Case Number EV-101583


As the second shift drew to an end the rest of the detectives drifted toward the elevators, but Detective Caleb Rivera stayed put in the Congress Street Annex realizing he had slept for hours with his feet up on the desk and his arms crossed. When he looked at his wrist he noticed he forgot to wear his watch. It was late, but time mattered very little. Caleb pushed the seat back and grabbed one of the black and white photographs of the thirteen year old girl who had been raped and killed. He stared at a black basketball pump that was shaped like a rod resting on the curb a few feet from the child’s head. It wasn’t the first time he looked at that pump, and it wouldn’t be the last. That pump was that particular detail to symbolize everything that went wrong with the case. It was in all the pictures, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Evidence lock-up had never seen it nor have they ever checked it in.

Detective Caleb Rivera had planned to go back to the crime scene, but it was too dark and four hours of rain battered the streets.

If he wasn’t a detective he would have been in Florida with his ex-wife, shirtless, shoeless, and sipping on Coronas at the beach. But he was, and case number EV-101583 took him into darkness.

Caleb had no idea what the pump had to do with the murder, but it was there and it went missing. Maybe it was dumped there with the body. Maybe it was used by the killer, perhaps to simulate sexual intercourse. That would certainly explain the blood and hair, as well as the vaginal tear discovered at autopsy. Or maybe it was just there before the body was dropped and had nothing to do with the murder. However, the facts still remain, it went missing.

Caleb turned around and looked out the bay window. He noticed Congress Street was littered with limbs and leaves and other remains left behind by the storm. He thought about the questions that should have been asked, could have been asked, during the interviews with neighbors. What had they done wrong? He knew he was trained by Congress Street’s best, Laura Kimber and Nathan Chambers, but all the training couldn’t put a resolve on case number EV-101583.

A woman living directly in front of the body said she knew nothing of the murder, and she didn’t know the little girl. That was okay, but no one asked her if she heard voices, car sounds, car headlights, anything that night. We didn’t ask if she saw any strange person trying to talk to children, creeps, weirdos, drunks, addicts, anything, even in the past.

Caleb looked back at the photograph and stared at the basketball pump. It still carried hair and a clot of coagulated blood that would have matched the victim. The hard plastic would have easily picked up fingerprints. Yet the day the body was found, the basketball pump had somehow been overlooked, and then disappeared.

For some reason, Detective Caleb Rivera felt that he let that little girl down. Isolation settled in, slowly at first, and then rushed in every time he stared at the photograph. And for a moment he felt like a lonely man and a damn few cared.







#

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 47 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

You are becoming the HubPages Master of Short Stories. Another gem, Frank. Nicely done.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you billybuc for being the first commentator


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I always look forward to your stories, Frank. You, Mike (Mckbirdbks), Weestro, WillStarr, Ruby (AlwaysExploring) and a few others…great storytelling. I think this is one of your best…the phrasing, pace, and metaphor all combine to tell a compelling short. What I especially like is how you often write these stories with no resolution, yet the reader is more than satisfied, and eagerly awaits the next story. You are a master of the flash fiction short. Voted up and shared.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Genna thank you so much Period!


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

That was a good story Frank. It shows that you have much skill in that area. I voted it up, shared it and pinned it.

Kevin

I did notice one thing Frank, when you wrote your case no. two paragraphs apart, the first letter is different.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have a feeling this man won't give up until he has some answers if it takes forever. Great photo of despair. I am doing a few of those to be doing something different if you want a few. Seems death has a lot of faces. I like mood photos.

^ and shared.


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 2 years ago from Close to Heaven

Great writing Frank. You have a great style. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Caroline :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

There is so much intensity in such a short story. Much like life there is often no clear resolution and we are left to fill in the spaces. Great writing.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much for a great comment flourish :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Frank,

My favorite paragraph is: " If he wasn’t a detective he would have been in Florida with his ex-wife, shirtless, shoeless, and sipping on Coronas at the beach. But he was, and case number EV-101583 took him into darkness." Love it! You have taken gritty and gruesome to a whole new level here ... I believe I'd be heading to the beach, ex-wife or not : )

Blessings always


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Good ole Faith hope ur summer is going well my dearest friend :) or virtual friend :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I can't stop thinking about the darn basketball pump. OMG! Your description is so vivid i can almost see it. The first team there to gather the evidence needs to be fired, maybe you will do that? Hee...This is going to be a story that i will remember. Your short stories are really good and short is my favorite genre.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

With no idea of what Case Number EV-101583 was about, I was open to a description of whatever or whoever. The baseball pump managed to hold the focus. Cleverly done!


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Great short story in so little words :). Drew me right into the crime scene. Thank you for sharing. I'm so grateful to be following your work.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Always thank you for exploring my crime scene.. and MsDora enjoy your visits and carrie welcome to my case file :)


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, you've cleverly taken us into the darkness once again, hands held before our eyes because we don't want to see, yet we're compelled to look. And you do it with something as innocent as a 'pump.' Darn! But you're good. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you tobusiness for dropping by the crime scene


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

Wow this is great, right up my ally of things I enjoy reading. Keep them coming.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

Gritty, sad and very well done. I like how you take us so close that we can feel the detective's pain; that makes it much scarier.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Anna thank you so much for you visits to my pages.. and welcome Lisavanvorst for checking out my crime bless you both :) Frank


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Interesting, captivating and always attention-arresting. Missed it. Glad I read it but I had wished the Detective piece things together to catch that rapist and murderer! Such a chilling story.

A grand write.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Frank you leave me very much on the edge of my chair waiting to find the answer. I do hope you write more on this. I can almost hear your mind ticking on it. Tense and mysterious. Voted up and very interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Uban and Phyllis for your comments :) and reading :)


Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 2 years ago

I come to think that I have got it right and then I read one of your stories and I realise that I have a lot to learn. I raise my hat to you sir and realise the talent that is Frank Antanacio. Love this piece.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you scarface :)


Valleypoet2 2 years ago

I loved the way you put this together Frank, it was intriguing throughout, it shocked, and it made the reader agonise along with the detective about the missing evidence. Very nicely done:-))


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Really well crafted Frank! I love the starkness of the ending as well.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you Valleypoet2 and good too see you my friend and Audrey bless you for stopping by :) Frank


JamesPoppell profile image

JamesPoppell 2 years ago

Nice work Frank. You held my interest with the pump. I also like your skill with the detailed descriptions, ect. Great piece of writing! Voted up.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Thanks JamesPoppell


rich ken baker 2 years ago

what a strong piece of fiction here


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks rich ..... :)


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!

This is a well executed narrative in which the hero fails to 'get his man,' as it were. You made us feel that detective's pain.

Take it easy, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks again winged for visiting my flash :)


poetvix profile image

poetvix 2 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

You got mad skills. I've missed this though I have to say it's disturbing. That's part of the pull. It's been mentioned in comments you are becoming the master of short stories. I could not agree more. Intense!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Poetvix :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

You pack so much in such a short space. You have me thinking about that pump and its possible significance. How could they possibly overlook it?

Your stories may be short in length but they are never short in interest and description. Keep em coming my friend.

Voted up, awesome, interesting, and shared.


rls8994 profile image

rls8994 2 years ago from Mississippi

I enjoy reading and this story was great! You are very talented for sure. I just came across this as I was scanning the front page feed and I am very glad I did. Definitely voting up! :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Til as always I thank you so much and welcome rls8994 and thank you for stopping by


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Frank.....Your story screams of amazing talent, Frank. I truly enjoy mystery.....murder mystery and the sheer intrigue that holds us in suspense and anticipation. You have lead me to rest in the curious and frustrated mind of Caleb.

That's what I call Fabulous writing!.......Up+++


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much fpherj48 ")


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 16 months ago

Amazing work here. Feels like it could be something bigger.

Dare I say it? You have a work here that is very visual.

And that takes lots of talent, in my book. :-)

Shared & up. :-))


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much again Jo Goldsmith


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 15 months ago

Frank, Congrats on the award for this one it is truly deserved, but I have one problem with it. Where does it go from here, I want to know what happens next, do they find out who killed the little girl? Or what happened to the basketball pump? Who was the little girl? She deserves a name, and not left like road kill on the street. This really bothers me, because I or my cousin could have been like the little girl in your story, but we were younger. And a nine year old girl was killed in Aurora, Illinois on a hiking trail in back of my brother-in-law’s property.

Please consider continuing this as a series so the SOB can get caught and sent where he belongs.

Blessings to you my friend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton Author

Shyron thanks so much for the feedback and of course I understand your situation.. and thank God you were not like this little girl. The story was meant to show you Caleb and the department's failures and how much it drained a police officer.. and the only way to show his hurt was simply by making him and the pump the main choices.. bless you Frank


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 14 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Kevin... I didn't even notice it and I wrote it and rewrote it several times... bless you bro... Jackie always good to see you on my pages..:)

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