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Poetic Justice had no Place There

Updated on October 19, 2014




The scene was a rundown tenement, an unfurnished place on the lower East Side, where an elderly couple were stretched across the kitchen floor in full rigor, covered by a few dish towels and the living room drapes. The lead detective swallowed hard, visibly shaken by the dead on the floor. Even before he opened his mouth to speak, the first investigator on the scene stood in front of him.

“Two more for the meat truck,” he said.

It was the fourth murder involving senior citizens, still, after three weeks prior to that scene, they were no closer to a killer, and the investigating detectives knew that without a fresh lead, their task was Herculean.

Dim light obscured the bleakness of the bare stained walls and the cheap tiled floors, but there was nothing to warm the chill of the murder that lingered in the air.

Peter and Debra Hayward were the unfortunate couple who would spend the final days of their golden years six feet under. However, Peter was riddled with cancer and death was not to far off for him. But, murder was still murder, and poetic justice had no place there.

The lead detective glanced up from his contemplation of the bodies to find that another detective had fixed him with a speculative look. It was a familiar expression, and one he had seen before.

“You know I’m taking these murders seriously, and they are getting all my attention, right?” he asked.

The other detective only smiled.

It was a comment he made several weeks back regarding the ages of the victims. He tried to make a joke about how they were going to die anyways, and why should they waste all their resources trying to find the killer. The money could be used for other things. The fact of the matter was that Detective Terrance Faith was raised by his grandparents, because he lost his parents to a car accident. Growing up was difficult because his grandparents were so much older and had a lot of illnesses. He resented them for many things, and mostly for being old.





There was a picture in an odd looking frame on top of the refrigerator. Faith looked at the picture and noticed that the apartment had furniture. In the photo the living room sofa was worn around the edges and the cushions were mismatched. Faith looked around and didn’t see that sofa. He turned back to the picture and grimaced. Taped to the refrigerator door was a doctor’s appointment scheduled for that very same day. It was one appointment that was going to be broken, and he wondered if they were going to charge a cancellation fee.

The lead detective walked to the bedroom. There he saw a mattress on the floor and two sheets bundled up and used as pillows. He walked wearily through the bedroom and stopped in front of the window facing the street. There he saw the medical examiner leading the procession from the apartment to the meat wagon.

“Hey I bet those comments hurt now,” said a female detective who stood by the door.

Faith’s eyes flashed with fire, but before he could answer, the female detective had turned and walked away. Feeling the anger taking control, Faith punched the sheetrock with the side of his fist crushing it easily without damaging his hand. If that was humor Faith didn’t appreciate it.

The lead detective leaned against the very wall he smacked and began thinking about his grandparents.


“Tee-tee, slow down you’re walking too fast, we can’t keep up.”

“Hurry, I want to get there before the store closes, and my name is Terry!”

“Tee-tee, do as grandpapa asks and slow down.”

“Damn their age!” young Faith cursed under his breath and he slowed.

They arrived at the shop just as the manager hung out the closed sign. Young Faith was furious and he stormed off.

“Tee-tee wait!”


He remembered that and thought that old people outlived their usefulness. That very line as he repeated it over and over in his head kept stinging him like wasps. He knew he had a no use for senior citizens, but he didn’t let it get in the way of his investigations, but that was being questioned.

Two weeks ago he solved a murder involving teenagers at Chico’s bar in less than 24 hours. His crime solve rate was high, except when it involved old people. Faith was a lead detective with a great deal on his mind. These cases were taking a toll on him and he perceived a conspiracy where none existed.

Other detectives asked him to step down as lead detective and he refused. His mouth twisted into a silent snarl. Regardless of how the other detectives treated him, he wasn’t going to back down and he wasn’t going to give up.

The lead detective needed help, but from whom. Everyone around him seemed useless in handling the situation he was in. He thought about priests or any religious factions, but they were thinkers and philosophers who knew nothing about his condition or crimes.

Who then….




#

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© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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

      thanks Ryem :)

    • Ryem profile image

      Ryem 3 years ago from Maryland

      This is a great story!

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

      Valley good to see you, hope you're still with us in a writing capacity..

    • profile image

      Valleypoet 3 years ago

      It's a very uncomfortable thought..a detective having such prejudiced thoughts about the most vulnerable in our society....another great read Frank...thank you :-))

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

      thank you so much Cam.. bless you

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Frank, I like the mix here of the personal and professional lives of the lead detective. I look forward to hearing more of this tale.

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

      lol.. lol til thanks for the laugh :) and for visiting :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I always have to vote all buttons, except funny, for the brilliance of the author.

      The irony of the detective's name, the torment he feels, all tied up in a murder mystery that leaves us thinking, or is it hanging?

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

      thanks Audrey

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      It is indeed poetic justice--Hey Frank, your prose is getting sharper and I had always thought it was sharp to begin with!

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

      Thanks B malin, I didnt want the crime to be the main point I wanted the prejudice to be.. I hope I captured that bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks B malin, I didnt want the crime to be the main point I wanted the prejudice to be.. I hope I captured that bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image
      Author

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Thanks B malin, I didnt want the crime to be the main point I wanted the prejudice to be.. I hope I captured that bless you

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 3 years ago

      You always take us a long for a good spin Frank...This was Excellent, good drama, laced and intrigue. Voted UP...liked the way it ended, like life it's self.

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

      Thank you so much Genna East for your kind words bless you..

      And Cyndi10 thank you for your longtime visits to my pages bless you too

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi Frank, Your descriptions are always so vivid, it makes reading your work enjoyable even when your subject is about crime. I love the description of the sheets bundled on the floor as pillows. Who does that? And why would you find that in an elderly couple's home? Intriguing little details like that make your stories so interesting. Excellent, as usual.

      Take care.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Frank, I don’t impress easily, but I am always blown away by the boundless and compelling creativity in your stories. Excellent! Wow. Voted up and sharing.

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

      thanks Phdast7 LOL funny comment

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      This is very interesting Frank and such an interesting contrast between the detective's name and his grouchy, cranky attitudes.... it definitely left me wanting more. Hope you are staying warm. We are freezing in Georgia, but then we are kind of wussy. :) Theresa

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

      you pretty impressive so do your thing...:)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Don't get me wrong Frank, it was a fine ending. It's good to be left wondering so you can use your imagination. I just don't like unsolved crimes., and maybe I'm itching for more challenges.. :)

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

      LOL Jodah I thought this was a good ending...:( thanks for stopping by my friend

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interesting story line Frank, someone should have taught detective Faith to respect his elders. Another one you left us up in the air with...is this going to be another of you 'add an ending' challenges...lol?

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

      Good, and its nice to see you too Happy New Year :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Reading this fine piece reminds me of how much I've missed your writings, Frank. Will try to rectify that in future! How have you been 'ol friend?

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

      thank you Marlene

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

      thanks Blossoms but this is all she wrote :) LOL

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      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Happy New Year to you too.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Interesting beginning. I'll look forward to the resolution, both for the crime and the detective.

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

      Faith I agree with you 100% and sorry about Terrance's last name :( ....Jackie always good to see you... Tobusiness thank you for that wonderful comment... and thank you Cat on a soap box and you too Gypsy Rose Lee, and Nadine May .. And MsDora I hear you and thanks for stopping by

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

      Marlene aka Lovedoctor Happy New Year and great to see you!!!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Well written crime scene!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great story!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I like how you zeroed on the goings on in the detective's mind. We never know what's driving the people we only think of as public servants. Another good story!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Poetic justice, indeed. . . for the detective. An excellent story!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 3 years ago

      Older people are useful to society. They're unique individuals like the rest of us and deserve to be treated with respect. They have a lot to contribute as far as knowledge, wisdom and experience.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Detective Faith....any relations? ;)

      Interesting and thought-provoking. Ageism and stereotyping is discrimination and against the law. There are people over 75 years of age who are contributing a lot more to society than many younger folks. Detective Faith should follow his conviction and fight the good fight. :)

      I agree, you get better with every write.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Ha ha, another bumfuzzler huh? Faith is one mixed up character...one of millions, no doubt.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Frank, I am sorry I am late to the party. I did not get in until late last night and then went straight to bed LOL. Hmmm, this is interesting, and that Detective Faith's last name sure is not befitting of his nasty character! I have never known anyway who does not think of their grandparents endearingly! He should be grateful they had taken care of him growing up. Sadly, a lot in today's society, do view older people as useless, when it is quite the opposite as they have a great amount of knowledge and wisdom to offer this world, if only others would listen. Other cultures do recognize this fact. I wished this detective's last name was something other than Faith, maybe something along the lines of a name that fits of a not so good guy. : )

      Up and more and sharing.

      Have a lovely day,

      Faith Reaper

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

      Thank you so much btrbell and flourishanyway and Becky Katz for always popping on by and checking out my fiction. bless you

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Interesting and a bit different. Usually your detectives are really for the elderly and it is good to write from a different perspective. You are pushing yourself to become a better writer.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Could you actually be getting even better? I like dark twists like this! Voted way up +++ and sharing.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Interesting! I like the different slant on this one! Up+