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19th of April, 2019. A Hand.

It’s really starting to get cold here in Brisbane at night. Every morning I wake up and find the warmth from my feet getting sucked out by the cold wooden floor of our Queenslander house. As such I thought I’d spend the day outside in the sunlight where it was nice and warm, doing some maintenance on the house.

I borrowed a ladder from a neighbour to climb on our roof and try to get the debris from the explosion off. Even though I really hate heights, it had to be done. Last night I could hear Possums shifting the debris around while they scurried about looking for food. I would really have not been too bothered about it usually, but I’m having a lot of trouble sleeping as it is, and the extra noise is just making it worse.

There was a fair amount of damage around Miranda’s bedroom window that had been caused by the explosion. The other half of the tin of cat food was firmly embedded into the weatherboard, just inches away from where Miranda usually sleeps. There were also small shards of metal and glass stuck into the wood.

I didn’t have any paint to touch up the damage, but a lot of the wood had been heavily splintered and chipped and was in need of replacement before the next rain. I found an old canvas and nailed it up over the damaged section of the house, till I was in a better position to afford the repairs.

The view from the roof was surreal. Debris from the explosion had been scattered for quite some distance. I could see hundreds of smashed windows, shattered tiles and obliterated sun-rooves.

Pieces of brick and shards of metal littered as far as I could see. The force of the explosion must have been incredible. Police have worked out that the would-be thieves had drilled holes into the front of the building and filled the shop full of acetylene gas. The idea was to cause a flash explosion that would pop open the weakest bits of the shopfront, while keeping the cigarettes in their locked cabinet safe.

Possums had been on the roof. They’d been trying to get into some damaged tins that had landed there. Most of the debris however tended to be just small brick and mortar pieces.

However, while shuffling through all the muck I discovered something rather gruesome. I severed hand was wedged between the intakes on our air-conditioning system.

I guess that the police had missed it when they did a search of the area. It was rather damaged, and had been quite scorched. It had a variety of tattoos on it, most of which because of the damage I couldn’t quite make out.

It appeared that the possums might have been trying to nibble at it, because there appeared to be bite marks taken out of the skin.

I attempted to pick it up, but it was jammed in rather tight. Worse, the feeling of the cold skin, and seeing the broken fingers wiggle about as I tried to free it made me vomit.

As such I climbed back down the ladder, and just sat in the sun for about 20 minutes while I tried to compose myself again. I was rather glad that Miranda had gone to School today and didn’t have to witness all of this.

While back on the ground I got raided Tess’s makeup cabinet for the box of rubber gloves that she had stored in it for when she dyed her hair. I also grabbed a plastic bag and a screwdriver.

Back on the roof I found it a lot more comfortable handling the hand while wearing rubber gloves. I used the screwdriver to pry the intakes open just a bit so I could extract the hand out. I then bagged the hand and went back down to the ground for a second vomiting session.

At least I managed to stay reasonably composed while I was climbing down the ladder. But I can’t say this was my ideal way of using such a lovely sunny day.

It only occurred to me when I got back on the ground and tried to figure out what to do with the hand, that I should have called the police first.

When I did call the police, they didn’t really seem all that interested. They told me they would send someone over to pick up the hand, and that I shouldn’t touch it. Sometime later a courier arrived to pick up the hand. He hadn’t been told what he was picking up, and asked me if I had a box I could put it in so that he didn’t have to look at it, or smell it.

I spent the afternoon writing a letter to Tess after I’d finished cleaning up. I just needed to somehow get my mind off the events of the last few days, so I just made up some kind of story about how well we were doing here.

Ignorance is bliss I guess. I’m sure she doesn’t need the stress of knowing what has been happening back at home.

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