What is this about?

The Murphy

The duplex on Wilton north of Beverly had one of those old-fashioned Murphy beds. Not the cheap ones that stored up behind the closed doors of a cabinet. No, this one was in the dining room and pivoted a full 180 degrees. Original equipment. When closed up and put away there was a three-sided china cabinet built into the wall. At the top were three glass-paned doors behind which you could store dishes and glassware. In the middle was a serving area where food could be put. And the bottom third or so was three drawers for silverware or tablecloths or whatnot.

But when swung it around — and it moved pretty smoothly for being 50 years old — you found yourself face to face with a queen-sized brass bed retracted up against the wall.

Detective Donaldson gave the handle at the top a pull and the apparatus came down creaking but easily enough with the legs kicking out and a headboard popping up as it landed on the hardwood floor just clearing the cheap dinette set that had been knocked over during the struggle. Someone had long ago painted the brass a brass color. Donaldson wondered what was the point.

“You just don’t see quality like that much anymore,” said Officer Learill, the first to arrive at the scene of the Code 15 who’d radio’d in that what had started as a domestic disturbance had finished a homicide and Donaldson was up.

Learill was now stationed by the door where Donaldson had told him to keep an eye out for his partner should Jaronski decide to grace the place with his presence. Donaldson doubted it.

“Wish I saw more of this shit and less of that,” Donaldson said, pointing to the drying blood spray across the naked mattress — the latest in a long line of other stains, none of which Donaldson wanted to think about. Learill craned his neck and whistled and said “Shoulda become an architect then.”

Donaldson nodded without taking his eyes from the blood trail that started at the bed and continued to the floor and walls along the narrow hallway to the open bathroom door where a pair of bare feet were sticking out.