"Booth, I'm a forensic anthropologist, not a fortune teller. I won't just make up whatever you want to hear."
"But c'mon, Bones. Give me something - anything!"
'Well, we know that death was caused by trauma and was probably instantaneous. Booth, will you help Zack lift this shelf unit so I can examine the victim."
"Great. Now I'm a squint assistant. Bones, I'm FBI. We don't lift shelf units."
"Fine. I'll just see if that reporter over there would lend a hand."
"Alright, alright. Just be sure to lift your end, Zack."
"That's good. . . set it down there. Hmmm. . . victim is a white female, I'd say early 50's. . . less than average height. . ."
"Ew, Bones. . . that's just weird."
"What's weird, Booth?"
"She's smiling, Bones! Don't you think it's weird that someone would die with a smile on their face unless they were. . . you know. . . "
"Actually, many ancient cultures posed their dead with facial expressions they believed would be helpful when they entered their next life. The victim obviously was enjoying something when she died, indicating that the shelf unit landed on her unexpectedly. Zach, I don't know what this"Michael's" store is - find out what they sell here and see if the store manager has anything to say about this shelf unit."
"Bones, what's that in her hand?"
"I don't know. Let me see. . . hmm. . . she's clutching it very tightly. . . maybe it's something she tore off the killer. Wait. . . it looks like a piece of paper. Let me just unfold her fingers. . . .got it. It's . . . a receipt from this store. No - it's a coupon . . . '40% off a single item.'
"Doesn't seem worth killing for, Bones."
"Agreed. However, it is common in some parts of our culture to seek out - even revere - bargains. Perhaps our victim practiced bargain hunting and that somehow led to her death."
"Dr. Brennan, the store manager says this is a craft store and the victim was last seen trying to retrieve something from the top shelf."
"Thank you , Zach."
"Well, Bones - that explains it. The victim was too short to reach the top shelf."
"That explains nothing, Booth. Our modern society has many talented, productive and brilliant short people, millions of whom do not end up beneath overturned shelves. No. . . we're overlooking something."
"What about her fingers, Bones. . .what's that colored stuff on them?"
"It appears to be. . . ink of some sort. Apparently the victim worked with inks of many colors - I count four-no, five-colors staining the nail beds of the fingers of her right hand, indicating a repeated usage over a long period of time. Dr. Saroyan, do you find the same evidence on the left hand?"
"Not at all. The fingertips on this hand appear to be calloused. . .with healed cuts on the palm and thumb, almost like old paper cuts. Judging from the way the victim is dressed, I would say she preferred comfortable clothing. . . wait. There appears to be something. . . sparkly. . . stuck to her shirt. Let me get my forceps. . . there it is. . . what do you make of that?"
"Dr. Saroyan, the store manager said this aisle was where they sold something called "bling" which he described as sparkly things."
"Yes, Zach - that would make sense. Our victim enters the store in search of this bling and even brings with her a sample she needs to match."
"Cam, that doesn't tell us why she died. Look, the FBI needs answers on this one."
"Calm down, Booth. Dr. Brennan and I will get you answers. Just give us room to work."
"Zach, will you get an evidence bag for the bling Dr. Saroyan is holding and see if Angela can work with the store manager to recreate the merchandise components located on this shelf unit. Thank you."
"Dr. Brennan, I see something else quite puzzling on our victim."
"What is that, Dr. Saroyan?"
"It appears to be. . . bites. . . of some sort. . . here on her neck. Do you see them below her ear on that side of her neck?"
"Yes, I do. . . there are several in a grouping. . . and more on her shoulder. Booth, please call Dr. Hodgins over here."
"Geez, Bones. First I'm a squint assistant and now I'm an escort. Hey Hodgins! Get over here!"
"Your raised voice indicates that you are intimidated by Dr. Hodgins, Booth. Perhaps you are in need of a session with Dr. Sweets."
"No, Bones, I don't need a shrink. I need to know how this woman was killed in a craft store!"
"Dr. Hodgins, please examine these markings on the victim's neck and shoulder area. They appear to be insect bites of some kind, do you concur?"
"I do. . . and, wait a minute. . . aha! These aren't just any insect bites!"
"They are not? Are they from a rare insect?"
"Well, I wouldn't call it rare exactly. As a matter of fact, it's popularity is growing exponentially. The World Health Organization placed this little baby on it's watch list."
"And does this insect have a name?"
"Oh, it's not an insect. It's a true bug called scraplexicon insatialis. A member of the infectioso family. Once this baby finds you, you're a real goner. It's not uncommon for victims to be bitten over and over for months - even years- on end. Victims can go for days without sleeping, living on very little food although they do crave Mike's Hard Lemonade. "
"Mike's Hard Lemonade?"
"Yesssss. . . and that's not all. They need a constant supply of paper, sometimes stockpiling huge amounts of stash. Once that sets in, it's only a matter of time before embellishments, glitter, ribbon, all manner of craft items join their cravings."
"But Dr. Saroyan found a 'bling' on our victim. What does that tell you?"
"Bling? Really? Can I see it?. . . thanks, Zach. . . ohhhh, this is amazing! Once onset reaches the stage where you're hooked on bling, you may as well pack it in. There's nothing you won't do to get that next fix. See how sparkly it is? That's what draws them in and makes them really crazy. Poor lady. She didn't have a chance."
"So, wait a minute. You're saying that a tiny piece of sparkly stuff killed our victim? What kind of squint speak is that??!"
"No, Booth. This bling didn't kill our victim. That shelf did."
"But I don't get it. Bones, will you translate, please."
"This all makes sense, Booth. Hodgin's description of the bug is consistent with what we know of the kinds of people that frequent these stores. They come here seeking a fix, and there's nothing they wouldn't do to satisfy their cravings. Obviously, our victim was attempting to retrieve some of this bling and in doing so accidentally pulled this shelf unit over on top of herself, unwittingly causing her death."
"Great. The FBI just wasted an entire afternoon and there's not even a murder!"
"I disagree, Agent Booth. This woman was not an accident victim - she was a victim of something relentless and uncontrollable. She couldn't help herself.The scraplexicon insatialis bug which bit her caused. . . Dr. Hodgins, does this disease have a name?"
"Yes, it does, Dr. Brennan. I believe it's called 'scrapbooking'."
"Great! The FBI just wasted an entire afternoon and there's not even a murderer I can arrest!"
"No, Booth, there's not. But there is something this victim has that we don't get to see very often in our line of work."
"What's that, Bones?"
"This victim died with a big smile on her face."