Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Twist of Lime

"Well, this one's right up there," said Colin Preston, crime scene investigator for the Reno Police Department.

"What do you mean?" asked Karlin Wynne, rookie investigator.

"You'll see."

Karlin could smell the carnage before she walked into the room. This was her first murder scene, and she had been preparing for this site her last two years of school. She would not be the girly investigator who threw up at the first site of blood. She had intentionally focused her studies on some of the most gruesome cases to prep herself for this exact moment.

She stopped for a second in the hall outside of the taped-off room. Karlin closed her eyes briefly, took a deep breath, and ducked underneath the yellow police tape.

At first, it looked almost exactly like the "Valentine's Day Massacre" she had seen so many pictures of. Then she inhaled, smelled the defecation mixed with blood that had been sizzling in the windowless room all day. Karlin quickly turned to the door and barely made it into the hall before discharging her lunch all over the tarped floor.

"Damn it, rookie! You just cost me $20!" Colin said with a smile, "I haven't seen a person, male or female, who hasn't given up their last meal to their first murder scene. They tell you briefly about the shit smell, but they don't make you smell it. If they made you smell it in the Academy, that'd save us a lot of tarp."

Karlin spat, then wiped the side of her mouth with a clean section of the tarp.

"We'd also have a lot less cops," she said.

"Yeah, you're probably right. Didn't think of that. You ready to go back in there? This might help," Colin said as he tossed her a mask.

"Where's your mask?" she asked.

"Oh, it's not so bad," he said with a smile.

Karlin acknowledged the ribbing with a huff.

"I've done my analysis, let's see if you can figure out what happened," Colin said.

Karlin got up and ducked back into the room keeping the mask at her side. She scanned the room while holding her breath. Six bodies. Five along the far wall and one in the middle of the room, holding a sub-machine gun in his right hand.

Karlin exhaled and attempted a breath, but the stench made her eyes close shut and her muscles tighten--like a bee caught behind your glasses. She just wanted the stench gone, so she rushed to put on the mask.

"Still with me, rook?"

"Yeah, yeah."


"Looks like a murder-suicide. Execution style. He lined up the five guys, made them face the wall and get on their knees--then he went at it. Realized he wasn't getting out of this one, and turned the gun on himself."

"Not bad. Not terribly difficult, but that's pretty much the gist of it. How'd you figure the suicide?" Colin asked.

"The sub in his hand pretty much won me over on that one," she with a "duh" attitude.

"That it?" Colin pressed.

"Is there some other reason you think..." and Karlin was interrupted by a quarter-sized splat of red and pink on her mask.

"Did you look up?" Colin asked.

She tilted her head up and saw a splattering of blood and brain bits clinging to the otherwise clean ceiling.



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