“There’s been another one “. The quiet voice baldly stating a fact, no emotion, no emphasis on any one word or syllable.
A quick glance up from the keyboard, a slight frown and hesitation before responding “where? “.
Gesturing toward a large map of the city pinned to the wall “the first quadrant, in the lot near the airport where the city dumps the snow “.
This was the third time they’d had this conversation, the first one being only 8 weeks after an anonymous tip had led to the discovery of a hand buried in a pile of snow behind a dumpster downtown. Nothing else had been found, no other remains, no evidence to indicate who the victim or the perpetrator was, nothing to explain why.
“There’s even less this time ”, still no emotion. Holding it in check? Or so numbed by experience that even these events had no impact?
“Less. You mean… ” the voice faded, a question without the need for a response, the answer already feared, hovering unspoken, waiting.
“Here ” placing a file folder on the desk and turning away. Perhaps not as numb or unaffected as we’ve been led to believe.
The photo inside showed a hand, not a hand only a portion, was the rest hidden by the snow?
A closer look, closer again and a groan, an involuntary sound wrenched from the throat. Not a hand.
A finger lay on pristine white snow, the brightly coloured nail seeming too personal, too alive, a delicate ring was pushed below the middle joint, and once you saw them they were as clear as day.
Teeth marks showing where the finger had been gnawed off just below the knuckle.