Novel Excerpt: The Other Couple
Coming face-to-face with a corpse for the first time is an experience that’s never forgotten. The lifelessness is something that can’t be imagined or explained.
First, is the utter silence.
The sky was just growing light at the edges. Ponderosa and sugar pine trees soared to the heavens, looking down on the body lying in a small clearing. It was empty of life. Eternally still. While a slight breeze stirred the branches above, nothing animated that face, and no breath moved through the now-empty lungs. The expression didn’t look startled or angry or confused. It looked like…it looked like nothing. The facial features had turned, moment by moment, from a suggestion of sleep, to one of accusation, and within the space of a single breath, to a vacant home. The face wasn’t sculpted like a plastic mask; it didn’t resemble a mannequin, smoothly devoid of life. It was in a category of its own, a horror that defied description.
There were two bullet holes, one on the left side of the stomach. Rather, it was obvious that’s where the bullet had entered the flesh. A thickening pool of blood covered the actual wound. The other hole was in the chest, off to the side. Four or five inches to the right and there might have been a chance for life to continue.
Murder hadn’t been the plan, but plans change.