Her lifeless body laid out in front of DCI Swann. Her dark red hair cascading back onto the floor, she was dressed in a fluffy white towelling robe that once covered her ensemble of cream coloured basque, stockings and suspenders. The robe was now open wide. She had a solitary stab wound just above her right breast, her blood now mixing in-between the freckles on her ivory skin. She had slash marks on her arms where she had put up a fight.
Her expensive choice of underwear was unlike the apartment in which DCI Swann was standing. The paint on the walls was peeling, the room was lit by a solitary uncovered light bulb. Curtains were a luxury which was absent this room, a purple tie-dyed throw was suspended over a power cord which had been fastened to the window frame as a substitute. DCI Swann perched awkwardly on the edge of the well used brown leather chair which was the only seat in the room.
It was mid November, and a bitterly cold night, it was not any warmer indoors as the small storage heater under the window was either not working or had been a long time off. DCI Swann benefited from the warmth of his long woollen coat and leather gloves. He dipped a gloved hand into the woman’s handbag which he had found near her lifeless feet.
Swann had always marvelled at the amount of shit women carried in their bags. He rifled through layers of make-up, chap sticks, mirrors and note pads (yes two of them) before he reached the woman’s purse. He snapped it open, inside her driving licence printed with the name Katherine O’Connor. Green eyes shining brightly in the photo on the licence card, as if she’d been trying not laugh in the photo booth. In death she looked much older than her 19 years. Swann placed her purse in his pocket for safe keeping. He delved deeper into her bag in case there was anything else of interest. In amongst the used tissues he found a mobile phone.
The phone was much more complex than Swann’s own handset, and as he haphazardly pressed buttons he discovered that the phone was protected by a passcode. He quickly placed this in another pocket and replaced the bag. He would deal with the phone properly later. There was no time now.
Swann rose from the chair and walked to the door. He looked again at Katherine’s body, soon the apartment would be full his police colleagues. The coroner would take swabs of Katherines blood and samples of her flowing red hair. He would be able to tell the exact time of death and how it occurred. Almost everything was science, thought Swann.
He hoped to be long gone. He had a knife to dispose of.