The Corpse Eater


  I had a thing with this girl. She worked in forensics. It was scary.

  Claire specialized in crime scenes, real bloody ones, rarely domestic, but for some reason when we shared an apartment I had an uncontrollable feeling that I was leaving clues everywhere, clues to felonies I hadn’t even committed. Paranoia doesn’t begin to do it justice. But she was cool, cute and had a way with words. She was funny and concise and when I asked her how her day had been, the answer was genuinely interesting. Inspiring, even. Every writer needs his muse, right?  It was then that I began working on City 101, the prequel to City Hotel. I hadn’t tried my hand at the genre yet but if I passed up an oppurunity like this I was a fool, right? Also I’d developed a slight addiction to ABC’s Castle. I don’t know. Go figure.

  Claire would tell me about it all, all the blood and guts she encountered on a day to day basis. Exit wounds and pooling bruises. Cracked hips and broken lips. Dark murder and evil intent over chicken pot pie. I’d hand her my drafts, second drafts, third revisions, and she’d give me notes on them. Tell me what wasn’t believable. What I didn’t know at the time was that believable doesn’t sell. The reason it’s all glammed up for CSI and its many nefarious spin off ilk is that the real deal is boring. There’s very little mystery to it all. The prints are all over the crime scene in one form or another and at the end of the day the tale I spun out of all that truth wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t a total waste of time, of course, I learnt enough basics to make the lies I would eventually come up with fantastical, and besides Claire got a kick out of it, so it wasn’t time wasted. If one person digs what I write, it’s a success.

  One strange thing though. Claire didn’t stop with the reading of City 101 – whose iterations at the time, by the way, were completely devoid of any similarities to today’s finished product – no, she read it all. Every scrap I left lying around she’d pick up and indulge in over coffee and eggs rather than the morning paper, she’d chose Joe Blame over the back of cereal boxes when partaking in a late night snack. She read it all. I didn’t mind – if people are reading my stuff that can only be a good sign – but she would never tell me what she thought of it, any of it apart from City 101 of course. She did, however, constantly come back to me with one comment. Always the same comment.

  “Please,” she would say, “please stop using the word panties. It creeps me right out.”

  This girl. She could stare through an entry hole into the darkest depths of a corpse’s bloody cranium, at all the exploded brains inside, and feel nothing. But my lexicon? One word out of my entire vocabulary and it gives her the willies.

  Go figure.

~ by Joseph Blame on February 23, 2011.

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