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...Only Loss

Updated on February 7, 2017



Detective Laura Kimber stood shivering in the early morning emptiness on State Street extension near the train station, staring at a bill board that advertised, See Something, Say Something.

On the ground directly in front of her was a homeless man flat on his face in blood soaked clothing. He was still holding on to a half eaten Subway sandwich. There were two gunshot wounds at the lower part of his skull and a switch blade sticking out of his back.

Kimber then started scanning the length of the train station platform and the parking lot looking for any trace of a witness. It was very early in the morning, and the streets were empty and the parking lot was covered with garbage and seaside seagulls.

Finally a black and white drove up and parked in back of Kimber's unmarked cruiser. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes stepped out of the car and glanced over at the body. Before anyone said anything, Fuentes looked at Kimber and she looked back at him, each of them wordlessly communicating the same thought.

“Dead upon your arrival?” asked Cruz.

“No, he was alive,” she half whispered.

“Did he tell you who did this to him?” added Fuentes.

“I spoke to him before he died,” she started. “He told me he would tell me what happened in a few minutes after he regains his composure. The poor bastard didn't realize he didn't have a few minutes. He had about twenty five seconds.”

The uniforms grimaced simultaneously.

“Why is he soaked?” Cruz asked.

“They peed on him,” she replied slowly.

Kimber knew that this wasn't going to be a bastard of a case, there were parking lot cameras that caught everything. She had ordered them pulled, and the train heading for Grand Central Station would stop until she gave the move order. The murderers were on that train heading for Manhattan. What she couldn't understand was the absence of remorse, and the murderers would probably submit some type of meaningless rationalization to why that homeless man was murdered in cold blood. There were no eye witnesses, but she had the cameras, and that would satisfy any jury.

The justice system had to give them their day in court, and they would have to listen to a group of savages who would have no out to offer a jury. The crime was genuinely psychopathic. The court will take months to listen to their side of the story while the homeless man's body decays. Something seemed extremely flawed to the detective.

“Meat wagon coming?” asked Cruz.

She nodded.

“How do you know they are on their way to Grand Central?” asked Fuentes.

“Saw the tapes,” she said. “Saw those punks peeing on him too.”

“What's to gain by doing that?” asked Cruz.

Everything went deathly silent for a moment, then came the whistling of a train as it passed the platform. The ground shook and the train whirled by. It was a nonstop to Grand Central Station.

“Like that, “Kimber whispered. “A come and go, very quickly.”

“What do you mean?” asked Cruz.

“Days after this murder, the media coverage will fade away. The John Doe murder wouldn't get the red ball, red carpet treatment. The excitement will start because of the killing and the video tapes, but fade when they realize he's just a nobody, killed by nobodies. Just like that train passing by quickly.”

Cruz nodded.

“Because he is a nobody, the newspapers and television stations won't stay on the case as the trial takes place. There will be no deluge of calls to the congressmen and the courts about swift justice, and maybe there just might be leniency for the young guys who killed the nobody. There is no mystery in this case, but when everyone turns their back, we'll get more bullshit.”

Victor and Cruz felt her pain as they grimaced.

The meat wagon finally pulled up and parked in front of the body.

“There's nothing to gain, only loss,” she said as she turned her back to the body. “Only loss.”

© 2016 Frank Atanacio

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    • johnmariow profile image

      John Gentile 4 months ago from Connecticut

      The punks will pay for their deeds. Justice will be served. And then the homeless man will be forgotten. Sad.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

      thank you too pegcole17

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 11 months ago from Shelton

      thank you pstraubie

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 11 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Frank, this story says so much about society in general, the homeless, the hate, and the cruelty that prevails in the world. You've captured the essence of life and death here in these few words. I'm always impressed at the way in which the officers express such kind compassion for the victims in your stories and in the TV shows that depict this sort of crime.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 11 months ago from sunny Florida

      So much truth....succinct but fully engaging....hoping all is well with you and yours.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

      shared

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      I agree aviannovice.. thank you for reading my loss.. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Good to see you Nell Rose, thanks for stopping by :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Peggy thank you so much bless you :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      mckbirdbks thank you for taking the time out to read my loss :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Shyron I slave over my characters.. and thanks for noticing just that bless you :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Dana tate thank you so much for reading my loss..:) bless you

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sadly, this is life in a nutshell in the big cities. Here today, gone tomorrow, and nobody really cares much about it. It is cold reality, and I emphasis the word "cold."

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 12 months ago from England

      Oh so true Frank, so very true.how many of these poor people are out there suffering or dying with nobody caring? because lets face it we are such a selfish lot these days unless we are being entertained then we don't care! great story, and it definitely makes me think.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 12 months ago from Houston, Texas

      It is so sad that homeless people are often targeted and become crime victims. Yes...the media will soon forget and move on to more "news worthy" subjects. Those with money and connections are definitely treated differently in the world of today. I heard that Mother Teresa is now Saint Teresa. She is one who did not demean the poor...in fact...just the opposite. She spent much of her life serving them. We need more saintly people.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      MsDora always good to see you happy Labour day ..:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Thanks manatita for stopping by.. bless you bro..:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      Thank you Jo Goldsmith for visiting my loss..:)

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      Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

      thank you whonunuwho...:)

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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      Faith thank you so much for being that guy.... or gal.. who always make my writing look good.. you are the best..period!!!!

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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      Jodah thanks for stopping by.. bless you bro

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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      Hey Clive thanks bro..:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      Missy it is such a sad reality, thank you for visiting my loss..:)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      Thank you so much Audrey

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 13 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Frank - This was filled with that grit that you get down on paper so well. I see Bill's comment about an ebook, but don't see any clues to allow me to see what he is referring to.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 13 months ago from Texas

      Frank, so much feeling you have in your characters, they care deeply even about a nobody.

      Thank you for that.

      Are you in law enforcement?

      Blessings and hugs my friend

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 13 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      We come into this world full of hopes and dreams and some will leave as a "nobody" Its horrible that as a society we measure the worth of others by accomplishments and success. This world will treat you bad if you don't have any money, and that is a sad fact of life. Very entertaining and much food for thought.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 13 months ago from The Caribbean

      "Nobody" eh? Makes us wonder how each of our lives counts. The sense of humanity (she feels) which you put into Laura Kimber makes her an outstanding character.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 13 months ago from london

      Yes, Frank. They do have a good old mourn. Philosopy, I suppose. Nicely written and good to see you back. Much Love.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 13 months ago

      This is amazing! A situation like this is happening in our world now.

      So much loss. So many who feel as if they are just "nobodies".

      What I also see is many courageous folks who understand every

      life is precious. Really enjoyed the read and will check out the two

      recommendations. They both sound interesting.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 13 months ago from United States

      Brutal reality, well executed my friend. whonu

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 13 months ago from southern USA

      Dearest Frank,

      This is writing at its best! Truly ...I mean it. There's no doubt you are a real deal wordsmith.

      I'll never be able to understand how a human life is treated like throw away garbage on the street with such fierce brutality against his person. Your writing paints the reality of "Mean Streets".

      Well done!

      Blessings always

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 13 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Missy took my words. Another sad reality that happens too regularly. Everyone has the same value whether a millionaire or homeless bum...the term "meat wagon" sums it all up. Great work, Frank.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 13 months ago from Nibiru

      you never fail frank. two bullets to the lower skull and knife to the back....he was killed dead!!

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 13 months ago from Florida

      It's a sad reality. This is what happens in the real world. Such a shame that any human has to be labeled as a nobody. Everybody is somebody!! He probably had a story; a family, and because he got down on his luck, he became a couple of young punks' end to boredom because their lives was just as miserable. That's how life is these days, and it sucks!! Good story, Frank. :) *realistic fiction

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 13 months ago from California

      Oh this gave me the shivers Frank--congrats!!!!!!

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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Billybuc and Flourish for visiting my Loss..:) bless you both

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

      You are one helluva writer, Frank Atanacio. Excellent. Succinct. Emotion-packed without being syrupy. Real life.

      Sharing this.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      So good to see you with an ebook/book in the crime genre. You are very good at this and yes, I'm jealous, but I'll get over it in time. LOL

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      Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

      thank you Eric and Always Exploring.. I will be visiting your pages today.. wanna do my catching up..:)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 13 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This story is pure reality. Nobody cares when it's a homeless man or woman. The punks who peed on him will pay for their misdeed. The story was well written and visually real. I thoroughly enjoyed it Frank....

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And there we have it. The stark reality of hell on earth. I suppose there is a way to make this gloomier but I cannot figure out how. Fantastic job Frank.