The Corpse Hopped at Midnight: Part Two

Continuing where I left off in Part One. The investigation continues... DI Cheung, Baak-Long and his sergeant, Lam, Zi-Coeng, are trying to solve the murder of a young publishing house employee. Is it the victim's ex-girlfriend? Her current boyfriend? Or could it be the mysterious woman that none of the victim's friends or family have ever met? Who is she? And where has she disappeared to? So many questions that just lead to more questions. Then there's the victim's corpse suddenly coming back to life...wait, what?

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4. Chapter Seven

The guard at the front desk showed us the footage from the security camera in the morgue.  It had been installed a few years ago after a murder suspect broke into the morgue and stole his victim’s corpse because he didn’t want the cause of death to be discovered.

The guard had been away from his desk when the incident occurred but he wasn’t as surprised as Lam, who visibly jumped when the victim came to life just as Dr Hu said it did.

If I had no prior knowledge of the supernatural then I would have, too.

When the video clip started I had the guard fast forward to just before the incident happened.  On the screen, when the doctor turned off the day light the corpse suddenly sat up, its eyes glowing red and its mouth wide open in a manic snarl.

Dr Hu jumped back, throwing the file of papers he had been holding into the air.

The reanimated corpse jumped down from the table visibly hissed at the doctor.

Even with the monitor’s slightly grainy quality we could see the sharp fangs that protruded over its bottom lip.

I suppressed a shudder.  It was like watching a scene from a horror film.

Our gazes were glued to the monitor as the reanimated corpse advanced towards the doctor’s near frozen form.  Fortunately, he quickly regained his wits and quickly backed away, putting the other examination table between him and the geong si.  But it threw the table to side in a burst of unnatural strength.  It then smashed the day lamp before quickly wrapping its hands around the doctor’s throat.

Dr Hu struggled against its grip, but couldn’t dislodge it.  Then there was a moment when the geong si paused.

Just then Mr Ip ran over from wherever he’d been cowering with the second day lamp in his hand and shone it directly into the geong si’s face.  Almost as suddenly as when it came back to life, it became limp and fell against the doctor, dragging him to the ground under its’ dead weight.

The guard, Lam and I all breathed a sigh of relief.  Even though we already knew what had happened, if was still a nerve-wracking experience watching the incident, even on a recording.

‘Could you burn a copy of this?’ I asked, before also requesting he not mention this to anyone before I had a chance to talk to someone higher up.

The guard immediately agreed.  ‘I wouldn’t know what to say, anyway,’ was his only comment as he inserted a blank DVD into the disk drive and started copying the recording.

I sighed; it was only half past midday and I was already exhausted.  The more I discover on this case, I the more questions I just seem to end up with.

But now I had an even more pressing problem ahead of me; how in heaven was I going to explain this to the superintendent?

My stomach chose that moment to remind me that I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast.

‘Have you eaten yet?’ I asked Lam when the guard had handed me the DVD.

‘No,’ he replied, dazedly.

‘Let’s go and have lunch,’ I suggested.  I would work on what to tell the superintendent after we’d eat.

 

 

Cultural Notes

“Have you eaten?” is usually used informally, often as a greeting, to express care and friendliness, and is only used between people who know each other very well.  In this case, Cheung is expressing concern to Lam after seeing that that was very shocking, though at the same he is also asking him out to lunch.

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