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   Chapter 13 No.13

Dead Man’s Hammer By Christina Engela Characters: 5008

Updated: 2018-06-30 12:02

A tourism channel showed all the reasons she came here in the first place. Sun, surf, nature, rest and peace and quiet. They played down the crabby-grass and obsidian crow angles though. Ha-ha birds were kind of funny, being the only birds known to be scared of heights. Watching them dance around on a rooftop, building up the courage to throw themselves over could be quite an amusing pastime, as one program showed. The spectacle reminded her of cars hopping around with their handbrakes on, while waving their doors. To say nothing about the din they made when coming in to land, terrified – prompting Mei to add honking horns to the little automotive ballet she'd been imagining. Ha-ha birds were also very well known for their crashes – referred to by the narrator as 'awkward landings'. Not much was mentioned of the mess they left when they crashed. Blood, feathers, fecal matter all over the place, depending on how hard the – er, awkward landing was. It was quite a typical pleasant serene night on Deanna. Only one thing was missing, and that was all over the news channel. Again.

The light was out and the lights from the city filtered in through the tinted picture windows. The blinds were still open. Bottlenose Bridge was a glowing ghostly suspension bridge outline stretching across the Bay. She muted the TV and turned up the sound on the local radio channel. The music was the type of restful stuff they played in the wee hours of the morning. Good for sleeping to, but utterly dep

on Tuesday morning, an hour or two early.

A few S.O.D. cars and a brand new hover-ambulance stood outside the entrance, their lights flashing round brightly in the frosty early morning light. Ramalama was a dull orange glow still below the far horizon. Somewhere on the rooftop, a ha-ha bird – disturbed by the noise, looked down to the street below, regretted it – and screamed. She left her car at the corner behind another black-and-white and approached one of her deputies who grunted 'Mornin' Sheriff' and blew on his hands as she moved past. She went up the four or five stairs at the main entrance and followed the yellow police tape and roaming police and paramedics up the stairwell until she reached apartment number 209. Her second-in-command was at the front door, talking to another younger deputy, looking over the info stored in a Pad. Two paramedics were just carrying a stretcher out the door behind him. There was a body bag on it. It was occupied. He looked up as he saw her.

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