The Murder HouseLarge Print - 2015
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It's not that I don't care about anything besides my job -- it's that the job doesn't let you leave. You see death and misery and suffering, and you don't just click that off when you go home; it doesn't wash off in the shower or vanish with a lover's embrace. You are polluted, toxic, and so you hold back so you don't infect someone else with the poison. You keep part of yourself segregated, hidden.
It's a shrike," I say. "A small bird, yes. No large talons, no great wingspan. Not what you'd think of as a bird of prey. You're right it looks harmless. But guess how it kills its food?"
"Too bad you realized it after you tossed me this gun. Life's a game of inches, isn't it? If it had come to you just a few seconds earlier, I wouldn't be holding this gun. That's gotta sting."
"No one ever leaves alive / The house at 7 Ocean Drive," she says in her best ghoulish horror-movie voice, repeating the poem she'd heard. "Not friend or foe, not man or mouse / Can e'er survive the Murder House."
- And he couldn't hurt a june bug with a sledgehammer.
He makes a noise as he finishes another sip. "No. you're paid to so what I tell you to do."
"I'm a detective," I say. "Once in a while, I try to detect."
My uncle gives me a look that I remember seeing as a child that look an adult gives when a kid is being adorably precocious, a combination of pride and annoyance. But in this case, the annoyance is outweighing the pride.
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