It didn’t even occur to me to scream. My body’s immediate reaction was to turn around and send projectile vomit across the parking lot. Once my breakfast had been evacuated, I stepped inside the room and closed the door behind me as quietly as I could.
Hank was dead. There was no question about it. If the pool of blood spread across his chest wasn’t evidence enough, the knife sticking out of him certainly was.
He was face-up on the bed, spread-eagled and fully dressed. It was the most horrible thing I’d ever seen, not at all like death in the movies. His eyes were open, wide and afraid. His mouth gaped in horror at whoever had done this to him. A thick, metallic smell floated over the bed like smog.
I tasted more vomit in the back of my throat. Please God, I prayed, don’t let me have a further contribution to the crime scene.
It was too late to run and pretend I’d never been there. My pathetically obvious encounter with the manager made that impossible. I hadn’t even disguised myself, so he’d be able to describe me accurately to any cops who came around asking questions. The only thing I could do was keep moving and try not to make any more stupid mistakes.
“Get a grip,” I said to myself—except I was shaking so badly it came out more like a Lady Gaga chorus: “G-g-g-g-et a grip-p-p-p.” I reached for my phone, but when I pulled it out, I realized there was something I had to do before I called the police.
“I’m so going to hell,” I said, opening my phone and pressing the camera button. When the viewfinder popped up, I snapped a few photos without looking too closely at the previews. All I needed was proof for Elaine that I was telling the truth. Blood is blood, out of focus or not.
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