Welcome, friend, to Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite-Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck. Agatha Christie said she would be running late. We are becoming adept at this murder game, are we not? Crushed by the feather of loneliness. Listen, we are being dispatched in ways that are relevant to our artistic output. Oscar must be protected and isolated. I, I fear I may be of more use to the cause if I could continue my work around the house? We’re running out of time! Or are we? *doorbell* Are we expecting anyone else? Oh, good evening! Are you Mr. Allan Poe? Yes. Mr. Allan Poe, I am Constable Jim with the Baltimore Police Department; this is my partner, Constable Jimmy. Hello, I am Constable Jimmy. Yes. Um, we are investigating the disappearance of murder mystery author Agatha Christie. This is a picture of Agatha Christie. Yes, very good, but you don’t have to say the name immediately after I say it. I’m really sorry, I’m new. No no, don’t be sorry. No, no. Now Miss Christie has been missing for days, but we recently found her car– What’s a car? And this–this was on the passenger’s seat. Edgar Allan Poe invites you to Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Invite-Only Casual Dinner Party/Gala for Friends Potluck. Is it gah-la or is it gay-la? Ah, that’s tough. I–I say gah-la, there’s something about the word gay-la, I find it very put-on. Sirs, I can inform you, Miss Christie informed me that she would be late this evening, and then… never showed. You’ll have to excuse him. This is his first day! I’m really sorry! No, no no, don’t be sorry. What did we talk about? Right. *clears throat* Um.. Mr. Allan Poe– That’s actually just–Mr. Poe. Or Ed Poe. Actually, it’s Edgar. Or Edgar Allan Poe–just call me, just call me Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. Okay, Ed. Um, what’s going on here tonight? Here? Oh! I’m–I’m glad you asked. We are having a writer’s conference. So it’s not a dinner party? Um, Yes. And no. We are having a writer’s conference about– food metaphors. *laughs* Sounds like your kind of conference! I am nuts about food metaphors. Nuts! You’re going to jail for enjoying a good food metaphor! Guilty! Put on the cuffs! Life in prison, no pa-roll! Like a bread roll! Very fun. Well, this is great. Poe is probably dead now too. Don’t say such a thing. Miss Lee, tonight is a test. The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are stronger in the broken places. Yes, life is hard. Thank you, we never would have known. At least I can confront it like a man. By punctuating every statement you make with a swig of alcohol, hm? I don’t hide behind witticisms and bon mots, I tell it like it is. Where are you getting these drinks? I know how to box! Charlotte: Oh, here we go with this. Yes, I’m sure your boxing matches are as short as your stories. *screaming* Well, I do wish you the gravest of luck on your search for Miss Christie. Do be safe out there. Mm, actually, Mr. Poe, I don’t think we would be doing our due diligence if we didn’t speak with the other members of the writer’s club. Yes, yes. Well, unfortunately, they are– Mm-hmm, might we speak with them for a minute? Please? Please. Follow me. *struggling and fighting* *clears throat* Ha-ha! We often find when we are struggling with writer’s block, uh, that we…are…struggling with each other. We are so sorry to interrupt. Yes, this looks like a very intense exercise, and I just want to say– You’re all doing very good work on yourselves, and that’s important. Yes, uh, please. These are officers Jim and Jimmy from the local police. they are investigating the disappearance of an Agatha Christie, and I informed them that we certainly have no knowledge of her whereabouts, because we are merely a group of writers having a writer’s conference… about food metaphors. Have I seen you before somewhere? Probably. I’m very famous. A-and sir, can you tell me where you were last Thursday night? I was…hosting friends. Aboard my skiff, off the coast of Cuba. We drank rum. Smoked cigars. I wrestled one of them. Oh, that sounds like a ton of fun! It wasn’t. Life is suffering. So none of you have seen Miss Agatha Christie? It seems she was invited to this writer’s conference. We’ve been in here all night! Just us. In this room. Jim: Well… that checks out. Sorry again. No trouble! Goodnight! Well, that was thrillingly close! A little hot-blooded excitement can be good for you sometimes! Speaking of which, where was our invite to your boat party? Perhaps next time, Chuck. Miss Lee, care to join us on my next foray to the Havana? We’ll drink rum as the sun rises, and habanera as it sets. Charlotte: You can dance? Madam, I am an expert in the art of the contradanza. Oh! Oh. Well, this I gotta see. Well, I do hope, with all sincerity, that you find Miss Christie fully alive and unstabbed somewhere. Thanks for everything, Ed. Okay. Actually, there is one more question I did want to ask. By all means. Legs move together, no more crossing! Where are we, Argentina? Come on! Often with food metaphors, are we hungry for food? Or each other? I’m just so impressed with your dedication to your craft. Yes, we don’t mean to interrupt. I just wanted to get an idea of the times that everyone got here. Uh, well, I arrived a little bit past 6:00. Never be too available, you know. 6:15, fashionably late. Time is a construct, inherently tying us to death. Undo every shackle, unseat every oppressor, and time will be there still– inexorably laughing at us until the bitter end. I was here at 6:25. We were– I was the last one here. 6:45? Just myself and no one else. I live here. I’ve been here all day. Look, if we’re being honest, I don’t recall leaving the house in the last ye–month. In the last month. Put that down. Month. Well, that’ll do it folks. Don’t mind us! Ciao! Good evening! Oscar: So kind. Never be too available? Might as well etch that onto your tombstone. Before you start harping on my lack of vulnerability, know that I learned that from an enclave of Basque monks I camped with in the forests of the Pyrenees. Liar. So then you are available? To the right owner. Those fellas let the isolation get to them, I think. Had a strange way of invigorating the mind: in order to increase brain activity, the often meditated upside down. Did it work? Did it make them smarter? Well– And yes, once a month we meet to write and dance–well not me, I don’t like dancing. Thanks so much for everything, Ed. Please let us know if anything comes up, whatsoever– actually, there was one other thing I wanted to ask– FOR CRYING OUT L- *chanting* I don’t even know. Alright, the fighting and dancing I get, but upside-down meditating? Well, I don’t see what this has to do with writing food metaphors! We’re going to need some honest answers, here! You, come here! I’ve got some questions for you. Oh, I– I can’t get out of this chair. Okay. Stay there. I’ll come to you. Were you at the Vivian Nightingale Memorial Ball last year? Oh boy. Sounds like a place I’d be. Do you know an Eddie Dantes? Who now? Eddie Dantes. That’s where I remember you from. You two were at the party last year. Oh, no. I must have been out of the country! *nervous laughter* You were both very drunk. No no no no no no no no no! What is this?! Well. The jig is up. Is this a Malbec? Yes! Ha! Constable Jim is known around the office as a bit of a wine snob. Edgar, why don’t you offer our guests some of your delicious wine? What a fabulous idea, Miss Brontë! Edgar, I’ll help you. Well, if it’s all the same, uh, I did want to take a look around. Do you mind if we join you? Sure! Let’s just leave this room. Come on. Please. This should do it. Alright. I want you to have the honor. Now when I turn on the tordongulator, the camera’s infrared triangulation will be triggered. And what you see on there will appear on here. Is it just one filter? Yes. I–I–I don’t know, actually. Um, say, uh–you can walk through walls, yes? Uh-huh. Would you mind taking that up to the weathervane on the roof? Oh yeah. Oh, crumpets. And this is where the food metaphors are really–OVER THERE! They are over there. Right this way, gentlemen. Eh, where are you going, there? I…uh…believe I have a very good full-bodied Malbec in…in my wine cellar, so…I’ll go get that. You, you just stay here and– Oh– Look over here!! At this…wine opener. It’s a mustache, because Edgar has a mustache. Annabel: Very cute. Um, are we allowed to drink on the job? *uproarious laughter* He’s new! Very funny though, I enjoy him. Oh, I couldn’t find it. I guess that Hemingway chap must have drank it all at our last conference. He’s a drunk. Oh, that’s a shame. Not really. He’s terrible. Sounds like my dad. Yeah, he’s got a lot going on at home. No, no. He can’t be touched. HG: One final twist should do it… *hissing* *cough* Lenore, is that you? *coughing* Lenore: Done and done! Wait, HG? HG! It’s too late! HG, what is it? The smoke! I can’t… But–wh-what’s your real name? It’s–it’s Herbert. Herbert George. That’s a terrible name. And there you have it, gentlemen! Our humble abode. Oh, so you two are an item, then? Oh! Yes! Yes we are. I have… I have no other suitors but Edgar. Yes, we are quite happy together. That’s so weird. I never would have guessed it looking at you! No chemistry at all! Nope. Yes, well, it has been lovely– Lenore: Help! HG Wells is… …definitely alive. He is here, and alive, and not dead. It’s weird that you would say that. Why–why–why–why’d you bring that up? My manservant, Lenore. Lenore, these are constables Jim and Jimmy from the local police. They were just about to leave! Oh, I’ve never met a ghost before! How do you do? Excuse me–one more thing, Ed… What’s with the dead body?