Number 21 – Part 1

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Short story
Tags: , , , ,

21 new

Chapter 1

The fire alarm was ringing deafeningly. He needed to get up and drag himself out of the house before the heat and smoke could knock him out. But he could not move. He tried again, but couldn’t move a muscle. He thought he was going to die here. With a last super-human effort he opened his eyes and collected his scattered senses. He realized that the phone was ringing. Whew! The fire alarm was only a dream. He looked at the table clock by his bedside. It was just 2 AM.  He picked up the phone and answered with a dreary “hello?”. Someone talked about some murder that happened in some place. He was unable to process the information, being still groggy from sleep. He responded saying he will call back in sometime. He washed his face and switched the coffee machine on and called the number back. It’s Fred, the deputy. He informed about the murder again and asked him to come right away to the parking lot of 4th Avenue block 6. He made a note of it, hanged up the phone and got his coffee. He checked for messages on his phone, checked his FB updates while sipping the coffee, then dressed, picked up the car keys and left.

Alan Clarke was 5 feet 10 inches tall and athletically build. He had dark, short hair, intelligent, ocean green eyes, powerful hawk like nose and full lips. He looked tall for his height and dressed casually most of the time. That he was an attractive guy, any girl would concede, but he looked morose, sullen and off-limits while solving a crime.

Alan had always wanted to be a detective. He grew up on the stories of Sir Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and the likes. He wanted to be a consultant detective like Sherlock Holmes, whom people would approach when all other avenues were closed. As he grew up, he realized he doesn’t have the talent to be Sherlock Holmes. In fact, no one does. And probably that is why Sherlock Holmes is more famous in spite of being fictional than any of the scores of real detectives. And he also realized that real detective work required a lot of hard work,  patience and intuition. He decided to join police as a detective where he could work on real cases. Cases involving murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Alan drove slowly towards the murder scene. He wasn’t too enthusiastic. While driving, he realized this was his 21st case. He went on a flash back on the previous cases as a detective on the police force. He had cracked all 20 of those. He hoped this one wouldn’t be too stale. Most of the cases were murders of revenge, or love or something involving the people close to the victims. He was yet to get a case which was bizarre or was a case of serial killing. He was 28 years old and he already felt 40, feeling as if he had seen it all. He felt bored with his job and hoped this case would turn out interesting.

He reached the scene at quarter past three. The area was already cordoned off and Crime Scene Unit was on scene. The deputy on duty, Fred, ran up to him.

Alan: Do we know anything about the victim?

Fred: We got her driving licence. She is Mary Newton, from New Jersey. 23 years old. This red Jaguar is registered to her.

Alan went near the victim. He took out his voice recorder and started recording his observations.

Alan: The woman is a brunette. She is in her pajamas. The clothes bear marks of soil scrapings and is torn in places, as if she has been dragged across the ground. Her ears have been cut off by a sharp instrument. Her hair has also been cut off in bunches in a haphazard way. There are a total of 16 stab wounds on her chest and abdomen and a few cuts on the thighs. There is very little blood inside the car, implying that the murder was committed someplace else and the body brought here post-mortem. Rigor mortis has started to set in, so probable time of death can be put around 3-4 hours from now. Window of murder around 11 PM to 1 AM. There are blood stains on the car door, on the steering wheels and on the passenger side sun shade mirror. No fingerprints discovered yet. More details after autopsy and CSU results.

Alan walked around the car to check for tyre marks and footprints but he could find none. He took a look at the tiny crowd that gathered there. He addressed the crowd asking if anyone had seen anything, but most replied that they had come after hearing the police sirens and cars. Finally he spoke to the person who had discovered the body at the scene, the night watchman, Patrick Steele.

Alan: Can you describe how you found the body?

Patrick: I was doing my normal round at 1:30 PM. I came to check the parking lot and saw that the Jaguar’s door was open. I thought someone either forgot to lock the door or passed out being too drunk. When I came closer to check, I saw that girl, sitting there, dead. I called 911 immediately.

Alan: Did you see anyone moving or a car leaving at the time you came into the parking lot?

Patrick: No. Everything was very quiet. I am usually very alert during my rounds. If anyone would have been moving, I would have noticed.

Alan asked if there were any cctv cameras in the parking lot but got a negative. So he noted Patrick’s address and phone number and let him go, informing him that he might be summoned to the police station anytime. He also sent a CSU team to the girl’s house.

There was nothing else to do. He would have to await the autopsy and CSU reports and that wouldn’t be until afternoon tomorrow. He went back home after giving some instructions to Fred about moving the body for autopsy and informing her close relatives.

*******************End of Chapter 1************************

Continued to chapter 2…..


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