Fragrances waft, a gentle meander, floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench stumbles in like an inebriate drunkard who had soiled himself and his reputation; a sad mutation of the upstanding bastard he once claimed to be. Sullied was the air when the seal had been broken. No words were spoken with hands clamped across nasal passages and the message purveyed was one they had seen on more occasions then they cared to account. The numbers mount while teams sans smiles and enthusiasm teem in. Within the home left abandoned and presumed vacant when the owner, Mrs. Beedle was lowered to her rest. The best attempts to contact any family proved to be a futile exercise.
A wise man would have considered the case closed, but their noses were reticent to relinquish the odiferous lingering. Gloved hands carefully fingering along the blood stained walls. The silence was interrupted by the calls from the group investigating the back rooms of this devoid domicile. Confident men and women strode toward the sounds, but found themselves reeling in disgust and horror. They were unprepared. Seasoned veterans stood and stared at the heap of former humanity foisted into the plush rocking chair.
There sat the problem. The decayed remains of a woman slumped clumsily into the furniture. The lavender tatter that was draped across her shoulder disintegrated into powdery residue. The scent was a clue. There was a hint of bouquet the closer the Detectives came to the undone body. Hard and callus men were starting To lose composure. The closure sought for this decrepit soul seemed a long time coming.
And then, the humming.
An almost cheerful tune from the direction of the cellar door. What’s more, the accompanying footsteps fell in syncopation on the creaky boards. Guns drawn and a warning shouted. “Come out with your hands showing!” the cliché came. Another unnamed face peeked through to grace the room. A mid-age gentleman, fifty-ish, stepped forward from the doorway. “Aunt Ginny? You have visitors?” he creepily questioned the lifeless chair dweller. The man from the cellar, hands raised; a surrender unsure, came to stand next to the shell of the woman. His Aunt Ginny. Genevieve Beedle.
“How rude, Auntie”, he leered, “You didn’t offer your guests a spot of tea? Allow me.” Soiled hands clutched for the knob on the old stove, amidst protests and commands to desist. Erwin Beedle couldn’t resist being the “congenial” host. At most, he wasn’t going down alone. The range did not ignite as such. It was much more like an explosion.
New teams were dispatched to investigate the scene. The first thing they noticed was the smell. Fragrances waft, a gentle meander floral or woodsy in nature. It soothes the nose and masks unsavory things. But stench of dead and burnt flesh stumbles in like a demented and feeble minded “caregiver”. The surviving officers shiver when the subject is breeched. Erwin finally reached his pinnacle, of course. The cynical brute took half the force with him.