Sunday, December 02, 2007

Deathly Illumination A Shadow 2min mystery.By .j. christopher greulich

Here is the uncut version of this quick mystery, almost twice as long as the published version. It runs 902 words long. To hit the 2min mystery mark, the stories have to be 500 words. This version has much more characterization than the published.

Deathly Illumination
A Shadow 2min mystery.
By .j. christopher greulich


The lightning out side had been forging on for two days straight. The power had been out for the better part of thirty-six hours. Candles now lighted the old brownstone.

Joe Cardona, ace detective of the New York City police force was on the case.
“Gentlemen, what I’m seeing here on my note pad isn’t giving me a whole lot to go on.”

Three men look around at each other. There was disgust in their eyes, not for the situation, but for each other. These men shared a hate that on family could produce.

There was a fourth man in attendance, unnoticed and unobtrusive from his vantage point in a far darkened corner of the room stood motionless The Shadow.

“So, your all cousins, that I can see from the resemblance in your faces. Names: Jacky Birk, Rene Willis, and Neal Set. Ages: 38, 33, and 29 respectively. Occupations: Banker, Lawyer, and Librarian. No known priors for any of you. That makes my job harder.”

“There has been a murder here, gentlemen. We are not leaving until we have a culprit.”

Indeed there had been a murder The Shadow had thought as her recalled the facts...
Millionaire Lea Maroon was found dead in his secret study this evening by frequent houseguest Rene Willis. Other guests in residence were Jacky Birk and Neal Set. Second to arrive was Jacky Birk, having heard the scream from Mr. Willis. Mr. Set was the last to arrive, a full five minutes later.

Cardona continued his investigation, “ So, Mr. Willis, I have to say my money is on you. You were the first on the scene, and you are the executor of the only known will of Lea Maroon. You have been the keeper of Mr. Maroon’s finances for years now. As everyone who reads the New York Classic knows, you and your bank have been in a little bit of hot water lately, something top do with non payment of taxes and a gentleman by the name of Capone. A story cracked by one Clyde Burke, reporter, and no relation to you Mr. Birk. Different spelling. You have anything to say, Willis, before I take you in?”

Rene Willis looked a little frightened when he began to speak,” Yes, I have been having some of my own financial issues as of late, but Lea was a dear friend of mine. I went looking for Lea because we were supposed to play our nightly game of chess. He was running forty-five minutes late, so I made my way around the house looking for him. The last place I ended up was here in his study. This is a completely secluded room. It is built in the center where there is no access to the outside walls of the house. It opens from the hallway located at the center of the first floor. As you can see, there is a brilliant Victorian era silver mirror hanging directly across from the entranceway. A large crash of lightning light up the whole room. It was in its reflection that I noticed Lea’s body on the floor. I would never do anything to hurt him. I would think that Jacky or Neal here would be better suited to do this sort of thing. We all knew where this secret study was located. Jacky is twice Lea’s size and could have easily overpowered him. He may be a layer, but he has been known to work for Charles "Lucky" Luciano.”

Jacky Birk rose to his feet, he was indeed the largest man in the room. He stood over six foot four inces tall. He was in a rage. “That is perpostorious! I was no where near that room. I hadn’t seen Lea since dinner. If you want my opinion, Neal seems like the type to commit this act. He is easily the less fortunate of us all, and we all knew of the cash stash that Lea keeps in here, and his room is right next door to this one, and he was the last to arrive,” concluded Jacky with some sence of satisfation.

“Well, that’s good enough for me,” came a commanding voice from the coorner. The Shadow stepped out of his hiding place. “Cardona, you may contenue with your investigation, but the guilty man has already confessed!”

What did The Shadow mean?

The Shadow knows that Rene Willis is indeed the guilty party. His account if the discovery of Lea Maroon’s body was all the confession that he needed to hear. Rene told how he went in search of Lea and discoverd him in his study thanks to the illumination of a lighting bolt, which was immpossible due to the seckusion of the room to the outter walls of the house. The Shadow knows.

.j. christopher greulich is a graphic illustrator, a former student of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, and has been a devout Shadow fan since discovering the 1970’s Kaluta vision. j. christopher has been illustrating the adventres of Sherlock Holmes for A Sandusky Bay Journal for the last year and a half, and is currantly working on a pulp story with illustrations for Ape Entertainment with a 2008 release date. He lives in Lancaster, Ohio with his wife and three sons. You can find him on the web at
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