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    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    The Detective [Part I]

    [An old Idea I'm playing around with.]


    Almost nothing was left. Everything had been cleaned. It might even be said that some of the surfaces had been polished. The only sign of foul play was on the coffee table where a tea service rested still warm to the touch. A single cup had been poured, and on the lip of the saucer, resting against the base of the cup, was a single bloody molar.

    The slight abrasions around the crown of the tooth hinted at unprofessional extraction techniques and so the first thing The Detective began to actually contemplate was the brand of pliers that had been used. The second thing he thought about was whether he should make an appointment to see a dentist. It had been seven years since the last time he’d gone and sometimes his amalgam fillings would hum.

    Today though, his teeth just hurt. He’d learned over the years to expect this after a hard night of drinking. This was one of the reasons he hadn’t been to see a Dentist in so many years. His teeth hurt most days and he already knew why. Rubbing his jaw and probing his corresponding molar with his index finger, he signaled the photographer to capture the aspects of the cup and by proximity the molar as well.

    There were no witnesses to interview and the uniforms were already chatting up the neighbors so The Detective went out onto the front porch and lit a cigarette. He was waiting for the forensic team to arrive, which was a waste of time. As the smoke rolled up his lip and into his nose The Detective stared at the “For Sale” sign staked into the front lawn. The warning in red and white, slapped crooked across its front, screamed SOLD. After he was finished here he doubted the deal would go through.

    People in general didn’t like death. They didn’t like ambiguity even more. Someone had lost a tooth here. More importantly they had lost it by force. The Detective was positive that the force applied had not been done so by the original owner of the tooth. Since no one had lived in the house for over a year he was pretty sure that the coffee table and tea set were new to the scene as well. He’d been witness to this little macabre tableau three other times in the last two weeks. So far the teeth had been from three different people. He was sure the forth would be no different.

    The tea was always still warm when they got there. The lab had pronounced it to be Yin Zhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle), a high-grade white tea produced in the Fuding and Zhenhe districts of Fujian, China. The ideal water temperature to brew white tea is between 175 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re only supposed to let it steep for two minutes. It can be steeped multiple times, revealing new flavors with each pass. The cup is always filled with what the lab believes to be the second steeping. Our guy likes tea, The Detective thought. He must take his cup with him.

    He couldn’t stop talking to himself as he took the last drag off the cigarette, That’s what I get for answering the phone. A psychopathic Tooth Fairy with a tea fetish. Next time it rang he was going for a walk.

    At his car he stabbed out the butt in the ashtray then called in. By the time the scene was wrapped, his day would be done. He could taste the end of a day like some people could smell rain coming. Above him the clouds lumbered dark and angry across the sky and snow began to fall.

    [This is an experiment. I don’t know where it is going. I write it and post it with only a questionable reread. It’s about the process of hitting the keys in the most reflexive of styles. It probably will go nowhere, but we’ll find out. I have no plan. I have no outline. I have no reason. It’s still © 2007 Greg Bunch, even if it sucks.]

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