The Allinger Apartment
You and Rita resume your search for clues as to what made little
Isabella Allinger sick.
IN THE KITCHEN
The first thing you notice are the supper dishes on the table.
In front of the high chair is a baby's plate messy with mashed food and
a baby's cup half-full of milk. By examining the plate, it's easy to reconstruct
Isabella's whole dinner menu. She had peas, applesauce, and a little piece
of pizza with mushrooms.
Where Carmen and Julian sat are two empty plates with pizza crumbs on them,
forks, two empty beer bottles, and two salad plates smeared with white dressing.
Beyond the table is a refrigerator. A milk bottle is sitting
on the counter next to it.
IN THE HALLWAY
It's a tight little space. In the corner you spy a plastic
garbage can. "Yuck!" grimaces Rita when you heave the plastic liner
out of it. Inside the liner you find an empty applesauce baby food jar,
a "Rollo's Take-Out Pizza" box, a nursery tag that reads "Lady's Slipper
(paphiopedilum)," and a few greasy paper napkins.
Something rattles underfoot; it's an empty pet food
PET FOOD DISH
Rita gasps. Inside the baby's crib is a blanket mottled with bloodstains. On the headboard a baby's hand is perfectly traced in blood.
THE MASTER BEDROOM
A man's work clothes are heaped in a corner. On the nightstand,
the clock radio flashes the wrong time.
"Looks like they had a power outage," Rita says. "The electricity
went out this afternoon in the office where I work, and that's not far from
here. It got so hot they sent us home early."
Rita points to the nightstand, where a red light blinks on an answering
machine. "I heard the phone ring while I was waiting for you."
You again pass through the living room, where an old couch faces a TV set. The VCR still flashes "12:00... 12:00... 12:00..." A houseplant sits on the coffee table.
READY TO MOVE ON
"I think I've learned all there is to learn here,"
you tell Rita. "Time to call Dr. Lydell and move on to the next
Finished with the apartment