This post is a response to a thread on the Guardian website inviting readers to respond to the first line of a story with their own interpretation.
It can be found at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2013/jun/14/neil-gaiman-write-a-story?commentpage=7
It wasn’t just the murder, he decided. Everything else seemed to have conspired to ruin his day as well. Even the cat. From the moment he’d woken up to discover it had vomited all over the bedroom carpet, Owen had known that it wasn’t going to be a good day. Fumbling to locate the anti-bacterial spray in the cupboard, he felt a pang of loss. This was the kind of thing his wife would have dealt with, when she was still here. He missed her every day, for unexpected and ever-increasing reasons.
Now he was at work, trying to regain some normality. As a Detective, Owen had seen it all. There was very little that shocked him these days. But there was something about this one – this brutal, yet perfect crime – that had got under his skin. He had been trying to solve it for weeks. Each time he thought he had something, the evidence would lead to a dead end. It was meticulous, the attention to detail that rendered the case unsolvable. No fingerprints, no DNA evidence – not even the murder weapon was identifiable. And the longer he was at large, the higher the likelihood that he would kill again.
As he checked the case file for the 47th time that day, Owen sighed. If only there was something to go on, but they hadn’t even been able to ID the victim. He pulled his coat on and prepared to leave for the night, pausing as he suddenly heard a shriek from the direction of the morgue. A voice filled with emotion cried out, ‘That’s my daughter! Jane, oh my God, no! How could this have happened?’
Despite himself, Owen felt a surge of excitement and hope – this could be the information they needed to solve the case. Perhaps his luck was changing.