Gregson scanned the people looking at him. He didn’t see a murderer, but what did a murderer look like? They were ordinary; too ordinary. Plain and unassuming. Nobody resembled a murderer in Suits and Blooms because they wore the merchandise. Their suits were a mixture of colors; a complete wash that made Gregson dizzy.

“Who are you? I’ll need to see some identification!” Barked a short manager with a Hitler mustache. Gregson flashed his badge and covered up RETIRED with his thumb. He was technically on the force, but it wasn’t official yet.

“I’d like to see your security tapes,” Gregson said.

“We don’t call them tapes anymore. You really are past your time.”

Gregson ignored the insult. A lifetime of working with small men with big egos taught him they were responsible for most of the world’s problems.

He followed the manager into the loft where a fat security guard was asleep with a half-eaten Twinkie on his stomach.

“George, wake up! You’re on the clock.”

“Oh, sorry boss.”

“Did you see anything strange a few moments ago?”


“That’s because you were asleep. A girl just died downstairs! We need to look at the security feed.”

George wiped the crumbs off his shirt and clicked the red rewind button.

“There. There it is! She’s walking around. She’s admiring her white dress in the mirror. Then… What was that?” A shadow crossed the room in front of her and looked at the camera.

“Is that one of our mannequins?” The manager asked.

“This store is going to have big problems,” Gregson warned. “I’d dump your stock today.”

“I’m contacting headquarters!”

“That would be a good idea. Who designs your mannequins?” Gregson asked.

“A strange man who lives on an island. You seem to know what you’re doing. I’ll recommend you to the owner, if you want. Perhaps you can get to the bottom of this.”


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