I stepped calmly out of the car, coffee in one hand and trying to pull down my skirt with the other without drawing attention to myself. I knew it was too short, I thought as I walked past the assembled police cars towards the crime scene tape flapping in the slight breeze. I'd tried so hard to look smart but now I was worried that I was going to spend the rest of my day pulling my skirt down. I was going to be teased rotten about this one.
'Hello Alannah.' I was greeted by the uniformed policeman guarding the crime scene. 'How are you today?'
'I'm very good thank you Ian. Is David in there yet?'
'Yes he arrived a few minutes ago. It's looking grim in there. Being mauled by a tiger is definitely being crossed off my list of ways I want to die.' We both laughed. Keeping things light is the only way to deal with my job. Death isn't a cheerful business.
'OK then, I'll see you on the other side.' I took a final swig of my coffee before handing it to Ian and stepping under the crime scene tape and entered the tiger's lair. Ian had been right, the cage was looking especially gruesome with blood spattered everywhere and a slashed and broken body lying in the centre. Dave was already here, gloves on and examining the body. His head snapped up when he heard my high heels clicking against the concrete floor. He didn't look too happy.
'Where the hell have you been? You got the call ages ago!'
'I'm sorry I didn't realise you needed me so urgently.'
'A man is dead, killed by a tiger, of course it's going to be urgent.' I ignored Dave and smiled at Mr King who was standing quietly behind him.
'Hello Mr King, how are you?'
'I'm well thank you Alannah, and yourself?' David was getting very annoyed now, I could see his face beginning to redden.
'Where are the others. They're meant to be here too.'
'How should I know? I haven't heard from them since before we were called out here. I'm assuming they are on their way.'
'Well I hope they get here soon,' he mumbled. 'We have lots to do.'
'Well seeing as I'm here give me a job. Do we have any witnesses we need to question?'
'Yes there's the animal feeder outside.' I turned on my heel and began clip-clopping back the way I had come. 'But I don't know how much you'll get out of him,' Dave called after me. 'He doesn't seem to know what happened, he just came into work and found the body.'
'Well I'll have to try hard then won't I,' I retorted as I left the enclosure.