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Work Horse

Updated on October 7, 2015

Detective Peter O'Brien walked over to the vending machine to buy a cold drink and looming over her desk in the office across the hall was Laura Kimber. During the past few role calls he couldn't remember Kimber ever having said anything about the murder case loads. Perhaps she simply couldn't get a word in, perhaps she felt it better just to maintain silence, and in doing so drawing little attention to herself. O'Brien knew that wasn't going to happen here. Everyone knew Laura Kimber, and everyone respected her work ethics.

Detective Laura Kimber of late, didn't volunteer much and among the other members of her squad, that simple fact had turned into an open wound. However, no one in the squad doubted her abilities as an investigator and most would admit that. In a five detective unit, where all worked each others cases. Kimber regularly wandered off on her own. In a unit where most murder cases were won and lost in the first 48 hours, Kimber would pursue a case for weeks, running down witnesses or conducting surveillance on a time clock all her own. Ever since her last two partners were shot and killed she became a lone wolf. And everyone in her squad except for Nathan Chambers, gave her the space she needed.

What drove her to work a case even harder was the murder of an eleven year old retarded girl from the Father Wilcox Home for Mentally Challenged Children. She had no family and couldn't understand the concept of friendship, but she had a voice. That voice was Laura Kimber. The murder of that eleven year old girl brought more hatred into Kimber's heart. She hated the 24 to 48 hour rule in which the department gives for each homicide. They remain active, but if the leads run dry, they were ordered to shelve the case and work on the next one.

On her desk were fresh case files that she flipped through. Shootings, questionable deaths, spouse abuse, arrest on drug charges, more shootings, bar brawls, and she stop back on Melanie Barr. She stared at the photo of that young retarded black girl knowing that she had to file it. She did not. She put that case together by 3 p.m. when her shift ended, but that didn't stop her from mowing forward. For the most part, she worked that case without a secondary detective, taking her own statements, and conducting her own interrogations. She was a work horse in an environment where quantity seemed to matter more than quality, her work ethics was a constant source of tension.

Then it finally came down to a boil. Someone had seen something over by the bowling alley parking lot. A 63 year old man abducted Melanie Barr from the Wilcox client passenger bus. He drove around the block and parked behind a closed furniture shop and tried to rape the young girl. It didn't go too well so he strangled her and tossed her body out of his car and onto the side street where only garbage would lay and collect there for months.

That witness spoke three magical numbers and three magical letters that put the case together. 312CKS, a Connecticut license plate number that gave the work horse a breather.

Kimber called for back up as she drove to the murderer's house. She rang the bell and then pounded on the screen door with the side of her fist. She smiled at the garbage that assembled before her. That smile had turned into a cold look and then transformed into fury.

"You have the right to remain silent.....

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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

      thank you Audrey

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I missed this one earlier Frank! What a great write. Your characters are so vivid!

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

      thank you Patsybell

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 2 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      I think these characters are so well drawn. I would know them if they walked in the door.

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

      just the same my friend thanks

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      It was just by happening Frank but you are welcome.

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

      thank you for looking out Kevin

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      You are welcome Frank. I figured that it was supposed to be 'moving forward', that is why I mentioned that one. Sorry.

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

      thanks kevin mowing was intentional.. pass was not .. again thanks Frank

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      There were only a couple and I noticed a punctuation error too when you asked. In the second sentence - I may have read this wrong - but I wondered when I read "During the 'pass' few calls...". The third sentence ends in a comma. Left of the title below the red tree is "...that didn't stop her from 'mowing' forward."

      I would not have mentioned these but you asked.

      Kevin

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

      oh kevin what typos have you spotted.. maybe I can correct it..bless you

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

      thank you Kevin for reading my work horse.. and thank you Jo Harley :) Happy new year to you both

    • Jo Harley profile image

      Joleen Friesen 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      great story! reminds me of someone I know ... but she's not a cop.

      I voted it up:)

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      That was something else Frank, it is too bad that all criminals are not caught that easily. Except for a couple of minor typos, it was well written. I voted it up, shared and pinned it.

      Kevin

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

      thanks Nell for checking out my workhorse

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      That's how all cops should be, over and beyond the call of duty for whatever reason, great story!

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

      thank you Genna East for visiting my work horse bless you

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I could never be a homicide detective for the very reasons you have written about with brilliant candor. I’d be afraid that I would want to pound more than that killer’s door. Still, watching the look on the face of the garbage that answered…that human waste and refuse, just might be worth it. Excellent writing, Frank.

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

      LOL thanks smilealot.. for joining Kimber's fan club... Thanks Clivo.. and Flourish thank you for checking out my work horse bless you guys...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      This is the type of detective we would all want in our corner. Great writing. You are a master at your craft.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 3 years ago from Nibiru

      Good one franco

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      Smilealot 3 years ago

      I think I'd like to join the Laura Kimba fan club you got going here Frank....she is one gutsy lady:-))

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

      thank you so much for reading my work horse, Jodah, Lady Guinevere.. and Christine,, Laura is like a lawn mower she does keep mowing ahead..LOL I know what u were trying to tell me Christine bless you girl...

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      christinemariezzz 3 years ago

      Frank,

      Beautiful! You've given more than a snapshot of a female who knows how to handle the tool: deadline. Her whole character is reasonable and appropriate to her and what she does! Hard to do...but she did by moving forward. Great read.

      ~christinemarie

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful Frank, I love Laura Kimber. She's my favourite cop.

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

      thank you Jackie :)

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

      you are Faith.. Im sure of it.. and bless you for supporting these Laura Kimber shorts :)

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

      Becky Katz thank you good to see you

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

      till, i too love Laura Kimber... she's a work horse..ank you so much for reading he tale.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      My kinda cop; great story.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      A work horse with great ethics, now that is hard to find these days.

      Frank, you have always been an excellent writer, but you are developing more so into one phenomenal one each time you publish, your writing skills shine even more brightly.

      Up +++ tweeting and pinning

      Peace and blessings always

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I love Laura Kimber and I love this story.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I love Laura Kimber. I love her dedication and determination. I wish she wasn't so alone but I love how she gets the job done. Another notch in your belt of great stories.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

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

      thanks tobusiness for reading my work horse;)

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

      thanks Billybuc :)

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Frank, more fantastic story telling. My favourite detective is now well seasoned and as hard as nails, glad she got her psycho.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a cop you don't want to mess with. Great story, Frank. Scaled-down reality...love it!