Poetic Justice had no Place There
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.
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.
© 2014 Frank Atanacio