Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write.
There’s no one here to play the game, so I’m looking at the stuff on my desk. First, I see the stapler. Then a mess. The stapler, the messy desk. We’ll go with that.
The desk was cluttered with so much stuff! The sweepers were going to have a hard time covering all of it. Frustrated, Steve raised his eyebrows at his assistant.
“Did you ever see such a mess? And on top of everything else, there are several bottles of fingernail polish all opened and spilled everywhere, including the blood. Our perp was pretty careful to cover his tracks.”
“Yeah, but we’ll get him, right, Steve? I mean, with all our nifty technology and everything, we’ll find something that will identify him.”
“Yeah, I guess so. Look, you take the desk from the printer to the wall, and I’ll work from the far end over to your wall. Let’s get to work.”
Papers that had probably been piled up neatly were now strewn carelessly on the desk, the floor, and the chair where the body had been found. Thankful that he didn’t have to deal with a corpse, Steve pulled on his nitrile gloves and got to work. He decided to work the chair first. It was a good-quality office chair, with many adjustment options and a webbed seat and back. Apparently the victim had been short. The chair was so low that Steve knew he’d never have been able to sit comfortably in it. As he worked, he bagged and tagged whatever he found: Hair, skin that had stuck to the headrest, scraps of fiber from fabric. He stopped short when he found the first staple stuck in the seat back. Glancing over at Ron’s part of the desk, he located the stapler.
“Hey, Ron. Are you gloved up? Good. Pass me that stapler, would you?”
Ron handed him the stapler, and Steve opened it up. It was empty, which seemed strange. He looked in the desk drawer, and sure enough there was a box of staples; it was about half empty. He checked, and the staples were the right size for the stapler. Huh.
He carefull went over the rest of the chair, dusting for prints as he worked. He found many more staples, bagging them all as he went. It seemed as if someone had just worked the stapler at random wherever the urge took him. As he worked the chair, Steve noticed the staples on the floor all around the chair. The surface of the desk was also full of them. One of the strangest things he’d seen in his long career at working a murder scene.
He picked through the fingernail polish. “A short victim, probably a female, who liked fingernail stuff,” he thought. Grimly, he dropped each opened bottle and its cap into an evidence bag, tagging everything. He stood and looked at the blood spattered with polish, and realized that it, too, was filled with staples. Weird. Just weird.
“Hey, Steve! Look at this!” Steve went to stand beside Ron, who was inspecting the printer. It was covered with different shades of polish, and staples were stuck in the polish in random patterns. Steve opened the printer, waited for the cartidges to come to center, then pulled one of them out. Yup. Staples and fingernail polish. And bloody prints.
“Whoever pulled this job is a complete wacko,” said Steve. The detectives are going to have a great time figuring out all this stuff. I’m glad all we have to do is check for prints and bag and tag. We don’t have to understand it.”
And they got back to work.