I think, or at least hope, that this will be the beginning of a serial story posting here on the Tale… What I have in mind is to post at least 250 words per Monday of a story and see where that goes… I will repost the preceding parts of the story each Monday and then add to it as it goes along. I’ll do that because parts of the story may change or be edited as it goes along…
So… Let’s see if I have this in me or not…
“How did she die?”
The question hung in the air over the people surrounding the cold steel table upon which a body laid covered in a white blanket. The medical examiner pushed his thick glasses up his nose with a latex-gloved finger before replying in a disinterested voice, “Looks like a mugging. Stabbed in the back eight times and then whatever she had on her was taken. She was found beside a car in the Summer Hill Mall parking lot.”
The man that had asked the question rubbed the day’s worth of stubble on his chin, “Eight times? Sounds like something more than a mugging Doc. No mugger than I know of would spend the time to stab his or her victim that many times. Too easy to be see or get caught.”
Doc looked back at him before shrugging, “You want facts Tom. That’s all we have here. Nothing else to say about her. Eight wounds with a knife or similar object. No sign of other harm to her. Before you ask, no signs that she was raped either.” He turned away from the table and stripped off his gloves, “Just the usual senseless crime in the big city.”
After Doc left the room, Tom stared at the body for a while. It didn’t make sense. Why her? She was nobody. Nothing special. She probably had a family and he would have to see them next. That was the part he hated most of all. Having to walk up the lawn or path or whatever. Knocking on the door. The person opening it for a moment with hope in their eyes that their loved one would be there waiting. But instead they would see a middle-aged brown haired and brown eyed man in a rumpled suit flash a badge, ask to come in and then a little while later leave the home with wrecked lives in his wake.
He sighed and grabbed the clipboard that held her ID…
And came to an abrupt halt in his thoughts.
There was nothing there. No name. No address. No other ID. Nothing.
He was mulling over in his mind the procedures for filing a Jane Doe report, when a woman’s voice broke into the room from behind him, “We’ll look after her from here, thank you.”
Turning to look over his shoulder from his right he answered, “She’s a Jane Doe. My file. You have…”
He found himself looking at a woman about his height. She had short blonde hair in a bob cut, blue eyes. Slim of build. Cute in her own way, he supposed. She was holding a folded piece of paper in her hand, “Paperwork. I’m here to claim my Sister.” She handed him the paper as two burly men in dark suits entered the room behind her.
Tom didn’t bother to open the paper. There really was no point. They would not have managed to get into the room without having the paperwork to do so, nor would they be able to leave with the body if they didn’t. He watched her go over to the table, lift the top of the sheet from the body, then with a nod say to the men, “It’s her.”
They wasted little time then, within moments they had moved around both himself and the blond before taking hold of the table and rolling it out the door.
As she turned to follow the men pushing the table from the room, Tom called after her, “I’m… sorry for your family’s loss.”
She hesitated in mid-step before replying without looking at him, “Are you really? Or are you just parroting the words that your regulations say you should say officer?”
Tom found himself unable to bring himself to say to her that it wasn’t just words. That he hated his job. That he hated not being able to find the ones that did these things and bring them to justice. Instead he said to her, “Not all words are lies Ma’am.”
Her answer gave him pause, “No. No they are not. But neither are they all truths either.”
He watched her open the small blue purse she held. For a moment, she seemed to be considering her next actions carefully, as if she was about to reveal something that she was not sure she had the right to. A small white card appeared in her hand a moment later. She looked at it before placing it on the countertop to her right, “If you want to attend her services, they’ll be at that address.”
With that she pushed through the door leaving Tom in the room alone with his thoughts, the buzz of the lights, and the card on the table…
And the question in his mind of whether or not he would or wouldn’t…