The Amateur

I was completely calm when I entered the morgue.

This time, there was only a slight scent of disinfectant, and one white-coated orderly trying not to be noticed by the man standing over the body. The medical examiner gestured me into the room, then left, after letting the door close itself with a quiet pneumatic huff and a click.

I let the man stand for a moment beside her body, eyes closed. The large institutional clock adjusted itself forward a bit, then back, as if undecided.

I said "I know how you feel, Mr. Gunderson".

He slowly turned to look at me, and opened his eyes. They were moist, with the beginnings of bloodshot, blue-gray, under slightly arched, wrinkled brows that indicated intelligence and curiosity. He considered me briefly, looking only at my eyes, not taking in any details of my clothes or demeanor.

"I don't see how you possibly could." he said. His voice was even, uninterested, tired. His eyes dropped back to the body in front of him. His hands found his coat pockets, and slipped in, stretching the fabric at the shoulders.

"My wife was on that table two weeks ago." I said quietly. "I'm here because I think the two murders are related."