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All Joking Aside

She's Dead

By Lilly DaughtersPublished 2 years ago 7 min read
All Joking Aside
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Police are called to a residence to conduct a wellness check after roughly 96 hours of no contact with the inhabitant.

Upon arrival, the officers note that the house is lit up but quiet and appears empty or at least without movement. After several attempts to rouse the inhabitants, only a dog can be heard barking in the backyard. The officers enter the premises.

Due to the possibly aggressive dog and many other variables present, the officers drew their weapons. The door was unlocked.

The officers were assaulted by a deadly smell. “What is that? Do we have any masks in the cruiser?”

“No, we don’t. You’ll be fine. Try not to disturb anything. Even all this trash on the floor could be informative.”

The officers shuffle their way from the front door to the stairs, not even a three-foot walk, careful not to damage anything or disturb the scene.

They make their way up the stairs and find a worse smell and more debris to try not to disturb. There are a lot of animals at the scene. It was hard to tell where the odour was coming from.

As they begin to explore, the direction the odour is coming from is clear, and they head towards the bedrooms.

“We need to call for backup, a coroner, a clean-up crew, forensics, animal control. Can you think of anything else?” asks Riaz, the senior officer.

“Maybe a large dumpster?” says Bradley, looking around with a look of part disgust, part curiosity and part sarcasm.

“That’s not funny. We need to sort through all of this stuff,” says Riaz pointing to the body and indicating the house.

“Then why are you smiling?”

“Shut up and call it in. I’ll get the animals off the body and outside.” Riaz tries to shuffle the animals, which appear to have been feeding on the body, out of the bedroom.

Officer Bradley goes to the patio, calls in the incident, and asks for backup, emphasizing the animal control request. Bradley heads down the stairs to look around the back. He sees the dog they heard early. Expecting the dog to attack, he braces himself. The dog cowers. It’s a red merle, Australian Shepherd. He looks around the large backyard, sees a flourishing garden and dog agility equipment, and wonders what kind of a life was had here. Bradley returns to the task at hand and records what he has found in the back, noting that they should explore more here in case any evidence could be found in the yard.

Officer Bradley turns to head back up to the house and finds a leash hanging on the railing to the patio steps. He takes it to the dog, “sit,” and the dog obeys. “Ok, you’re trained on the basics. That’s good. He goes to put the leash on. He has a collar; it says Amy with a phone number. And the other side says Vinaigrette. “Is that your name, Vinaigrette? The dog’s ears perk, and his tail wags. “I wonder if they will let me keep you.” Bradley puts the leash on. And tells the dog to “come, and they go up the stairs together.

Bradley opens the patio door, proud of himself, only to be chastised by his partner, Riaz. “What are you doing with that dog? I need your help with these fucking chickens and the goddam cats.”

“I went outside to call for backup and found him out there. Pretty sure he’s the victim’s dog. He’s well-behaved. He didn’t bark at me once.” said Bradley, trying to regain his pride.

“Ok, you can marry him when the libtards pass that as their next accept every moron’s stupid idea bill. Go put him somewhere and help me get the other animals away.”

“Don’t talk like that. Not cool, man. Fuck. I’ll be right back.” Bradley goes to find somewhere to put the dog that will be safe and out of the way, and as they pass the body, he yelps, whimpers, and lunges and tries to get to it. Bradley makes the decision to go closer. The dog army crawls towards it and does what seems akin to crying. “This must be Amy, your owner.”

“Yeah, no shit Sherlock,” Says Riaz; who else would it be?”

“Dude, she’s naked, and her face is unrecognizable.” Bradley winces slightly as the words come out of his mouth. “We aren’t supposed to assume anything without forensics. Why are you such a douche?”

“Some things are just obvious,” states Riaz

“Sure, like you’re a douche, I’ll be right back, summer breeze. Come on, vinegrette.” Bradley and Vinaigrette walk off to the kitchen, where they had come in through the patio. Bradley finds some treats and tries to give the dog some, but he doesn’t take them despite having likely been starved for several days. Bradley tries to comfort the dog, who appears to be very distressed. He tells him to stay and returns to join his partner in the bedroom to work on gathering evidence. “Where did all the animals go?”

“Oh, I managed to shoo most of them downstairs, and a few of them, mainly the cats, scurried away when I tried to round everyone up. Animal control can deal with them when they get here. What a fucking circus.”

“I think you mean zoo, Riaz.”

“The ex-boyfriend tells me that she usually sleeps naked, so the lack of clothing is not unusual. She was struggling with mental illness, so the house was typically... unkempt. The door is also permanently unlocked. We cannot determine signs of foul play, so we will have to wait for the autopsy,” says Riaz. “It’s unclear what was going on at the time of her death. There seems to be a lot of “stuff” in the house. She may have been a budding hoarder, as her ex suggests. Power tools and art supplies line the kitchen, and salvaged wood can be found around the house and on the patio. The house itself is unlivable. It’s unclear if it was always like this or if the zoo she kept had something to do with it after she passed.”

“When did you talk to the ex?” Asks Bradley

“He was one of the ones that called in a wellness check. I called him back when you were outside meeting your new boyfriend.”

“The backyard is beautiful. There’s agility equipment set up for dog training. Also, there are a lot of people who can see what’s going on here. We need to canvas the neighbourhood. I called for backup while I was out there. Hopefully, they come soon.”

“Based on her criminal record, it stands to reason that she was a drug addict. This also falls in line with the look of the house. Though we haven’t found any drug paraphernalia yet, it is a logical conclusion that this was an overdose of a typical junkie. Our records indicate stimulants and alcohol abuse were this woman’s struggles. Her children had already been removed from her for this very reason. Good thing, too; they don’t need to see this. They’ll be better off with parents who love them.” Riaz scoffs in disgust. “What an unfortunate waste of a human.”

“I don’t know; the backyard has a beautiful vegetable garden. I don’t know any junkies capable of that, not to mention the dog training. I think we need to wait for backup. We should get all the facts and properly assess before we close the case.” Bradley assuredly remarks. "Isn't it weird that the ex is calling in a wellness check?"

“Listen, Bradley, You’re still pretty green. Do you want it to be your ass that gets handed to you when we catch shit for wasting resources on a drug addict when the signs are all around us?”

“I would rather take the blame for that than miss something and be the reason this woman's kids thought she didn't love them.”

“Whatever, man, nothing we can do here until backup comes. Not to mention, it’s three in the morning, " Riaz said, glancing at his watch. “Time to grab some coffee.”

This isn’t my story. Why can't they hear me?

Who silenced my screams of unbearable agony?

They’ve got it all wrong. I’ve been fighting for years.

I’m not what they say I am; I’ve run out of tears.

I died from exhaustion and living in fear.

I would have ended it had I known this would happen.

The one thing I kept living for was to save my children.

Every thought, breath, movement and heartbeat was with them in mind.

I guess I fucked up; I’ve run out of time.

I tried to build you that bed, the studio, and the desk.

I ran out of time, and the clock stopped in my chest.

They’ll say I wasn’t good enough or didn’t love you.

Try not to listen; there was nothing above you.

I don’t know how to explain it; my body just quit.

After years of fighting and getting nowhere, that was it.

I hope I can send this message in time

Before your heart stops to match mine.

All I wanted was better for you.

Better than mine and my parents, too

My final thoughts before I fade away,

this generational curse ends now; I’m taking it to my grave.

Live unburdened. Knowing you will succeed.

You have my love behind you; no matter what you want to achieve

sad poetry

About the Creator

Lilly Daughters

Lilly Daughters writes poetry about traumatic events and short stories changing the narrative of trauma to heal the pain suffered by carrying the stories of so many others.


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