he didn’t get right onto it right this minute. He jumped up, kicked his chair and strode inside.

When I was walking Killer, my three legged Chihuahua, there was Mr. Plumber sitting in the shade, three houses over.

No, Muriel. He hadn’t finished the job. This was two minutes later.

I have a working watch, Muriel. I can still tell time, even in this weird place.

Yes, Muriel, my plumbing is tip top. I had to get a guy from Stirling to come up and fix it. So I got everything water-wise working really well, so I wouldn’t have to disturb the locals.

Yes, Muriel. I remember how they carried in the table and chairs, the refrigerator and the livingroom furniture. They were right neighbourly and I thought I’d lit in Heaven. They carried in the beds and dressers too, until we were almost finished and then they just disappeared like there had been an earthquake warning that we hadn’t heard.

What became of that guy that you had carrying the drawer of hands?

He turned white and then he got green around the gills, set down the drawer and left? Went out the back door real fast?

Well, that’s almost the same thing that happened to me. Those twins were lugging my trunk full of heads into the back room and I said, “If you drop that, heads will roll.” I was trying to be funny. They looked at each other, set the trunk down, and bolted right into a packing case of legs. Remember how we had legs and feet all over the floor when the stupid Community Watch guy came and you nearly broke the sound barrier trying to get him to hear that the floor was covered with bodies, because we couldn’t find a light bulb and he could n’t seem to see too well in the dusk.

Well, deaf as he was, he’s the last real person to come up my walk.

No, Muriel. I don’t have ghosts. I have peeking Jasons–little boys and some not so little that seem to think it’s really daring to peek into my windows. The girls dare each other to walk on the sidewalk on my side of the street.

I went to church on Sunday. I thought there might be some friendly people there. I was right. They were friendly until my neighbour sent around a little note and then all the people who had welcomed me to sit in the pew with them, got up and sat elsewhere.

No, Muriel. I’m not imagining it. I had a carpenter who arrived humming Amazing Grace. He even had a magnetic sign that said ‘REPENT’ on the side of the truck that I could see.

Well, as I said, I’m repenting about coming to this town and buying a house here. I put it up for sale two days ago and forty local people have gone through it so far. The real estate agent is a bit confused. And frustrated. Not one of those people have made an offer on my house.

What am I ever going to do?

Just excuse me, there’s someone at the door….. likely a bunch of kids ringing the bell again.

BREAK (I added the rest so you’d know what happened.)

Hello. What can I do for you?

You’re a member of the local doll club and you’d like to ask me to a meeting?

Well, I’d just love to go. This is the first nice thing to happen to me since the day I moved here. And, who are all these people?

You’re a reporter for the (local journal) and you’re the photographer? You saw the dolls and all the legs and arms and bodies that I use to make them and you wanted to do a story on me?

I’ve seen you before. Aren’t you one of the people who came to view my house?

You decided to take a look for yourself, because all the gossip about my being a mass murderer intrigued you?

Well, I’m not a mass murderer! I’m a doll maker!

You know that? And you want to do what you can to help me get it across to the local folks about what I do?

I’d like that. A nice headline, Dollmaker Moves To Marmora should take care of it.

You’re doing it under Mystery of the Bodies Solved?

Well, yes. I want people to read it.

Yes, Muriel. You heard that? You heard it all, or you’d have hung up? Well, you’ve got a point there.

I’m sure grateful to you folks for rescuing me from that misunderstanding.

Yes, Muriel. I think I’ll be just fine here. Things have taken a turn for the better.

Thanks for calling, Muriel. Bye-bye, now.