Samantha unzipped the bag, head to foot. Phillips was hovering behind her, an anxious look on his face. His fatty jowls were wobbling.
Sam gave him a bemused look, “After three years you really think I’d be scarred from seeing a mutilated body?”
As if to accentuate her point, she traced the scar on her face with her forefinger.
“Right,” Phillips turned and left the morgue, leaving Sam to her…methods.
Smiling, she clapped her hands and bent over the body to address the dead boy personally, “Now then, let’s get started,”
She pressed her fingertips together and made a steeple with her hands. Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors, and kill all the people. A delicious thrill ran through her. A murder! It had been ages seen she’d dealt with a good murder. And this one was fabulous. She pried open the boy’s jaw and reached her fingers inside, scrabbling around for something specific. The inside of his mouth was much drier than it should have been, given the time that he’d died. Reaching further back, her thumb brushed against a crevice between two teeth filled with a sticky black substance.
“Ah, there you are,” She withdrew her hand and examined the black gunk clinging to the tip of her fingernail.
The boy had obviously been involved with some very nasty dealings. Closing her eyes, she moved the puzzle pieces around until they made sense.
She opened her eyes and stared down at the boy, “Well, that was rather stupid of you, wasn’t it?”
“You want what?!”
Samantha tapped her long black nails on Phillips desk, “You heard me – I want the entire contents of his underwear and sock drawers,”
Phillips leaned back in his chair and folded his hands over his massive waist. He really needed to lay off the pudding, Samantha thought to herself. Already there was a great deal of strain on the middle two buttons of his shirt. Someone could get hurt if they pinged off suddenly. Samantha suppressed a giggle at this amusing thought.
“What in the name of sanity would you need his underwear for?”
Samantha leaned towards him, bending her slender upper half over the desk top. Her scarf brushed the wood surface, cleverly concealing her cleavage so Phillips wouldn’t see. Old, fat men like him tended to be perverts.
“I have a secret for you Mr. Phillips,”
“Not important – do you want to hear my secret or not?”
Phillips leaned forward so his nose was inches from Sam’s, “Do tell Miss Hawk,”
“I’m not sane,”
Sam jogged up the steps followed by two policemen carrying a huge box of the dead boy’s belongings – well, his underwear at least. His name was printed on it, ‘Alex Masters’.
“Come on boys, we haven’t got all day!” She cried, skipping to her apartment door.
She loathed living in an apartment complex, but her mother was the only family member who would take her. Her grandmother – the only other relative she consciously knew was alive - had denied letting Sam live with her
when she heard she’d killed a lot of baby birds to study their internal organs. The policemen grunted in response, carrying the box between them. Sam really didn’t understand what the big deal was. The box couldn’t be that heavy could it? How much lingerie could a gay boy have anyway?
She opened the door and hollered inside, “Mum I’m home! Brought some evidence, hope you don’t mind!” Sam could smell something delicious cooking.
Her mother yelled back from the kitchen, “Of course I don’t mind, have them set on the kitchen table!”
Oh how Sam loved her mother and her tolerance for Sam’s unhealthy obsession.
The policemen followed Sam inside, setting the heavy white box on the round kitchen table, “Thanks boys,” Sam nodded her head towards them in appreciation. Unfortunately they didn’t hear her. They were too busy tripping over themselves in an attempt to escape the apartment. Apparently they had seen Sam’s collection of pickled cow hearts on the mantle. Chuckling, Sam seated herself at the table.
“What’s for supper?” She inquired, closing her eyes to enjoy the rich smell of some sort of food or other.
“Breaded chicken, just how you like it. There’s some mustard in the fridge if you’d like some with it,”
Sam wriggled out of her coat and draped it over the chair, yanking off her scarf in the process.
“Take your boots off, dear,” Her mother reminded her.
Sam glanced down at her high heeled lace up boots that came all the way up her calves. Sighing, she sat back down to unlace them.
“Right, thanks mum,”
Ms. Howler made a noise of approval in response.
Sam wandered over to the fridge, opening it in search of the mustard. She put mustard on everything, even pickles. Somehow, it made everything taste better.
Finding the familiar yellow bottle, Sam carried it back to the table. Ms. Howler brought the steaming plate of chicken in and let it clatter to the table top. "Good grief, one of these days it'll end up all over my favorite blouse," She grumbled, blowing on her blistered fingertips. Samantha squirted the yellow substance all over her piece of meat.
"Mrs. Lawrence said she bumped into a very odd man today," Sam's mother told her. Her knife slid into the white flesh of the chicken as she spoke. "Talked like he was out of his mind. Something about country songs in this time,"
Sam paused at this, her fork bearing a piece of food hovering inches before her lips. "In this time, you say?" She quirked an eyebrow.
"Exactly, isn't that just odd? I thought I'd might as well tell you seeing as you're my clever girl," Ms. Howler winked a single green eye.
Samantha hummed to herself for a moment before wrapping her lips around her fork. Through her mouthful she muttered, "Either he's crazy, a criminal, or an idiot, I'm not sure which,"