It was around eleven o'clock in the morning, sometime in mid March. Outside the sun was shining through bare winter branches for the first time in months. But although the weather was looking up I couldn't quite shift the dark clouds hovering over my head. Never mind, I was awake, shaved, and sober, and didn't care who knew it. So, when the bell rang I walked purposefully through the high-ceilinged hallway to the door, threw the bolts, and opened it up.
I stood and stared at a pair of grey eyes. They lived in a squat face attached to a stubby neck. Below lurked a brown uniform and black shoes. The eyes looked me up and down, darted back to a vehicle parked curbside, then settled back on mine. An arm extended slowly towards me, brown package in hand.
'Here you go...' he said.
His eyes narrowed. He looked puzzled. I could tell he was thinking. And it hurt.
'You ordered it,' he said. 'You know what it is. Just take it. I can't hang around here, I got other stuff to do.'
I grunted, reaching for the package.
'Not so fast. I need something from you first.'
I shut the door when it was done. As I turned around I caught my reflection in the finger-smudged mirror. I looked alright, a bit weathered and used, but not so bad for a guy approaching forty. I scrubbed up good when I bothered to do the scrubbing.
I walked through the glass doors separating the hallway from the kitchen and found a vacant lot amidst debris on the table. I put the package down, then went to the refrigerator. As always it was bare. I pulled a milk container from the door and sniffed it. Satisfied, I poured a shot into a clean looking glass and headed back to the table.
I examined the package. He was right, I knew what it was, but did he? I'd heard the stories, I knew you sure as hell couldn't trust anyone in this town. But it was fine, he didn't know. He was just the delivery boy.
There was a knife on the table, half obscured by a magazine, left over from breakfast. It still had peanut butter on it but who cared? I licked the blade, weighed the handle in my right hand, then carved open the tape around the cardboard. As the package disintegrated it revealed what I knew it would: a black case with white writing, a shiny disc tucked safely inside.
I started back through the glass doors, down the hallway to the sitting room. As I opened the door I saw shards of sunlight streaming into the room, illuminating the layer of dust that had accumulated over a long winter, since the last time sunlight had shone here. Since those dark days in September had started me drinking and stopped me caring. But that's another story, and none of your business.
In the corner stood a handsome plasma television. It was probably the only decent piece of furniture this place had. Everything else was junk - dusty and frayed sofas with the life squeezed out of them, threadbare rugs, a table covered with endless rings from endless cups of coffee and glasses of wine. Underneath the TV sat a black console, the only other thing that didn't look like it belonged in a thrift store. I powered it up, took out the disc and put it in the drive, and waited.
There was whirring and clicking. Fans kicked in. After a while crystal clear images started to appear across the screen, accompanied by the familiar sound of heavy rain. A calm settled over me. This was the day I'd been waiting for. This was the start of something new. I closed the drapes and blocked out the sun...
And so it began. Murder in high definition.
To be continued...
(Please Note: this article is a factional diary entry that takes a considerable amount of artistic license with actual events. I don't even like milk.)