Friday, December 7, 2012

Say Goodbye to Normal - Part 3

Title: Gate of Shadows
Chapter: Say Goodbye to Normal - Part 3            
Author: Jon Harrison & Alanna Cormier
Copyright: 2012

If you missed part 2, read it here!

Murder is a crime that is typically identifiable, whether committed via knife or gun, poison, strangling or blunt force trauma, etc. but the body laying before Detective Logan O’Donnell bore no such obvious causes, the only indication that something was different was the look of utter terror frozen on the victim’s face.  Logan stood over the body transfixed by that look.  In his ten years of being a homicide detective, he had never seen anything like it.  Sure, he’d seen his fair share of bloody crimes scenes.  Once he and his partner had investigated a string of disappearances.  After months of chasing leads they still had nothing and they had all but given up when his partner had noticed a discrepancy in the case file.  After a bit of backtracking, they found themselves in a warehouse exchanging bullets with their prime suspect.  They eventually killed him, but it was what they found afterwards that was so disturbing.  The bodies of the people that had disappeared were all there, only they had all been dismembered and placed in jars and coolers around the warehouse.  It took them three weeks to piece them together and identify all of the victims.  So, as far as crime scenes went this was mild, but the grotesquely frozen look of terror on the body’s face gave him an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Logan’s intuition told him that there was something different about this, like something was off balance.
Logan looked up and was comforted by the organized chaos around him.  He could hear the throngs of onlookers and reporters at the police line trying desperately to get the first picture of the body.  It always intrigued him, how that simple yellow line separated the normal from the macabre.  Most people act like they want to cross.  They bitch and moan about their right to see what’s passed the line, but they don’t really want to see.  For those of us on the other side, the macabre is our normal and we can never forget the horrors we encounter.  Logan stared at the hungry reporters crowding against the yellow line, “Vultures,” he said aloud.
“Yeah, the one thing I hate more than murderers are reporters.  Just ignore them, so what do we have?  Do you think it’s murder?” asked Detective Jackson Cowell, Logan’s partner for the past five years.  They had gone through the academy together and have had each other’s back in many life threatening situations.  Some of which seemed highly improbable that they’d survive, but somehow they always did.  “There’s no real indication of murder,” Logan responded, “no discernable wounds or marks.  I suppose it could be some sort of poison or asphyxiation, but that face tell me this wasn’t natural.”
“What do you mean? Like what?,” responded Jackson.
“I don’t know.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.”
“Trust your gut,” Jackson said encouragingly, “ If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.  You’ll figure it out.”
“Maybe. We’ll see what the coroner has to say.”