April 22nd

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Another night on the makeshift bed. Dene wondered how much longer she could do this before she gave in, got a real one and faced the stairs.

There was a knock at her door.

Grabbing some clothes, she stumbled to the door, calling: “Just a minute!”

When she opened it, she saw nothing. Then she looked down. There was a boy who couldn’t have been more than fourteen standing there, and he wasn’t very big for his age. He had her card.

“Are you Dene Surma? Tax said you are.”

“Yes, and who?”

“He works here. I have a job for you,” said the kid.

Dene didn’t feel like her ‘bed’ was worth blowing the kid off to get more sleep in, so she decided to humour him. “Sure. Kids at school bugging you?”

“No,” said the kid. “There’s been a murder. I need you to solve it.”

Dene blinked. “Isn’t that for the police?”

“The police don’t even know it happened.”

Dene leaned against the doorframe. “What murder, then?”

The kid took Dene’s hand and held it to his neck, which was cold with no pulse. “Mine.”


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