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Case Number EV-101583

Updated on October 5, 2015


As the second shift drew to an end the rest of the detectives drifted toward the elevators, but Detective Caleb Rivera stayed put in the Congress Street Annex realizing he had slept for hours with his feet up on the desk and his arms crossed. When he looked at his wrist he noticed he forgot to wear his watch. It was late, but time mattered very little. Caleb pushed the seat back and grabbed one of the black and white photographs of the thirteen year old girl who had been raped and killed. He stared at a black basketball pump that was shaped like a rod resting on the curb a few feet from the child’s head. It wasn’t the first time he looked at that pump, and it wouldn’t be the last. That pump was that particular detail to symbolize everything that went wrong with the case. It was in all the pictures, but it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Evidence lock-up had never seen it nor have they ever checked it in.

Detective Caleb Rivera had planned to go back to the crime scene, but it was too dark and four hours of rain battered the streets.

If he wasn’t a detective he would have been in Florida with his ex-wife, shirtless, shoeless, and sipping on Coronas at the beach. But he was, and case number EV-101583 took him into darkness.

Caleb had no idea what the pump had to do with the murder, but it was there and it went missing. Maybe it was dumped there with the body. Maybe it was used by the killer, perhaps to simulate sexual intercourse. That would certainly explain the blood and hair, as well as the vaginal tear discovered at autopsy. Or maybe it was just there before the body was dropped and had nothing to do with the murder. However, the facts still remain, it went missing.

Caleb turned around and looked out the bay window. He noticed Congress Street was littered with limbs and leaves and other remains left behind by the storm. He thought about the questions that should have been asked, could have been asked, during the interviews with neighbors. What had they done wrong? He knew he was trained by Congress Street’s best, Laura Kimber and Nathan Chambers, but all the training couldn’t put a resolve on case number EV-101583.

A woman living directly in front of the body said she knew nothing of the murder, and she didn’t know the little girl. That was okay, but no one asked her if she heard voices, car sounds, car headlights, anything that night. We didn’t ask if she saw any strange person trying to talk to children, creeps, weirdos, drunks, addicts, anything, even in the past.

Caleb looked back at the photograph and stared at the basketball pump. It still carried hair and a clot of coagulated blood that would have matched the victim. The hard plastic would have easily picked up fingerprints. Yet the day the body was found, the basketball pump had somehow been overlooked, and then disappeared.

For some reason, Detective Caleb Rivera felt that he let that little girl down. Isolation settled in, slowly at first, and then rushed in every time he stared at the photograph. And for a moment he felt like a lonely man and a damn few cared.







#

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Thank you so much Kevin... I didn't even notice it and I wrote it and rewrote it several times... bless you bro... Jackie always good to see you on my pages..:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Shyron thanks so much for the feedback and of course I understand your situation.. and thank God you were not like this little girl. The story was meant to show you Caleb and the department's failures and how much it drained a police officer.. and the only way to show his hurt was simply by making him and the pump the main choices.. bless you Frank

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Frank, Congrats on the award for this one it is truly deserved, but I have one problem with it. Where does it go from here, I want to know what happens next, do they find out who killed the little girl? Or what happened to the basketball pump? Who was the little girl? She deserves a name, and not left like road kill on the street. This really bothers me, because I or my cousin could have been like the little girl in your story, but we were younger. And a nine year old girl was killed in Aurora, Illinois on a hiking trail in back of my brother-in-law’s property.

      Please consider continuing this as a series so the SOB can get caught and sent where he belongs.

      Blessings to you my friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      thanks so much again Jo Goldsmith

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      Amazing work here. Feels like it could be something bigger.

      Dare I say it? You have a work here that is very visual.

      And that takes lots of talent, in my book. :-)

      Shared & up. :-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much fpherj48 ")

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Frank.....Your story screams of amazing talent, Frank. I truly enjoy mystery.....murder mystery and the sheer intrigue that holds us in suspense and anticipation. You have lead me to rest in the curious and frustrated mind of Caleb.

      That's what I call Fabulous writing!.......Up+++

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Til as always I thank you so much and welcome rls8994 and thank you for stopping by

    • rls8994 profile image

      rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi

      I enjoy reading and this story was great! You are very talented for sure. I just came across this as I was scanning the front page feed and I am very glad I did. Definitely voting up! :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      You pack so much in such a short space. You have me thinking about that pump and its possible significance. How could they possibly overlook it?

      Your stories may be short in length but they are never short in interest and description. Keep em coming my friend.

      Voted up, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you Poetvix :)

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      You got mad skills. I've missed this though I have to say it's disturbing. That's part of the pull. It's been mentioned in comments you are becoming the master of short stories. I could not agree more. Intense!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thanks again winged for visiting my flash :)

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      William Thomas 3 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      This is a well executed narrative in which the hero fails to 'get his man,' as it were. You made us feel that detective's pain.

      Take it easy, Frank.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thanks rich ..... :)

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      rich ken baker 3 years ago

      what a strong piece of fiction here

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks JamesPoppell

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 3 years ago

      Nice work Frank. You held my interest with the pump. I also like your skill with the detailed descriptions, ect. Great piece of writing! Voted up.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Thank you Valleypoet2 and good too see you my friend and Audrey bless you for stopping by :) Frank

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Really well crafted Frank! I love the starkness of the ending as well.

    • profile image

      Valleypoet2 3 years ago

      I loved the way you put this together Frank, it was intriguing throughout, it shocked, and it made the reader agonise along with the detective about the missing evidence. Very nicely done:-))

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you scarface :)

    • Scarface1300 profile image

      Scarface1300 3 years ago

      I come to think that I have got it right and then I read one of your stories and I realise that I have a lot to learn. I raise my hat to you sir and realise the talent that is Frank Antanacio. Love this piece.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks Uban and Phyllis for your comments :) and reading :)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Frank you leave me very much on the edge of my chair waiting to find the answer. I do hope you write more on this. I can almost hear your mind ticking on it. Tense and mysterious. Voted up and very interesting.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 3 years ago from Lagos

      Interesting, captivating and always attention-arresting. Missed it. Glad I read it but I had wished the Detective piece things together to catch that rapist and murderer! Such a chilling story.

      A grand write.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Anna thank you so much for you visits to my pages.. and welcome Lisavanvorst for checking out my crime bless you both :) Frank

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      Gritty, sad and very well done. I like how you take us so close that we can feel the detective's pain; that makes it much scarier.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Wow this is great, right up my ally of things I enjoy reading. Keep them coming.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you tobusiness for dropping by the crime scene

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Frank, you've cleverly taken us into the darkness once again, hands held before our eyes because we don't want to see, yet we're compelled to look. And you do it with something as innocent as a 'pump.' Darn! But you're good. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Always thank you for exploring my crime scene.. and MsDora enjoy your visits and carrie welcome to my case file :)

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Kept private 3 years ago from Northeast United States

      Great short story in so little words :). Drew me right into the crime scene. Thank you for sharing. I'm so grateful to be following your work.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      With no idea of what Case Number EV-101583 was about, I was open to a description of whatever or whoever. The baseball pump managed to hold the focus. Cleverly done!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I can't stop thinking about the darn basketball pump. OMG! Your description is so vivid i can almost see it. The first team there to gather the evidence needs to be fired, maybe you will do that? Hee...This is going to be a story that i will remember. Your short stories are really good and short is my favorite genre.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Good ole Faith hope ur summer is going well my dearest friend :) or virtual friend :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Frank,

      My favorite paragraph is: " If he wasn’t a detective he would have been in Florida with his ex-wife, shirtless, shoeless, and sipping on Coronas at the beach. But he was, and case number EV-101583 took him into darkness." Love it! You have taken gritty and gruesome to a whole new level here ... I believe I'd be heading to the beach, ex-wife or not : )

      Blessings always

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you so much for a great comment flourish :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      There is so much intensity in such a short story. Much like life there is often no clear resolution and we are left to fill in the spaces. Great writing.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thanks Caroline :)

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 3 years ago

      Great writing Frank. You have a great style. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have a feeling this man won't give up until he has some answers if it takes forever. Great photo of despair. I am doing a few of those to be doing something different if you want a few. Seems death has a lot of faces. I like mood photos.

      ^ and shared.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      That was a good story Frank. It shows that you have much skill in that area. I voted it up, shared it and pinned it.

      Kevin

      I did notice one thing Frank, when you wrote your case no. two paragraphs apart, the first letter is different.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Genna thank you so much Period!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I always look forward to your stories, Frank. You, Mike (Mckbirdbks), Weestro, WillStarr, Ruby (AlwaysExploring) and a few others…great storytelling. I think this is one of your best…the phrasing, pace, and metaphor all combine to tell a compelling short. What I especially like is how you often write these stories with no resolution, yet the reader is more than satisfied, and eagerly awaits the next story. You are a master of the flash fiction short. Voted up and shared.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      thank you billybuc for being the first commentator

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are becoming the HubPages Master of Short Stories. Another gem, Frank. Nicely done.