Sunday, January 17, 2016

Prompt: shadow of a doubt

Prompt: shadow of a doubt 

The sun shone brightly that October morning with temperatures in the 90's. There was only a slight breeze, just enough to waft the stench of the dead body in Gerald's direction. He turned away from the stench covering his nose.

Gerald slowly made his way around to the other side of the body to avoid being down wind of the stench. It didn't help much. The smell was almost unbearable. He pulled a bottle of vicks vapor rub from his pocket and dabbed a little under his nose to mask the smell of the rotting body.

“There's more than one body here.” Gerald's partner Amber remarked. “There's at least three. One looks about the size of a one year old. With the way the heat has been there is a shadow of doubt as to how long the bodies have been here until the coroner gets hold of the mess.”

Gerald nodded. “Who found this mess?”

“A group of kids found it. They had come out here to play some baseball.”

“In this heat? Have they been questioned yet?”

“They have but they really can't tell us anything other than that they found it. One of them almost stepped in it.”

“How did they manage to not smell it before they got close enough to step in it? The stench is almost bad enough to turn my stomach and I have been on the force for 20 years now.” Gerald wrinkled his nose and took a deep breath in of the vicks.

“Don't know. They are kids. They don't always pay attention to shit.”

“Have they played in this field before?” Gerald asked.

“Nope. They said their regular place to play is being turned into a parking lot for a new store. Today was the first time they had played here.” Amber pulls Vicks out of her pocket, dabbing some under her nose. She couldn't take the smell any longer. Her eyes had started to water, making her eyeliner start to run and sting her eyes. She was a rookie and hadn't learned the finer points of wearing no makeup on duty.

“Is the coroner here yet?”

“Not yet but he should be soon.”

“Good. I think we are done with the kids. Call their parents to come and pick them up so they know what happened here.”

“Can't I just let the kids walk home? They don't live very far from here.”

“The parents need to know what happened so they can deal with any nightmares or whatever may happen because of them seeing this mess.”

“Makes sense. I'm on it.” Amber took off back toward the kids, her long brown pony tail swaying back and forth as she walked. Gerald sighed. If only he was younger.

After things were finished up at the crime scene, Gerald and Amber made their way to the coroner's. The coroner had already started the autopsy. They arrived just as he was finishing up. Gerald had planned it that way. He didn't think Amber was quite ready to sit in on an autopsy yet.

“Howard, we need to stop meeting like this.” Gerald joked, shaking Howard's hand. “We need to plan a lunch or something to meet on better terms.”

Howard chuckled and shook Gerald's hand. “May be difficult with our schedules to find a time we both have free but I will take you up on that offer one of these days.”

“I see you have just finished up. What have you got for us? Do you have any names for us?” Amber jumped in.

Howard and Gerald looked at each other and grinned. “No names yet,” Howard answered. “It's a little early for that yet. With the bodies being so decomposed it makes it a little more difficult. What we do have is this: one male approximately 25 years old, one female approximately 30 years old and one female infant approximately 1 year old. We also know that they had been in that field for about three days. The heat accelerated the decomposition along with animals feasting on them all.”

“Animals had been eating them?” Amber asked feeling a little uneasy.

“Yep, happens all the time when the bodies are left in areas like that or in the woods. They don't know enough to leave them alone. They just follow their instinct to survive and eat.” Howard said.

Amber smiled shyly feeling silly for even asking.

“All three of them had smashed in skulls. The baby was the worst. It looked like someone held her by the legs and just smashed her head against the wall repeatedly.”

Amber gasped. “How could someone do something like that? I just don't understand people sometimes.”

“People do some crazy, messed up shit sometimes, Amber, and we get to see all of it. Be prepared for even worse than this.” Gerald commented. He hated being put with a rookie but he was getting used to Amber after a couple of months. Of course it didn't hurt that she was nice to look at and had a great personality.

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