I’d never seen a dead body before. Sure, there’d been dead birds in the yard once or twice, dead cats on the side of the road, kangaroos on the highway, but nothing that mattered. Now, here I was, following a detective down a bare corridor at the Adelaide city morgue, about to be confronted with not one, but two bodies. The bodies of my grandparents
My heels were loud on the concrete floor, the slow rhythmic clicking the only sound in the passage. I don’t know what had prompted me to wear those shoes, some misguided notion of respect for my grandparents, but I regretted it now.
We came to a door and I followed the detective into a small viewing room no bigger than a large cupboard, with a curtain along one wall. We’d left his female colleague in the reception area, and now I understood why. There would be no room for the three of us in there. The detective was tall and bulky and seemed to fill the tiny space. He had a hair on his collar, a steel- grey hair clearly visible against his dark jacket. I wanted to pick it off, to tidy him up for my grandparents.