The Cold Depression of A Deliberation

“ There were seventy stab wounds to the infant's body when we found him.”

The jury was struggling to tear their gaze away from the terrible photographs that were pinned to a cork board facing them. Each photo was enlarged and some were just of the stab wounds. It was that classic car crash dilemma where you don't want to look, but you just can't help it.

“We followed him, where he went back to the body and tried to move it. He wanted to throw it into the ocean hoping it would never be found again.”

The jury stirred but kept their eyes on the photographs.

“He tried to convince us that there was no reason for the death of the baby boy. He said it was an accident. I ask you, how the hell is seventy stab wounds an accident?”

The detective on the witness stand looked at each member of the jury with renewed intensity. The accident statement was a slap in the face and it disgusted him to no end.

Eventually, as facts began to get in his way, the accused story changed. He suddenly remembered, for instance, that a stranger had at one point opened the trunk of the stolen car and had shown him a zippered black plastic bag. The bag was designed to store gowns, but it wasn't in that case.

The stranger pulled down the zipper just enough to reveal the face of the little boy.

Detective Nathan Chambers felt every word stabbing at him. His stomached turned and he just wanted to empty his revolver into that sick son of a bitch. The jury watched his reaction, but made no sound.

A moment passed, still and deathly quiet. Chambers closed his eyes and imagined, with clarity of being a witness of the nightmare that the small child must have endured. Each scream of pain with every stab. Each penetration scarring him for life and death was enough to make even the devil look away.

Chambers knew when he first started that the case was going to have holes. He worked hard to get enough detail to start a full investigation. He had to confront doctors who treated the accused for mental instability. His story of being with a friend the night the child went missing had to be corroborated or knocked down.

He did everything he could to get the case in front of a jury. He knew that if twelve people heard his facts, they would sentence the sick bastard to life in prison. However, to every other detective on his shift, the case would go down in flames. The doctors that treated the sick bastard had to reveal that he had issues, and what he did to that child came from deep within. He didn't know what he was doing while stabbing the young boy 70 times.

They didn't want to kid themselves, they also knew that Chambers went over the hill on the case. He kept repeat warrants on the suspect's apartment, prolonged back ground investigations, and tried to even get that son of a bitch to commit suicide.

At one point even Captain Roque thought Chambers had lost it, but still gave him his space. He knew that the detective would either swim or sink on this case. He would let Chambers burn trying only because it involved the slaughter of a young child.

24 hours after the cold depression of a deliberation, Detective Nathan Chambers found himself torn between elation and despair. He could have sworn he saw God's shadow stirring behind the jury waiting for the foreman's reply to the judge's question.

“What say you?”

The time had come. Chambers had lived on nerves and nicotine, drank too much coffee and slept too little during the investigation. It was finally all coming down to a boil. He watched the foreman stand and face the accused.

“Guilty, your Honor! Guilty in the first degree....”

Chambers rushed out into the corridor to make certain it was clear. He fell down to his knees as he tried to catch his breath. He looked toward the sky and started crying and rocking back and forth uncontrollably. The captain peeked out the door and closed it giving the detective some peace.





#

© 2016 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 41 comments

manatita44 9 months ago

An awesome tell! You have done it again bro. Superb! Another masterpiece!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you manatita


Jodah profile image

Jodah 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

Amazing! Frank, this is one of your best yet. Nathan Chambers has even gone up a level in my book. Great fiction.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Jodah for stopping by...:)


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 9 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

I thought I just opened a page of Dean Koontz' book! :)

Guilty your honour! Guilty!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

This was so good I felt like I was on the jury. GUILITY! " Death was enough to make even the devil look away " Great line! and perfect ending.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much CrisSp and Always exploring for checking out my short


tsmog profile image

tsmog 9 months ago from Escondido, CA

Revealing, poignant, and telling. Striking my heart like a hot iron I'm wrestling now with outcomes. Thanks for guiding those thoughts offering clarity ;-)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much tsmog for reading my cold depression


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 9 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

The darker the tale, the more intense it gets. Bravo! Chambers keeps getting better and better.


emge profile image

emge 9 months ago from Abu Dhabi

Excellent poignant and riveting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Diana and emge for stopping by bless you :)


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 9 months ago from California

My guts were churning like Chambers must have been from start to finish.


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 9 months ago from Florida

This kind of thing happens in the real world, and so often the sickos who murder these innocent children do not get their punishment accordingly. I'm glad your story had a valiant ending. Bastards!! Sorry Frank, the realism of the story struck a chord. I'll try not to curse again. Great Hub!


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 9 months ago from Nibiru

Nice piece...i would have probably shot the psychopath!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you tirelesstraveler, Missy Smith and Jive Clive for stopping by and checking out my flash :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

The first sentence guaranteed that readers would continue. What a gripper this one is!!!!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Billybuc for stopping by :)


Ericdierker profile image

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

The cold depression of the sometimes sick human mind. Chambers was not driven to madness but driven he was. Who speaks for the child but those who go out on a limb.

This was brutal. Sometimes it takes brutality to awaken the senses to horror. Thank you.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 9 months ago from The Caribbean

Happy for the verdict. Chambers could enjoy the reward of his labor.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 9 months ago from southern USA

Awesome title and riveting story, dear Frank ...Chambers did good to not unload his revolver because I don't think I would have passed that test ...

You know how I feel about children being harmed ...so I hope he gets what he deserves in prison in return and then some! Well, if he gets the lethal injection, he'll surely get to burning a lot faster where he's going.

Disturbing in only Frank style!

Please keep warm up there in Nutmeg land, my dearest virtual horror writer friend


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 9 months ago from LOS ANGELES

Intriguing read. It was nice to know what happened in the end- justice was served. I also loved the fact that the prosecuting attorney was so passionate about his case. A well-deserved win.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Eric, MsDora, Sweet Faith... and Dana Tate.. thank you guys for visiting my short.. bless you :)


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 9 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Well done, Frank! Your short piece, here, had the feel of a Dateline on ID report, a true crime report. I can just imagine the correspondent, Keith Morrison, white-haired, grandfatherly, narrating in that smooth voice of his; all while interviewing the main cop on the case, Detective Chambers; watching Chambers get choked up, hearing him say that this was absolutely the toughest case he had ever been on, wondering if he can even go on with police work after this, even though the right verdict came in, and so forth

Do you watch the ID channel, Investigation Discovery? Know what I mean?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Hey winged, I never even heard of that channel. but I know what you mean.. thanks for stopping by :)


mckbirdbks profile image

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

I liked this story Frank. It has some excellent lines in it. I even found this line, "Chambers knew when he first started that the case was going to have holes." oddly funny for a story about 70 stabbings.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

LOL mckbirdsbks.. I really didnt think of that LOL


Genna East profile image

Genna East 9 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

How any two-legged, sentient creature could stab a young child 70 times and still have the audacity to call themselves "human" is beyond me. "Didn't know what he was doing." He sure knew what he was doing when he lied to the detective, repeatedly, trying to protect himself. Guilty! How bittersweet justice can be. And how we empathize with and respect Chambers for caring so deeply, and for trying to make a difference. His watershed of emotions upon hearing the verdict was so powerful. You have written a compelling story, Frank -- on more than one level.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 9 months ago from England

Phew! thank goodness for that! for a second....great story Frank! kept me on the edge! wonderful!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Genna East thank you so much for your comment.. and Nell Rose thank you for stopping by.. bless you guys


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 9 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Having been in police work, I applaud you. Law enforcement personnel have emotions like this. It is hard to remain "facts only" in such instances. Thanks for showing that side, that police are human beings, too.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you aviannovice for your comment bless you


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 9 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hooray for the right conclusion to that horrific case! Sometimes justice is truly served. If this case were real I could only hope and pray that the young child was killed with some of the first stabs to his body. To think anything else is too awful to contemplate. Another masterful piece of writing!


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 9 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Excellent piece of writing, Frank. Loved this line, "Each penetration scarring him for life and death was enough to make even the devil look away." And this, "" He could have sworn he saw God's shadow stirring behind the jury waiting for the foreman's reply to the judge's question.

“What say you?”"

Well, done...again.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Peggy thanks for reading my Depression.. and Cam thank you too for stopping by I'll be on your page now to return the favor bless you guys :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

I don't know how you do it, Frank. This was riveting and intense. So well done.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 7 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you Flourish...:)


annart profile image

annart 3 months ago from SW England

Great story, though a gruesome one but then you do that so well. Chambers' tension was palpable - would the jury get it right or not?

Superb! Your stories never fail to draw us in and watch with suspense.

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 months ago from Shelton Author

Hey annart thanks for checking out this older piece.. bless you


annart profile image

annart 3 months ago from SW England

I'm still catching up on previous notifications - slowly but surely! That's the price of renovating a house but I'll get there in the end!

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you annart, I too am so behind... but I will catch up

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