Friday, August 12, 2016

A Red Herring?

He sat at the kitchen table, a rotating Scrabble® board in front of him. Close to his right hand was a large SNIFTER of brandy. He put his hand in the bag and drew out seven letters - four O's, a D, an E and and H. What could he do with that?

OD, of course. The theory of life force, as postulated by Baron Carl von Reichenbach. He could always remember the definition of OD, because of that name, Reichenbach. There were the Reichenbach Falls that Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis James Moriarty had fallen into at the end of "The Final Problem."

He could also spell OE, which was supposedly the name that people of the Faroe Islands gave a whirlwind. He'd never been able to find mention of it outside the Dictionary, but that was okay. It was IN the dictionary, so it was acceptable in Scrabble® and that's all that mattered. And he could spell OH.

What else? Well, HOOD, of course, HOD, and DOE. HOD, what a funny name. Some kind of tool for carrying mortar around, apparently.

Well, that was no good. He kept one of the O's and tossed the rest back in the bag, then drew out an I, an M and an N. Not much better. Now he could spell OI, a Britishism for catching someone's attention,  OM, a word used by people trying to meditate, and ON.

Back in the bag they went, and he drew out a P, an R and an S. OP, short for pop art, or an operation, OR, and OS. OS referred to the  bones, he knew He smiled, and tossed the tiles back in the bag and drew out three more. What were the odds?

Yep - he had drawn a W, for OW, an X for OX, and a Y for OY. Another spelling of that Britishism, OI. He took a sip of brandy and tossed all the letters back in the bag, shook the bag vigorously, and then drew out seven more letters. An M, a U, an R, a D, an E. and an R.

He stopped there, gazing at the tiles that he had tossed, one by one as he drew them, onto the board. The tiles spelled MURDER! He couldn't help but laugh again.  How appropriate!