Diabolical Plots! Beyond the Poisoned Apple

Today I saw a posting of a Malachite Bathtub at a gallery showing in Munich.

It is stunning!

A lovely lady in a group I was visiting, had shared it in a post. She captioned it being her bathtub aspirations to own one.

She was hit with more toxicity warnings than that of the tobacco and cleaning supply industries combined!

They had completely missed the point of what she was sharing via a geology enthusiast group, and why.
(Not to mention all of their misinformation being launched at her. Yes, I looked it up thoroughly researched and the Malachite tub is a safe place to linger in water, but the myth of toxicity was intriguing to me. What if it truly made for a deadly dunk?)

I felt bad for her that folks could not bite their tongues, just enjoy her sharing a pleasurable daydream in the beauty of something so special, skillfully made into a true one of a kind work of art.

Then I got to thinking. (It’s always scary when I get to thinking. My inner diabolical plot wizard engages!)

Under deadly assumptions, is it that this tub was built only as beauty to admire from a far, or unknown to the creator the medium of their choice was potentially lethal? Or was that the point?

Muahahahahahahaaaa! ( Maniacal laughter, thunder rolls and lightening clashesa, lights flicker to black out)

My mind continues churning away on this puzzle of sorts. Why that much work for something unusable? Or perhaps a diabolical brilliance to neutralize one’s enemies in unsuspecting hospitality?

Hmm… it could work i guess, so long as said enemies are over for the weekend and chose to take a bath right?

Now my mind is picking up speed and I can imagine several possibilities for plot lines where such a thing exists.

Double agents and Russian political royalty, plausible deny ability in the death of a honored guest aka, visiting political opponent.

The Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory treating her ladies in waiting to one final luxurious bath before death, (where then she uses them to bath in their blood. Like a twisted “spa day” at the Spanish Inquisition.)

Rival Artist understanding their assignment in an expression of deadly beauty, and bodies are turning up everywhere. (Something in the style of 70’s TV homocide detective, Columbo)

A Medieval master of torture devices that is trying to impress a ruthless Usurper/Future King/Queen/Cardinal in their ingenuity of undetectable/unsuspecting murder devices.

Cursed objects in a traveling midnight Carnival with tales of death and horror in their wake. Unexplainable misfortune befallen anyone that so chooses to use these items. What would its story be? What else is in the collection? Why do the warnings not outweigh the item’s alleur do they offer false promises of some kind to the user?

A mansion of splendor in its day now fallen to rack and ruin. Now just an old delapitaded house with hints of decadent extravagance from a bygone era. It stands abandoned, frozen in time, a place rumored to bring death to all that have ever lived there.

An eccentric DIY-TV house flipper decides to take the property on in a series called, “From Ghost to Gorgeous! Revamping your neighborhood’s most haunted houses” (he takes suggestions from viewers about homes they want him to tackle, perhaps to bring up the value of their own by association)

What topic has sparked your imagination lately?

Where do you find your unique ideas?

Would anyone else be willing to share an example of their brainstorming here? You just might inspire another writer to their best story ever!


On the one hand, I was wondering if there’s something wrong with me—that as you described ever more diabolical scenarios my grin grew broader and broader … but then I realised your brain had to come up with the ideas in the first place!

Great sharing and I do love that bathtub, though I may be careful if I visited you and you offered me a dunk. :face_with_monocle:

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I wonder the same kinds of things when I am engrossed in a dark tale and can not tear myself away. On all counts. Lol!

“Why am I engaging in this? Wait, who wrote this? OMG! What inspired this!?!”

Then down the rabbit hole of research I go.

Kas you should not be worried about me. After all, I’m no Jessica Fletcher. :rofl:

That woman attracts corpses with rapidly solvable murders, like peanut butter attracts jelly into sandwiches.

(The only stains on my hands are from an ink pen. Everyone lives to tell the tale.)

I am so glad I made you smile!

Death By Wallpaper

Opinions are divided over Napoleon’s death in exile. His wallpaper is more likely to have delivered the coup de grace than British assassins.

Redecorated in the highly fashionable Scheele’s Green, the wallpaper contained arsenic to fix the green pigment. The house on St Helena remains notoriously damp, especially when closed to the harsh elements of the South Atlantic. In such conditions, the wallpaper broke down emitting arsenic dust and arsenic fumes. It capped long-term exposure in his Imperial residences in Europe.

His favoured ‘tonic’ was a sweet apricot-based drink containing hydrocyanic acid. A tartar emetic given by his Corsican doctr contained Antimony. His British doctors in exile prescribed calomel containing mercurous chloride.

His lead bathtub was the centrepiece of a house connected with lead plumbing.

The mystery isn’t so much how he died but how he survived to age fifty-one.