She stared at the coffin across the room. The funeral home had an ethereal quality to it, so the wooden box seemed almost hazy.
She felt like she was on the verge of hyperventilating, so she sat back and took five deep breaths. The collar on her sweater made her wish she had gone with a V-neck instead, just so she could breathe easier.
She couldn't stop wondering what exactly had happened, or why someone would commit such a heinous crime. So many questions remained unanswered, and it was driving her crazy.
She went over the information from the case in her head while she watched the mourners mingling. Three suspects, 2 possible murder weapons, and one unreliable witness.
She navigated the murder scene layout from memory, remembering her childhood visits to the zoo fondly up to that point. The rhino cage was her favourite, because they always looked so much like unicorns. She used to ask her dad to let her tie a bow on the rhino's tail every time they visited. And when the baby rhino was born, she felt like she had her own personal unicorn.
She recalled the devastation that happened in a place so close to her heart and didn't know how to process it. Instead, she went through the case details again, recalling the testimony of the dimwitted shop assistant who couldn't stop twisting his shirt buttons.
She felt something nagging at her brain, trying to poke through all the details to make itself known. Not having slept more than a few hours over the last 5 days was making concentrating really hard. Her thoughts were jumbling together, and the constant stream of coffee was just making it worse.
She recalled the person the shop assistant mentioned: a roofer working on the penguin's exhibit. No one else saw the roofer, and there was no record of him on the security footage, which led to disbelief in the rest of the shop assistant's statement (especially since the guy was as smart as a tube of toothpaste).
She shook her head to clear her thoughts. With another glance at the coffin, she made a silent vow to get to the bottom of this and solve the murder.
She quietly slipped out of the funeral home, keeping close to the wall to avoid bumping into anyone. Her purse kept hitting her hip as she crossed the parking lot to her car. She took out her keys and unlocked the door. Sitting in the driver's seat, she paused before turning the ignition, and stared at herself in the mirror, wondering where life had gone so very wrong.
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