Short Story Sunday 256: Mystery

Short Story Sunday: Mystery | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

When Jamie entered the room there was already a blanket covering the body. She stared at the lumpy white sheet and swallowed a hard lump deep in the back of her throat. This was her first case. Her first case was a potential homicide.

She knew this would happen eventually. She always knew she would have to deal with something like this. She just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Jamie wondered if it would have been better if she had stayed at the desk job for a little while longer.

Was she ready to have such a hardcore case?

Well, at least the body was already covered up. Maybe she would haven’t to see it in person and solve the case through the evidence pictures. You know, she can ease herself into homicide cases.

“There you are.” Brock said heading straight toward her. “Where have you been?”

“Outside.” Jamie replied nonchalantly. She found herself standing a little taller when the head detective of her department singled her out from all the other officers.

Then again, looking around the room, all the other officers were busy doing something. She was just standing in the door way.

“There’s no dilly-dalling when it comes to homicides.” Brock spat.

“Yes, sir,” Jamie said meekly. Detective Hal Brock was head detective for a reason. His personality was hard as stone but he certainly knew his stuff. He solved cases faster than anyone else and he knew how to be a leader. He never had any trouble taking charge. Jamie thought he was a nice guy. She had talked to him at the department Christmas party and he was a normal person. When it’s time for work though, he put on a difference face. It was almost like she had never met him.

She respected him though. Real respect, not respect out of fear or intimidation. Everyone worshipped him.

“Where’s Gibson?” Brock demanded.

“Outside.” Jamie replied again. There wasn’t much for her to say. Her partner, Detective Seth Gibson, had told her to go on in without him.

Brock sighed. “Why is he outside? Did you two not get enough fresh air this morning?”

“He’s taking statements from a few of the neighbors.” Jaime explained. She made a mental note to kick herself for that later. She probably should have mentioned that in her original answer instead of giving the head detective one-word answers.

Brock narrowed his eyes. Jamie pressed her lips together. She didn’t know what was going on in his mind right now. He had a thinking face on. His narrowed eyes were from annoyance or confusion. He was simply thinking.

“This is your first real case, right?” he asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Stop calling me sir. We’re colleagues.”

Jaime nodded.

“So why isn’t Gibson in here and letting you handle the statements?” Brock asked.

Jamie felt her face flush. In other words, Brock didn’t think she’d be good enough to be in the crime scene. Taking statements was something newbies did or was something when experienced detectives did when they were benched but had to tag along anyway.

Brock continued talking when Jamie didn’t answer. “Gibson wants you to get experience, is that it?” then he smirked. “He’s throwing you to the wolves?”

Jaime opened her mouth to reply, but she remained silent. Maybe her partner really was throwing her to the wolves? Although she was hoping he believed in her enough to just send her straight in and get the experience she needed. No two cases were the same but she needed to learn the ropes first hand.

“You’ve never seen a dead body before, have you?” Brock asked breaking Jaime out of her thoughts.

Jaime’s eyes grew wide. She knew she needed to work on her poker face, but she wasn’t expecting him to ask such a question. Then again, she had a feeling he was able to look right through her. Good poker face or not, she was still a newbie, which meant she was an open book.

Brock nodded his head to the side. “Come here.” He said turning. Jaime followed slowly as she came to realization that he was headed for the stiff on the ground.

The head detective shooed an officer away and then he squatted next to the body. He waved her forward with two fingers and Jaime took the cue to squat on the other side of the body.

She felt herself begin to sweat. Her palms were clammy and the room suddenly grew hot. Jaime didn’t know what Brock was planning but she wondered if she would be ready for whatever it was.

Brock pointed to the body while eyeing the rookie. Then he gave her her first task.

“Lift the sheet.”

Jaime chewed the inside of her cheek. Did Brock notice she was sweating? She felt dizzy and hoped he couldn’t tell that her eyes might roll to the back of her head at any moment.

She was just about to make her move when she shifted her gaze from the blank sheet to Brock. He had a neutral expression yet raised one eyebrow. He was wondering what she’d do. Then Jaime realized this wasn’t him assigning her something to do or trying to conquer her newbie jitters. This was a test.

Jaime reached into her pocket and pulled out a latex glove. She snapped it on her right hand before reaching over the body and gripping the edge of the sheet by the body’s head – at least, she thought it was the head.

After counting to three in her head, Jaime lifted the sheet and took a peek.

Everyone else around her seemed to freeze. The room suddenly went silent. A shiver ran down her spine, but she didn’t feel anxiety staring at the body. Instead, she felt remorse. She didn’t know the deceased, but she wasn’t expecting such a feeling.

“She’s beautiful.” Jaime whispered. The young woman’s eyes were shut. She looked peaceful as though she had merely fallen asleep on the hardwood floor and would wake with a start upon having a sheet over her head. Her skin was pale resembling a vampire and her hair shone like silk. It was almost as though she had just brushed and laid down gently before she died.

“She was.” Brock said briskly. “Tell me more about her.”

Jaime didn’t take her eyes off the body. “It looks staged almost. She looks too perfect. Maybe this wasn’t where she originally died?”

“Are you saying the body might have been moved after she had passed?”

“Maybe?”

“Are you guessing?” Brock smirked.

Jaime shrugged. “Isn’t all of this just a bunch of guesswork until we gather enough evidence?”

Brock grinned a genuine smile. “Fair enough. Nice job, Detective.”

Jaime couldn’t help but smile.

“Now let’s get back to work.” Brock said, his expression becoming neutral again. He stood up and turned his attention to someone else.

Jaime looked back down at the young women. She sighed, said a silent prayer, and put the sheet back over her head.

Words: 1,174

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