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Rock on the Rocks

by Lance Dean

About the Author: Lance Dean has been published in Caffeine Magazine, Scream When You Burn anthology, Hello Horror, a story adapted into the short film The Big Meet, and he writes a widely read blog while touring with the heavy metal band Megadeth.


Someone alerted housekeeping about the water when it soaked the carpet in the hallway. The maid let herself in when no one answered her knock. Then someone called me when they heard her screams, and I came running.

She wasn’t screaming when I got there, just hyperventilating in the hall. It was early, so the screams didn’t rouse everyone out of bed, but there were more than a few angry faces, blotched from last night’s drinking, glaring out of their doors at us.

Judy was the name on the maid’s nametag. She wasn’t hurt, just shaken. She pointed through the open door. I went on in, and let her catch her breath.

The body was in the bathroom. From Judy’s reaction, I imagined something more gruesome, but Judy didn’t spend twelve years investigating homicides, so maybe she was a tad less jaded than me.

In the tub, a man in his mid-fifties floated face down in a red broth. Possible accident. Possible suicide. Possible homicide. Natural causes seemed unlikely with all that blood.

The water was still running. Using my handkerchief to preserve prints, I turned off the spigot. Shouldn’t touch anything at a crime scene, but I couldn’t let the lower floors flood with bloody water.

The water would do some damage, but we couldn’t start cleanup until the Reno crime lab finished with the scene. I pulled out my phone, and called the police to get the ball rolling.

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