Detective Laura Kimber - Alternative Ending to 'A Different type of Torture' by Frank Atanacio

Crime scene
Crime scene | Source

Scene of the crime ~

Detective Laura Kimber watched the Fire Marshall walk away as if he had just closed a notebook full of petty complaints from people in the area who had nothing to do but gripe about their neighbors.He had shown Kimber and Chambers what he said was a "pour pattern", a spot on the carpet that was darker than other areas. "This is the first spot where a flammable liquid was poured," the Marshall had said.

She was filled with disgust. Was he not going to conduct an investigation further than this? He had been on this job too long, she thought. Maybe it was time for him to take a long vacation and get far away from it all. She knew this run-down area on the corners of North and Colorado Avenue was not a lovely place to be, but a job had to be done here.

She almost felt helpless for the first time in her career. Here was a sinister crime with no witnesses, a burned body of a young man who had been tortured in a different way than she had ever seen, a smashed up body of a woman spread on the pavement below, a "pour pattern" and the Fire Marshall says, "I'm sorry, that's all I got." What? What was he apologizing for - for not offering peanuts, popcorn and sodas to go along with the show?

"That's all he's got?" Chambers said. "No ID, no motive, no clues other than this?" He pointed at the pour pattern and looked around.

Not letting this one fade ~

They stood in the middle of the room in apartment 1636 B, looking round at the burned, charred furniture then back at the burned body slumped in an overstuffed armchair. Two holes had been cut in the tarp where the guys face would have been.

"Oh, damn, look at this, Chambers," she carefully pointed to the holes with her pen. "It looks like whoever did this to him made these holes so the guy could watch the fire coming for him. Jeese!" Chambers paled as he looked into the holes, not wanting to see what he saw.

Laura was not about to let this one fade away into obscurity as so many crimes in the west end of Bridgeport had gone. This one would not go that route. She had a job to do and already was on the hunt.

She was grateful her partner, Nathan Chambers, felt the same and told her to count him in.

Laura thought about her office, where she was always at ease, knowing she could sit at her desk, with coffee and go over paperwork of the crime. Coffee and her office sounded good right now - but, there was work to be done immediately, before the shock and fear the neighbors felt cooled off like the burned body was doing now.

Laura looks into the hole in the canvas ~

Crime scene
Crime scene | Source

Reluctant witnesses and slammed doors ~

They went up to the apartment where the woman had jumped from. As Laura looked out the window she noticed an old, strange looking man across the street. There were no clues to be found in the apartment. "Go over every inch of this place and find something," she told the two officers who had followed them up.

Reluctant witnesses or not, Kimber changed her mind about banging on doors. They covered every apartment in the six-family run down building, their next step would be to visit any surrounding locations within sight of the scene.

All they got was a resounding rehearsal of "I saw nothing!" and slammed doors. When they came back outside Kimber frowned and looked across the street to the old man standing on the corner, smoking a cigar, one hand in his worn overcoat pocket. "Chambers, wasn't that old guy there when we first drove up?" She pointed with her chin, holding her notebook and pen, ready to write down some thoughts. "Go see what he knows."

As Chambers looked across the street he saw no one on the corner. Laura stopped jotting down some notes and looked up at Chambers. "I asked you to go talk to him, Nathan." She was getting irritable.

"Talk to who?" Laura dropped her arms to her side in exasperation. "That old man over there." Chambers asked, "Where?"

"Oh for crying out loud! That ... ", Laura looked across the street and the man was gone. She snapped her notebook closed and stomped to their unmarked car as Chambers stared after her, scratching his head. Then he shrugged his shoulders and followed her, taking a puzzled look over at the corner.

He was there, an old weird looking man, on the corner ~

A street in a slum area.
A street in a slum area. | Source

Weird happenings ~

Back in her office, Laura sat at her desk going over her notes. How long have I been here? She got up and poured herself more coffee. hmmm... second cup of coffee, must have been here quite awhile. It seemed like they had just left the crime scene a few minutes ago, but it was a good 20 minute drive from there. She felt so tired.

Laura reached for her phone to call Chambers and go over some notes with him. She could not find her notebook. I left it right here! She went through her pockets, then her purse and could not find it. Just as she picked up the phone again a loud alarm went off and she jumped.

"Oh, my god," she opened her eyes and realized she had been dreaming. All this sinister crime was only a nightmare?!

What is happening to me? Am I crazy? We were there at the scene, the burned body, all of it. It was real, I know it! That old man across the street. He was so ... evil looking ... I think he was grinning, too. He knew something and she would find out what it was. God, I am going crazy. Or, was something more sinister happening?

Her phone rang sharply, like a loud alarm. Startled, she picked it up, her hand shaking. "Yes?" She sat up, brushing her damp hair off her forehead.

"Laura," it was her captain. "I want you and Chambers to hightail it over to the corners of North and Colorado Avenue over on the west end of Bridgeport. Someone wrapped a poor sucker in a plastic tarp and burned him. A woman has jumped out or been thrown out of a third story window, landing on the bare asphalt. It's a mess. Get on it."
~ ~ ~ ~

Frank's challenges ~

Have you ever taken on one of Frank's challenges to write an alternate ending?

See results without voting

Note from author ~

This is an alternative ending to "A Different Type of Torture" by Frank Atanacio. He threw out another challenge to fellow hubbers and I decided to take him up on it.

Thank you for reading my article. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite subjects to read about. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns

More by this Author

Comments 23 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Great stuff Phyllis, I loved it. You are the second person to go at this from the "dream" angle (Kevin's ending also). This tied in perfectly with Frank's original story an was a great read. Voted up, and I'll link it on my ending also.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Jodah and thank you. So glad you loved it. Shoot, I thought I was being original with the dream thing. I haven't read yours or other endings yet. I will go do that now. Thanks for being my first commenter. I will put your link and others in my hub.

Arachnea profile image

Arachnea 2 years ago from Texas USA

This sounds interesting. I've not seen Frank Atanacio for alternative endings. I'll have to look out for them. Great ending, btw. Adding your own images is a nice touch.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Thanks, Arachnea. If you read Jodah's "Watch and Burn"

you will see links to other hubs with alternate endings. I did not realize there were so many. Jodah's is awesome. I think you will enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

Phyllis this was like reading a television crime drama.. you did Laura Kimber and Nathan Chambers justice.. I love how you just took the story over and gave it meat to my potatoes... bravo

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Great job Phyllis. I haven't read Kevin's ending either so this was totally original and well done to me. You really had me and I was surprised when the "alarm" sounded.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

Drabake 2 years ago

Im sorry, but this one happens to be better than the original, it has more detail and it has a smooth story line. I understand it is based on Laura Kimber, but I feel her more alive in this version. I clicked to awesome button and voted up. Dra--

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

This is a very clever ending that starts it all over again. Good plot and well written. Ive taken on one of Frank's challenges before. L, and it was lot's of fun.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

This was a great story with a complete surprise ending. I wrote one too. I love writing from Frank's challenges.. Well done...

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Frank. Thank you for that wonderful comment. I love meat and potatoes. LOL

You started a good story line to work with. Thank you for your original story.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Mary (TillsonTitan). Your comment made me feel better. It was original for me. I am anxious to read Kevin's ending. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Dra. Thank you for your kind comment, I appreciate it.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi cam. Thank you for reading and commenting. I had fun taking up this challenge. I like his Laura Kimber character.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Ruby (AE), thank you very much. I love working with Frank's challenges, too. I am glad Jodah suggested the challenge. I have not read any other endings yet, except Jodah's, but will try to get to them today.

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Phyllis, I loved all the little details, you've stayed true to Frank's style. I've read Kevin's contribution and you've both done a sterling job with the ending. A job well done.

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Thank you, Jo. It makes me feel good for you to say I "stayed true to Frank's style" - he is such a good author of crime stories. You know, I see a lot more coming out in our stories about Kimber and her life. I really like that character. Thanks again, Jo.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Phyllis you write great stories and perhaps you can do your own. A bit harder for me to get into this one, though. Perhaps I'm tired. So sorry. Lots of good intentions and much love.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Manatita. Thank you for the compliment. My favorite story of mine is "Old Mother of the Mountain". That one came fairly easy to me, for I am familiar with the way of life in that story. This story was my version of an alternate ending for Frank's story - so it would be a bit hard to get into if you did not read his first. You travel a lot and work hard at your Divine tasks, so I imagine you do get tired. Try to get some rest when you feel the need, it is important to keep yourself strong and well rested. Take care and much love to you also.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Oh, Phyllis! I’m so glad you entered this challenge. Excellent detail and imagery, very realistic, with a fascinating twist. Well done, my friend. :-)

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Genna. This challenge was more difficult for me, so I thought a long time before I took it on. Crime is not my forte - love to read Frank's stories, but am not a very good writer of crime stories. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words.

Dino Istaben 3 months ago

I found this on goggle search under detectives, glad I came across it I was so well entertained, So there are more stories featuring these two characters Kimberly and Chambers, or is it Kimber? Thank you for the fun and exciting read Dino

Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 months ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Dino. Thank you for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the story. To find more stories on Detective Laura Kimber go to Frank Atanacio site here on HubPages. Frank writes some pretty awesome crime stories. Thanks again.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article