Standing there, his eyes smarted from the frosty weather that had hijacked his investigation, he had soon believed that something was missing from his journal. Rather, something was missing from the clues that he had pieced together. Pages and pages dedicated to profiles, stories, and events like a patchwork quilt with different materials sewn together only to result in a colourful explosion of questions and answers. But it didn’t quite fit together. For now, he could only interpret and guess the story of that lonely town. So many things had taken place: protests, murder, legends, myth, even kidnapping, could it all be a facade? Something was off about this. Maybe that was just his natural instincts kicking in. Afterall, the qualifications of a detective- resourcefulness, wit, intellect and finally suspicion. But still, he was a man of reason and logic, and would not make such a statement without a rational explanation.
Flipping through the contents of his journal, Carl ruminated on a certain polaroid picture that he had taken not long ago. Even now, he shuddered as his eyes wandered over the hideous scene. His client, W. Hamilton, sprawled on the dirty floor of the nearby convenience store. He had delicately placed a blanket over his dead body, but still revolted each time he had stepped in only to see his corpse. Boxes splayed and cans knocked over from shelves like rain from the sky, somebody must have left that place in a rush. He closed his notebook and put it back into his pocket. That was enough for now, he would have plenty of time to admire the pictures when he finds more evidence.
Carl dropped his cigar and the snowy ground flushed out the last of its ashes. Opening the door of the small wooden hut that provided him a salvation against the Canadian cold winter, he embraced the small fire that he had recently started in the furnace. He surveyed the small room, piercing through the dimly lit dark for handy tools and resources- he saw a pack of cigarettes, a pistol, and a key. Lurching forward to the shelves from the hinds of his chair, he snatched the cigarettes with feverish haste. Can’t hurt, he thought to himself with a devilish grin. Then, he turned to the pistol and tucked it away in the insides of his coat. With snow this thick and terrain this harsh, it can’t be bad to protect himself against the hungry wolves that have started feasting on old rubbish and loitering around left-over campfires. And if he didn’t arm himself, they would be feasting on him very soon. Diverting his attention to the key, Carl realised that this could indeed lead him to the missing piece of the puzzle. The old ‘buzzkiller’ as his colleague would say to him, recapping the treacherous tale of his latest adventure. Not that being a detective was a very social job.
On his way out, he had noticed a group of empty bottles under a small table, hidden by an overhanging table cloth. Whisky. In weather like this, who could blame them? He knelt down and peered into the wooden box that they were in. Kneeling a little closer, he had noticed another cigarette. Flamed by a tiny spark, Carl could not help but notice that it was still burning. Surely, he had not done such a mindless thing as leave a flaming candle there on the floor. But then again, there was nobody alive in this isolated and godforsaken place?