Professor Plum in the Kitchen with the Revolver
There’s a body rotting in the cellar and a revolver smoking in the kitchen. I’m in the hall with the rope. Look at the hole in my chest, Miss Scarlett whispers, revealing her butterflied skin. There’s a body rotting in the ballroom and ghosts floating in the hall. You’re in the dining room licking blood off the knife. Your hair a gnarled brush, tweed hugs your narrow shoulders. Wire spectacles balance on the tip of your nose. Wax drips from the arms of the flickering candlestick and pools on the table. You sink the knife into a lump of charred meat and the scream of your plate echoes. You look up as I enter. You stand. You walk towards me with a limp, so I will see you are wounded. It was me with the lead pipe in the lounge, you say. Mrs. White is dead. Your brown eyes are blurry with tears. With your quavering voice and slumped shoulders I can see you are nothing more than a kitten, meant to be coddled and held. Come closer, Professor Plum. Let me lap up your pain like milk. It was him with the candlestick in the dining room. Mrs. Peacock, you are dead. Hush. Let my body decay. Are you hungry, kitten? Here, take me. I’ll close my eyes and listen to the slop of your lips and tongue until you are sated and your mouth is smeared with blood. No? I’ll unlatch my jaw and let you feed me your sadness through a tube. I will swallow and swallow and regurgitate into your mouth upon command. It was you with the rope in the dining room. Mr. Green and Colonel Mustard are dead. Roll the dice. Follow me two to twelve steps at a time, and maybe we will learn how to murder a ghost. You cannot murder a ghost with a knife. Hush. Let me be your blue game piece. Kiss me for luck. Run your hands up and down my smooth frame. Put me in your mouth and taste the acrid plastic of my flesh. Let it be me with the lead pipe in the conservatory. No. I am the body in the dining room. I am the ghost in the hall. Come along, kitten. Follow me to the kitchen. I will lap up your pain like milk. You cannot murder a ghost with a candlestick. But there are many ways for a ghost to murder a man. Goodbye, kitten. While the revolver smokes next to you on the floor, I will be in the dining room eating Miss Scarlett. She tastes of perfume and tobacco.
Emily Kellogg’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Entropy Magazine, Hazlitt, and The Puritan. In 2017, her creative nonfiction work received an honourable mention in Room Magazine‘s CNF competition and was shortlisted for PRISM International‘s CNF prize. She was recently named one of three finalists for the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society's 2018 prize. A selection of her work is available on her website: https://www.emilykellogg.com/