((Just to clarify, this was intended to be posted on Thursday or Friday, but I planned badly and didn’t start writing till Friday and wasn’t able to finish it till today–and even then it’s not quite as good as I wanted it to be because, like I said, I planned badly and didn’t have enough time. Sorry! UPDATE: As of today, October 23rd, this has been edited to improve quality.))
“What? No, that can’t be right,” Felicia said as she walked through the doorway. “Oh… Yes, there are. The larger one wasn’t there before. I don’t assume this will change matters?”
Avery stared at the two bodies laying on the floor of Felicia’s living room. One was smaller, lying face up–an Asian man wearing a suit, quite young, and quite dead–apparently from a bullet hole in his chest. The other body was normal sized, face down and wearing a trench coat, black gloves and tall boots. A mane of black hair blocked any other details from view.
“Hmmm…” Avery looked up from the bodies and examined the room itself. It oozed the same dangerous, mysterious aura as Felicia: the walls and floor were painted in dark colors with deep colored wood furnishings.
“Avery?” Felicia repeated.
“This room is ugly,” Avery said. “And expensive-looking. How do you afford this, anyway?”
“Never mind that, Avery–it isn’t your business. I repeat: I don’t assume the additional body will change things?”
“It’ll double the price, that’s for sure.”
Felicia stared at Avery; he stared back.
“Fine. Get on it right away, though.”
“Of course. I’ll need someone to examine the bodies…”
Avery returned to the apartment an hour later, a dark-haired woman in tow.
Just as they reached Felicia’s door, Avery spoke. “There are two bodies in here and I need you to perform a basic autopsy or whatever it is you do.” He rapped on the door.
“You want me to do what‽ I have no tools! What do you expect me to be able to tell you?” the woman exclaimed.
Avery began to reply, but was interrupted by the door opening.
“Who’s this?” Felicia demanded, staring down the woman.
“Kelly Kramer, city morgue. Avery–“, she jerked her head at Avery, “–here decided to use the… favor he won from me to have me perform an autopsy with no tools or proper environment.”
“Really.” Felicia smiled coolly and gestured for Avery and Kelly to enter.
Avery scowled at Felicia as he entered behind Kelly.
“Were the bodies originally in these positions?” Kelly said, peering down at the bodies.
“No, the big Caucasian was lying face down before,” said Avery. Before his departure, he and Felicia had turned over the body to do a basic examination, finding that the man’s face had been bashed in, obscuring most other details. “There are Polaroids on the coffee table, though.”
“Yes, I can see them.”
“Then why did you ask…?” Kelly ignored him, however, as she crouched down by the bodies.
Felicia tutted. “This is all quite distasteful. If you don’t mind, I’ll be in the kitchen. Avery, care to join me?”
“Of course.” Avery followed Felicia past Kelly and through a swivel door into the kitchen. In stark contrast to the living room, the kitchen was airily colored, with white, marble-like counter tops and cool blue furnishings.
“You’re sure she can be trusted?” Felicia said as she filled a kettle with water.
“She doesn’t owe me a favor–I have evidence that she’s been taking bribes. Tea, is it?”
“Blackmail… smooth. A clever move, for once.” Felicia put the kettle on her cook top. “Yes, tea. You may have some.”
“I’m done,” came the voice of Kelly from the living room.
“Already?” Avery looked quizzically at Felicia for a moment before leaving the kitchen. “What’s your verdict?”
“He,” Kelly jerked her thumb at the Asian man, “appears to have been strangled in some fashion, though I can’t tell if it was the cause of death or not. He was definitely shot, from what I believe to be close range. He appears to have been dead for two or three days.
“He,” she pointed at the large man, “was bashed in the face with a thin object–no other physical trauma or signs of a struggle. Slightly later time of death, if I’m not mistaken.”
“That’s all?” Avery said.
Avery frowned. “I expected better of you.”
“Goodbye, Kelly,” said Felicia, walking into the room and interrupting Kelly’s burgeoning response.
“Oh, yes. I’ll… I’ll be going now. Bye, Avery.” Kelly left the apartment, looking slightly confused.
“Very intimidating, Felicia,” Avery said sarcastically once Kelly was out of earshot. “I wonder what’s up with her?”
“Who knows? Or cares, for that matter–she was no help. What’s your next move?”
Half an hour later, Avery stood outside of the police station. As always, the dark stone walls emitted a sense of foreboding, as if they might at any second animate and eat the passersby alive. Avery ignored this sensation, however, and entered. Walking quickly, he briefly nodded to detective Krill, who was jumping up and down trying to snatch a set of keys from a tall detective who was swinging them in the air, laughing.
“Oh, Avery! How are you?”
Avery ignored Krill and quickened his pace, slipping through the entrance hall just before the tall detective looked around, confused.
Now in the area where all the detective’s desks resided that Avery could never remember the name of, Avery continued along at his brisk pace –until he glanced down and noticed a sheaf of papers, right on detective Krill’s desk. Stopping suddenly, he picked up the papers and read them intently.