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Crime

A Short Story

By TestPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
5
Crime
Photo by Cullan Smith on Unsplash

The flames licked one log at a time, then grew in aggressiveness.

Eventually, they exploded onto the rest of the home, rising up.

By noon, the cabin was nothing but ashes.

At precisely 1:05, Peter Nulligan drove home in his green Nissan with Louise May in his passenger seat.

"I want to drive! Why won't you ever let me drive? Because I'm a woman?! You're always so sexist, thinking I can't do anything."

"I keep telling you, Louise, you're not a good driver. I'm just trying to keep us both saf—"

He stopped mid-sentence as they drove into their yard.

"Shit."

Their cabin was completely burnt down. Piles of ashes replaced what used to be their home of 30 years.

They were both silent out of shock, mouths frozen in the air, agape.

As they got out, they saw their white Persian cat. Her white fur was clean and her blue eyes were open.

She was positioned on her back, her legs upright in the air.

It was like someone had killed her and stuffed her.

Louise May's eyes scanned the ground, then gasped silently as she quivered.

There was a body. A young woman, not much older than 18 it seemed, with long brunette hair and green eyes. Her body was impeccable.

It wasn't burnt.

There was not a trace of blood.

Her pale white skin shone in the sun, and her lanky legs were outstretched.

She was wearing a light blue dress just above the knee with white detailing on the collar.

It wasn't dirty or bloodstained.

Nothing was.

It was as though she too had been stuffed.

"Who is she?"

Peter Nulligan asked.

"I have no idea," Louise May answered.

They both stood there, petrified, in complete shock.

"I'll call 911," Peter said.

He dialed the number and a male voice answered.

"Hello, Detective Mark Zaktz here. How can I help?"

"Our house has burnt down, and there is a dead body here."

"Address?"

"211 Valley Road, New Mexico, 87557."

"Okay. I will be there soon."

"Thank you, sir."

Peter hung up the phone.

"Fuck. This is in the middle of nowhere," Detective Mark Zaktz muttered to himself as he drove his Mercedes down a decidedly remote road filled with potholes, then turned into the lot.

He got out of his car, examined the body, and took photographs.

"Are you both alright? We offer complementary counseling."

"Yes, we're fine," Peter responded, speaking for Louise.

"Do you have any idea who might've done this? Neighbors with nasty intentions? An angry ex?"

"No idea. We've been on good terms with everyone," Peter responded.

Louise May was silent, knowing she would likely be punished in one way or another for speaking.

A week later, Mark called back and Peter immediately picked up.

"So, we've found DNA and fingerprints belonging to some Henry Monroe, but we can't locate him. Please stay safe. I'd advise not going out too much during this time. He might be on the loose."

"Okay, thank you sir," Peter responded.

"We can't go out much, Louise," he said.

"Fine," she muttered, "I'll do what you say as usual," her jaws clenched.

"Will you tell me why?"

Peter snapped at her,"A killer is on the loose, Louise. You always think I have bad intentions, and I honestly don't. I'm just trying to protect you."

"Yeah, right." Louise rolled her eyes, but she stayed put, hairs standing up on her spine.

***

Tuesday, March 1, 2024

***

Mark Zaktz opened his door way to the tune of a dead body, lifeless eyes staring him down.

He caught his breath, then held himself together, sadly accustomed to the tragic.

He swept it for DNA and ran it when he got back to his station.

Mary Hues. That's who it belonged to. A very accomplished lawyer.

She lived only ten miles away. He drove there with his Mercedes, regretting the purchase for the second time in his life though it was all he had.

He knocked on her door.

It was a Sunday, so she was in.

"Hello, Mary? It's detective Mark Zaktz. I'm here to ask you a few questions."

"Fuck off!" she shouted.

Finally, after persistent knocking on the detective's part for a long 30 minutes, she opened the door.

"Where were you last night?"

"Studying for a case."

"Do you know anything about a...?"

He examined his note.

"A man by the name of Gerald Mulligan?"

"Who?"

"Gerald Mulligan. He turned up dead on my doorstep yesterday and your DNA was on the body."

"I have no idea what you are talking about!" She responded, indignant."

"You weren't there before 9:00 am on Monday?"

"Absolutely not."

Great. I have no idea when she was at the scene of the crime: my front doorstep.

Joe Gunderson showed up at Mark's doorstep the next day, phone in hand.

"Detective?"

"Yes?"

"I have something I think you'll want to see."

He took out his phone and showed him the video hastily.

He gasped as he saw it.

"Mary Hues had shot the boy between his eyes, then continued to shoot: five bullets in the heart. She was conspicuous, wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, her blonde hair loose and curly."

Mark drove back to Mary's home.

"Mary Hues. You are under arrest for murder. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law."

The woman kept her mouth shut and put her hands up, decidedly neutral despite the urgency of the situation.

thrillerShort StoryMystery
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