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Volume 2 Issue 15
Author: Sergey Gerasimov
Included in: February Monthly Review.
(Short Story/Fantasy) Love can take many forms. So can some lovers.
Darya's parents came in. Then came her younger sister -- Darya called her the Splinter -- the doctor, and two police officers. The Splinter looked openly happy to have an excuse to shirk her school lessons.
A policeman strolled round the room, his shoes dirty, his hands in the pockets.
"There, there," he said and looked behind the curtain, evidently inclined to think that it was the best place for hiding the most meaty parts of chopped corpses. The other officer, a woman, sat at the table and prepared to take notes. The bumblebee cat rubbed itself around her legs with the determination of an athlete running laps around the stadium tracks.
"Well, well, well," said the policeman looking into the other room and marking the floor with his footsteps, "the body is not in the apartment."
"I'm alone here," Stanislas said.
The policewoman started writing industriously, with a depressing air of concentration.
"When did you see Darya Polsor for the last time?"
Stanislas answered. He spoke at length and sounded honest. The policeman watched him with a cinematic half-smile.
"So you invited her up here? With you?"
"Well, yes, and she said she had to go home. It was late. Then she left me, just left."
"There are lots of people who saw everything."
"She just left," said Stanislas again.
The people who saw everything were six boys and twelve girls. Two girls for every boy: the second one was sitting by, just in case, acting as a contraceptive device: spring is a dangerous time. They saw Darya and Stanislas, but nobody could say where Darya had gone. Nobody saw her going out of the park, but everyone saw Stanislas leaving the place alone. Someone saw him smoking, waiting, and taking the bus.
Darya's clothes were found in the morning, and her underclothes were encased perfectly within the outer garments. All the clothes lay precisely arranged, just as if they were laid out in the form of her body. But the body itself had disappeared. There was no blood on the pavement. The police dog could not pick up the trail.
"There's something funny about it," said the policewoman. "Turn the light on."
Stanislas did it. Darya fell on the wall. The policewoman did not look surprised.
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