Friday, 29 October 2010

London Diary 34

One thing I can never get over when I touch a corpse is the temperature. The skin is dry and pale, the body is stiff and cumbersome, but the overwhelming sensation is one of cold. There is no life, no breath, no feeling, and the cold touch of the body is the link between this world and the next.

It has been a couple of hours since he's died. His blood is all over the place, and any residual life has vanished from his corpse. I put the heating off in the house. The room was hot as I rifled through his belongings, trying to get something back from him. The dead do not pay back their debts, but more importantly, they do not take their Earthly wealth into the next. So I will take that wealth from them.

I did not kill him. But I have to act quick. Soon other people will come to the house and then it will be curtains for me. I find some cash. All right, I find a lot of cash. And some jewellery, some that has been left behind in the mad panic after the shooting. More importantly, I have covered the debt to my pocket, but to myself...

I touch his body, one last time. I am hot, sweating from the foraging. His, is not the first dead body I have touched, but even now, the feeling of cold shocks me. Shivers down my spine. A reminder that one day, my body will lie like this, cold and lifeless.

I scan the room for clues of my being here. Police forecsics will have a field day with my DNA cropping up everywhere, but this guy had a lot of visitors. Then I have an idea. I pick up the bag of loot, once his, now mine and head into the kitchen. At the cooker, I switch on the heating and set the timer before turning on all the gas taps. It will take half an hour, but once the boiler turns on, all evidence of my being here, along with the house and the body will be up in smoke.

One last look at the body. Thanks - for nothing you little bastard. Then I head out of the house. Slowly. No attention from peeping neighbours. Everything must look normal to the outside world.

I walk down the road, over to the bus stop. And wait. I look up at the Dot Matrix, three minutes until the next bus arrives, to take me back to my life...

4 comments:

magiceye said...

reminded me of an old author 'james hadley chase' whose short brilliant novels i used to finish in single sittings! have you read him?
super!

el director! said...

@magiceye - I will look him up - sounds interesting...

Asad said...

Great excerpt...

el director! said...

@Asad - and where are your particular writings. ahem!