Peter Adler's First Case

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A sneak peek into the Mysterium Investigator's personal notes. Peter Adler features in my short story Hope's Well (see my published shelf for details).

It's Peter's first day, and one he won't quickly forget. There's a dead body (of course) but why has it been there so long, without discovery? And why does it smell so...odd?

Submitted: November 12, 2016

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Submitted: November 12, 2016



Investigator Peter Adler's Personal Notes- Day One of Avrilis


My first day since graduation and my first case to investigate, alone. All the hours of training, the extensive testing, and still I end up like all the rest. Heaving my guts up in an alleyway to preserve the scene.


To give me my due, it does appear to be one of the grislier murders in these parts. My superior gave me a quick pat on the back and a “never mind, son, happens to us all to start out with”. Given the pallor of his own face, I'd say I wasn't alone in that alleyway business. It makes one realise how rare an investigation this is, to have the sturdiest of the Mysterium's manpower wrenching their innards out.


The body is that of a young girl, maybe twenty-two, blue eyes, blonde hair, and a blue face. It would be obvious to say that she was strangled, but note it I shall. What made me nauseous wasn't the foul stench of her long dead body, for I've frequented enough charnel houses during training to dull that aspect. No, it was the sickly sweet perfume that was mixed with it. That and the Flesh Flies. I can't abide those things!


I remember the class about the dratted gnats in fine detail. First the flies appear, drawn to the scent of death. They do what they do, feed some, defecate, and fornicate, leaving behind scores of their eggs. I shudder to recall, they prefer to bury them under the skin or in the ears, injecting them in to the flesh with their proboscis. The young hatch after about a week or so, in larval form, eating their way out, leaving fresh tunnels in the flesh. This poor girl looks like Swiss Cheese. Clean, Swiss Cheese... No maggots, no flies. The larvae had long enough to hatch, grow to maturity, and then fly away. Professor McClain gave us a time line of a month for that, in class.


Which brings me to the perfume... and the dress. It's pristine. Normally there's leakage when a body is terrified and certainly after death, when the muscles that are holding things in, relax. Most of the fauna in Sommerspire go rigid shortly after expiration, we seem to be set apart for some reason of design. I digress. Her white smock dress is immaculate, down to the lace-work and beading. Hand stitched, as well. Many hours have gone in to the making of it and in a twisted way, much love. It is my belief that the dress was made specifically for the body. Preliminary investigation shows no markings to the body, save for the Flesh Flies work and the bruising to the neck. The latter is hidden by the intricate lace collar of the dress. As I mentioned earlier, the body is clean. Too clean. It would suggest, at the very least, a bathing after the fact. Given the overpowering fragrance to her, I'd say she's been washed and then anointed daily.


I cannot, presently, deduce the motive for all this effort. Was this an accident caused by a loved one, who is now desperate to make amends by caring for the corpse? Or is it something much darker?


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