28 - Written Out

He wrote himself to death. At least, that’s what it looked like, with his putrefying corpse slumped over the laptop, seeping organic juices into the keyboard as man and machine commingled in the ultimate interface. “One a week,” the inspector mused.

Was that a lot? He didn’t really know. Perhaps it was a Herculean effort or maybe it was the sort of thing you could dash off in a lunch hour. From the looks of it, the deceased had spent a lot of time at the desk, but the food wrappers, DVD cases and used tissues suggested that not all of it was actually spent writing.

Point of fact, it was the time away from the desk that interested the policeman the most. How had this man known about the bodies in the salt bins? The time stamp on the blog was dated two days before the information went public, so where had he got his information from? A tip from someone on the force was possible, but unlikely. Coppers would sling info to a journalist from time to time, but an unpublished fiction writer? It didn’t jibe.

Perhaps it was simple. Perhaps this was the “Grit Box Killer” himself, but it didn’t feel right. The dead man looked too scrawny to lug corpses around and the contents of the bedsit suggested neither the patience nor the fury required for these multiple murders.

So, how had he known?

A biographer? Was that what he was? Someone fascinated by death, but unable to deal with the reality of it, perhaps translating it into fiction in order to process it and, perhaps, profit? The inspector didn’t want to get ahead of himself, but he saw all sorts of intriguing possibilities in his hypothesis. What if there had a professional relationship between this writer and his killer? Perhaps the accelerated pace of their mutual endeavour was what had led to this sorry scene.

“Maybe if you’d only written one a month, you might still be at it,” the inspector mused.

“Sorry, sir - did you say something?”

The inspector turned to look at the constable. He had forgotten anyone else was in the room. That sometimes happened when he got deep into a crime scene.

“Read the stories,” the inspector said “Start from the beginning.”