Murder in the time of Corona

This is an excerpt from Pandemic tales, by Jonas Gutierrez

In a world recovering from an epidemic, a collector is trying to find old books and movies to restore humanity’s knowledge.

Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s 1353 masterpiece „The Decameron“, „Pandemic tales“ is a series of stories all of which intermingled and somehow blending together at the end.

It features stories about murders, isolation, exes stuck together in their tiny apartment all merging into a dystopian world where humanity’s dependence on urban technology has been suddenly severed after the Internet breaks.

After a few decades of pure survival, in a world rebuilding itself books became so rare that they are more valuable than gold, giving birth to a new profession – wild west style gunfighters who roam the globe collecting these valuables at all costs.


– Did you know that books used to have longer sentences?

– Really. Didn’t know that, but its interesting.

– Yeah, older books had longer sentences and today’s have shorter. I saw a Reddit post about it. Didn’t go through the comments, but I suppose it has something to do with people being generally more stupid today. You know, with all that social media and memes, people’s attention span has shortened. People today are incapable of understanding an information that is more complex than a few words.

– Don’t know about that. I believe that in every time there has been pretentious smartypants like you and me who have read a book or two and then proceeded to watch everyone else from a high horse. Did you found anything?

The man didn’t seem insulted by the response from his colleague. It was clear they were used to throwing snarky at each other.

– Nope, said the man while standing above a woman’s body.

– I see nothing that the responding officer couldn’t have tell us. She was apparently hit by a blunt object in the head.

Tho two men were detectives from the Metropolitan Police. They were alone in an apartment where a woman was found few hours earlier. One of the neighbours called the police after seeing a door of her apartment wide open and a body lying in the hallway.

– It doesn’t make sense. Whoever did this hasn’t made any effort to hide the crime. I mean, if only he closed the door after leaving apartment he would have at least some time. He is probably somewhere smoking furiously thinking how his life turned out so bad or crying. I bet that in a few hours he will walk into the nearest police station to confess the murder.

– Did you just assume his gender, said the other detective smiling.

– All the studies show that women are most likely to be killed by their partner or ex. If this was a movie, this would be a start of a streak of mysterious murders with an evil villain behind the scenes trying to rule the world. But you and I both know that things in real life don’t work that way. She was killed by her partner. All we have to do is to talk with their family and friends and when we found out with whom she was involved, we will pay him a visit and he will confess. Best case scenario is that she was a lesbian, and her girlfriend popped her. Wanna bet on the motive? I’ll put 10 pounds her man had a coffee with some cute girl, colleague from work or something. She found out, got angry they yelled at each other, she perhaps slapped him and he grabbed the first thing near him and hit her in the head.

– I shall not bet with you. But, if it turns out you were right, I already see you boasting around in the precinct, saying you are the world’s best detective. You know, thanks to lack of creativity in offenders detectives are becoming more and more stupid. Most of the cases we solve are textbook scenario’s. If a case where you would have to use your brain would show up, you wouldn’t know what to do. There are reasons why jokes about dumb doughnuts loving officers exist.

– Well, I guess we will just have to wait for that real case, said the other detective and continued to look over the apartment looking for clues.

The real case never came up. After examining the video from cctv camera in front of the building they spotted a man nervously walking outside. They showed the screenshot to the sister of the deceased and learned the man was in a relationship with the victim. After they sent officers to his apartment, they found him drunk.

During the interrogation, he explained the tensions were high during the isolation in the apartment due to epidemic. On the day of the murder, he went grocery shopping and met his ex, they talked for a while, about crazy times, the epidemic, the end of the world, social isolation. When he got back to the apartment, he hasn’t said anything to the girl he was now living with. Things were normal. But, hours later while he was in bathroom, the ex texted him, saying it was nice to see him, they should do that again when all of this is over.

She saw the message on his phone and the fight started. She slapped him, and he had hit her with a hair dryer he was holding in his hand. He was so confused when she fell on the floor, that he just run out from the apartment and the building, still holding the hair dryer in his hand.

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