the secret murder

a perfect murder

Transcript time again!

‘Jules leaned forward in his chair and spoke wonderingly, intensely “How would it feel to kill someone?”

I think this line is going to be the highlight of my yet-to-be-written book? My friends, we are in trouble already.

Six of them there were — rich, clever and beautiful. They never went to bed at night, they sat up drinking coffee and talking about deep things.

Six of them there were? Are you Yoda? I find my schoolgirl vision of Life At Uni vaguely heartbreaking. I always went to bed at night, mostly because I had to write two essays a week and this is quite hard to do on no sleep. And I knew, like, one person who was rich, clever and beautiful, and instead of talking about Deep Things everyone mostly bitched about her.

Of the six, Ayesha was the richest — of Arab descent, she reinvented herself with blonde hair and contact lenses.

I feel compelled to admit that Ayesha was in fact based upon this Super Cool Sindy:


Now you have a mental picture of her, we can continue.

Jules and the androgynous Christian were twin brothers — Jules was the cleverest, Ayesha’s idol, and obsessed with crime. Christian was ‘happy to be in touch with his male and female sides’ and had a stormy relationship with his twin.

ZOMG TWINS! Also, I want cookies for having a genderqueer character, seeing as how Tumblr is twenty years in the future.

Saundra was a ‘weirdo’ having a platonic affair with Christian.


Joe was a general ‘good guy’ and Venitienne was a mysterious and melancholy brunette, who wrote haunting poetry. Six quicksilver young people, bright as the sun, talking at midnight about murder.

Joe is just here to make up the numbers, isn’t he. And Venitienne? There are so many lovely names in the world, why do you have to try (and fail) to invent new ones?

It is Jules who meticulously plans his ‘perfect crime’ and Venitienne who helps him. The victim is unimportant — she is a prostitute of around 35, identity unknown.

Wow. I don’t even know where to start with this. Well, clearly 35 is far too decrepit to be allowed to live, and sex workers are unpeople (which I assume is why Jules has chosen her), and really this poor woman whom I have not even bothered to name (though, given my track record at naming characters, this may be no bad thing) is no more than a plot device. I am cross with you, younger self, and I am confiscating your Tumblr cookies because you don’t deserve them.

At a bleak beauty spot the six assemble. Each does his or her part, wearing rubber gloves and bathing caps to prevent leaving fingerprints or hair.

Oh yay, Jules is forensically aware. I do however feel that his ‘perfect murder’ would be substantially more perfect and the risk of leaving DNA traces significantly lessened if he hadn’t roped in FIVE OTHER PEOPLE to help out.

She is buried in a strange ceremony composed by Venitienne and conducted by Christian.

Well, that’s nice.

Then they return, talking incessantly about the experience.

Sounds fun.

Only Saundra remains silent. A week later, tormented by guilt, she kills herself.

Saundra, Saundra, Saundra. Why did you agree to it in the first place? Did it not occur to you earlier that you might feel an eensy bit bad about killing an innocent person just for kicks?

Her suicide note, confessing everything, is burned by Christian — grieving for her, but loyal to his twin.

What has fraternal loyalty got to do with it? Presumably the note implicates everyone, in which case destroying it is kind of a no-brainer.

Joe ‘cracks’ — eventually returning home but visiting the grave constantly.

I thought Joe was supposed to be a ‘good guy’? How did Jules even get these people to participate in his human sacrifice thing? Maybe when he leans forward in his chair with a preponderance of adverbs he is actually hypnotising them all?

But Jules and Venitienne were hooked by the first blood — now they form a sinister alliance…

I ran out of page at this point, but I can tell you that in the fragment of this which succeeded in getting written (and not many blurbs made it that far, so I must have considered this one of my Best Ideas), Jules and Venitienne were engaged in a bathing-cap-clad killing spree which was rapidly developing BDSM overtones, Joe was in a psychiatric hospital, and Christian was on the run with a spaced-out Ayesha.

(Also, there was a conversation about infinity. It was awesome.)

So essentially this is The Secret History, right? Except for how it is rubbish. Six fabulously pretentious students? Check. Murder, suicide, intra-group affairs and infatuations? Check. There are even TWINS. (Of course there are twins. There are always twins.) I’m thinking I must have been ‘inspired’ by a review in the Sunday Times Books section, which I suppose is a step up from stealing my plots from Neighbours.

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