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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Mortimer Case - Part 1

It's as if death only takes place in the dead of night.

Early in the morning of June 11, 2015, Mrs. Marsh marched noisily towards the door of apartment 27. Its occupant, Ms. Mortimer, had borrowed her frying pan the night before, and the old Marsh lady felt like having an omelette in the immediate future. When knocking the door several hundred times proved futile, she returned to her own place with an angry--and rather hungry--countenance.

It was a fine summer morning, and there was no reason likely to prevent Ms. Mortimer from going to work. That is to say, no reason except that she was dead.
Mrs. Marsh was a very stingy (and curious) lady. Therefore she found it unbearable to wait until her neighbour went to work before she could get her frying pan back. Again she went to the door and, this time, in addition to knocking, yelled the young lady's name.
As there came no response from within, she went straight to the landlady, which was her friend, and convinced her that the young tenant had left home without returning her "due utensil". The landlady, Mrs. Pock, decided to remain at the door while Marsh fetched the pan. Something didn't feel right.

The pan was left on the stove, unwashed; and the whole place was messy, as if it had been pillaged. What heightened Mrs. Marsh's suspicion was that there was no trace of the smell of the shampoo of which Ms. Mortimer usually reeked. She hasn't taken a shower yet, thought Mrs. Marsh. She is still here.

The first thought that occurred to her was that she needed to leave the place as soon as possible. But she didn't. Instead, she crept slowly towards the bedroom, with a very strange mixture of fear and excitement. The door was ajar. She pushed it open, walked into the room, and right in front of her lay Ms. Mortimer on the floor in a pool of red thick substance.

Later she recalled the cry she let out with amazement. She'd never thought her sixty-seven-year old voice box was capable of such a feat.