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For all of humanity, hell was entirely the creation of one’s own mind. Working the Westside district brought that creation to light. It was Seaside Park Diamond Six, there were four unfinished graves dug in the outfield, and two near third base.
“Six graves, six dead bodies,” whispered the medical examiner as he walked toward the lead detective. “They’re all fresh murders.”
The lead detective nodded.
“Killed last night and I guess the murderer tried to bury them all during the early morning hours, but he got spooked.”
A young black detective, sharply dressed, and military put together walked over to the lead detective. “Where do we start?”
“Downtown, meat packing district….”
The lead detective didn’t mean to be that insensitive by using that term to describe young hustlers who sold themselves outside the gay pickup bars. It just stuck in his mind. He would drive by the gay bars during the slow nights to make sure every section of his district was protected. He would occasionally hear someone shouting out gay bashing terms. Meat packer was the one he’d often hear and for some reason it just stayed on his mind, and he applied it here.
“Gay bars,” he replied.
“How do you know these guys are gay?”
The lead detective worked in the Westside district for a very long time. He could always make some connection to places and people. Every time he drove by an area he remembered three or four faces and stored them in his memory bank. Almost like a computer would. He’d keep that memory stored for occasions like this.
“I recognized a few of the faces,” he replied.
“Hate crime?” asked the young detective.
“Yeah.” The young detective noticed the change of tone in the lead detective. It was as if he regretted using the meat packing term. “Hate crime.”
In the wake of the slaughter’s aftermath, there was a moment of complete and tangible silence. Though it lasted only a few seconds, it somehow seemed longer. The medical examiner pulled on the lead detective’s elbow.
“What is it Charlie?”
“Each body had a transfer shovel shoved …” he paused as he looked at the young detective.
“Charlie, you don’t have to change your style,” said the lead detective. “This young, clean detective is not here to report to the captain or any other bureaucrat. He works for me and everything you say will stay here.”
“Well the sick bastard tried to split each one of these young men in two by shoving the transfer shovel through their ass. This freak is sick.”
The young detective knew that he had to take the information given to him by the medical examiner and type it up so that it would read professionally. It had to be written in such a departmental prose that it would make all the high ranking officers feel warm and fuzzy inside. They get to sit behind the desk, and the last thing they wanted to read was that a shovel was dug into a young man’s ass almost breaking him in two. They served their street time and they knew exactly what the fluff meant.
The lead detective was the first to move, walking purposefully away from the carnage. He knew none of the young men survived. He was the first one on the scene and when he approached the graves he could see that none of them was stirring. Apparently the murderer was as deadly as he was precise.
The lead detective stopped at home plate and looked out over Diamond Six. His team and the medical examiner’s team continued about their grisly work. The chatter, the digging and the low conversations grew louder, like a swarm of angry insects. Men and women in blue worked side by side with the men and women in white. It was like a couple of baseball teams home and away, but working together.
The young detective walked over to his boss and stood quietly beside him.
“You’re ready for this?”
“No one is ever going to be ready for this,” he whispered back.
The lead detective nodded.
Other Quick Flash Crime fictions by Frank F. Atanacio:
© 2012 Frank Atanacio