She's Just Another Dead Spic to You Guys!
Detective Laura Kimber stood before the body now, her face pale with resolve. Next to her, Nathan Chambers appeared grave and tortured, gnawed at by the senseless murder. Kimber felt him moving solemnly beside her, just staring at the body of the young woman. In his mind, Chambers catalogs the evidence that needs to go to Congress Street. The bullet. The knife. The nested pile of clothes. The dope. A small book bag, marred by print dust, that probably held the dope. The pillow and pillow case, stained with gunpowder residue. The bedsheets lifted carefully off the mattress and folded slowly so as to keep any loose hairs or fibers intact.
The victim was a thin, wiry thing, not yet twenty. Kimber waded in the brief silence, the bedroom light flickering on and off creating illusions in the mind's eye. She saw shadows reaching out to her only to realize that they were just other detectives moving around the crime scene. Then the family members trying to rush into the bedroom, but being held back by uniforms. There were arguments and wailing family members pushing and shoving to get in. There was always one family member who could be trusted to remain calm, to listen to all the raw details, to answer questions correctly as a cloud of black grief circles above her. She was the sister of the dead woman, and Chambers touched the young woman's elbow lightly, as if to emphasize that only the truth should pass between them.
“My sister's boyfriend was selling dope,” she said softly. “He would cheat his customers and take their money for bad product.”
There were people screaming into the bedroom, but only one voice stabbed at Chambers' gut. It played over in his head several times. She's just another dead Spic to you guys!
The sister was so red she looked purple as Chambers grabbed her hand to offer just a little comfort. She opened her mouth to speak again, but she screamed instead. Kimber walked over to her and escorted her to the uniforms.
“Take her out,” she ordered. “Clear the area, now.”
“No,” said the sister. “I want to help.”
Kimber looked over toward Chambers and he nodded. The sister walked back and stood crookedly next to the detective.
“Was she a user?” Chambers asked.
“Marijuana, now and then.”
“No, not really. Not that I know of.”
“Did her boyfriend use?”
“Yeah, he did everything, and then he'd mix his product so he wouldn't lose money.”
“Do you think maybe her boyfriend killed her?”
The young woman paused, as she focused on the image of her sister in her mind. Slowly she shook her head sideways.
“I don't think he did,” she replied slowly. “ he always treated her nice, never hit her or anything. He always bought her the best things.”
“I'm sorry,” said Chambers. “But I have to ask this...”
She closed her eyes tight.
“Did she have a lot of boyfriends?”
“No,” she answered almost silently. “I mean she did until she met Eric. She was loose with many guys before that. But I'm sure that had nothing to do with her being killed.”
Chambers nodded, lost for a moment in thought.
Laura Kimber broke the silence. “The wagon is here for the body.”
The sister raised her head and looked toward the ceiling. She turned slowly and walked toward the door. She stopped and started shaking. “Even though this is the slummy part of town, and my sister was just a ...”
“Don't worry,” Chambers interrupted. “We will find out who murdered your sister. I'll make it my priority.”
She sniffled and walked out the room.
© 2016 Frank Atanacio
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