Author: Daily Judas PM
Of men, monsters, and flawed reflections.Rated: Fiction M - English - Words: 992 - Reviews: 6 - Published: 04-06-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1274206
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"No. That's not what happened. I didn't kill her." His fingers, spread far apart, push rigid, bloodless into the cold, chrome-topped table.
The cop, eight-year veteran, permanent five-o'clock shadow, slowly shakes his head. He's heard it all before. "Come on, Lucas. We found her bloody clothes in your trunk. The sperm's gonna come back positive. We both know it."
"I didn't kill her. I told you, when I found her, she was already dead." His eyes are wide, fervent. The rookie, standing silent in the corner, notes this.
The vet grins at the absurdity of it all. "Fine, Lucas, I'll play along. You find her body-"
"On the terrace," he interjects eagerly.
"But you don't call the cops. No, instead, you move her body – interfere with a crime scene – and you take her into a park a block away." He doesn't mention the teeth, but he'll get to that.
The suspect's voice is calm, as if reading poetry. "It's so nice there at night. The gazebo – you can see hundreds of stars on a clear night."
Thousands, the rookie thinks, remembering his home, the wide-open country, a little boy lying on his back in the evening air.
The vet eyes his untouched coffee mug. "Whatever. You get her into the garden, you take off her clothes, and you fu-"
"I made love to her." There is an intense, honest passion in his words that makes the rookie shiver. "I used to watch her for hours." His eyes close. "She was so beautiful."
The vet chuckles. "Jesus Christ, you have no idea how fucked up you are. That's…" he shakes his head, then tries again. "You are one sick perv."
"I loved her. I just…couldn't tell her. I was scared."
"You oughta be. You're in some deep shit."
"I told you, I didn't-"
"Yeah, I know." He sighs, glancing at the rookie. "None of 'em do."
The suspect looks from one cop to the other. Emotion, pity for the two of them, chokes his whispered words. "You'll never understand."
The door closes and the vet reaches for his coffee mug. "So what do you think?"
The rookie slumps into the warm chair and runs a hand through his hair. "I don't think he did it. I think he's telling the truth."
The vet snorts. "Either way, he needs the jec."
"The jec. Injection. Death penalty. Jeez, what do they teach you kids?"
"Not the lingo, that's for sure."
The vet takes another gulp. "One sick puppy, man."
"Doesn't it bother you – it happening so close and all?"
The vet laughs. "Nah. Every building's got its crazies."
"Yeah, but a murderer?"
"Lesson number one, kid. I don't know what kind of psychoanalysis bullshit they taught you at the academy, but 'murderer' isn't just a social subclass. It's not that clear cut. If I ask you, 'You a murderer?', you say, 'No, course not.' But just wait till you kill someone, till they put you in front of that ethics board and every one of 'em tries to convince you that you murdered somebody. They'll question everything, try to get to you, but they don't know. You gotta remember that. They're not cops. They don't know what it's like to kill someone. Buncha desk jockeys and bureaucrats. But lemme tell ya, you'll never forget what they say."
The rookie nods somberly. "Still, if someone in my building murdered another tenant, I think that'd freak me out."
The vet hesitates, sizing the kid up. "After a while, if it's nobody you know, you don't care as much. It happens. Sounds brutal, but it's the truth. We stop what we can and clean up the rest."
The rookies shakes his head, and the vet sees himself, eight years younger, across the table.
The rookie opens the autopsy report. "So where's the murder weapon?"
"Blunt force trauma. Might not even be a weapon. Could've been his fists. Some guys 'love' like that."
The rookie looks up. "No, it's right here: 'Heavy metal object, possibly a wrench.' Haven't you read this yet?"
"Nah. Rookie does the reading – remember the deal?"
"Yeah, but still…"
"Look, kid, after eight years, you get good instincts. The wrench thing, fine, but everything else," he taps his temple, "all up here. Instincts. Doesn't take a report to tell me that a guy who screws a dead body and knocks its teeth out is our perp. I mean, come on, her clothes, in his trunk. It's not hard to-"
"How'd you know that?"
The vet is irked by the interruption. "Know what?"
The rookie taps the report. "Her teeth – knocked out post mortem."
"It's in there, so of course I know."
The rookie fingers the sterile pages. "What kind of perp kills someone, then moves the body in plain view and dumps it?"
The vet motions to the door. "Freak boy, that's who."
The rookie doesn't speak, watches the vet reach for his coffee. The rookie graduated top of his class. He has instincts too.
His legs snake out under the table, hook around chair legs and tug upward.
The vet's chair topples backwards, his unholstered gun clattering away. He reaches for it, but the rookie stands over him, both hands gripping pistol, knees slightly bent, perfect form.
There is a dangerous edge to the young man's voice. "What happened, John? You ask her out, get rejected? She turn you down, say you're too old?"
The vet lifts his head, looks up at the man he once saw in the mirror. "Just wait," he says, a tinge of sorrow in his voice. "You'll understand."