A Stoic Symbol
Detective Laura Kimber could have sworn she heard the echo of a sinister laugh, but it wasn't floating on the night wind. It was in her own mind and she couldn't shake it. Her thoughts already started the frantic scatter. She knew what was going on, but she couldn't grab hold of that moment's reality. Bridgeport's finest detective was being played, and the only ones suffering were young boys.
Kimber realized she was on the move when she passed the basketball court at the far end of the school yard, almost tripping over several plastic water bottles tossed at the garbage can but was clearly missed. It was dark, but she didn't stop, she didn't even think about stopping. There was no hesitation on her part whatsoever.
The smell of rotting garbage and blood grew stronger, her pace quickened, until she was finally running. She drew her weapon from her holster, and was hardly conscious of doing it as she continued her pace.
There was more laughter, and she knew it wasn't her imagination as she came to a complete stop. She drew in a deep breath and turned toward the back end of the school building where the trash cans were lined up.
She started running for the tennis courts and there she saw the lights beaming from the pole. Her throat was burning and her sides were aching as she continued her dash.
Kimber saw something tangible so she just stopped. She was standing at the center of the tennis court where the net should be, but there was no net. The moon partially cleared the clouds, looming still and silent up above her. It was a stoic symbol floating in the sky and a witness to the atrocities committed here.
There was a tennis court light just close enough for her to see what was left. She knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but she was ready for it nevertheless. She was trained to ignore the ugly, the anguish, the suffering, and the sinister things Man does to one another. It was strange, that moment, what bordered on a kind of intimacy between the detective and the killer hiding in the shadows. He wanted her to find nothing but death, until she cannot go on anymore. He wanted her to quit the police force and accept her role as a loser, a failure.
There was the remains of a young boy's body, naked and bloody. But only part of it was there. The head was hacked off and the legs were missing. Actually there was nothing left from the belly-button down except for the grisly pulp of the intestines and part of some other unrecognizable internal organs.
Too late. Detective Laura Kimber was too late again. The taste of failure was still in her mouth as a partial boy was sprawled across a tennis court.
The detective fell to her knees and closed her eyes. Even in thought she sensed someone staring at her from the darkness. Laura Kimber felt her jaw go tight and her teeth clenched just as tight as she felt emptiness taking a hold of her. She put the cell phone to her ear and struggled to keep her voice even and calm.
“Chambers,” she started. “Nothing, but a dead child. I'll wait here for you guys. I got no where to go for now.”
She hung up and dropped the cell phone all in one motion.
© 2015 Frank Atanacio
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