The Merryhill Morgue is the densest corral of mortal remains in all of Merryhill, Virginia, possessing the most active crematorium in the county. From wealthy rakehells to John-or-Jane Does, all are entitled to a crypt, urn, or plot of their choosing; should they have the foresight and coin.
The grounds are acrid and ashen so Nora’s sits atop a concrete plinth adjacent to the dumpster, besides the service parking lot, behind the mortuary. Embedded in the morgue’s rear wall of exposed brick and lichen, is a rectangular slab of tuscany-yellow steel. A door without a handle. On the outside, at least.
A flutter of sardonic leaves tumble along a cool jet stream of new fall air, audibly passable for a moaning bedlam. Nora doesn’t shiver. Nora doesn't seem to notice even the most tempestuous acts of nature whilst in her Tim Burton balmacaan. Worn 182.7-days out of the year, 6-years running.
Just to be clear, Nora isn’t hip, goth, or punk. Just another anomalous, twenty-something with skin pale as hoarfrost. Nora has a pension for Faustian hand-me-downs and the occasional occult paperback. Nora sees herself as a brown M&M in a fishbowl of Skittles.
Nora comes across as “off-putting” to most who encounter her. Usually one conversation is all that's required. A middle-school guidance counselor once attributed this to an, “enlarged imagination with a disposition for violence.” Nora’s learned to accept not everyone's fascinated by atavistic methods of execution, scrimshawing, or expecting the Spanish Inquisition.
Nora's not psychotic (not yet anyway), but by no means conventional. That’s just how she likes it.
Nora’s pencil swishes to-and-fro like a baton of the world’s most spastic maestro. She ponders over what logistical monkeyshines her cyclopean murderer is capable of with those sinister prosthetics.
Ripping, tearing, gouging, trepanning-the list goes on.
Anything but slashing-too clichéd, she silently contemplates.