It’s Friday again and though I’m currently faraway from home, I’ve prepared an excerpt from my National Novel Writing Month project. Thanks, magic of the Internet!
As you are about to notice, it is yet another opening scene. From yet another project. I know, I know. We’re not supposed to do that. I’m not snobbing Mr Patsy Pants, he’s snobbing me. I’m just respecting his brooding wishes and I’ll get back to him when he’s in a better mood.
In the meantime, meet Gael Waaks and Keith Russo. They’re also meeting each other so you’ll fit right in. 😉
* * *
Though there’s no right reaction to a first encounter with a supernatural crime scene, the bewildered disgust painted on my new partner’s face disrespected the dead woman’s memory. When he pinched himself, my eyes closed, my head bowed and my fingers rose to my temples to massage the upcoming headache out of existence.
“New transfer?” The coroner beamed into my brain.
I gave a quick nod as an answer. Detective Keith Russo worked in the Wilmington Homicide Department up until this very morning, when his transfer to Supernatural Homicides had been prompted by my previous partner’s spontaneous combustion. We got called in here before I could give “the talk”.
The apartment’s tight space could hardly fit the whole team. The crime scene photographer snapped pictures of the tattered couch from the hallway. The fabric of its lower half was torn here and there, horizontal streaks where claws pressed too hard against the brocade. Our victim had been prone to mood swings but it wasn’t surprising given her condition. The rest of the apartment was sparkling and orderly which contrasted with the blood splatters perpendicular to the body and up the wall. The photographer spotted the droplets on the ceiling and snapped them too.
“You done?” I snapped at Keith who was still fixing the body with the “I-can’t-believe-my-eyes” stare instead of the professional “I’m-looking-for-clues” look I expected.
He blinked a couple of times fast. “What is that?”
I swallowed the hiss rising within me. “Anita Lambros was a five months pregnant harpy. Nothing about this —” I drew an imaginary circle encompassing the whole crime scene “— is a that.”
Unable to look at Keith’s face anymore, I bowed closer to Anita’s and took a good whiff. She had started morphing as a self-defence reflex and the distinctive smell of the transformation, combined with the blood, covered any other scent. I half-hoped the feathers on her neck caught some particles from her killer, but my nose couldn’t detect any foreign touch.
The coroner gently opened Anita’s beak and shone a light along its edges. “Nothing,” he told me mentally with a lung-less sigh of disappointment. Our eyes met for a second. He had nothing more to add at the moment; he rarely did before the autopsy.
“I’m not sure what to do,” Keith said. The norm looked like a lost child.
A little pain stabbed my right temple and zinged across my brain. Just long enough for me to wince. I took a deep breath and tried to find some semblance of understanding. “Forget about her species for a second. What would you do if this was a human crime scene?”
“Search for the other half?”
I shook my head. “You won’t find it.”
* * *
And what’s great about NaNoWriMo is that a whole bunch of writers are doing it at the same time! Some of them are also participating in #NaNoFriday and you can find them here:
From the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums:
CJ Michaels: http://www.christinajmichaels.blogspot.com/
Michael Shoemaker: www.michaelshoemaker.com
Lady Cat: http://www.carolsrandomness.blogspot.ca
Want to participate too? No need to be on the AW forums. Leave your blog address in the comments, post a excerpt with the list of participants and I’ll add you to the blog roll!