“What happened here?” Wilson quivered as he walked up to the officers. The officers were surprised at the interruption, it wasn’t often that anyone cared what they were doing at a scene like this.

“You family?” One of them asked. He was a taller man, a bit haggard around the eyes. His face said he’d been to one too many of these scenes in recent months, and it was grating at him. His partner just harrumphed and slipped back inside the shop.

“A friend.” Wilson replied. It was close enough, he thought. He wasn’t sure if Tooth would agree, but he thought it was true.

“Wait,” the officer said, “I know you. You’re the garbage man, right? You led us to that poor broker a few weeks ago. Bodies like that tend to disappear, makes it hard to catch the killer. There’s a murdering mugger rotting in Falker’s right now because of you.”

Wilson could only nod. He had had no idea that anyone had even noticed, or had cared. He’d have to process that later, though. Right now his mind was more than busy enough. Eventually he realized he was going to have to give the officer something.

“Wilson,” he said, “Wilson Pool, garbage man, as you said.”

“Nice to meet you, Wilson Pool. I’m Officer Davies, my partner in there is Officer Doyle.”

“Pleasure, I’m sure.” He eked out. “Please, can you tell me what happened here?”

“Your friend, right. I’m not really at liberty to discuss the case, but since you know the victim, and you’ve helped me out, I guess it’s no big deal. We got a report about a break in this morning. When we got here to investigate we found Mr. Feris dead on the floor of his shop, stabbed through the chest. Looks like a robbery gone wrong. I’m deeply sorry for your loss.”

Mr. Feris? Wilson was briefly confused, but realized just in time that he must be referring to Tooth. Sad, he had never even known the man’s real name. He just hoped his face hadn’t given away his confusion. He didn’t want Davies to start wondering if Wilson wasn’t really a friend. “A robbery?” he contented himself with, “Tooth loved his books, did they get away with much?”

“It’s hard to tell,” Davies shrugged, “the placed looked pretty tossed. It looked like a fairly full inventory, though. We think the robbers got spooked by the old man, they probably didn’t expect there to be anyone there and freaked out when they killed him. I’ve seen it before.”

“He must have found them early.” Doyle said, rejoining them by the door. “The register seems untouched, I popped the latch easy and the cash is still there.”

“Senseless waste.” Davies sighed, and shook his head. “Look, Wilson, give me your address. I’ll let you know if we find anything more.”

“Sure, Officer.” Wilson mumbled. He told them where he lived and went back on his route in a daze. So senseless.

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