I couldn’t ask for a more perfect set-up. The professor was old, trembling even as he sat still. The book was on the table before him, an ancient and ungainly thing that smelled of must and age and a high resale value even at a distance and in dim light. I closed the gap between the professor and myself in less time than it took the old man to gasp out “What are you doing?” He didn’t even resist as I pulled his hand up to his head, rested the barrel of the gun against the underside of his chin, pulled the trigger.
It was perfect. The caliber, the angle, the powder burns, all of it spoke to suicide. I could slip out the way I’d come in and be gone before the cops ever arrived. There wouldn’t even be anything disturbed or out of place to suggest that someone else had been in the house at the time of death. No one would know the book was gone.
My ears rang from the gunshot, of course. I hadn’t worn ear plugs or anything since I hadn’t been planning on firing a weapon (and even if I had, it was still better that I have all my hearing just in case.) The ringing intensified as I ran the house, as blood quickened by adrenaline rushed through my veins.
That’s when it really started, I suppose. When the ringing gave way to a high, monotonous buzzing.