Creeper’s Syndrome – Padre

“What do you make of it?” the detective asked.

“Well Sir,” the constable replied. “The lady seems to have been knocked out or had a seizure of some sort, then the gentleman smothered her to death by burying her under all those sheets of wallpaper.”

The detective shot a glance towards the cowering man, handcuffed in the corner.

“Was he cowering like that when you found him?” the D.I. asked.

“No Sir, he was crawling around the room on all fours, just going in circles and climbing over the body.”

A second constable came to the door and caught the D.I.’s attention. “Sir, there is a doctor downstairs who says she’s some kinda expert on cases like this.”

“Send her up, because this makes no sense to me,” the detective said.

A few moments later a tall, well dressed woman entered the room and offered her hand to the detective. “Doctor Jennie Smith,” she said, “University College.”

“Are you a medical examiner?” the policeman asked.

“No, a psychologist. When your superintendent heard about the case, she rang me.”

“So what is it?” the detective asked.

“It looks like a case of Creeper’s Syndrome,” she replied. “But I will need to talk to the suspect to be sure.”

“Creeper’s?” the D. I. said puzzled.

“Syndrome,” she interjected. ” A kind of mental break brought about by prolonged exposure to large irregular or worn patterns in wallpaper. The original case was in New England in the 1890s, in that case the offending paper was yellow. At first it was considered a female malady, but as you can see here, anyone can be affected. It is interesting that the paper here was green, though. It may be a first.”

“Murder by wallpaper, now I’ve seen everything,” the detective muttered.

“No Detective, if you had seen everything, it would be you handcuffed and cowering in that corner,” Dr Smith retorted.


I am Padre of Padre’s Ramblings. In my life’s journey I have been a preacher, teacher, and served in the Forces. I am also an ecclesiastical historian, and theologian. I am married to my soulmate and am a father and grandfather. All have given me insights to things spiritual, and of things human. I am a public speaker as well, and have recently taken to writing poetry and short stories.

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