14. Three-days-dead (3)

“Oh,” stammered my lame-brained escort, “Someone broken in,” stating what he thought was the obvious. If he’d been more observant, he’d have noticed that though the place had been ransacked, there were no signs of forced entry. The vandals, whoever they were, had let themselves in . . . with a key.

The intern stooped to pick up a shoe with his well-padded hands. I’d seen those large hands squeezed into latex gloves and was thinking that he should be wearing them now. He was covering things with his fingerprints.

“We must call the police,” he declared as he continued his sloppy contamination of the crime scene.

In the kitchen—a shiny black granite and stainless steel room—all the plates and silverware had been thrown to the floor. Someone had picked through the contents of the refrigerator and the trash, which consisted largely of plastic and Styrofoam take-out containers and putrid bits of food. There were Japanese pastries strewn all over the floor. They had been broken open, red bean paste smeared on the slate-colored floor along with what appeared to be steak sauce.

“Oh,” said my self-appointed guardian, his face losing color. “I think that is blood.”


—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 14.3/Three-days-dead