I’m staring at the dead body lying in my kitchen, not moving a single inch. There was a pool of blood right next to him, right next to the unlucky one, who was laid to rest on a cool floor made of tiles.I almost instantly called the police. A female dispatcher answered. After telling her about the corps she told me not to touch the victim. My professional curiosity must have prevailed over the provision because I find myself inspecting the pocketsof his jeans just minutes after.Ten minutes later my good friend and colleague Jacob and his team consisting of forensic and medical experts arrived at my place.
»Hey, Aidan. Always in duty?«»What can I say, I’m a workaholic . How come my murdered guy doesn’t require a homicide detective?«»They are detecting among the tourists. They are used to not having exiting cases by now.
You’re stuck with me.«I led him through the living room to the kitchen doorway. He stood looking at the corpse a few seconds before he spoke.
»Do you know who he is?«»His ID was still in his wallet. Our friend right here is called Matthew Tramblay. Have you heard of him?«»No, sorry. «»So.« I scratch my chin. »I guess the murderer had gone through all the backyards in the neighbourhood till he found my unlocked door. Then he stepped inside and puthis victim on my floor. The guy looks like he was in a fight and was stabbed.
My kitchen is still clean though. You should have the forensics done, so we can be sure about that.«The forensics just confirms my assumption.
»So if he wasn’t stabbed here, he was probably leaking blood all the way. You want me to demonstrate those famous tracking skills?«We step out of the house, and I follow Jacob down a couple of wooden steps. There are some drops of blood which guide us down the sidewalk.»Found one.« Jacob points near his right foot. »There’s another.«The blood leads us to a convienience store whose bright lights inside make us thinkit is still open but we can’t see anyone inside. I follow Jacob around the house to the backdoor.
Slowly and cautiously I open the door to the kitchen and storeroom of the store. There are coffee mugs, dishes, chopped lettuce, a freeze – and a bloody knive.»What was the dead guy’s name again?«Jacob pulls out the wallet. »Matthew Tramblay«I knew the name sounded familiar earlier. »Tramblay is the name of the owner of this store. He’s way older than the victim and is called Ethan.«A car drives into the parking lot and the motor is turned off. A man which I recognise as the store owner walks through the front door.
He sees me, sees Jacob and then registered the mess on the floor.»Where is Matthew?«I don’t want to confront him with the tragic facts just now, so I asked: »Is Matthew your son?«»Yes.«»Was he staying here?«Ethan sighed. »Matthew had some trouble in Kimberley, so he came over here.«»What kind of trouble?«»He has something going on with the wife of some crude guy whose name is Andrew, I think. So Andrew was out to get him.
«I realise that Ethan needs a bit more time before he is delivered the bad news.»Have you told your son where I live?«»Sure. I even showed him your house. I told him that he could go to you for help ifhe was in trouble.«The forensics experts arrive so we have to leave.
At my house, Jacob explaines his theory to me:»Here is what I think. It looks like the son fought Andrew and got knifed in the process. The kitchen is full of weapons.
«»So let’s say Andrew wants to intimidate Matthew. They get into the kitchen and warehouse in case any customer walks in. Andrew gets rough and Matthew resists. Andrew grabs a knife and stabs Matthew in the back. Then Matthew somehow knocked Andrew out and came looking for me, like his dad told him to do.
Matthew limps to my place, collapses on my kitchen floor, and dies.«»Where do you think Andrew went?«»I don’t think he went anywhere. I remember a bloody handprint on the freezer. I thought it was a mark Andrew left as he was moved out of the kitchen. Now I think Matthew put his killer on ice. Literally.«The next day, the interior light of the freezer turned on after we unlocked the padlock together and opened the heavy door.
There, stretched out between shelves stacked with meat, was the man we presumed to be Andrew.He was frozen stiff.