Rain assaults the windows, and a loud thunderclap shakes the house, a pre-dawn lightning storm and I can’t get back to sleep. Sitting in the kitchen with a coffee and without motivation to write, I let my mind wander in the sound of the incessant driving rain. Perhaps the madness outside can inspire…
There’s a loud pounding at the door. With a sigh, I place my cup on the table. At this hour it can only be the police. Nobody else would be so rude. Not even a door-to-door salesperson. I pull back the curtain, but don’t open the door. It’s the chief himself in the flesh, daring to grace me with his presence. He is not wearing a mask.
“Mask up. And you people call me a serial killer?”
The chief grunts displeasure but does put on a mask. Keeping the chain on the door, I open it enough for him to speak to me. He looks old in the gray sky of morning storm, every bit the Grandpa that I tease him for being even tho we…
“What do you want? It better not be about that doll again, I fucking swear.”
He shakes his head negative.
“We found a body.”
“Up by the dam.”
In Uxbridge? My dam? Should I call Marcus?
“I don’t know anything about it.”
The chief shuffles his feet and grunts again. The rain increases in intensity and a bright flash illuminates the morning sky. With only a second of delay a cracking boom rips the air. He doesn’t flinch and keeps his eyes on me.
“Things…were done to the body. The FBI can’t send anyone yet, some big crime scene up Worcester way. Surprised you didn't know already. Who knows when the feds will send agents and I can't wait that long for answers. So I’m asking you. I need your help.”
I can’t help a sigh and shake my head. “You always need something from me don’t you. It’s usually dinner you want. You just can’t stay away.”
The chief ignores my barbs and taps a code to activate an app on his mobile phone. He turns the phone towards me and uses a finger to scroll over a set of crime scene photos. Very recent. The victim is a female, late 20’s, blonde, of medium height and weight, the body visibly mutilated. There’s also signs of prior violence, bruises mostly faded but multiple and on several parts of the body.
“Why are you asking me? Does she have husband or a boyfriend? A recent break up? Arrest those men, you’ll get the guilty party.”
The chief glanced around him before answering. “The husband was in custody for domestic violence at the time of the murder.”
Stop. No. “Let me see those photos again.”
He displays the screen and waits in the driving rain while I examine the photos for a second time. What did I miss? It looks to be a crime of passion, savage wounds dealt to the body. If the husband paid someone to do this, they wouldn’t have done it like this. The last photo is a close up of the left arm, hand severed high on the wrist.
“Were severed body parts found at the crime scene.”