Officer Alex offers a glimpse into a true crime story
He closed his eyes, pulled deeply on a smoke and held it to his lips long after his lungs could expand no more, His body froze for a few precious seconds before releasing as if it was his last act and to be cherished forever, the bitter heat of the tobacco smoke scratching at his throat, his nose...
Perhaps he was right. Perhaps it should be cherished forever. Perhaps it was his last act. Who knew? Who knew anything? Certainly not this dead bastard lying at his feet between the coffee table and the couch where he now sat.
It wasn’t good etiquette, and certainly wasn’t good business sense, but he needed to be still while he had the room to himself so he could concentrate on the job at hand. Thoughts of the past creeping in were contradictory to this, but that’s why he was sitting. Smoking. Which was also against the rules, now that he thought about it, but who cared? The gentlemen inches from his discounted T.J. Maxx Florsheims, perhaps? Hah. He only wished he could be offended now instead of being dead.
Moments passed and finally the detective grabbed the arm of the couch and pulled himself up. Mechanism of injury? Medical device? An offensive discontinued flag? You had to start somewhere. The perfectly circular holes on his back trickling blood that now more closely resembled the sheen of his black leather shoes than a firetruck were his first clues.
“Most likely not a suicide,” our man said with his cigarette apparently arc-welded to his lower lip, the coal flashing all around without ever breaking free.
He crossed his left foot over the body to go to his right, heading towards the kitchen that was separated from this living room by a small breakfast bar, littered with cola cans in various states of emptiness, overflowing ashtrays, and thoroughly ignored mail of all kinds. The duplex itself couldn’t have boasted more than 800 square feet, but again, who cared? Less to search.
The odor of cordite was still faintly in the air despite the contamination of his tobacco so he knew the crime had most likely taken place inside the house. But there was no immediate sign as to where, and his lifeless customer had no firearm of his own that he could see to explain the scent. And so he began to search for any blood trails that might be elsewhere in the house, and as he did so he pulled open the door to the fridge.
What could he say? He took comfort in what people liked to eat, or at least what they had on-hand should they choose to eat. They usually had more food than he ever did, but I actually think he liked it simply because he usually forgot to eat most meals, and their normalcy of diet—even a bad one—was comforting to him. (Where this habit started he had no idea, but he’d done it since his first death call, so creepy or not, at least it was consistent.)
He let the refrigerator door shut on its own after a brief inspection (the fridge’s inside was very condiment-heavy with almost no edible food to be seen) and proceeded down a short hallway that ended in the shape of a golf club. There was no blood on the floor, the walls, or even the ceiling back here, but the trash cans were empty, too, so that means someone had possibly made a run.
Again his thoughts began to whirl and lose cohesion, so he absentmindedly bent an elbow and pulled two fingers to his mouth, only to find the cigarette he was craving had been long since extinguished and there were no more to be had in his coat pockets.
At the end of this hallway there was also a door to the backyard he was going to have to comb through eventually, but at this moment he only saw his black-and-white reflection in the door panel windows. You could tell he didn’t recognize himself.
For the second time that night, he froze solid. He let his eyes slip from his reflection to the brass door handle that led to the world outside, and began to reach out as if to leave. Forever.
As before, he broke his paralysis and as before, he reached up to his mouth with a cigarette that was no longer there and laughed; how appropriate.
He let out a long sigh and went back to work. It’s what he did, and would always do.
A true detective.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.