The Loner

Her cell phone buzzed like an angry cricket in her pocketbook somewhere off in the mess, likely by the door. She didn't dare answer it, knowing full well that Russel was likely still fuming about the night before. After four rings there was a silence broken only by loose shingles on the roof.

She went back to work, latex cloves, face mask and trash bag in hand.

By the time Lizzie was finished trudging through the sea of ancient and yellowed newspapers a fine dusting of snow had begun to accumulate on the unkempt farmer's porch. It had been a difficult days work and she was nowhere near knowing anything relevant about this man.

The only things she could wrench from the mass of debris was that he lived alone, loved peppermints and his dogs were extremely well groomed.

She wondered absently what this meant, what kind of man would disregard his own cleanliness even right down the last screaming second of life, but pamper his dogs in such a showroom fashion, even if they were mutts taken in off of the streets.

What did it say about his frame of mind? What did it say about his character? Would it be fair to estimate that he cared more about the well being of others than his own physical well being?

Then why, when he jumped of the roof of the capitol building did he land in a sea of pedestrians, crushing eight of them beneath his enormous weight? Maybe he just had a soft spot for dogs.

All of the mail she managed to discover while searching in vain for a next of kin were left unopened, discarded next to a stained garbage can. All of them credit card offers and political fliers. Not one bore anything even remotely close to a personal correspondence.

So she sat there, amongst all the dusty bricka-bracka, battered furniture and sixty years worth of The Daily Post and wondered. The angry cricket - her cell phone buzzed nosily in the far corner of the house. It was distant, removed. It didn't phase her train of thought.

She always tried to remain outside of the subject's mind. There were too many of them. She couldn't risk getting attached to one, let alone all of them. It'd be an emotional drain.

Lizzie walked a fine line between emotional detachment and professional respect. Her job was pawing through the aftermath of someone's demise. It was easy to get attached to the dead.

Everyone was different. Some men, some women, some of them bordering on their centennial year, some of them barely retired. But there was one unifying fact. They had all lived and died alone. Most of them for the majority of their adult lives.

During interview, past lovers typically revealed a moat of resentment and often very few personal details.

Lizzie, wiping the sweat from her brow and dusting off her torn cover alls stood up in the middle of it all. The floor boards squeaked beneath her weight.

It was getting dark. She'd better order a pizza.


I really like how the main character is sort of becoming the kind of people she investigates.

January 1, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

I want an angry cricket ring tone!

January 2, 2008 at 6:26 AM  

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