The hotel-room was spacious and airy but this failed to compensate for the décor of faded beige and cream and the stripy wallpaper that was doing strange things to my eyes when I stared at it too long. A large, badly-fitted window looked out over the ocean, the draft tugging constantly at the edges of the curtains in movements which echoed the rise and fall of the waves. The bed-linen felt clammy when I touched it and I sighed, sitting instead at the small desk to unpack my laptop and papers, spreading them around me in neat piles.
Edward Sennet. Date of birth August 15th 1963. Hair brown and eyes to match, although one report said hazel. Died, most likely, on or around September 4th 2006. The police report said he’d been found at 8.30am on the 5th by Eleanor Gordon, employed as a chambermaid at the Admiral, when she’d apparently come to check the towels in the tiny en-suite. The coroner’s report said he’d died of a brain hemorrhage which, if it hadn’t killed him at once, had done so within a minute or two.
This was of course, initial research, just some of what I’d found out through the usual licit and illicit methods. And it was all on record. Anyone could have found it if they chose, and if they had no moral objections to a committing a couple of very small crimes. What the information didn’t tell me was where he’d been during the time he’d been missing; why his body had been left in a room at an otherwise unremarkable seaside hotel; who else was involved and of course, why he had really died.
It’s my calling to search out the strange, the unexplained. Not the trite and facile imaginings of the gutter-press and conspiracy-theorists, but the small mysteries that are ignored, brushed under the carpet because they seem so pointless and unconvincing. Small events that happen in public, that are recorded fact. Not the hallucinations of a single individual or the theories of a hack with a downloaded doctorate and a constricted imagination, but things that are nonetheless odd, that don’t fit, that seem completely illogical.
But there’s logic somewhere. There are always reasons. Events pursue a course and corpses don’t just pop up in hotel bedrooms without someone having put them there for reasons that no matter how crazy they might seem in hindsight, must have seemed like the best option at the time.
I was tired though that night. I pursued my other calling for an hour or so, the money-making part. With no regard for the state of my soul I defrauded and conned a lot of people out of their hard-earned and went to bed, where neither my conscience nor the clammy sheets kept me awake for long.