Ship of Fools: Our Excellent Adventure Revealed

Or, Exactly Who Did Kill Lupita Davenport?

A HUMONGOUS thank you to all of you who participated in Bella’s and my Excellent Adventure!

Here’s a sampling of mysteries set on the high seas. See below for more.

Thank you, too, to those of you who read it and kept coming back to see it develop! We loved you for hanging in there while the story unfolded before your eyes.

Most of all, thank you to my fellow blogger, my friend and partner-in-crime, Bella.  She is so amazing, and has a not-to-be-missed blog, One Sister’s Rant. Bella is witty and enormously creative, too. Undertaking this Adventure on the High Seas project was her brilliant idea. So, kudos to you, Bella!

If you ask me, Bella and I have some very imaginative readers, who conjured up a cast of characters.  A proverbial ship of fools, I’d say. In other words they were, for lack of a better expression, to die for. Story contributors (besides Bella and me), include, in order of appearance:

Ellenmgregg

Jodi Aman

Robert

Karen Bidgood

Trisha Richter

Ashley Rodriguez

Clare Pister

Imelda Evans

Eloise Currie

DeBatterman

So which of these characters killed Lupita Davenport? We know she died at the hands of one—or more?—of her conniving classmates from the Gene Kelly High School of Performing Arts. Class of 1982. But who?

And, what were all of these alumni up to for the last 20 years? Who knows? But one thing’s for sure. They all seemed to suffer from major chips on their shoulders, jealousy, hangovers, hangnails, and envy, and had their own reasons for wanting to exact revenge, to right a wrong or just plain have a go with the man (of some) of their dreams: Thurston Davenport, III. Heir to the Davenport Pickle Company, and otherwise known as the Pickle King.

Seems he was a hot commodity, with looks and wealth, and devotees, such as Sally the songstress who, prior to her transformation, had once been George, Thurston’s best friend in high school; Katrina, who was thin and gorgeous, and despised Lupita; and Denise Diamond, the aging, Glock-carrying movie star who was about to star in the role of a lifetime. As herself.

To be sure, there were some red herrings. Like Kent “the Rocket” Johnson who jostled Elphie, when they first heard the maid’s blood-curdling screams. Or Lizzy Kelcher and Ryan Holden, who were having a tryst of their own. Milady Miranda Mudgeon, who seemed to have a secret agenda that involved a certain fellow named Ashley Montague, despite being married to Cur, a man who’d been found alive and shaken, lying in a pool of pickle juice.

Jane, who was now in the witness protection program—and, why she’d risk leaving it for a high school reunion with classmates she hadn’t seen in 20 years, we’ll never know. Then there’s Snidley Crumburger, who seemed to be constantly sweating bullets, and Cliff Thompson, who seemed to be rather nosy, listening in on other’s thoughts. And a few others who I’m sure I’m leaving out from this convoluted reunion on the high seas.

Finally, there was Sister Mary, the lesbian nun in love with Lupita. We knew from the outset she couldn’t do it, though we wondered why she stole Lupita’s ring. But, it was clear she was still carrying a torch for her darling Lupita.

And, let’s not forget the weapons. A cornucopia that included a Glock, a knife, a candlestick, an umbrella and a hatpin.

But, was there enough motive? Who could have been so maniacal as to end the life of Lupita Davenport? And, does it really matter?

For the life of me, this is one I couldn’t figure out myself. So, to find the answer, I turned to my friend and colleague, Bruce. He has a background in engineering, and a methodical mind as sharp as a tack. In other words, I can’t keep up with his uncanny knowledge and way of analyzing and deciphering everything so that it makes sense. Which is why, I assumed if anyone could determine the killer of this highfalutin story, it would be him. So, I asked Bruce, as a neutral, unbiased party, to read the mystery and figure out the name of the culprit.

Upon reading it, Bruce said this story reminded him of a Federico Fellini film. For those who don’t know, Fellini is the Italian director known for his surrealism and use of hallucinatory imagery, showing people at their most bizarre. Which was all I needed to hear.

He loved it! Since Fellini is highly acclaimed for his work, I’m sure what Bruce was trying to say was that this story is truly brilliant, and should be turned into a film! Now, I’ll drink to that!

I thanked Bruce profusely for the compliment, but asked him to get on with it and tell me who murdered Lupita!  After all, inquiring minds have to know!

Exasperated, Bruce looked at me, and declared,

“Only one could have done it. The one who lost her marbles and was crazier than the whole lot of her classmates put together. Who disrobed down to her Manolos, shot bullets in the ceiling with her Glock, and pulled her hair out when she couldn’t find Thurston.”

Why, that person is, none other than Denise Diamond!

So, there you have it. Another case closed.  Mystery solved!

Now, be sure to head over to Bella’s so you can learn the results of her version of the story!

Oh, and, if Bruce is right, and we ought to make a film out of this story, tell me, who do you think we should get to play each of the parts?

Thanks again to all who participated!  Let’s do it again soon!

The Road Taken: The Married Widow

Some people can’t stand being alone. It makes them feel lonely. It makes them want to climb the walls, as if they are unable to do anything, without someone to do it with them. I am not like that. Early on, growing up in a household with seven others, I learned to be on my own. Don’t ask me how, don’t ask me why, but that’s the way it was. Alone, often with nothing more than the thoughts in my head, to keep me going.

There would be no Rhett Butler to ask me to dance.

Living with G was no different.  He was in school, day and night, and while I worked during the day, I had the nights and weekends to myself.  Whatever I wanted to do, I  pretty much could. Which is why I took a creative writing course that ended up leading me to Rick.

And now it was time to move on. I was used to that. The moving on thing. It’s what life is all about, after all. A series of beginnings and endings. Sometimes good, sometimes a relief, and sometimes, plain gut-wrenching. But there you have it and so it goes. And, being used to it,  I was good at closing one door and opening another. Not for a moment, did I wonder what would I do with myself next. I wasn’t about feeling sorry for myself or walking around all misty eyed, claiming, woe is me.  Any regrets, I burrowed so deep inside, they dissipated, like the faint scent of morning after a rainfall.

If you had met me at that moment, you would never have known that the most amazing man, one I had fallen so hard for, had just walked out of my life. As gingerly as he entered. A regular Gene Kelly, who danced his way into my life and left me with nothing but bittersweet dust on my fingertips, from having touched his hands so many times. One moment I was under his spell, and the next, I blinked, and watched him turn into a fleck of matter on the horizon. Never to re-emerge. Just another exit in a series of endings, leaving me with no exit strategies of my own, but the knowledge that I had to move on and I had to keep this little, bad boy—this small part of my life—a captive of my desperado heart.  And I would do so, stoically, stiff upper chin and all that, so that no one would know what had transpired.

Ordinarily, I am bad at keeping secrets. I am too forthcoming for my own good. But this one I held on to tightly, until it became a distant memory, removed from my being. I pushed it so far back into the crevasses of my mind, it was as if it had happened to someone else, not me. As if I had never wrapped my fingers around Rick’s, nor never pressed my lips against his neck. As if we had never laid upon the grass by the fountain, willing ourselves to fly away and feel the universe brush past our outstretched arms.

I didn’t even tell my good friend, Pam, who I had met at work. Though, I did hint at it once. I mentioned it in passing, almost as an afterthought. really. I had so wanted to tell her, and confide everything. Mostly, I wanted to say his name aloud again, as if by doing so, it could bring him back, and make what we had, real once more. But the need to conceal it was far stronger and gripped me like a vice.

Yet, somehow, I think, Pam knew. She suspected, and may have detected a nuance, something different about me during those weeks when he was in my life.  Perhaps, a distracted, faraway look. The way she sized me up–a glance and raised eyebrow—told me she was aware that something had happened. But the details were lost on her and being the friend she was, she didn’t press. No questions, no admonitions.  A mutual understanding that, whatever it was, could not be shared.

So, moving ahead, I accepted my plight. I was married, yet I felt as though I was a widow. A graduate school widow. I was like Scarlett O’Hara, when she herself becomes a widow. Scarlett wants to dance, as the unmarried girls do, but she’s reminded that she must remember her place. Just like I had to remember mine. Of course, she had Rhett Butler, who found a way to get her onto the dance floor. There would be no Rhett’s–or Rick’s–in my life, anymore.

But there was nothing to stop me from spending time with Pam, who had recently moved into the condo next door. Which is why, the first step to moving on involved climbing into the passenger seat of Pam’s two-seater. Her little red sports convertible. In a flash, we took off, and headed south. Destination:  Anywhere but here.

Missed a chapter? Read past installments, by visiting the page, The Road Taken.