When I was six years old, my father left me in the family car to pop into a shop real quick to grab us some snacks for our road trip, but he forgot to apply the parking brakes, and while he was in the store, the car rolled backward and over the edge of a three hundred foot ravine. Instead of losing my life that day, I gained an ability.
I could relive a dead person’s murder.
You’ll notice that I called it an ability and not a gift, because living through the experience of dying was no day at the beach. From a young age, all I had to do was physically stand in a crime scene and I knew what it felt like to be shot, stabbed, strangled, drowned, poisoned, immolated, crushed beneath a rockslide, mauled by wild animals…you get the picture. And if I ever got sick, a hospital would be the last place I’d ever go to. Worst experience of my life.
I tried all manner of drugs to dampen the ability, legal and otherwise, to no avail, so I learned to live with it as best I could manage, and decided to turn lemons into whiskey lemonade by becoming the first and only afterdeath scene investigator. The guy you hired, when all the evidence led to a dead end, to tell you exactly who offed your favorite aunty, philandering spouse, or even your precious little pooch. And yes, I also felt animal murders, as well. Lucky me.
In this line of work, I got my fair share of skeptics, people who doubted that I could do what I claimed I could do, but hired me out of desperation. Such was my current client, Mrs. Marjorie Lydell, whose husband was found dead in a hotel room, in an unsavory part of town, nowhere near his home or place of employment.
Mrs. Lydell asked me to meet her at the hotel room, which she rented, after it had been given the once over by crime scene cleaners and reopened for public use. It was a small room filled with the almost imperceptible cheap hotel scents of old sex and distant natural death, to which I was gratefully immune, both emanating from a bed that dipped in the center like a swayback horse. On a table beside it was a wash basin and pitcher that passed for the en suite bathroom.
As I looked at Mrs. Lydell, a handsome woman in her late forties, I was overcome with a sensation, and for a split second, I thought I was in love because my body got tingly all over, goosebumps sprouting everywhere, and my pulse crackled like lightning. Then I glanced over my shoulder and saw the ghostly after image of Marjorie Lydell, dressed in different clothes and I realized before I passed out, that she was holding a translucent live wire. I, or rather Mr. Lydell, was being electrocuted.
To be continued…
Text and Audio ©2021 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys