“Aaron, you didn’t tell me it was Rachel!” James exclaimed as he stopped the truck. “She was always such a dear. I delivered her milk every other day. On the days she was here to receive it, she always had a smile for me.” He hung his head in despair as we walked up to her door. I pulled out the key I had poached from her purse and inserted it into the lock.
I cracked open her door, where only the light of the setting sun lit the entry hallway. With nary a sound of protest, I proceeded to swing the door open and step in.
“I’m assuming you’ll want to look at her appliances,” James hurriedly said. He pointed to the right and began walking. “Her kitchen is this way.”
I silently followed him into her kitchen, and after lifting a set of blinds, I had a clear look at everything.
Nothing out of the ordinary at first glance. Those are the situations where you know there’s trouble about. She had, from where I stood, an upside-down U-shaped counter, with the oven and stove to the right, sink in front of me, and toaster, blender, and other appliances to my left.
“Let’s unplug these devices while we still can. Don’t know when they’ll start acting up and try to kill us, too.” James reached for the blender plug, but I lunged to stop him.
“Be still. Everything here is still evidence. Touch only with your eyes, my friend, and we might see something helpful.” He nodded to me, and began to walk around. I saw the plug for her toaster, blown, just as she had said. I looked closely and waved James over. “Perhaps you know more about machines than I do? She mentioned that the plug for her toaster had blown. Does this look tampered with?”
He walked over, kneeled down to look at it at eye-level, and squinted. After several seconds, he said, “Plugs sometimes blow when the insulation has been worn away sufficiently, and that might be something someone might have done. It’s hard to say since any evidence is now obviously destroyed, but I would guess not. The pattern suggests that it was just a surge.”
“I see,” I responded, rubbing my chin. I took another gaze around the room. “I doubt we’ll find more here right now. Let’s see what the Joneses have to say.”
“May I help yoo?” A somewhat dated man stood in the doorway before us. Long, curly brown hair, cultivated moustache, eyes like a pairing knife through Kleenex.
“Hello, my name is Aaron Maglue, and this is my associate, Watson James.” I politely extended my hand, though only my confidence was shaken as his glare intensified. “Ah yes, well. I regret to inform you that Ms. Reshirt died earlier today. She was electrocuted by a phone after claiming that her appliances were trying to kill her. Very unfortunate, and I’m looking to get to the bottom of this. Noticed any creepy fellows, strange sounds, vicious-looking furniture?”
His blank stare continued, and I could tell he was thinking whether I was worth his time.
“Yoo bettair come een.”