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A Stoic Symbol

Updated on December 21, 2015

Detective Laura Kimber could have sworn she heard the echo of a sinister laugh, but it wasn't floating on the night wind. It was in her own mind and she couldn't shake it. Her thoughts already started the frantic scatter. She knew what was going on, but she couldn't grab hold of that moment's reality. Bridgeport's finest detective was being played, and the only ones suffering were young boys.

Kimber realized she was on the move when she passed the basketball court at the far end of the school yard, almost tripping over several plastic water bottles tossed at the garbage can but was clearly missed. It was dark, but she didn't stop, she didn't even think about stopping. There was no hesitation on her part whatsoever.

The smell of rotting garbage and blood grew stronger, her pace quickened, until she was finally running. She drew her weapon from her holster, and was hardly conscious of doing it as she continued her pace.

There was more laughter, and she knew it wasn't her imagination as she came to a complete stop. She drew in a deep breath and turned toward the back end of the school building where the trash cans were lined up.

She started running for the tennis courts and there she saw the lights beaming from the pole. Her throat was burning and her sides were aching as she continued her dash.

Kimber saw something tangible so she just stopped. She was standing at the center of the tennis court where the net should be, but there was no net. The moon partially cleared the clouds, looming still and silent up above her. It was a stoic symbol floating in the sky and a witness to the atrocities committed here.

There was a tennis court light just close enough for her to see what was left. She knew it wasn't going to be pretty, but she was ready for it nevertheless. She was trained to ignore the ugly, the anguish, the suffering, and the sinister things Man does to one another. It was strange, that moment, what bordered on a kind of intimacy between the detective and the killer hiding in the shadows. He wanted her to find nothing but death, until she cannot go on anymore. He wanted her to quit the police force and accept her role as a loser, a failure.

There was the remains of a young boy's body, naked and bloody. But only part of it was there. The head was hacked off and the legs were missing. Actually there was nothing left from the belly-button down except for the grisly pulp of the intestines and part of some other unrecognizable internal organs.

Too late. Detective Laura Kimber was too late again. The taste of failure was still in her mouth as a partial boy was sprawled across a tennis court.

The detective fell to her knees and closed her eyes. Even in thought she sensed someone staring at her from the darkness. Laura Kimber felt her jaw go tight and her teeth clenched just as tight as she felt emptiness taking a hold of her. She put the cell phone to her ear and struggled to keep her voice even and calm.

“Chambers,” she started. “Nothing, but a dead child. I'll wait here for you guys. I got no where to go for now.”

She hung up and dropped the cell phone all in one motion.


© 2015 Frank Atanacio


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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

      thanks winged creature.. love the comment.. :) bless you

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 20 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Like I said before, Frank, for some people the best part of the donut is the donut hole; the best part of the muffin is the top; the best part of the chicken is the gizzards, for some people.

      You seem to have made a specialty---at least here of Hub Pages---of distilling the psychological climax of crime fiction. The tour de force, for Detective Kimber, will be just going on after what she has seen. It will be to maintain her strength to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion. She will have to try to go on loving and trusting people. The real challenge is for her not to wrap up her hear in steel armor.

      Well done, Frank!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

      again thank you so much carolinemd21 :)

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 22 months ago

      I love how you keep your readers wanting more. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      thank you caroline

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 23 months ago

      This was intense Frank. I can't wait to hear more. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      my dear faithful.. Faith God Bless you and your family this new 2016 year :)

      Genna, Good to see you, haven't seen you since last year! Thanks for the comment and Happy New Year!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 23 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Oh Frank; the heart breaks over this one. And poor Laura. I could feel her devastation, stoicism and sense of hopelessness.. You are such a master at this genre.

      By the way, Happy New Year! :-)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 23 months ago from southern USA

      Hello, Dearest Frank,

      I just stopped by to wish you and yours a Happy New Year! I believe this New Year has many blessings in store for all, including your, dear heart!

      Keep the Faith.

      God bless you real good always,

      Theresa aka Faith Reaper

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      thanks so much my friend bless you

    • profile image

      Smilealot 23 months ago

      Another great piece of descriptive writing from the Kimber files...well done Frank...have yourself a great New Year my friend:-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

      thank you for stopping by shprd74 and manatita :)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 24 months ago from london

      Another beauty, if you know what I mean? Gruesome, all right. Tragic no less, another family in mourning and a sombre neighborhood.

      A fast, gripping and super-excellent story. Well done!

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 24 months ago from Bangalore

      Murder mysteries are thrilling and i must agree this one is precise and concise. Frank, you have a chess game laid out here, for the minds of the readers and characters to figure out the next move. Kudos. Much expectations too :-)

      - Hari

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      Faith my dear virtual friend, enjoy the turkey... I got your back.. happy holidays to you and your turkey eating family.. bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      thanks aviannovice...

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 24 months ago from southern USA

      Merry Christmas, Dear Frank!

      I should have known better than to make myself a sandwich with leftover smoked turkey before reading your writing ...Well, that sadistic creep will find out the hard way one day when Kimber never gives up and turns the tables on him!

      Hugs and much love to you this Christmas season and many blessings for the New Year always

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 24 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Serial killers love to play with their victims as well as the police. Very authentic...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      thank you so much annart, Always Exploring, Audrey.. bless you folks and happy holidays!!!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 24 months ago from California

      How much more can Laura take?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 24 months ago from Southern Illinois

      The boy's death was so vividly written it gave me a chill. Laura's dedication to find the killer is emotionally draining. Another thriller indeed. Merry Christmas...

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 24 months ago from SW England

      How these detectives deal with things like that, I don't know but it's a good job someone can. Graphic indeed, but you capture the feelings and emotions so well every time you write about such scenes.

      I hope you have a great holiday; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Hope 2016 brings all the things you wish for it.


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Dana Tate :)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 24 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Frank, another fantastic piece of my favorite heroine, Laura Kimber.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      Missy, good seeing you and thank you for reading my Stoic, m Abdulla thanks for the visit and welcome, and MsDora, simply bless you for years of loyalty.. happy holidays to you folks

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      I bet Kimber's message to Chambers was also for the killer in the shadows. She has enough bravery for her and for me. I just know that she'll get her man. Thanks, Frank, for another good story!

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 24 months ago

      It is a wonderful hub. It makes us a part of a live narration of a gruesome event. Thanks Frank.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 24 months ago from Florida

      I don't know how Detective Kimber keeps her wits about her. The scenes are always so gruesome and dark. You write these stories so well. You give the readers the chill from the evil that is always lurking.

      Like savvydating, I have to admit; I've wondered why this theme is what you capture the most. Even so, I don't wonder too long. We all have this dark side, and I think we express it in different ways. It could come from one thing you witnessed in the past that was not so good, but stayed with you, or it could just be this is what comes out of you when you start to write. It would be logical seeing the world we live in today. Violence and murder are common themes in our world everyday, and none of us are shielded from knowing that.

      You are very talented Frank. I'm never disappointed when I read any of your stories. Super job here!!!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Flourish..LOL and savvydating I take a break from it too when possible bless you guys :)

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 24 months ago

      You're very good at this genre. Sometimes I have to take a break from reading, truth be told.

      Well, we all have our niche. I wonder why you are attracted to this "dark" matter. No need to answer. It's simply a question that lingers in my mind.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      Frank, you can really paint one graphic crime scene. How Kimber doesn't break is anyone's guess.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      No Jodah, that was very helpful thanks for looking out :) and Billy you're still one of a kind bless you both :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 24 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Frank, you can co-author one of my "Shadow" novels any old time. You just proved you can write dark enough. :) I've got chills.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 24 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Oh wow! Frank you have outdone yourself this time, so riveting and graphic. I really feel for my favourite detective on this one. What a gruesome scene. (One little thing you might want to look at: "The moon above her partially cleared the clouds, looming still and silent up above her." It seems a little repetitive saying "the moon above her" and "up above her" in the same sentence. Hope you don't mind me pointing that out..feel free to delete the comment if you want)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 24 months ago from Shelton

      thanks Eric for reading my Kimber shorts

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 24 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Whoa! That was great, maybe a little too great, I won't be able to get that vision out of my mind for days if then. I don't know how much she can take but I trust she won't break down completely.