I opened the door, knowing what to expect but saddened more by my lack of empathy than empathetic towards the dead man. I nodded to the officer who had accompanied me to the room.
“Yes, it’s him… Sir George Thomas.”
“He signed the register for this garret room as Henry Gray.”
“Yes, well it’s Dr. Henry Gray, but that is my name.”
“And why would he sign in under a false name but your name?”
I tore my gaze from the pale figure to the open window. What could I lose, really? It would all come out sooner and why not to this junior constable of the force? He was likely near in age to George—so young and inexperienced, so sure of himself, so sure of his own power.
“Because he hated me nearly as much as I have hated him.”
“So, are you admitting to murdering him?”
Startled, I turned to the man. “Murder? My good man, no! He was a mad man. So much so that his wife left him!”
“Go back to her parents, did she?” He paused scribbling on his little notepad and looked at me expectantly.
“Well, no, Anne, I mean Mrs. Thomas, she…”
“What’s that sir?”
“She’s staying in my guest quarters.”
“Now that wouldn’t be the reason Mr. George Thomas is lying here in this state, would it?”
He place the notepad in his pocket and pulled out the cuffs.
“Dr. Henry Gray, I’ll be placing you under arrest now.”
I held my hands up in defense and backed away. “No… no, it’s not like that”
[May 20th Writer’s Guild prompt, Image source]