The helicopters were the first clue.
We went biking on the path this morning and there was the usual unusual.
A bronzed couple with platinum hair and awkward gait that made us both think of Star Trek: The Next Generation passed us.
There was the muscular Rasta man on his roller blades and the other muscular, shirtless, non-Rasta as well.
Two film shoots were going on, a hotel was draped in funeral black and down the road quite a ways was a half a dozen trailers.
A man wearing only his bathing suit jumped from rock to rock by the ocean in his bare feet.
And then there were the helicopters. A lot of them. Right above us. A moment later Tech Support noticed the police cars in the distance, and I noticed that PCH was empty. Totally empty. PCH is never totally empty.
As we got closer to the police cars we saw they were all regarding a pile of something on the ground and taking measurements around it. A nondescript sedan drove up.
"The detective just arrived." Tech Support commented. I looked over, hoping to see Brenda Johnson, Lenny Brisco or even Goren. But there was just a bunch of men.
We road on, because we didn't want to be gawkers, but we were slower than usual.
"Did you see anything?" I asked.
"Looked like a pile of clothing." Tech Support said.
"They don't close down PCH for a pile of clothes."
At the end of the path we watched the police divert traffic from PCH onto Temescal. The cars were backed up as far as I could see, all along point Dume. I was too distracted to sit and stretch. I'm weak and prone to morbid curiosity, I wanted to bike by and see the scene again. I wanted to be a bystander in an episode of the crime shows I watch far too much.
So we rode by again, heading back to the car.
"I think I saw a shin." Tech Support said.
"Was it a man or a woman?" I asked.
"It was a sexless shin."
At the distance we went by, keeping up the pretense that we weren't atrocity tourists and not stopping, we couldn't make out much. Tech Support thought it looked like a pile of clothes with a body in it. Maybe someone had been murdered and dumped on PCH. Maybe a kidnapping had gone wrong. There had to be a twist of some kind.
Past the accident everything was back to normal. No one knew what was just a mile up the road.
A British man walked on the path speaking into his phone. "Sheila has to be notified."
A couple hugged, and when they parted I could see the girl had been crying. She wiped at her eyes.
A midget homeless man walked along the edge of the sand.
We passed the Star Trek alien people again.
Back at the car and I called a family friend who is known for being awake and watching TV early in the morning.
"PCH? I can tell you about that," she said.
She told me it was a pedestrian vs. car situation. As usual, the pedestrian lost. A hit and run around 6am, two hours before we even pulled into the parking lot. The victim was a young transient who may have been hit multiple times. PCH was closed for a bit and all the other freeways in the area were congested as a result.
So no murder or kidnapping. Not even a twist.