A Different Type of Torture

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An arson murder was considered a different type of torture because the police department was stuck with whatever the fire department’s investigator says is arson. Detective Laura Kimber and Nathan Chambers took an unmarked car and drove to the crime scene with fear and disgust in their hearts. The crime scene was a six family run-down on the corners of North and Colorado Avenue over on the west end of Bridgeport. Once there they walked toward the crime scene, which was almost directly under a massive pine tree that didn’t know whether it was alive or dead. Half of the tree was brown and the other half green. There were no witnesses, just a bunch of burned furniture and one charcoal human form wrapped in a plastic tarp. That completely melted on him when the blaze turned his way. The human form was a young guy, maybe early twenties. The poor bastard was lying there like a piece of meatloaf someone left in the oven too long.

The fire marshal was showing Kimber a dark splotch on the living room floor in apartment 1636 B calling it a textbook example of a pour pattern. Sure enough, when they cleared all the soot away, the splotch really did look darker than the surrounding area. Kimber and Chambers had to deal with a dead guy and a pour pattern and a Puerto Rican crack head that jumped out the third floor rear window with nothing to break her fall but asphalt.

“What do you think?” Chambers asked.

“Looks like someone forgot to take their to-go order,” she sighed.

“They wrapped this sucker and he watched himself burn,” Chambers added.

She nodded when she noticed breathing holes in the tarp.

Having satisfied themselves that this was indeed a homicide made their worst nightmares come true; an investigation without witnesses or motive.

“O’Brien, any other casualties?” Kimber asked Detective Peter O’Brien.

“Nope, just the jumper,” he answered. “Seems to me that everyone had something to do at the same time with the exception of these two.”

Kimber nodded.

So much for the door-to-door canvass, if the murderer took great pains to make the victim suffer, the detectives couldn’t blame the neighborhood for its reluctance to volunteer information.

“I’m sorry, that’s all I got,” said the fire marshal as he closed his note book. The phony, apologetic act seemed to work okay for Chambers, but Kimber saw right through him. He had better things to do, and he didn’t want to waste his time hanging out in this part of town. His actions just gave the people in the community the lack of faith in the public servants. Kimber also realized that the dead man will probably get two shakes from the homicide unit, one or two go rounds then the system would set the file aside. However, she decided she wasn’t going to allow this case to evaporate into the ether. Sadistic murderers who can create such nightmares should be hunted down. The homicide unit would have considered it dead weight, but she wasn’t going to allow that dead weight to get any heavier. She wasn’t going to give this a go around, she was on the hunt.

Chambers glared for a moment and then said, “Count me in Laura.”

She half smiled.

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 48 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Nicely written, Frank. It is so hard to do this well, and you do this well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Great writing Frank. You could almost make this another challenge and ask others to write endings..hint hint. Voted up.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Another really good one Frank. The breathing holes in the tarp got my attention. Phew.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Just in case you didn't get Jodah's hint..Wink Wink...Hee..


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

That half smile at the end is so eery...


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, another good read. I hope Kimber and Chambers are getting some good psychological support, this kind of evil can really mess with the head. :). As always, nicely done.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Nicely done. I wish we could be privy to how the hunt works out.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Another powerful piece from your pen, Frank. I love looking at your word-painted pictures. Great!

Ann


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Interesting crime story :). Thank you for sharing :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

God writing! Interesting reading. Mention of items like the pine tree and the plastic tarp make us think you wouldn't have mentioned these if they weren't for real.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hooray for public servants like Kimber ... yes, please, no more dead weight. Excellent writing, dear Frank, once again. The conversations along with their facial expressions you depict are always quite well done. Plus the added detail to the surroundings give it such a realistic feel.

Up, awesome and interesting and away

Hope your week ahead is wonderful.

God bless you.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 2 years ago from Nibiru

As usual frank, great writing, i wish i could be the invisible spirit watching those detectives.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you billy :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Jodah that sounds like a great idea for this piece...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

always thank you I'd like to see how you and Jodah can end this


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

deal, becky and toobusiness thank you for visiting my flash fiction


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Annart, Msdora and Carrie bless you guys for checking out my fiction


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

My dear Faith thank you for your wonderful comment and Clive thank you too for reading my flash


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Another good write Frank; I just caught it before turning in. Now I will have nightmares. Haha... I might. ^+


btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Another great one, Frank! And intriguing! I will be looking forward to what comes next! Up and interesting!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Jackie Lynnley... and btrbell for reading my fiction


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Oh, the details you paint ... like meatloaf left in the oven too long. You always do such a fine job capturing the essence of a crime scene. Well done! Up and more.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

flourish thank you so much


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Amazing. Again you draw us in. I can see the neighborhood and unfortunately I can see the dead man's dread as he watched the flames spread. Good for Kimberly, of course our heroine.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

You always draw me in and keep me there Frank! Well done!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Til thank you for leaving footptints on my pages and Audrey always good seeing you :)


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

Hmmm what a cruel way to die Frank...... You always hit if off well with these detective stories, its why i am convinced that you are an x cop. You watch a lot of CSI Miami , law and order or undercover cop shows on the whole lol.

Thanks for sharing Detective Atanacio


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 2 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Nice work, Frank.

Once again, Frank, let me offer my compliments, specifically, for your ability---which I have alluded to before---to derive tales from the in-between spaces; the story before the story; even the story before the beginning of the beginning of the story. You have shown us, here, that there can even be a story in how one makes up her mind about something, gathers up her resolve.

Again, well done: crisp and precise.

Take it easy.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

lady after all this time.. thought you virtually knew me LOL thank you for your confidence in my writing :) Frank


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

crisp? wing thanks so much for you comments.. I appreciate them and you bless you


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

Interesting story and if based upon facts, it would be nice to know that some investigators would take things like this seriously despite the part of town in which such a horrendous act occurred.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

peggy thank you for the visit always good to see you :)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Count me in too. We are going on a hunt. Such unscrupulous elements must not be allowed to go free after such heinous crimes.

Your stories are superb, Frank. Ride on!!


Christopher Dapo profile image

Christopher Dapo 2 years ago from Havelock, NC

Okay, Frank! Gave this the attention straight from alwaysexploring's ender (which was awesome), and I think I'm up for the challenge! Give me a moment to get these wheels on track and I'll deliver the "goods" soon! ;)

Thanks for the inspiration, Frank!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you uban for checking this out and Chris I look forward to your ending thank you


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Hey Frank are you going to add links to other hubber's endings here or on the "challenge" hub? It's just that if anyone we aren't following adds an ending we won't know about it otherwise.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

I put them on the writer's challenge page but when i get more in ill post them here and on my two fan pages.. thanks Jodah for staying on top of this.. your help is always appreicated bless you bro :)


Eric Boyd 2 years ago

Frankie, the endings are much more than hits, so you know. Take a good look at Jodah's piece and send it to you know who. She would be amazed. The others are stories all in themselves and they didnt really need to follow this lead. But I guess a challenge is a challenge. EB


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Eerie and dramatic, this one reads like an episode of the first forty eight. Nicely done, or should I say well done. (Groan) Your descriptions are top shelf like this one, "lying there like a piece of meatloaf someone left in the oven too long." BTW, where is your fan page? I just read Tillsontitan's engaging continuation of the story, now on to the others.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Pegcole thank you so much for your continued support bless you


Mike Jones 2 years ago

They did justice to this ending my friend so you know


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you erik and mike for stopping by :)


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 2 years ago from Jamaica

Very well detailed and works well with my imagination.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you rasta :)


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Another very good crime story, Frank. I debated and finally decided to take the challenge. "Detective Laura Kimber" - Hope you like it.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Hi Phyllis, ill check it out now!!! :)...


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 20 months ago from Lagos

Yeah, go get the killer. I've actually read the version they got him. Ruby, said the Puerto Rican street gang did the dirty job on the killer. Lol.

A great write again, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you again my friend :)

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