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Year of the Dog


Jack walked into the smaller bedroom.

"How old were the kids?" he asked.

"Five and six," Wong said solemnly. "Two little boys." He was disciplined enough to brief Jack with the factual information, but smart enough to keep his opinions and personal feelings to himself.

The boys’ room had twin beds with New York Yankees pillowshams and matching duvet covers. Between the two beds was a nightstand with a Mickey Mouse table lamp. A desk held a computer and over it were shelves full of children’s books. Stuffed animals were displayed on the dresser and a few large ones stood on the carpet: Pooh Bear and Tigger, Barney and Big Bird. Posters of Thomas the Tank’s adventures hung on the wall.

Jack felt his adrenaline building. He was thinking, Murder-suicide, bad enough, but why take the kids? Were they staying together for the next life? He took a deep breath, took the disposable camera out of his jacket pocket and went toward the last room.

Heavy curtains were drawn back. The room was even colder than the rest of the apartment. The master bedroom was spacious enough so that the bodies didn’t seem to take up much room in it. A woman and two children lay on a large bed. A man was slumped over on a settee. Jack took a photo of the area, then three more individual shots as he approached the bed. He observed a bottle of NyQuil on one of the two night tables.