That evening Sand sat in his living room. The house still felt strange and empty. The lack of noise coming from the kitchen. The television hummed in the background, now uncommented on. The sense of something missing felt tangible. The silence drummed into his brain. There was a hole, a shape, a gap that had once been occupied. His mind had nothing to occupy it either. No case to worry about, no clues to ponder, no scenarios to contemplate or evaluate.
Something about the day was gnawing at the back of his mind though. Sand couldn’t place it. He had no open cases that needed resolved. Since Camilla’s death he had thrown himself into his work and cleared the backlog of paperwork, loose ends and cold cases. What had he seen today that bothered him. His only new case had been the mutilated cat. He had got a call earlier in the evening from Håkon to report no suspicious circumstances – other than the dismembered feline. No neighbourly feuds, no theft. Still, something about that cat was nagging at him.
He rose from the armchair and headed to his study. In there he kept the drum kit he had had since he was a teenager. They had soundproofed the study to let him play without annoying Camilla. She had grown tired of Sand’s continued reluctance to accept he would never be a drummer in a band again. Now he could leave the door open if he wanted. He sat down on the stool and began hitting the bass and snare. Slowly at first he beat out a steady rhythm. His mind relaxed and numbed as the silence was replaced by the constant beat. Gradually he picked up the pace until he was working at a frenzy. Then he started throwing in jazz breaks. He closed his eyes. He pictured the cat, sliced open, intestines spilled on the ground, blood and fur and bone curdled together.
Then it came to him. He had seen something like it before. Not with a cat though. With a human. The decapitated head, the intestines, the limbs arranged in a star shape. It had been twenty years ago. One of his first cases as a detective.
Jules Eckberg had been found guilty of murdering his boyfriend. He pleaded insanity, claiming he had been possessed by the devil or evil spirits, Sand couldn’t remember the full details. He had been sentenced to life. Twenty years ago, Sand thought. He battered the cymbals and laid down the drumsticks. The sweat dripped from his face, his t-shirt was soaked through. Twenty years. Available for parole in eleven. No, too much of a coincidence. Sand dismissed the thought from his mind as he walked through to the bathroom.
As he stood under the cool shower he remembered that he didn’t believe in coincidence.
This is part four of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.
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