Late at night. A dark house, tastefully decorated. A man wakes up out of a deep slumber, sitting in a chair. He looks around, seeing the furnishings, the photographs and various paraphenalia spread about. It appears to be the living room. Lightning flashes outside. He sees a light from a doorway, hears sounds. He tries to speak, but cannot. He tries to move, but his body will not obey him.
There is movement coming from the other room, and a woman steps into the dimly lit living room. She's an older woman, with curly silver hair and a grandmotherly demeanor. She's dressed tastefully, glasses hiding her eye color. She smiles, carrying a cup of tea, and sits in the chair opposite the man. He remembers her, recalls seeing her face for the first time earlier this night. She's the author Jessica Fletcher, a mystery writer of some fame. He remembers coming to her for advice on how to break into the industry. Then... what? Nothing. She smiles, and speaks in a slight English accent.
Jessica: Hello. You're awake. How wonderful. I suppose you're wondering what's happening. I suppose you're wondering why you can't speak or move. Well, I'll tell you. Paralytic drugs are so useful when one wants to render one's prey immobile, you see. I've used it many times. And in your case, well, let's just say that spiking your wine was a trivial matter. Now, now, I can't have you trying to escape or overpower me while I'm talking to you, so I'm afraid the paralytic was essential. Don't hold it against me.
It's unfortunate that you chose to come to me for advice, you know. If you'd gone to that Patterson fellow, or Connelly, they might have given you advice on the genre and sent you on your way. Coming to me, though? That's just giving me the opportunity to add another notch to my long list of victims.
I know what you're thinking. You're astonished at how a grandmotherly sort like me could talk like this. The facade works every time, let me assure you. The police here in Cabot Cove are morons, which made my work all the more easier. It never seemed to occur to them to wonder why, in a town of 1000 poor souls, at least twelve murders a year were being committed. Per capita, this place is the murder capital of the world. Well, those murders were being committed simply because I needed material for my novels, and because I have a fondness for murdering people.
You're shocked, I know. What's even more shocking is my devious way of framing innocent people over and over again. Yes, I took great care in selecting the perfect patsies and singlehandedly setting them up to look guilty, over and over again. Sometimes it required hypnosis to force them to make false confessions. Other times the forensics frameup itself would be enough to ensure their downfall.
Oh, yes, people used to call it the Cabot Cove Syndrome. Murder would be committed so often in my vicinity, if I was here, or somewhere abroad on book tours, that it seemed I was a magnet for murders. It never seemed to occur to any investigators that I was the one committing the actual murders. Meanwhile, I was meddling in their investigations, driving them crazy over me making them look like the incompetents that they actually were.
You're feeling sleepy, aren't you? Yes, that's the effect of the poison I injected into you ten minutes ago. It's coursing its way through your body as we speak. You don't have long. Perhaps little more then ten minutes before it stops your heart. If, indeed, that long. While you're still awake, I thought I'd tell you that I'm planning to dispose of your body off shore among the lobsters. I've done it before, of course. Incidentally, that's why I never eat lobster.
You should feel proud, by the way. You are, by my count, the 7000th murder I've committed down through the years. I've gotten very good at it.
What's that? Oh, I know, you don't want to die. I'm sure you have plenty of reasons to want to live, but think of it this way. You'll be immortalized forever in one of my books. Isn't that wonderful? A fictional murder victim based on a real murder victim!
Yes, just close your eyes, let yourself sleep. That's it. Nice and easy. Go into that bright light. Or the other place, if that's where you're bound for.
Oh, and say hello to my husband if you happen to see him. He was my first murder, you know.