So here I was unemployed, and to add insult to injury, standing over a smelly dead guy. As I was squelching the urge to hurl again, there was a loud banging at my door. I skirted around the body, and ran to open it. It was Gerry, the building super. Gerry had slammed into my life for the second time, after a car accident involving his cab and my car, resulted in him getting fired and needing a job. We had gone to high school together. We hadn’t been friends, but he had played football with my ex Louie. I felt partially responsible for Gerry losing his job, so I managed to wrangle a gig for him as the super for my rent-controlled walk up.
I might add that it is the middle of May and we are in the midst of a heat wave. Everything smelled a bit riper than it would normally would.
“What in hell’s name is that horrible stench?” Gerry stopped short, quickly noticing the dead dude on the carpet. He quickly held the edge of his work shirt over his mouth and nose. I was sorely tempted to gag again. The stoicism I exhibited was slowly dissipating and being replaced by panic. What if the killer came back, and decided to finish me off?
“Okay Gerry,” I said, “cut the crap! How did you get Velcro’s’ body in here?” “What do ya mean how? You mean you think I did this, thanks a lot!” he said, somewhat pissed.
“This wasn’t your handy-work?”
“No! Why would you think I would do such a horrid thing?”
“Not sure really; maybe because you and Ray have the only keys besides me, and you love practical jokes.”
“Yeah, I do, but nothing this heinous! My practical jokes are more of an April fool’s kind of gag. Besides I don’t even know him.”
“Okay. I’m sorry I’m just trying to figure out how and why he got here. Furthermore he is wrecking my rug! “I know it’s odd to worry about a frigging rug right now but this is how I deal with stressful situations. I ignore the obvious problem, and settle for something mundane and harmless to worry about. Okay so enough about the damned rug. I focused on the corpse once again.
As I don’t do ‘cool nonchalance’ well, I retorted, “Gee good point I practically fell over him on my way out of the bedroom.”
“Didn’t it occur to you at some point during the night, that there was a rotting corpse in the middle of your living room?” Gerry asked.
“For one thing, I sleep with my bedroom door closed and my air conditioning on; and second, I was so tired after this weekend; I just came in and flopped. I didn’t even realize
I had a guest, dead or alive.”
“Well regardless of all that, we have to call this in.” Gerry got out his mobile and dialled 911. It was definitely classed as an emergency.
I suddenly realized I probably had a lot of explaining to do. In fact, I was in deeper shit that I wanted to admit to myself. I dreaded facing the local constabulary on this one. Picturing the headline, ‘Local girl kills debt collector in living room’ the guilt was flooding in, and I hadn’t done anything … yet. This thought was followed by what I thought my parents’ obituary might be, when they found out my predicament, ‘Man dies suddenly of a major coronary, directly preceded by death of wife due to gross shame”. The reality of the situation was really starting to get to me. I don’t look good in prison orange.
“So do you know John Doe?”
“UH, yeah I do actually.”
“Did your date go that badly?”
“He wasn’t a date!” In fact I wouldn’t even have classified Hodges as a friend. The shock was starting to wear off, and I could start to feel weak in the knees. Gerry caught me, as I was about to go down. I love a mystery as much as the next person, but not in real life. Gerry guided me to the couch and forced my head between my knees. Shock had truly set in, as well as morbid disgust, and revulsion. This had to be the weirdest situation I have ever been in.
There was a knock at the door again and it was the police.
The lead inspector and the crime scene unit converged on my building at once. Immediately, my home sweet apartment becomes a crime scene, confirmed by the usual crime scene yellow tape. The coroner waited outside until the initial investigation was finished.