The young man had been cut nearly in half. He’d been slashed deep across the belly and his entrails had been pulled out and spread across the floor. Whoever had done it had then filled his mouth with salt and sewn his lips shut. “After they’d killed him,” said Trusewyc.
“Well, yes,” said Gupta, the M.E. “See how there’s no bruising around the sutures? He’d been dead for a while by then.”
The M.E. pursed his lips thoughtfully. He was short and had a long straight nose under a lot of straight black hair. “Three, four days maybe. After rigor mortis had gone, certainly.”
Trusewyc tapped a cigarette against his wrist and lit it meditatively. Seven white blossoms, heavy and waxen-looking, surrounded the young man, one at each hand, two at his feet, one threaded through the zipper of his black jeans, and one on either side of his head.
“I thought you were quitting,” said Gupta.
“Yeah,” sighed Trusewyc around a mouthful of smoke. “Something like that.”