Sunday, November 1, 2009

An Agrarian Offing




Gabriella Herkert
Catnapped and Doggone


What is the most exotic way I’ve ever killed off a character? I’ll admit, shamefacedly, that I’ve never served a victim with fava beans and a nice Chianti. Maybe it’s pedestrian, but most of my dearly departed leave the world in the usual weapon of opportunity way. But I’m growing as a writer and a murderer so I see great creativity in my upcoming victims. I can draw from my own experiences, too. I’m from farm country. Yes, I am sorry to report a terrible farm accident befalls my first victim in my upcoming book, Horsewhipped. I can’t tell you the exact manner of death but I can tell you if I had to list my top three thousand ways to die, going this way still wouldn’t make the list.

So while I’ve thus far tread a known path as to manner of death, body disposal has presented far more opportunities to depart the departed in intriguing ways. I put a body behind a wall. It forced me to deal with odor and decomposition and I’ll admit to being a little less than physically well when my outside expert explained that I would have to add maggots and mold to my corpse to fit the time and temperature parameters. He was right, scientifically, but I would have appreciated getting the details without the side of chips I was munching at the time.

In Doggone, my dead guy’s cause of death never gets a chance to go exotic. Every time he tries to kick off, somebody just steps up to take his place. No death means no autopsy means no quirky murder method. Of course, that left me explaining the Groundhog’s Day dead guy echo which was by no means commonplace. Capgras Syndrome. It may not be an exotic manner of death but as a manner of life, you get to call this one your own. It may even explain how Freddie Krueger and Michael Myers keep coming back. And back. And back. To kill again. Mainstreaming these guys could save the lives of countless pretty teenage girls who split up to search the basement even after the creepy music starts.

For the record, in my own writing the wireless keyboard victim lived. As anyone who’s ever had a technical problem with his computer and been put on hold with their IT representative can tell you, that’s the one that could, should, and will end up in murder someday. With my technical issues, think sooner rather than later. Exotic? Maybe not. Justifiable homicide? You tell me.

Gabi

10 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey gabi, this is totally off topic but i love what you said about the call center guy and have a quirky book to recommend to anyone who shares our frustration...
One Night At The Call Center by Chetan Bhagat http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_0_17?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=one+night+at+the+call+center+by+chetan+bhagat&sprefix=one+night+at+the+

Anonymous said...

Wild foods ...

We just passed mushroom collecting season in Juneau and some interesting mushrooms had me consulting some edible plant guides online. Descriptions of poisonous mushrooms make me happy I'm not a big fan of dining on mushrooms. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/notes/General_Principles/gpin004/gpin004.htm

Paralytic shellfish poisoning is another nasty option with respiratory paralysis.

Shane Gericke said...

Cable providers, too, Gabi!

Gabi said...

Sophie,

I love off-topic and you've just given me a brilliant idea for a gift for a friend of mine who is impossible to buy for. Thanks.

Gabi said...

Anon,

I love mushrooms. I'm going to have to be more careful, I guess. I've also checked out the puffer fish toxin. It's particularly evil because the victim knows its happening. That is one mad perp.

Gabi said...

Shane,
Cable providers, student loan officers and IRS field auditors are all taken as a given.

Anonymous said...

For Pacific NW, poisonous mushrooms are more readily available than puffer fish, I do believe. The puffer fish brings to mind another beauty we have - the rough-skinned newt. http://www.nps.gov/orca/naturescience/rough_skin.htm but use care here because the toxicity of newts can vary.

Jen Forbus said...

And car salesmen! Can you tell I'm having to do car shopping right now? This is absolutely torture...hey! this could be an exotic form of execution...car shopping to death. I think it could happen...I sure feel like I'm going to die every time I have to go out. Yeesh!

Gabi said...

Ok, Anon, I'm starting to think you're that neighbor I was trying to find a good place to dispose of a couple of weeks ago. How do you feel about giving peace a chance?

Gabi said...

Jen,
For you, car salesmen move to the head of the line. Go get 'em.