The Resting Place by Camilla Sten: Cover Reveal and Excerpt
By Crime HQJune 1, 2021
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
FIVE HOURS LATER
The light in the small room is cold, the stark, white glare of an eco-friendly bulb. I’m sure it’s meant to be reassuringly normal, just like the anonymous chair I’m sitting on, and the smooth, light-wood table in front of me.
When I look at my hands I can still see the blood, even though I scrubbed them red and raw with the antiseptic soap in the bare white bathroom.
The door opens and I give a start. The man who steps into the room is wearing a police uniform. He has short blond hair and is carrying a portable recording device in his hand.
He puts the recording device down on the table between us. It’s small, gray, and efficient, but it clinks heavily against the wood.
“Is it all right if I record our conversation, Victoria?” he asks.
Victoria, as if we knew each other.
Everything is spinning. I’m so tired, so cold. I close my eyes just to make it stop.
“Victoria?” he repeats, in that same artificially soft goddamn voice.
“Eleanor,” I say as I open my eyes, my tongue dry and rough. “My name’s Victoria Eleanor, but nobody calls me Victoria. Only Vivianne.”
“OK,” he says. “Can I tape our conversation, Eleanor?”
“Can you tell me what happened when you arrived at your grandma’s?” he asks.
“Please, don’t call her Grandma. She hates it. Her name’s – her name was Vivianne.”
“OK,” he says amenably. “Can you tell me what happened when you arrived at Vivianne’s apartment?”
He has bright blue eyes, so even in color that they look unreal. Easy to remember. A good marker.
Does he know? I find myself wondering. Has anyone said the word prosopagnosia to him yet? Explained to him what it means?
I’m good at explaining it. Which isn’t surprising, given how often I have to.
Prosopagnosia, face blindness. It means my brain doesn’t process human faces the same way others’ do. I can’t recognize faces, so I have to memorize distinguishing features instead.
Nope, it’s not so handy for parties. Yeah, it’s a good excuse, only it’s not an excuse. It’s my life. I can’t recognize a n y b o d y, not even myself in the mirror.
“I don’t know what happened,” I say.
He says nothing, forces me to fill the silence.
“I was going to her place for dinner. We have dinner together every Sunday, that’s our agreement. She won’t drop by our place or show up at my office or call me twenty-eight times in a row until I pick up, but in return I have to eat dinner with her every Sunday. And I always do. So I was just on my way there when…”
I stare at him. The words fail me.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect,” he says. “Just tell me what you remember.”
So that’s what I do.
Copyright © 2022 by Camilla Sten. All rights reserved.