I was sitting in my Bark-a-Lounger in the dark. I was sipping on a bottle of cheap whisky when I heard my door knob turn. I picked up my service revolver off the end table and waited. All too soon a shot rang out and the door around my lock splintered.
I went into action.
My name is Percy Holmes, Detective Perk" to my friends. I'm a homicide detective with the rank of sergeant. I work the Metro section, that's were all the action is.
Some of the punk kids in the neighborhood actually were trying to break in my apartment. I guess they figured a home invasion was in order that night. Like all punks they were stupid.
One of them pulled his pistol and had shot through my front door. Now pulling a gun on a cop really pisses the cop off. Shooting a hole in his front door, gets you shot back at with his .357 Magnum when you kick open his door. Remember cops don't kill doors, they kill people.
Three of the four punks died that night. The fourth will spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair.
No one will ever break into my apartment again. The word will spread that I wasn't anyone to be fucked with.
Currently I am divorced from my three wives, with no current 4th prospect in the foreseeable future. I live in a small two bedroom apartment near police headquarters. It's not in a very nice neighborhood. But it is close to work and I like it that way.
Such is the life of a cop.
It was a slow night there weren't any calls for me tonight, I was alone and I wasn't drunk yet. I was off duty and planning on drinking a rather large bottle of cheap booze. With my alimony and child support payments I couldn't afford to go out to a bar. The cheap bottle was my entertainment for the night, as well as my companion.
It helped me forget how badly I screwed up my life. My children were taken by my first ex wife and I've had no contact with them in years. In my career as a homicide detective I had three partners. They were all killed in the line of duty while working with me. Their faces haunt my dreams at night. I remember them, their families and their pointless deaths. That was why I drink nightly. It's the only way I can make all the faces disappear for a while.
I was just sitting down in my favorite (and only) chair with my first drink when the phone rang. It was the dispatcher.
I had a case. I looked lovingly at the glass, but put it on a shelf in the frig. I'd get back to it later.
So I headed off looking forward to a long night.
At the crime scene, I walked up to the patrol officers and started asking the usual questions, "Who discovered the body? What appears to have happened here? Any witnesses?" You know just like on TV. Hell I figured that if the questions worked on "Law and Order", they might work for me too.
I found that one of the neighbors had heard a gunshot and called 911. The first patrol unit on the scene discovered our victim dead on the ground behind the building. He was shot in the head and appeared to have either fallen or been thrown off the roof.
The coroner's guys had arrived, so I decided to talk to them. In case you're interested, anybody falling from a great height is not a pretty sight. Add to that the fact that his head was destroyed by the gun shot, and you really don't want to look under the sheet the coroner's crew had put over the body.
I was one of the lucky ones; it was my job to look.
As I walked over to the rapidly turning red, white sheet, the patrol guys started moving away to places where they couldn't see what was under the sheet when I lifted it.
I just looked around and suddenly it was just me and the coroner's guy, Smithy. He was another old veteran like me. "Hi Sherlock, looks like we got us a messy one tonight," He smiled as he addressed me.
He knew I hated being called "Sherlock". I didn't smoke a pipe. But he just couldn't resist breaking my balls.
"Hi, Asshole," was my answer, "What have we got."
"Looks like a shotgun. His head is half gone. He was dead before he hit the ground."
I pulled the sheet off. Boy was I glad I didn't eat that night. He was really messed up. It looked as if the shotgun blast got him right in the face.
It was a real mess. He must have landed on the back of his head when he hit. His head was split open like a ripe watermelon.
I heard one of the patrol officers lose his dinner behind me. I guess he fell victim to curiosity. He just had to look. He'll wake up in the middle of the night for the next 10-20 years seeing that mangled body in his dreams. We all do, its part of the job. I use booze to help me sleep through the night. But then I've seen a lot more victims of man's cruelty to man over the years, the patrol officer was just starting.
A bright flash went off in my eyes, a forensic guy was here. He was starting the process of making the 8 x 10's that would make some jury members very sick.
"After you're done here, get on the roof and see what's up there. We think that's where he came from," I suggested, happy to look away from the body.
I organized the patrol units to start canvassing the building and the neighborhood. I didn't expect much. This wasn't the type of neighborhood that helped the police. I started toward the elevator. I thought I'd get on the roof and figure out where this guy's trip to the ground began.
As I got on the elevator, I noticed the sign that said, "Elevator Inspection Records are located in the Basement Superintendant's Office." I looked around the elevator and thought, "I'll bet they are forgeries."
By the time I got to the top floor, I vowed to take the stairs down. Hell it was only 14 floors!
I started walking toward what I thought was the jump point. I was a gravel covered flat roof. I could see signs of a single set of foot prints heading from the door, I was standing in to what I suspected was the spot he fell from.
About this time the CSI guy got there. "What's ya got for me, Sherlock?"
Another asshole making fun of my name, "I thought. I pointed out the footprints. He started taking pictures and putting little number things by each foot print. He looked like he was having fun as I followed him across the roof.
When we got to the "jump point", I found all the typical suicide stuff piled up neatly. There were his shoes, coat, hat, wallet and keys. I never figured out why jumpers left all this stuff behind. But then I could never figure out why they jumped. There were a lot easier forms of suicide.
The CSI interrupted my thought train, "Where's the shotgun?"
I looked around the roof, no shotgun.
"Shit it's gonna be a long night, "I thought.
After gathering a crew consisting of two patrol men and me, we began to canvass the building asking the usual. "What did you see, what did you hear, do you know the victim?"
Since I had seniority and rank, the patrol men started on the first and second floor and worked their way up, alternating floors. I started on the top floor going down.
Luck was with me that night because the fourth door I knocked on actually opened. A woman answered. She was wearing a terrycloth bathrobe that looked 4 sizes too big for her. Her hair was up in a towel.
"Sorry to bother you Ms, I'm Detective Holmes." I held out my badge, just like you see on TV. "I'm investigating a possible murder. Can I ask you a few questions?" I ignored the smirk on her face when she heard my name.
She grabbed the front of her robe and closed it tight all the way up to her neck. She glanced up and down the hallway, looking rather nervous.
"Was she nervous talking to a police detective? Was she nervous standing in the hallway in just her bathrobe? Was she nervous because she didn't want to tell me something?" I wondered.
I got her to invite me in her apartment. I can be such nice guy I could deceive anyone.
Her living room was a mess. She had the usual sofa and two chairs but the chairs were stacked with papers, clothing and plastic bags. The sofa was the only place to sit and that's where we sat; me on one end and her on the other. She turned her body to me and adjusted her robe so that she could sit half cross legged on the sofa.
Now being a detective, I had picked up a few things on my way to the couch. There were junk and boxes laying everywhere and she had framed pictures that leaned against the walls at various points in the room. "Easy, she was in the process of moving in", I thought, "Damn I'm good."
Well she was pretty. I put my best smile on and started to make her feel comfortable.
"I see you are just moving in. I hate moving myself," the brilliant conversationalist I was said.
I got a small smile and she replied, "I had to move. The neighborhood was getting bad, I called the police but nothing was don ... er. They said they'd give the area extra attention."
"The standard Desk Sergeant response," I thought.
"After they broke into my neighbor's apartment and raped her, I decided to move," She replied.
I asked her where she used to live. When she told me the address, I thought, "Smart move."
We made some small talk when I dropped a bomb, "What did you do when you heard the gun shot?"
She just sat there.
"Why didn't you call 911?"
Her reply, "My phone will not be connected until next week and I haven't found the box with my cell phone charger yet. The battery in my cell is dead."
I asked to look at her phone. It was the same make as mine. I offered the spare charger, I kept in my car to her and she accepted.
"Shit! Now I have to use the elevator again. Why can't I learn to keep my mouth shut," I thought.
.... There is more of this story ...