The PrintA Story by Cherrie Palmer
Mason stares deeply into the storm door, as a deep-set frown adds disgust to frustration. “Here stands the only lousy fingerprint in the whole house, smack-dab in the middle of the front glass door. The thing I’m sure of is this clue will be a wild herring. It might belong to some poor snuck but not the killer.”
“Look don’t be too cocky, this could be our big break in this case. Ms. Stevens said someone was trying to kill her, when she called 911 last night.” His words were slightly garbled as he chewed on his unlit Ashton cigar.
“No Lieutenant, she said her neighbor was going to kill her.”
“Not neighbor, Neighbor’s, like a name.”
“Well, whatever but that 80-year-old man next-door Mr. Chesnick, didn’t climb the lattice and kill that man up there. All I know is we better kind Ms. Stevens and fast.
The Lieutenant’s eyes fixated past the front yard, and beyond the tree-line where a tool shed stood. “Mason.”
“Yeah?” she said without looking.
His hand slow pointed toward the tree-line. “I don’t think that looks quite right, do you?”
Mason was about to pop off with a serious of old fart jokes when she too saw the unpainted shed. “Dang, that doesn’t look right, odds are that’s where our next clue will be.” She stood there with a small poem in her hand:
Rage burned up my entire being as she smiled at me, looking into my eyes invading my very soul. What gave her the right to look upon my face and give me hope where there is none? No one sees me, and I like it that way.
I worked extra hard to erase humanity from my day, my life, my face, and with one single smile. I can feel tears of hope springing forth. My first instinct was to rip her lips off, but her smile is so warm all I want is a hug.
Oh yeah pass me by, my first instinct was right! Carefully she placed the note in a bag and placed it in her tote.
"Grab your camera and let’s get this over with. Don’t you think you need to call Bill? This is headed from bad to worse.”
“Already have. He's pulling her cell phone records trying to get a name for our John Doe. Then’ll be en-route with the dog.”
The shed stood about 8 feet tall. Its dimensions were 8x10 a simple plank-board building, built against a hillside. A backyard and a coat of paint would have made it appear normal and safe. However, 50 feet from a crime scene tuck away on CORE land made the detectives edgy. A small ramp laid way to double lawnmower style doors; yet another bad omen. The Lieutenant removed a small leather pouch from his pocket as Beth Mason smiled and shook her heard. “Are you sure you’re one of the good guys?”
“Yeah, very funny.” He said.
Indeed, she thought because the lock was opened and the pouch tucked away before she could continue her humors attack, but all jokes stopped as the swinging doors revealed a woman’s body.
“Ms. Stevens, I’m guessing.” Beth said flatly.
“I hope so, but it’s hard to say without a head.”
Neither of them moved from the place they stood as every inch of the room was looked over. Beth began taking more pictures clockwise from a ten-to-two motion.
“Pervert or Ex?” Frank said in a hushed tone.
“I’m guessing pervert.”
“Call the M.E. we found his second victim.” Night was settling in, and they were losing light quickly. Frank loosened his holster; Beth did the same, though she did not yet know why. They both had their hands resting on their side-arms. In the northeast corner of the building were two panels leaning on the outer wall. Frank gave the sign to look with his right hand for his left now held his revolver, as always Beth mimicked his every move. Now she could see a secondary shadow in the corner and the outline of a second door that they failed to look for before making entry.
Frank felt a slight twitch in his right eye; all of a sudden he knew why couples and or siblings were not allowed to work together. Beth was his oldest and dearest friend, five years her senior made him a mentor but fate had made them on again, off again lovers. It was funny how their personal lives changed like the seasons but once on the clock it was all business and they were perfectly in tune while on duty.
Beth’s stomach felt like a cement block but she was ready for anything to happen at this point. The building had no lighting or windows neither of them considered the possibility of someone hiding inside. Possibly a second victim it was locked from the outside. The ‘what if game’ cops play moved in fast forward.
“Coal County Sheriff’s Office show yourself,” Frank demanded.
Silence hung in the air and the tension began to build. Then what started as soft breathing turned into loud deep breaths. Someone was psyching themselves up, but for what?
“Step into the light and show yourself!”
An object flew from the corner, it rotated like knuckle ball, heading straight for Detective Mason. Mason and the Lieutenant fired at the object, this altered it projection. Shockingly, it landed in the wheel barrel containing their victim. Immediately, they returned their gaze to the corner. Both were silent as they moved forward one step, and both angry that they had just shot the head of Ms. Stevens.
Frank spit out his stogy as he belted, “Come out of there you B*****d,” after a small breath, he add “and with your hands up and empty.” As Frank spoke Beth knelt down on the ground her frame was slender and cast no shadow, she looked into the darkened corner trying to see her target.
“I consider you hostile and will open fire if you do not show yourself!” Frank was hoping the subject focused on his voice as Beth moved closer.
Ha! Beth thought a foot! She fired two rounds into the corner. A loud scream rang out; the leaning pieces of plywood were knocked to the ground and fire flashed from all three sides.
Though the perpetrator was hit once in the foot his first bullet struck Frank in the left shoulder spinning him to the ground. Beth Mason rose up to a one knee pose and opened fire into said corner. A body fell limp to the ground and Frank smiled, “Bet ya a bottle of wine there lays your finger-print.”
© 2012 Cherrie Palmer
Added on July 10, 2012
Last Updated on September 29, 2012
AboutI'm 48 years old and live in the SE corner of Oklahoma. I live on a cattle ranch with my husband. I work from home at the moment down on the ranch, and attend a wonderful church, I enjoy writing when .. more..