Bear Creek Blotter - One: Reports Confirm

by Joaquin Fernandez, 3.24am January 10th 2021


          Reports confirm this morning that the body of Edwin Charter was found in the swimming pool of the unoccupied house on Badger Lane, floating in the empty space where water should have been, rotating in graceful mid-air revolutions while first responders watched, puzzled. Charter is survived by his wife, Helena, who was unavailable for comment, but was unsurprised by the flutter of relief she felt when she heard the news. He is survived by a son, twelve, who’s going to remember this morning for the rest of his life. He’s going to remember not looking up from his breakfast as his father ruffled his hair on his way out the door. He’s going to think about it, not often, maybe every few years, the way he cringed, recoiling openly against his father’s hand.

          He wanted him to know. At twelve, letting his parents know he hated them, even for just that day, even for just that morning, even for just that moment, was the only weapon he had. He’s never going to remember why, whatever argument they had dissipating in the fog of grief. It’s going to linger in the back of his mind, a foreign aftertaste he’s never going to parse. He’s never going to know how to feel about his father. 

          Reports confirm it was beautiful, actually. First responders gathered at the deep

end with coffee and donuts, awestruck as the body that used to be Edwin Charter turned, their eyes following his every revolution. A rotisserie chicken with the gravity of a new star. A team of adjunct physics professors from the Bear Creek Community College, alerted by paramedics, inspected the body, describing his orbit with electroscopes and pool skimmers, taking samples before pulling him onto a gurney, affixed and burdened with a weighted blanket. No obvious cause of death was determined at the scene. No signs of struggle were evident. No eyewitnesses were available for comment. 
          Reports confirm Charter’s cell phone was found in the empty upstairs master bedroom. Reports confirm there was a longboard in the garage that had been recently ollied. Reports confirm a trail of lace ribbon was strung from the kitchen, where a brand new George Foreman grill sat unused in it’s box, through the living room and into the tub of the downstairs bathroom where it slipped into a plain, white envelope marked with a single letter A. 
          Reports confirm Edwin Charter is survived by the good people of Bear Creek

where he was born and where his body will be interred until such a time as he is processed for nutrients and fully dessicated. He is survived by The Mayor and the city council and all the children of this earth born before his time of death at approximately eight-forty two am. At the time of this writing, he is survived by all the baristas and bartenders whose name he only half remembered, all the library books piled on his nightstand that he’ll never finish, and The Thing In The Cave At The Edge Of The Wood that is only ever really half-asleep. He is survived by the hundred billion microbes that have been actively and perpetually consuming his body since his birth, he is survived by his father, and he is survived by you as long as you are reading this.