The desk turned out to be exactly what I’d been expecting but with a side order of WTF. The desk, the filing cabinet, the top of the computer tower and the in and out trays were all piled high with paper. The computer keyboard had originally been beige like the rest of the office but was now stained a dark brown except for some of the keys where even the the muck had been worn off by furious typing.
The side of the filing cabinet had been decorated with a collection fridge magnets that held up photographs. I almost ignored the display but there was something off about it. I looked at all the other desks. Each one had it’s own display of family photographs, kid’s drawings, post cards, inspirational mottoes and slightly cheesy religious iconography. I looked back at the one next to me and had to suppress an urge to stagger back in horror.
Cats. Cats everywhere. Every single one of the fridge magnet was cat themed in some way. There were cute cats, realistic cats, quotes about cats, cartoon cats, anime cats and even a Cait Sith from Final Fantasy VII which must be quite rare. There were no family photographs. The only photographs were of a large black cat. There was even one of the dead woman holding said cat and judging by the framing that was a self portrait.
Now I am a dog person but I have nothing against cats. It wasn’t the cats so much as the extent of the cat focus. Or maybe it was something more than that. It was just wrong. Sometimes things are. Sometimes you find out why later on and sometimes you never know. Something being just ‘wrong’ doesn’t mean it’s bad. I’ve met a few working for the Department and they were all fine upstanding… beings.
There’s more than one kind of just ‘wrong’. When you meet regular humans who are just ‘wrong’ it usually boils down to some kind of mental illness or personality disorder. There was nothing in the file about the dead woman being treated for a mental illness. The thought of someone with an untreated mental illness or personality disorder working with kids was what was making my skin crawl.
I was still staring at the fridge magnets when my yPhone rang.