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Mercyful Fate

A Newsted Files Short Story

By David T. ShorbPublished 26 days ago 10 min read

Jacqueline Newsted sat in seventh period math class wondering why her teacher thought 9th grade algebra was going to be so important to her life. Jack knew what she wanted to do when she graduated from school. She was going to be a cop, just like her adopted father Henry. Jack didn't see the point in having to solve for x.

Jack had just celebrated her fifteenth birthday. Henrietta always made her a birthday cake, and Henry always made sure that Jack could go see her father for an hour or so each year. Jack knew it didn't seem like it, but she paid attention when Henry told her cop stuff. Jack knew that being a cop was what was going to help her father. Even though he always told her to just forget about it. He was guilty of robbing the cyber banks. He didn't want her mixed up in it.

"Ms. Newsted? Am I boring you?" Jack blinked, why was the teacher calling on her. "No, Mr. Fisher. I was distracted." She answered halfwayhoping that he would drop it. "I asked you, if you could solve this problem on the board." Mr. Fisher held out the VR pen. Jack walked up and took the pen and then solved the problem. "Ms. Newsted, you didn't show your work." Jack looked at the board. "Is the answer right?" She asked. "Yes, the answer is right." Jack grinned. She had solved the problem before Mr. Fisher had even finished sitting down. "Then I guess I'm done." Jack handed back the pen and sat down.

Ten minutes later the bell rang, and Jack didn't waste any time getting out of the building. She decided that she wanted to walk home. Instead of taking the bus, which she hated doing. Too many people, and it was too loud. Jack put in her ear buds, and pulled out her phone. It had a full charge so it would last long enough for her to get home. Jack started walking and turned to go down a trail she found last year. It would take her halfway home. Before she started to walk, she messaged Henry to let him know she was walking home. He quickly replied that he got the message.

Jack started down the path, and her music started at the same time. Lately she had been getting into classic metal bands. Right now, Metallica was playing, they were her favorite one so far. She walked at a quick pace breaking into a run about halfway to the trail exit. Running always helped Jack clear her head. Just as she was about to hit the trail exit she saw something. She stopped to take a look at it.

Jack walked over to whatever it was, she started to uncover it. She was shocked to see it was a body. She reached into her pocket to pull her phone out, but she stopped. She decided to grab her nitrile gloves instead and started to process the scene. She had watched Henry and the CSI team do it lots of times. She took off her backpack and pulled out the crime scene tape she kept there. She had pilfered a roll last week because she was going to use it to decorate her room with it.

She started to mark off the scene. She then started to bag the victims hands, and she looked around the body for any obvious clues. Jack didn't find any at first. She noticed the victim was still clothed, which might have meant that nothing sexual had happened. However, she noted that the kill itself was violent, which could mean that it was personal. The victim was also not posed, and there were drag marks. She took out her notebook for math and started to note everything she saw. It she didn't know what else to do, so she finally called Henry.

"Hey Jack. what's up?" Jack took a deep breath. "Hey uh, Henry. I found a body. I've already marked off the scene and took some notes about what I can see. But I don't know what else to do?" She waited for him to say something back. "Jack. You shouldn't have done that. You should have called me first. I'll be there in ten minutes. I'm already close by, because of another case. Don't do anything else." Jack knew that Henry would be upset, she didn't expect him to be pissed off. "Yes sir." Before she could say anything else her phone beeped at her. Henry had already hung up. She put her phone back in her pocket, and she sat down on a tree stump outside of the crime scene.

Jack was working on some history homework when Henry and his partner Charlie showed up. "Hey Jack. Henry here says that you set up the crime scene here for us." Charlie said with a mischievous smile. "Yeah, I did." Jack took a breath. "How pissed is he?" Charlie looked over at Henry. "Oh, he'll be fine. He was just worried about your safety. Scenes like this the perp might still be around." Jack raised her eyebrows. "I hadn't considered that." Jack got out her notebook. "Here are the notes I took after I put up the tape. I think the vic was dragged here and dropped. So, I think there might be a second scene. Also, I think this was a crime of passion or of opportunity. It's pretty violent."

Jack waited for Charlie to read her notes. "Jack you are going to make a fine detective one day. These are really good." Charlie said as he patted her on the shoulder. They both looked up and saw that Henry was standing there with his arms crossed. "Charlie, don't encourage her." Henry took Jack by the arm and walked her to the end of the trail. "Jack, what you did was dangerous, and it could have gotten you hurt, or worse killed. Now go sit in the car and wait for me." Jack knew better than to talk back when Henry was this angry. She had only seen it one other time, and she ended up getting grounded for three months. Mostly because she had be a smart ass and kept egging him on. She knew not to do that, if she wanted to keep her freedom.

Jack waited in the car, she watched as the Spokane M.E. pulled up and watched Dexter get out of the van and pull out the gurney with the body bag. She watched as the other detectives showed up. One of them poked their head out and looked at Jack. She gave her a thumbs up. Jack knew Detective Noons she always gave Jack advice on being a female cop.

An hour later, Henry and Charlie came out to the car. After they got in, they all just sat there in silence for a moment. "Jack, you aren't grounded. However, if you ever pull a stunt like this again. I'll ground you until you're graduated from the academy. Do you understand me?" Jack let her breath go. "Yes, sir. I understand." Henry then smiled at her. "You processed that scene so well. The M.E. was really impressed. I guess you have been paying attention." Jack was happy that Henry wasn't mad anymore. "Yeah, cool." She decided that she wouldn't push it. "I'm taking you home. Henrietta is worried about you. I let her know you were with me. I don't think we should tell her about this, ok?" Jack nodded that she understood.

As they drove home, Henry and Charlie were talking about the case. "Dexter thinks it matches." Charlie. Henry pulled the car over. "Dexter thinks it matches? How closely?" Charlie looked down at his notes. "Dex said that he was fairly sure, and he would know more after the autopsy." Henry pulled out a file and put some notes in it. "Well let's drop off Jack and go see Dexter." Jack was disappointed, she couldn't come with them. "Why not let her come along?" Charlie asked. "Because she is fifteen and shouldn’t see things like that." Henry replied. "I can handle it." Jack said softly. Henry looked in the rearview mirror. "No Jack. In a year or two maybe."

Jack was about to protest when Henry's phone rang. "Hey sweety. No, we are on our way home now. I have to drop off Jack and go to the morgue." Henry started to look annoyed. "No, she shouldn't. She is too young to see… yes, dear. Ok. I'll take her. I see what you're saying. Ok." Henry looked up in the mirror after he hung up his phone. "Henrietta thinks you should come to the morgue so you can get a taste of what it will be like to be a cop. So, you're coming with Charlie and me. You say nothing, touch nothing. Understand." Jack nodded. "Yes. I understand. Won't touch a thing."

Jack followed Henry and Charlie into the morgue. She decided that she would just stay quiet and become invisible. She knew Henry was going to read her the riot act later, and she didn't want to make it worse. She wanted to learn everything she could before she went to the academy after she graduated. It's why she worked so hard on her schoolwork and kept her grades up. She wanted to make sure they couldn't keep her out.

Henry looked back at Jack standing there and observing. He knew she wanted to be a cop, and that this was going to be part of that life. He just wanted to protect her from it for as long as he could, as she got older it got harder for him. "Dex, what can you tell us?" Charlie asked as the M.E. Dexter Holmes came into the room. Jack had always liked him, even though she thought he was a little creepy.

"Well, Charlie. I can tell you that the vic was stabbed over twenty times, and her heart was removed, and it was never found. Which is odd, because it's normally with the body." Henry was surprised by the new information. "Anything else Dex?" Henry asked. "Yeah, one other thing. Your daughter, she did a great job with setting up the scene and bagging evidence." Jack caught a quick smile from Henry before he hid it. "Well, that's good to know." Henry looked over at Jack. "Jack, come over here." She walked over to them and stood next to Henry. "Look at your notes and tell me if what Dex has just said matched with what you've got." Jack took out her notebook. "Read it out loud Jack. Just like if you were doing a report." Charlie patted her on the shoulder.

Jack took a deep breath, and she began. "I observed the victim as I was taking a shortcut home from school. I first noticed the body under a pile of debris made up of twigs, branches, and leaves. As I approached the victim I could tell that the victim was female and had died from multiple wounds." Jack looked up and Henry motioned for her to keep going. "I pulled out the crime scene tape I'd acquired the previous day from the station and marked out what I believed to be the crime scene. I then bagged the victim's hands and began to examine the scene."

Jack looked up again. Dexter motioned for Jack to come over and look at the victim. "Jack, bagging the hands, and marking off the scene are good first steps. What did you do to examine the scene and the victim?" Jack looked over at Charlie and Henry. "I…I began by looking at the victim and trying to figure out what killed her. It wasn't the knife wounds, it was when the unknown suspect took out the vic's heart." Dexter nodded. "That's right." Dexter turned to face Henry. "She's right. It wasn't the knife wounds that killed her. It was removing the heart." Henry took a deep breath. "Then it was him." Dexter nodded, "Yep."

Henry motioned for Jack to follow him and Charlie. They walked out of the morgue and to the car. They didn't say anything else until after they got in the car. "Henry. It's time to take her home. Jack can't come any further with us now." Henry looked over to Charlie and then over at Jack. "I know." Henry started the car and started to drive. Jack was curious that the drive was so quiet. Normally, Charlie and Henry would banter back and forth with each other. Jack knew that this was serious now. She wanted to see this case through. But she knew that wasn't going to happen.

The car pulled up to the house. "I understand. I know I can't go with you. I accept that fact. I know why. Henry it's ok. Don't worry about it." Henry looked at her. "Get out of the car." Jack got out and Henry got out of the car as well. "Come here Jack." Jack walked around the car and stood in front of Henry. She was surprised when he hugged her tight. Henry whispered in her ear. "I'm proud of you." Jack smiled. Henry let go of her. "You'll make a great cop one day. But today, you're just a teenage girl, that needs to get her homework done." Jack nodded. "Yes, sir. I'll get my homework done." She smiled at him and then turned to go inside. Jack looked up and saw Henrietta waiting for her inside. "Dinner is ready Jack. Go get cleaned up." Jack nodded and went inside without a word.

Henry got back in the car. "Does she know yet?" Charlie asked him. "No, and if I can help it she will never know that she is part of this case." Charlie shook his head. "So, you won't tell her?" Henry shook his head. "No. She can't know until she needs to know. It's the only merciful thing I can do." Charlie took a deep breath. "Ok." Henry started the car, and they drove off into the night full of nightmares and terrors.


About the Creator

David T. Shorb

I am a writer that enjoys exploring those things that might make other people uncomfortable. I am currently a student at The Los Angeles Film School. Working on getting my Bachelor of Science in Writing For Film and Television.

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    David T. ShorbWritten by David T. Shorb

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