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Dr. Herbert Marriott has a problem that only murder can solve. Luckily for him, the perfect weapon is locked away in his rundown museum, one too incredible for any court to accept. The cursed chair kills all who rest upon it. But will Herbert’s victim be so easily drawn to her fate?A four and half thousand word short story.
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The Murder Seat
A Word From The Author
The Golden Rule Series
About Noel Coughlan
THE MURDER SEAT
by Noel Coughlan
THE MURDER SEAT
Copyright © 2016 Noel Coughlan
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover by Venanzio (www.tatlin.net)
Edited by Finish The Story (http://www.finish-the-story.com/Editing.htm)
Additional Proofreading by Proofed to Perfection (http://www.proofedtoperfection.com/)
Published by Photocosmological Press (http://photocosm.org/)
Epub Edition: ISBN:978-1-910206-11-9
THE MURDER SEAT
Dr. Herbert Marriott gazed upon the austere wooden chair idly placed inside the windowed cabinet. Fifty years of dust lay upon it. A half-century had passed since its evil had been imprisoned behind glass, sentenced forever to be an untouched exhibit in his museum.
Its murderous history began in 1847, at the height of the Great Famine. One of Major Mackleton’s tenants, recently evicted, visited his residence to beg for her home back. The major invited the old woman briefly into the reception hall to remind her of the money she still owed. Incensed by this humiliation, she laid a curse upon him. Within a fortnight, his two strapping sons were found dead, thrown from their horses on the same hunt. Soon after, the major’s wife died of grief. Even his favorite dog succumbed to the malediction. The major himself lasted another month before he, too, died of some unspecified ailment. According to legend, he departed this world screaming.
His servants blamed these calamities on the chair the major had sat upon when the old woman laid her curse. They claimed that to rest upon it invited death.
The Roycroft-Smythe family, the major’s cousins, scoffed at this superstitious claptrap when they inherited his property. Within a year, they, too, had died. A succession of unfortunate owners suffered the same ill fate, until one canny individual, William Boyce, donated it to the Dublin Museum of Culture and Art. Yet his wit did not save him. The day after the chair arrived at the museum, Boyce’s house collapsed, killing him and all whom he loved.
The Murder Seat, as more lurid elements of the press dubbed it, remained in storage until its infamy had somewhat mellowed. In the thirties, the then curator, Henry Tyrwhitt, desperate to finance the museum, exhibited the chair as a means of drawing in less-refined patrons. At first, the gambit succeeded. People from all over Ireland came to see the notorious chair. A few braver souls even sat upon it to test the curse. The museum’s takings from this most unusual exhibit exceeded Tyrwhitt’s wildest hopes. But then people began to turn up dead…
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