The two cops do a quick look around apartment 602. They toss the closets and look under the stained mattress. They seem disappointed that I'm right. The smell is garbage and rotted food, not a dead body.
The place is a mess but fortunately the tenant wasn't here long enough to properly trash the place. There's a black hand print on a kitchenette cupboard. The two big cops stand with their heads together checking it out. Their bulk fills the little cooking area. They finally decide it's not blood.
As they leave, the cop with donut sugar on his tie gives me his card. Detective Sergeant Ian Small 52 Division. I spent a couple of nights in their fine establishment when I was younger. I don't mention that to him. They'll find out easy enough if they want to.
I call Property Management and explain the situation. They tell me to go ahead and clean the place up. I haul six bags of garbage to the Dumpster. The furniture and kitchen stuff goes in the storage area in the basement. I'll keep it another month in case 602 makes a reappearance. From past experience I figure that's not going to happen.
The carpet cleaner come early the next morning. I leave the windows and balcony door open drying the place out. The apartment has an excellent view to the east and I stand out on the balcony smoking a doobie to motivate my creative side. The Maples and Ailanthus trees are changing in Cabbage Town and down along the Don Valley. The dark golds and reds are saturated and brooding under an overcast sky.
I do some painting in the kitchen. Just before one o'clock Denise calls my cell and tells me she's made some lunch.
I sit beside her in the second bedroom, eating a sandwich while she works. She's had a busy morning, logging some hours. She's chatting to three different guys at the same time her fingers flying quickly across the keyboard.
Up in the corner of the screen are three little boxes showing the live cam girls she's using. Guy number one is asking Denise to take off her bra. Denise speaks to one of the live-cam girls, who's listening to her on a conference box. A second later she's thrusting her tastefully augmented tits at the screen. I look at my watch. It's 1:30 PM. I guess some guys have all day to jerk off.
Denise and I chat for a few minutes between customers. Planning the weekend. Maybe a drive out to Pickering to see her son. Spend some time with his family and get our fill of young kids.
I know there is something wrong as soon as I step back into 605. It isn't anything I can put my finger on until I notice that the ladder has been moved away from the cupboard I was painting. Someone has searched the place.
They've been waiting in the bedroom. The one in charge is short and has that little guy attitude. His big friend probably looked like he could kill without a thought even when he was a baby.
I'm about to say something when the little guy gets right in my face and backs me up against the fridge. "We're friends of Johnny Morgan, the guy who used to live here," he says. "You remember him?"
I nod my head yes trying not to let my fear show. He has bad teeth and his breath stinks. Probably a plus when you're in the intimidation business.
"We think our friend left something behind when he moved out. Maybe you came across it while you was cleaning, eh!"
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