Chapter 11 - Mr. Kitten is Vindicated

If you're ever wondered how a book gets written, here is your chance to watch it happen. I'm a published fiction and non-fiction writer, but this is my first novel. I'm writing it right here, on the the web. This is the first draft, I expect there will be three drafts before it's ready for submission. It is a humorous, absurdist cozy mystery narrated by a cat. It's the Mr. Kitten Murder Mystery

Chapter 11 - Kitten is vindicated

The next day dawned bright and cool. The sun shone over the field of grass outside the morning room, melting the frozen dew. So close to one of the major business regions in the world, deer were quietly munching Helen's winter flowers.

Kathlee had sandwiches and soda pop for breakfast with the family. That's because she didn't wake up and come downstairs until noon. She and Mad became friendly, inevitably.

Elliot filmed everyone, exhorting them to act as depressed and shell shocked as possible.

The next day, started as peacefully as the day before. Kathlee and Mad came down to tranquil teatime breakfast. They'd been out partying all night. The early evening sunset painted the garden in purple and gold and the interior was decorated with lights, not Christmas lights quite yet, but festive, sparkling.

It was the quiet before the storm.

Just as the sun finally sank, the veterinarian came by with Winston Churchill's ashes.

Helen said, "It was so kind of you to drop these off."

"Oh, it's quite alright," he replied. "How lovely your home looks. It's so cold out here."

"Yes, well, I won't keep you then."

"I sure am thirsty, I wonder if I could come in for a drink of water,"

"Oh, yes, of course," Helen replied. She was a good hostess, but the vet wasn't really a social caller, as the large website printed on the back of his smock attested. He wanted to be filmed.

Elliot and Brooks came out and had the vet hand her the urn again. It was painful having to go through it again. A Geraldo Rivera moment; I mean, WC was a beloved pet. I think Helen was just getting worn down; it was easier to just do go along than to argue with the TV people. There was a time when she was feisty. She reflexively said, "Shut up," whenever either of them spoke, but that stopped the day WC died and our relationship was sundered. It was sad to see her loss of spirit.

It came out that the parrot did not die from trauma as Helen had viciously assumed. So at last I was vindicated.

Eventually Peacock walked the vet out, who had been inclined to overstay his welcome.

Peacock and Helen discussed my innocence, and Elliot and Brooks intruded. "What about those feathers?" Elliot asked.

Peacock and Helen looked at each other and without a word they started walking through the house looking for the source of the feathers. Brooks kept up a running dialog, which was completely ignored.

After seeing so many spare rooms, inspiration struck him. "Helen, how about we get you on some fertility pills? With all these room, you could have tons of kids, but there already was a show about a lady with eight kids, so you'd have to have at least nine to have a shot. Your show would be much for fun because your house films better and you're rich. It would be like the old Keeping up with the Kardasians combined with Kate Plus Eight. How about Helen plus Ten? You should have ten kids."

Helen ignored him.

Crystal, the makeup artist, who also doubled as a production assistant tagged a long as well. "We really need to line up our next show, I mean this one is going strong, but I'm thinking it might have jumped the shark with the dead clown thing."

"You're freaking insane," Elliot muttered.

Crystal, who hardly ever half heard what anyone said to her replied,  "That's a good idea. An insane asylum."

Brooks mulled it over even as he hurried to keep up with Peacock and Helen. "Not bad. Now who still does lobotomies? Keep brainstorming, guys."

They discussed reality shows in prison, on death row.

"How about Columbian drugs lords?" Elliot asked.

"Yes!" Crystal said, "It'll be like The Apprentice, but with gruesome murders." Elliot grinned.

"No way, I don’t want to get killed," Brooks shot that one down.

"Santa Claus's workshop!" Elliot said.

Crystal and Brooks looked at him. "That's fictional," Crystal said. That was news to me although I always doubted the North Pole location. China, more likely.

"How would you feel about some plastic surgery?" Brooks asked Helen.

"Or convert to Islam," Crystal said.

"Maybe someone could claim a family member molested them," Elliot suggested.

"Someone could get addicted to drugs."

"Or be abducted by aliens."

"Maybe Helen could lose 100 pounds." Helen compressed her lips but held her tongue.

"Or Mad could gain 100...and then lose it."

"I've got it!" Crystal said. "Helen could go on a diet where she eats nothing but Primate Chow." Brooks looked at her. "It exists. Purina makes it. Humans are primates. It's scientifically made to meet all your nutritional requirements, and I bet anyone could lose weight. You could Helen; you could do it and then write a book. You'll be a millionaire."

Brooks looked like he'd had a revelation, but then Elliot muttered, "She already is a millionaire, or we wouldn't be here." Brooks shrugged, conceding the point.

Crystal piped up again, just as Helen was opening another door, "Maybe someone could have an aff--"

They interrupted another tête-à-tête between Steve and Tiffany. Helen saw but did not notice; she was distracted and focused on truly vindicating me. Good woman. Brooks and Crystal exchanged significant glances and Elliot smirked. Peacock pulled out his pipe and started chewing on it.

They went on to the next room and find the ravaged pillow. I might have mentioned that I was not the only frequent visitor to this supposedly unused room. Steve swooped in just as everyone was nosing around and grabbed a rather large box that was under the bed. He whisked it away. Helen gave him a questioning look. Tiffany looked surprised as well.

"It's just a gift for you, my dear. I haven't wrapped it yet," Steve said to Helen. Helen nodded, but by now she was deep in thought, considering the pillow.

Steve quickly slid away and put his box into a different spare room and locked the door. Then he went down to his car and drove off, probably into town to buy a present for Helen. I rubbed up against Helen's legs and she picked me up and put me on her shoulder, just like old times. She hadn't done that since WC died.

"So if Mr. Kitten didn't kill Winston Churchill," she said. "Then who did?"

Elliot brought his camera up to his shoulder. "Could you just say that again, but in a hollow voice?"

"Shut up."

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