The noise was disgustingly organic and impossible to ignore especially in the tome-silent atmosphere of the university library.   This was time I’d set aside for studying organic chemistry.   Naturally I was reading a text on psychological aberrations instead (all work and no play etcetera) but even so I didn’t want distraction.

The girl was too young to be here anyway.   She looked about ten years old, pudgy with straw coloured hair in pigtails.  She had a band aid on her knee on which she’d drawn a piratical skull and crossbones in blue ink.  And she chewed bubblegum.  I watched her as she blew a hideous pink bladder of gum from her mouth, let it pop with a loud crack and then chewed it liquidly back into her mouth and masticated it into readiness again.

Ignore her, I decided.   I tried to lose myself in the labyrinth of sociopathy.



I looked again, she was grinning as she chewed.  And blew.  And chewed.

Nobody else seemed bothered by her.  I knew why.

“Alright,” I said, “If I promise to find out who killed you, will you leave me in peace?”

“Maybe,” she said.




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