The eerie organ tones of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor filled the room. Groaning, Kim rolled over and reached for her cell phone.
“Children of the night,” she yawned. “What music they make … but I wish they’d give me a damn night off already.”
She answered the call, aware that she was needed at a crime scene. Coffee awaited— with the promise of chasing away the cobwebs as she tried to read her hurried scrawl. Oh God, what does this say? She blinked three times in rapid succession and tried once more. Sycamore Street, that’s it. Man, I need sleep. Her thoughts churned in a desperate attempt to keep her awake as she drove across town. How many bodies have we found this week? Feels like five hundred, she decided and sighed.
Once at the scene, she pulled on her white lab coat with her credentials pinned to the lapel and her latex gloves.
“Whatcha got for me, boys?” She asked, fighting back the urge to yawn.
“How do you do it? Do you just roll out of bed looking gorgeous? I look like something the cat dragged in but you’re bright eyed and refreshed,” Detective McDonald teased. “That’s just not human!”
“Welcome to the glamorous life of an MDI,” Kim laughed. “And you know you’re full of it, Marie. I look like I could be an extra for The Walking Dead just like everyone else here. We’re all exhausted. You guys need to catch our killer soon.”
Kim circled the room with Detective McDonald for the broad stroked that had already been obtained from the investigation. Together, they applied trained eyes to search for anything the first officers on the scene might have missed.
“It looks like the same M.O. from the others … except this time there are two bodies. Look, we’ve got another forensic specialist here on loan from Springfield. This came from the mayor. Everyone knows you’re the best at what you do but you can’t keep running at this pace. What if we let her do the crime scenes? It’ll appease the powers that be but I want you examining the bodies. They’ll keep ‘til morning. Go ahead and get some rest, Kim. You deserve it!”
Unsure whether to be grateful or hurt, Kim’s head cocked to one side with her jaw slackened and drooped into a wide O. She wanted to object but her body took over; in autopilot she nodded her head, shook the detective’s hand, and shuffled back to her car. The ride home was a blur but she crawled back into her bed and slept like the dead until late morning.
Still on autopilot until she reached the morgue, Kim felt comforted by the chemical smell of the outer hall. She shielded her eyes from the harsh glare of high wattage fluorescent bulbs and pulled on her gear: protective goggles, apron, mask, and gloves. As per the transfer sheet, two bodies waited in the cold drawers for her investigation.
“Two-fer Tuesday,” she muttered. “Let’s see what secrets you two are hiding.”
She wheeled both bodies out from storage. The first one she uncovered had met with the business end of an ax right through her pretty, blonde, skull. The weapon remained exactly where the killer had implanted it. No prints on the handle, she observed before scribbling that information on her chart. No ligature marks, no contusions, no needle tracks, nothing but a big ole ax wedged into her brain. She continued looking for any other signs of assault but there was nothing else.
“Let’s see what your friend has for me,” she told the woman before throwing back the sheet covering the second victim. “Oh God! No, it can’t be.”
Kim took a step and sat down. She pulled away the mask so she could breathe and took a few sips of water.
“Oh, Seth. What did you get yourself into?”
She rushed to her computer and typed out a quick email:
I know it’s been a while but I need to see you. It’s an emergency. I can’t go into it over email so let’s plan to get together ASAP.
She scrolled through her contacts list and selected Billy, Angela, John, and Gillian. Please don’t let me down, her heart pleaded. She’d just hit send when a knock at the door distracted her thoughts. A woman she’d never met slipped through the door and smiled.
“Hi, sorry to interrupt. I’ve been assigned to help lighten your work load. It’s an honor to be working with you.” The woman crossed the room and extended her hand to Kim. “My name is Kenj. Look, I’m not trying to take over or anything. I’m just learning the ropes but I wanted to learn from the best. Thank you so much for agreeing to let me help. Just between us girls, I had no idea my uncle was going to meddle but I won’t deny that I wanted to be on your team. I’m sorry that he was so pushy about it.”
“Your uncle is the mayor,” Kim gasped. “And you told him you wanted to work with me because I’m the best? Maybe I should be thanking you.”
A second knock on the door interrupted their meeting. Detective McDonald strolled in with an extra large coffee and an even larger file tucked under her arm.
“Oh, I see you two have met. Good thing because we’re going to need as many eyes on this as we can. We just found another body.”
**Do to the demands of publishing, I will need to cut back the posting of each edition to one per week. If I can throw in an extra one, I certainly will but I have delayed in getting you all a new story for far too long. Please, return next Tuesday, March 10th, for the next installment. Here and there in between the story, I may include promotions and other fun insights so please be sure to sign up for email announcements so you don't miss out! Thank you!**