Printed from WriteWords -

Coffee Break - Mystery

by  FenixTaichou

Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008
Word Count: 570
Summary: First part in a series of pieces I started that were meant to be "stop and start" shorts - pieces done in one sitting and around 500 words. As it goes this one stretches to just under 600 words but hey, there you go. The title is a bit lame, apologies for that, and it's more crime than mystery, despite the title. [ver 2.0] A grizzled old detective about to retire finds a body and a chance for a big blowout case.

Coffee Break 1 – Mystery

Nightime. It was cold and slightly foggy, the street lamps turning the thin, dull, grey fog into a slightly more hopeful yellow. Hope was what Detective Stone needed right now, as he stood in the streetlamp light over a bloody, naked, maimed body.
“What kind of sick bastard are we dealing with here?” Stone said, his husky voice, his years of smoking cigars having taken its toll. He lit a stogie and scratched his grey stubbled chin, deep in thought.

A short and stocky man stood next to him, his long beige duster almost contrasting Stone’s black coat. He adjusted his hat and put his hands in his trouser pockets. His voice was high and clear. This was Detective Landon, the Earl Grey to Stone’s black coffee.
“Well Stone, it looks like you’ve got yourself a doozy.”
Stone laughed, breaking into a chesty cough.
“Figures. I’m a week from retiring. Still, a guy’s gotta go out in style, right, Landon?”
Stone glanced behind him at the scene unfolding. Emergency services lined the roads, cordoning off the usual curious cats.
“Well whaddaya know? The vultures are out.”
Stone grunted, taking in a deep drag from the cigar.
“They’re hardly vultures, Stone. They’re just curious.”
“Curious, yeah. Curious to see what schmuck who ain’t them got put down. That ain’t altruism, they just wanna feel better about their own lives.”
Landon looked back down at the body.
“The ambulance crew can barely tell the gender, the body’s slashed so bad. One of the crew was violently sick, said he’d never seen anything like this before. They’re all pretty shaken up.”
Stone turned back to the body.
“This is beyond anything that I’ve seen before.” He said, smoke exhaling with every word.
Landon turned to Stone and raised his eyebrows.
Stone nodded solemnly,
“I’ve met my fair share of people sadistic enough to do something like this, but none of them fit this.”
Landon gestured wildly with his hands, a common trait when they weren’t in his pockets.
“But it’s the middle of the night, surely the killer meant for this to be under the cover of night?”
“No drag marks. The victim was killed right here in the spotlight. The killer wanted us to find this body.”
Landon patted Stone on the back.
“Well, old buddy, it’s down to you. I’ve got to get back to my exciting desk job. I can loan you one of my guys. He’s a rookie. I’m sure a case like this will do him some good and toughen him up a little. I could think of no better mentor than you.”
Stone sighed heavily.
“You know I don’t like a partner. It took me long enough to shake you off, you old coot.”
Landon laughed heartily,
“Hey, I’m sure it was the other way around. How many times did you nearly cost me my badge?”
Stone smiled, clenching the cigar between his teeth.
“Git’. I’ll tie things up here. Send your boy to my office for morn’, first thing.”
Landon tipped his hat, and bid his farewell, leaving Detective Stone standing alone once more with the mutilated body at his feet. He glanced back at the ambulance, the informant sitting in the open back with a blanket around her shoulders. He looked back down at the body.
“Just you and me. Let’s try and find out what happened, shall we?”