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Identifying a dead body

I have a Miriam bat Isaac short story coming out soon. “The Brother” is about a scheme to steal a rare manuscript, but, alas, the possibility of murder always intrudes when the stakes are that high. And so, Miriam and Phoebe’s husband Bion go to the morgue to identify the body.

Miriam tells us what going to the morgue was like:

We followed the soldier’s easy stride through a tangle of corridors to a narrow flight of stone steps. Claiming two portable lanterns from a stand on the landing, igniting them with his fire steel, and handing one to Bion, the soldier opened the thin sheet of mica on his lamp to direct an amber beam down the steps and into the low-raftered chamber that was the morgue.

The stench, a hideous brew of decay and human waste, rushed up the stairwell, growing closer and heavier as we made our way down. A fit of retches ripped through Bion, his face turning a bright pink before he covered his nose with the tail of his himation. My own skin turned clammy as a foul taste collected on my lips. Worsened by underventilation, the stink of decomposition hung over the chamber like a mist.

Millennia from the use of DNA, fingerprint analysis, and dental records, Miriam and Bion relied on the proportions of the deceased body and a particular scar. The story will appear in an anthology Crime Pays published by Hellbound Books. Just go to my website to get a head start on reading the story. Just click here.

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