Isolation Tales featuring Parallel by BP Gregory
Kendall Reviews has kindly given a home to my short parallel world murder mystery
Just like that, I figured out how I'd died. And my first reaction was hot fizzing excitement. That's how messed up this was.
Pulled into another dimension, a detective must wade through the devastation of her own murder to catch a killer.
Parallel, by BP Gregory
'Ben. Seriously, love. let me in.'
Bet your bottom dollar the neighbours were only pretending to sleep; holding their breath like naughty children in a game where I wasn’t freezing my tits off out here in the hall. The gothic titillation of being Ben’s dearly departed scratching for admittance in the (ahem) dead of night wasn’t lost on me. Rather keen to get inside before I ended up on someone’s Instagram, to be honest.
Identical spot-lit cream doors, identically locked, demanded vertigo as they marched off down the frigid corridor. My thoughts were too one-dimensional to cope with this. Any of it. Struggling to stay upright and cling to dignity a while longer I leaned my inflamed head on the tacky plastic wall.
‘They kept me in Immigration for six fucking hours, Ben. I’m tired.’
Six hours wasted because how was any sane person supposed to sit in one of those help-yourself-to-my-anus paper gowns through a slideshow on what (not) to do after getting yanked into a parallel world, one where the original you wound up cooling her heels at the morgue, and come out chortling, ‘Gee, that’s cleared that up!’
Six hours. Trickling away. Finally, and in line with my growing sarcasm, Immigration decided it’d be just as productive to dump me in the deep end. Which I applauded (sarcastically)—not supposing for a bare second I might grow gills, mind. I just wanted out.
Since we’re counting it’s been forty-nine excruciatingly unsolved hours since some poor cleaner stumbled upon, and vomited on, the murder victim. I’ll bet forensics hate that, but I could hardly blame Sir Dustalot. I suspect I’ll spend the rest of my own wretched life regretting so much as glancing at photos of the scene. There’s no way to un-see all a skin’s meant to wrap and protect oozing freely into what looked like an antique rug.
Except … in this weird unnatural place there’d been two murders. The boy, and me. Now I’d swear blind there’d only been one, just he, and we’d have irrefutable proof if smartphones could be shanghaied from their proper timeline along with people (nope: I arrived as naked as a flabby Terminator). ‘Here, there are two victims,’ Immigration told me and then coughed to lower their tone, still inappropriately gleeful at how clever they’d been getting me here.
So of course I bloody well hot-footed it home the moment they turned me loose. All this added up to the nine longest hours of my husband’s life. He’d had to stand in this exact same doorway and hear, ‘Sir, your wife’s been found. I’m afraid it’s bad news. I’m afraid it’s murder,’ from officers with basset hound eyes, fiddling with their caps as they discharged the worst part of their job.
Pressed to either side of this wall Ben and I were shackled to the same impossible hope. That the lost aren’t really gone, and it was all a horrible joke.
I banged my forehead in frustration, tap-tapping at Ben’s chamber door, and listened to the rapt peanut gallery of neighbours listening to me. The latch eventually rattled, thank fuck; my knees were crapping out. My spouse’s familiar features slowly peeked around the frame ...
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