Scene of the Crime

Illustration by Jaimie Shelton

Detective Peterson surveyed the crime scene.

It was unusual: two dead bodies, a dead dog, a dead cat, six dead mice, the severed head of a giraffe but no giraffe body, what looked like a giant chunk of ammonite, a rotary telephone, the Beatles’ White Album on vinyl, a stack of Wall Street Journals, a Styrofoam cup, three peanut shells, a department store mannequin in a green dress, a tattered copy of The Da Vinci Code, a pair of Steely Dan VIP passes in plastic sleeves attached to lanyards, a leopard-print bowling ball, a takeout menu for a local Chinese restaurant, a Rubik’s Cube that someone had clearly tried to change the stickers on, a pair of edible underwear, two nuns playing blackjack at the kitchen table seemingly oblivious to everything that had happened, a VHS copy of a Jane Fonda exercise video, a genuine Tiffany lamp, a half-eaten Big Turk, a fake Tiffany lamp, a pair of women’s size 9 Union Jack platform shoes, the red balloon from the film The Red Balloon, an abacus, four dozen fake ice cubes with a little plastic fly inside, an Easy-Bake Oven, a clown nose, and a bottle of Goldschläger.

Peterson stared at the Goldschläger and then nodded.

“Probably teenagers,” he said.

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