Blood Crumbs: Chapter 7Mature

    My walk back from records was a little heftier than I expected it to be. Instead of the few case files I was anticipating, I was loaded up with a full box of paperwork. My tired eyes were already trying to push themselves out of their sockets and the prospect of sifting through this much legal paper had me debating my decision to take on this case. Hell, it had me debating my career choice in general.

    I dropped the box on top of my desk and reached into one of my desk drawers and pulled out a small overnight toiletry bag. There is hierarchy of rest that I learned to embrace through the years. I need eight hours of sleep to be refreshed, but if that wasn’t possible then a forty-five minute nap would suffice. If scheduling nap time was also out of the picture then a quick cold shower could do the trick. If all else failed, then I was left with just my tooth brush.

    I slid into the bathroom and set the bag on the edge of the faucet. I was still displeased at the image staring back at me in the mirror. While my hair had yet to fall out, most of it had grayed thoroughly and my chin was saggy. My eyelids were droopy and a five ‘o’clock shadow had moved in hours ago. I stood 6’3” and while I was certainly much more spherical than I had been twenty-four years ago, I liked to think it was more solid body mass rather than fat. Yeah right.

    I brushed my teeth and ran a wet comb through my hair. I splashed some cold water on my face and added a few eye drops to my corneas for good measure. I pulled out a razor and quickly dealt with the day’s stubble that had crept up at my neck. I re-tucked my shirt and straightened my tie with a small nod. Better. Not great, but better.

    I stepped out of the bathroom and ran right into Officer Gavin. His bad luck.

    “Ah! Just the man I was looking for.” I said with a big welcoming smile on my face. This was a half-truth of course as I was looking for the very first officer in speaking distance.

    “This doesn’t sound good.” He said warily.

    “Well, homicide is never good.” I said motioning for him to follow me. “It burdens all of us. Some of us more than others.”

    “Damn it all.” He mumbled as he turned to follow me. He knew he was in for grunt work but I also knew he was not a man to complain. There weren’t many opportunities around here for high profile cases; especially with what I had just learned from Bishop about off-loading cases.

    I walked over to my desk and grabbed the box of files and handed them to him. “Find an empty conference room, set these in there, and make sure we have a cork board. I have to make a call then I’ll find you so we can start going through these case files on our victim.”

    He lifted an eyebrow at the box. “Doesn’t seem like much of a victim to me.”

    “From what I heard, he just did a stretch so most of that will probably be from a single case.” I said as I pulled out my cell phone. I ran through a paper directory of phone numbers and found Thaton’s cell.

    “This is Thaton.” She answered after two rings.

    “Hey, it’s Burton. You still at the crime scene?”

    “Yep. The body is already out and headed to autopsy though. Jared looks like he’s about to finish his initial stuff and head back to the lab.”

    “Good. When that’s done I’m gonna need you to grab a few other officers and canvas the place. If anyone gives you problems have them call me or Bishop to set ‘em straight.”

    She laughed. “Anyone gives me a hard time; I’ll use my patented testicle-kicking persuasion technique. It’s pretty effective.

    “And people say that lady cops have it rough.”

    “No one around here has ever accused me of being a lady. I’ll let you know if we find anything.” She said and hung up.

    I walked into the conference room to find Gavin arranging manila folders into four separate piles.

    “What do we have?”

    “Just unofficial reports mostly.” He pointed at each of the separate stacks from left to right. “Sorted by complaint. We’ve got drug possessions, breaking and entering, and domestic disturbances.”

    “Wonderful, and that last one?” I asked pointing to the largest pile.

    “This was the case where charges were actually filed. Attempted murder.”

    “Oh goody, I can’t wait.” I said as my cell phone began to buzz at my side. I looked down, recognizing the number as I brought it to my ear. “Pizza Hut.”

    “Yeah, this is one of Dr. Canar’s assistants. He asked me to call and let you know that we’ve begun the autopsy on Emilio Ramirez.”

    “Alright, thanks, I’ll be right over.”

    I clicked ‘End’ and made eye contact with Gavin.

    “Convenient.” He said with a grim smile.

    “Hey, sorry, but c’mon now. Attempted murder? I’m sure it will be a thrilling read.”

    “Because we all know the kind of page-turners court documents are. I can’t wait.”

    “I’m headed to the medical examiner’s office but let me know what you find out.” I said as I left him in the conference room.

    “Sure thing. I’ll call you the moment I find anything significant.” He said.

    Three minutes later I was pulling my car out of the parking lot and trying to decide how much sympathy I would be able to conjure up for my victim. So far it wasn’t much.

The End

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