Murder Does Have A Way of Showing Itself

The Landlord used the passkey to get into the tenant's apartment. The smell almost blindsided Detective Peter O'Brien and Laura Kimber. The poor landlord almost shit purple when he saw his seventy two year tenant on the floor directly in front of the television. The smell was so rancid that his nose just filled up with fluid. He turned away and hacked as Kimber escorted him out of the apartment.

The man was considered missing for weeks and the few friends he had were concerned. They knocked on the door and telephoned him, but he did not answer. He lived alone and enjoyed paying prostitutes for spending evenings with him. There was no sex involved, he did it just for companion.

A black woman walked into the apartment nude. She stopped and looked at the detectives, but did not say a word. She did not try to cover herself or hide, she was totally okay with being nude. She turned and started to walk away until O'Brien called her back.

“Did you leave something here?” He asked.

“No,” she replied.

“What's your purpose for coming here?” he continued.

She stood there for a few minutes just staring at Kimber with one hand on her hip and then turned back to O'Brien to answer his question. “I came to read to Marty. I told him I'd come up naked and if he got excited we'd do the do.”

“When did you last speak to him?” Kimber asked.

“Four weeks ago,” she said while rolling her eyes. “I live next door, so don't think I was walking the streets butt ass naked. I got some class, I ain't all nasty.”

“You're just half nasty,” Kimber added.

The glare back at Kimber said fuck you, but she just popped her gum and titled her head to one side.

“Give your number and name to the police woman outside,” said O'Brien. “We may have some questions for you involving Marty. Don't leave town.”

“I ain't, I did nothing wrong,” she said as she turned and walked slowly away.

O'Brien didn't stop and stare, but he saw enough to notice a back tattoo and huge ass-cheeks that look like they were fighting each other for supremacy.

“What do you think about Marty here?” O'Brien asked.

“I don't like the way he's laying,” Kimber said while leaning over the body. “He's up on his side like that as if someone was rolling him over.”

O'Brien nodded in agreement.

“I think that this one is going to come back from the medical examiner as murder,” said Kimber as she stood up and kind of got use to the smell.

O'Brien nodded again.

Although foul play may take center stage, Kimber was a bit confused. There was no overt trauma to the body. No stab wounds, no bullet holes, no bruises, no contusions. There was no strangle marks around the neck, and it didn't appear that someone suffocated him with the couch pillow. Of course there was a little dry blood around the mouth, but that just came with decomposing.

“What do you think?” Kimber asked.

O'Brien looked around the small apartment. He noticed there were no signs of ransacking or even a minor struggle. But the old man was on his side in between the sofa and coffee table, his back arched in an awkward angle as if someone pushed him into that strange position to check for signs of life.

“I don't know,” he replied. O'Brien knew that it would be easier if the murderer would have snapped his neck and turned his head completely around. Maybe hang a bloody tie on the door knob as a calling card, but there was nothing. Only an old man dead on the floor with his mouth and eyes opened.

“They will comb the body,” Kimber half whispered as her back stiffened up. “Murder does have a way of showing itself.”

O'Brien agreed with a very slow nod.

© 2016 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 40 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Fantastic. You always get me right there in the scene. I think I will put off lunch for a bit while I get the odor out. Maybe just a heart attack with a hooker. Maybe death by an injection. Plenty to wonder about.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Eric for stopping by my friend :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

A smell like that, they'd be better off just demolishing the building...it never goes away...yuck!!!!!

Of course, it goes without saying, great story. Love the naked scenario with the next door neighbor.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 9 months ago from Nibiru

"The poor landlord almost shit purple when he saw his seventy two year tenant on the floor directly in front of the television." LOL, that line alone!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Clive and Billybuc for checking out my murder


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 9 months ago from Florida

I'm with Clive on the shit purple line, it made me laugh out loud. Then I felt guilty, because someone killed that old man. Nevertheless, you can't help but find a little humor in this one. The naked black woman that just casually seemed to walk in no worries. I mean I saw her so clear poppin that gum and rolling her eyes. Makes you wonder, would the old guy have gotten excited enough to do the do? lol. This was very entertaining, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Missy, I'm glad you stopped by.. bless you


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Hi Dar Frank,

Boy, you have the visuals planted in our minds real good on this one. I could see everything just as plain as if I were there. A lot of great lines in this one, but the one that got me good is " ...and huge ass-cheeks that look like they were fighting each other for supremacy." Hahaha

Maybe he just croaked being it was just his time? Or maybe just the thought of those "huge ass-cheeks" was a bit too much for him and he died a happy man? Tee hee

The dialogue played a good part in defining the characters in our minds and we could clearly see a visual of them all.

Another flashy flash fiction, my dear virtual friend from nutmeg land.

Hugs and blessings


MaxK projects profile image

MaxK projects 9 months ago from Montclair VA

wow that was amazing


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Oops ...Dear ...


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 9 months ago from london

Nice one, with a charming bit of sensual embellishment to boot. You could have added a bit about Kimber telling the 'naked one'or making sure that she did not tamper with the crime scene. This makes Kimber looks good. But perhaps I've seen too much of Denzil and CSI, or even Colombo, for that matter. What do I know?

Nice one bro. Not so gruesome this time, but 'cool.'


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Dar.. I mean Dear Faithful one... you would bring to front that line LOL oh boy... thanks for always being here.. God to Bless you Big-time!!! my virtual friend :)


annart profile image

annart 9 months ago from SW England

Great Frank, as ever; one to make us wonder, in more senses than one!

The smell reached all the way over to the UK!

Ann :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Max and manatita for stopping by my crime scene :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

Great story Frank...very vivid descriptions that others have alluded to...the naked black neighbor especially, and the smell. You leave us with more questions than answers with this one. Possibly "death by misadventure"??


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Annart and Jodah for visiting my murder..:)


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 9 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Entertaining and very descriptive. I could smell the odor and see the neighbor so vividly in my mind.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Dana Tate...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

Maybe the tattoo on the prostitute's ass shocked the old man and he died of a cardiac arrest? lol. Another good one Frank that keeps us guessing..


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 9 months ago from london

Ha ha, Frank ...Ruby ...you are funny! Sorry Frank. I just had to laugh on this my third visit.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

LOL, Crazy comment Always...LOL It made me laugh too manatita :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

Hee Hee...........................................................................................


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 9 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

We can always expect something totally out of the ordinary from you, Frank. Thanks for not disappointing us. Good story.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Hey Nutmeg, why don't you put some of your own published books under Amazon ads here instead of someone else's? You have so many. Just curious. On another note about the "cheeks" line, I'm proud of you for not being tempted to write something like "bootylicious" hee hee ...I'm sorry, butt I couldn't resist ...oops, there I go again. I just noticed they have one of my questions up there under Popular ...about flash fiction. Your hub is spreading the love around to others and me ...who would have thought something I asked would be under one of your hubs, but I guess it is related LOL. Have a great night dear Frank, the great flasher : )


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you for stopping by Diana.. and Faith ole Faith.. The Butt stops here! Butt? I meant buck naked.. I mean.. errr bootylicious LOL.. you are a crazy gal...


MsDora profile image

MsDora 9 months ago from The Caribbean

Never before read about a smell so compelling. Look what it did to the landlord? Made me imagine it. At the end, you have me wondering how this murder will show itself. No one can craft literary murder like you do.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much MsDora for reading :)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 9 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

The landlord will have a tough time getting rid of that odor...death by murder leaves behind a stench that is as odious as the deed itself. And the naked woman was sure a surprise. "I got some class, I ain't all nasty.” Uh huh. Great story, Frank, as always. :-)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Genna East, good to see you


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

This was fantastic, from the purple comment to the description of her cheeks fighting each other for supremacy. Vivid.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 9 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I think the murderer may have revealed herself.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 9 months ago from California

What kind of friends knock and call, but don't ask for a police check? Now that is suspicious. This could go just about anywhere.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Flourish Anyway for stopping by :)


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Death comes a-calling at the strangest, yet the most opportune times, they say.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you aviannovice :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

You certainly left us guessing as to cause of death. Sounds a bit suspicious with that naked neighbor lady coming over after a 4 week hiatus just at that time. Hmmm....


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

Peggy W thanks for visiting my murder.. bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Mckbird and tireless for reading my murder :)


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 8 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Frank, I think I'm just figuring out what it is about how you write. You see, Frank, you write the most delicious part---or I should say the most darkly delicious---part of the crime story: the donut hole or muffin top, if you will---the bloody donut hole, the bloody muffin top is more like it.

I love the title: "Murder Does Have a Way of Showing Itself." The method is not readily apparent, but it will be revealed. That is really what is important.

There are all kinds of interesting, or, again, darkly interesting people surrounding a murder scene, such as our "half nasty" prostitute with the heart of gold.

The rest is detail, when you think about it.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you winged.. your comments lends credence to my flash shorts..LOL

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