The following events become completely fictitious after a few paragraphs, it's a good job too.
Monday, September 27, 2010
, 17:00 GMT+09:30, Adelaide
, South Australia
A black Honda Civic rolled smoothly to a stop under a pergola, and the four occupants stepped out. We'd just returned from a weekend interstate, visiting family. As I stepped out of the car, something on the ground caught my eye. a small metal object glinted in the sunlight. Hmm? Whatever it was, Dad might run over it next time he drove in. I stooped to pick it up. A key? A standard Yale Lockwood entry set key. Well, standard apart from the fact that the shaft was bent about fifteen degrees from the head and the head had a number of grind marks on both sides running perpendicular to shaft. I un-snapped my own set from by waist to compare the newcomer. Nope, no matches. Bending back down to where the key had landed, I placed my eyes at ground level and looked for a possible trajectory. Hmm, nup, couldn't have come over any of the neighbours' fences. Could be a master key, but I wouldn't like to try it in a lock, or it will probably snap off in there. I examined nearby windows and doors for any sign of forced entry, but everything was in order. After informing the others of my discovery, I pocketed the key and continued inside.
The cat rubbed against my ankle as I stood at the door, the way she often does. "Hey, how's it going?" I bent to stroke the back of her neck. "What happened to your foot?" She was limping on her front right paw, but there was nothing obviously wrong with it. As I opened the back door, she stood behind me, clinging to my leg in a cowering way. I thought it was odd. "What is it, mate?" I stroked the back of her neck again. Phwoah, a stench hit me as soon as I opened the door. It was a stench like we used to get when dead rabbits would sit under the house for a week or so.
"Nraawr," the cat's teeth showed as she stayed close behind me, ears pricked, tail erect. I reached for the light switch, unable to see anything inside the house up to this point. Click. I reeled backward, my shoe taking out the side of the cat's head. She "Nraawr." She leapt sideways to avoid being struck by my other foot as well. I took a cautious step forward, looking directly ahead although I'm certain it really would have been a good idea to have checked the rest of my surroundings first. A human hand protruded past the top of the back of a lounge chair, as if someone was laying there with one arm raised. How on Earth they could have got there, I had no idea, nor was I about to try and guess. Another step, and I was looking down, directly into a human face. Wait, human? Yes, I think so. It was badly mangled. I think this is about the point where most people at least shiver, or in movies, scream. I did neither, instead raising an eyebrow, just one, the left one. I am not going to try to describe what the body looked like, for it was ghastly beyond a need for description. Yes, there was the rest of a body down there too. Well, most of one anyway...
Upon preliminary inspection, all appeared to be present and correct. A second glance revealed the the left arm was not folded under them as I had at first supposed, but rather was missing. Now, I don't discriminate against people with disabilities, just because the majority of people are born with two arms doesn't mean it's the "correct" number. Having said that, this person apparently did have a second arm at some point in time, and the dried blood on their shirt suggested the appendage was only recently removed. I looked around, as if half expecting to find the arm, but there was no sign of it, only a trail of blood leading toward the back of the house. My right hand flashed to my pocket, returning with my phone. The camera lens cover flicked open with a half plastic half metallic noise like that of a switch blade knife, and my index finger slid mechanically onto the shutter button. Ka-ch.
The Police arrived roughly thirty minutes later, Detective Sergeant Smelter declaring the entire house a crime scene, putting up caution tape and whatnot. I know a girl who develops crime scene photos, and I always thought it would be a pretty cool job, I was starting to wonder now though. I was sitting outside with the rest of the family two hours later when the Sergeant approached us. "Sir," he addressed my father, "My men have identified the deceased as a Master Hoffman Key." I didn't catch the rest of what he said because my attention was drawn to a pair of men in lab coats walking out of the house with a pair of black garbage bags.
I never did get to find out what happened to that other arm, wonder where it went...