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The Peeper
About the Author: Calvin Demmer is a crime, mystery and speculative fiction author. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. His work has appeared in Sanitarium Magazine, Morpheus Tales and The Literary Hatchet. Find out more at:

Detective Alex Root walked towards the morgue’s entrance. The early morning drizzle did nothing to alter his calm mood. He took the key out from his pocket and unlocked the door. He waited for her, and when he heard her heels clack on the concrete ground behind him he pushed the door open. He stepped aside, still holding the door ajar, so she could enter first.

She looked around nervously but didn’t say anything; her light pink jersey had dots on the shoulders as the rain began to strengthen. Alex entered just behind her. He flicked the building’s light-switch on, closed the door, and made his way past her in the passageway to one of the block-shaped rooms. She asked a question as he led, but the words were indecipherable to him and he ignored them. He did catch a smell of her rosy perfume which tickled his nose.

He stopped in the entrance to one the rooms, and reached his arm in and flicked another light switch on. “Thanks for making it out so early.”

“Sure,” she said, pausing alongside him. “I just hope I can be of assistance, and that it’s over.”

The pale white light that shone down on in the cold, sparse room illuminated their destination. An occupied black body-bag lay on top of a stainless steel table in the room’s center. The smell of cleaning products hung in the air.

“You have been a great help,” Alex said. “Sorry, if it’s cold in here.”

The lady half-smiled and folded her arms. Alex had already seen her nipples press through the thin jersey. “No problem,” she said, “to be honest, when you came over and I gave you the description, well, I wasn’t sure if I was much help. I really just caught a brief glimpse of him.”

“Oh it helped.”

“Well, you are a hero Detective Root, you know that. The morning when you questioned me, after what happened that night at the Millers, I feared he would never be caught. I was worried who would be next. I am just glad that the glimpse I caught of him sitting in his vehicle has helped end his killing. But that poor young couple, they had so much to live for. I remember seeing them on so many occasions, so happy, always embracing. Not to even mention the poor others he has robbed of full lives. And to think how the papers have glorified him: the Gutter, despicable. A part of me is glad you killed him. I know that’s wrong to say.”

“I understand, let’s end this nightmare then,” Alex said. He reached for the body bag’s zip, pulled it down, just enough to reveal a well-aged Caucasian male face with a brown mustache.

The lady took a step forward, she brushed some strands of her blonde her away from her face. She grimaced. “That’s him.”

“You sure?”

“Yes. That is definitely him.”

Alex crossed his arms, and took a step back. He nodded to himself, as a smile began to appear over his face.

“Is something wrong?”

Alex uncrossed his arms. “Nothing’s wrong, it’s just that the man lying there is Detective Harrison.”

The lady’s blue eyes widened. “You’re telling me the killer was part of the police?”

“Yes, it happens unfortunately.”

The lady shook her head. “Terrible.”

Alex headed for a counter to his right. “Have a look over here.”

The lady walked towards him, when she stood alongside him, he pointed to an object in the center of the counter.

“Oh my . . . is that—”

“His weapon of choice?”

The lady nodded; her face paler than when she had entered.

“Yes,” Alex said. “It’s a simple fishing knife, six-inch stainless steel blade. Deadly in educated hands however.”

The lady took a step back. “So awful, the killer must have truly been deranged to do such horrid things to people. But at least now you have the weapon and the killer.”

“Yeah,” Alex said. He touched his right index finger on his lip. “Oh, I wanted to ask, if you’re sure you don’t recall anything else about that night?”

“No. I told you everything I saw.”

“I just find that a bit odd. You seem to enjoy watching the world go by from the gaps in those powder blue curtains of yours. And that’s all you saw all night.”

“Yes. The killer was obviously good at what he did. What else could I have seen? The Millers’ curtains were closed.”

“Would you consider yourself a bit of a peeper?”

This story appears in our DEC 2015 Issue
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Reader Discussion

Good twist..
By J Owen

Unexpected ending.
By D.Overduin

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