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Just Another Day

“Detective Boyle? The forensics team is here. They’re outside examining the scene now. Coroner is on their way.”

The detective stood looking aside in the living room and nodded.

“God, I hate days like this,” the officer sighed, then headed to the front door.

Boyle remained unmoved, expressionless. She had long forgotten how that young officer felt. Today was just another day; the scene unextraordinary.

Her partner was still investigating upstairs. She checked the main floor and then descended to the basement.

The room was unfinished, lit by a couple of halogen bulbs dangling from the ceiling casting their cold, white glow. In the middle of the basement, set upon a table, was the only thing that had been given any attention, lovingly so: a miniature model of the house and property.

Boyle leaned down for a closer look. It was almost admirable in its meticulousness, down to the last detail. There was the apple tree in the sprawling backyard, its trunk and branches moulded of clay, its paper leaves attached one-by-one. A tiny model of a doll, almost the size of a grain of rice, lay on the ground beside it where the little body was found.

She paused and blinked. Then she pulled one of the overhead lights directly over the diorama and examined it more closely.

The shed...

The rose bush...

The lily pond...

The flower bed...

Ten dolls in all.

The detective leaned back and pinched the bridge of her nose, squeezing her eyes shut, drawing a deep breath.

“God, I hate days like this,” she whispered.

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