The shot down

29 05 2006

24 hours later he was walking alone down a dark alleyway, the shadows at his back as the sun set in front of him. His shape slunk past dustcarts and homeless people sheltering inside them.

Ignoring the pains of hunger he felt in his belly he reached inside his coat pocket for a chewing gum.

Thoughtfully chewing in it, his jaw lifting up and down occupied his brain which allowed him brainstorm ideas.

“What if she was alone” he wondered, “then she wouldn’t have been able to cross to the window…and if she couldn’t cross to the window, what was she doing lying there?”.

The sound of screeching tyres distracted him for a moment and his eyes watched a black saloon speed past the alley entrance, followed swiftly by a police car, it’s siren preceeding it.

It was tiring, the work he did. Never getting much sleep, always thinking about the job. Who did this, what did that. It frustrated him and fulfilled him at the same time. His friends knew it didn’t suit him but he never complained about it.

—–

24 hours ago he had been at the murder scene. A disabled girl in a 4th floor flat lying sprawled, fully clothed, underneath her open window. Looked like she had broken her neck on the radiator underneath the opening.

Her head was halfway up the radiator still, clinging on to what little life she had left in her as she died, her chin still wedged between the pipes, the green paint speckled her teeth, broken in the fall.

He left the flashes of the forensic assistant’s camera behind and walked out of the appartment. Seen enough..his subordinates would handle the details.

The apppartment’s kitchen was just by the front door and it was out of here a uniformed officer had appeared stopping the lieutenant before he had chance to leave.

“Sir, i think you ought to see this”

“Guys”. Two officers crowding the corner of the cramped kitchen seperated which let him see what they were staring at.

They had put something down on the work surface with a clunk, before moving aside and one of them now picked it back up. It was a round, squat, silver kettle. Cordless with a base. The kettle was put aside and the base was lifted for him. Something was taped underneath. It was mangled and bloody but he went closer and could make it out. A human hand.

He moved closer not quite believing what he was seeing. It was female, slender with long nails, severed at the wrist, splattered in blood. Taped with a cross of white tape, it was fastened to the underside of the kettle’s base unit. Not seen in the first sweep, the kettle was flush to the work surface when replaced.

A hole was cut into the sideboard, rectangular in shape, which allowed the hand to sit inside, the kettle flat on top.


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