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Eleanor Roosevelt

This one’s for Jen. The guiding light in my darkness. Never replaced, always remembered.

Homicide Division, 9th District, Philadelphia Police Department.

5th May 2020, 5:55am.

They found him wandering around Mount Grace Cemetery at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday.

His mind was, to put it charitably, a bit of a mess. While he recognized the men who'd found him as police officers, and offered no resistance when asked to come quietly, he could not respond when asked for his name or his reason for being in the graveyard. The two patrolmen who'd made the discovery also took photographs of a nearby empty grave. Forensics was going over it, but the lab tech who'd gotten the photos was on record as saying it looked like the casket had exploded from the inside.

Morgan Everson shook her head as she went through the file. The guy had been subjected to blood tests and dental photographs before they'd put him in Interrogation B. He lingered there as she took in the new photos and records for the fourth time. She compared it against the older contents of the file. Something didn't add up. Between the lab results and this absolute chasm of information in front of her, she had far too many questions for her liking.

Overwhelming her need to know the answers was a greater concern. It was that concern that got her up from her desk and marched her toward her captain's office. She knew he'd been up all night coordinating this mess they'd brought in from Mount Grace, which added an extra layer of trepidation to her thoughts. Part of her was saying that she should bury her problems and just shoulder her way into the case in front of her. But she hadn't gotten this far without being honest. She brushed a line of auburn out of her eyesight, opened the door and took a step into the office.

"Got a minute, Cap?"

The man standing behind his desk didn't turn around, examining some of the news clippings framed on his wall. Morgan cleared her throat. When he nodded slightly, she closed the door.

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