The phone blared its loud tone as Nick poked his hand through his covers and retrieved the handset that woke him from his peace.
“Nick, it’s Sandy, we need you; there's been another murder.”
“Fine,” Nick said in a half drunk, half asleep, gruff tone, “I’ll meet you at the station. Bring coffee,” Nick replied, slamming the phone onto the receiver.
He swung his legs off the side of the bed, wearing only boxers and a stained T-shirt.
He surveyed the damage as he tried his best to wake up; the shutters on the window of the studio apartment were shut down, allowing little light in.
The light that did manage to seep through the cracks, only illuminated the mess of files and clothes he had strewn across the floor, making shadows dance and play across, what once was,
a mirror, reflecting his accomplishments back at him. But now, it was just an empty husk, shards of glass still embedded inside as it only sat to remind him of how everything fell apart.
Nick put his somewhat baggy pants on, one leg after the other, and carefully belted his holster against his right thigh, allowing it no wiggle room.
The shirt was next as he threw it on quickly and buttoned the same three buttons that had carried him through many a case.
As he sobered up, and stumbled to the bathroom to throw water on his face, he thought about the case.
It was boiling in Chicago and three people are now dead: all the victims had self inflicted gunshot wounds.
It could have been written off as suicides, but it was what he found in their pockets, a book of matches with a rose design on the face, that made it all more confusing.
A damn confusing case, thought Nick as he grabbed his hat and made for the door. It was going to be a long day.
He arrived at the scene, flashing his badge to the fellow cops surrounding the area. He approached the taped off area and sighed, kneeling down to the corpse beneath him.
The slumped over body had bloodstains on the expensive pinstripe suit. Another gunshot, another stab, another dead body. As he looked on, a medic came up behind him, notioning for a stretcher.
Nick backed away and talked to the reporting officer, taking out his notepad.
“Detective Nick Bradshaw, CPD. State your name and what you first saw when you arrived on scene.”
“Name’s Guy Hardy. I was walkin by, off the clock, when I heard a loud sound, sorta like a gunshot, but more metallic. I had my pistol on me, so I drew it and walked to the alley.
I went over to see if there was someone in there. Next thing I knew, everyone’s here. Poor guy was clipped after seein the .
” Nick scribbled down the information as fast as Guy would throw it at him. He looked up, and closed his notepad. Nick sighed. Another body, and no lead.
“Thanks, Guy. If we need you, we’ll get you.” Nick returned back to the scene, body now removed, and examined it for clues.
Something was killing these people off, and it was bound to leave something behind.
Something sparkled in the morning sunlight that was about 5 inches away from the body: a shell casing, and by the looks of it, a .45.
He bagged it up and as he got up, he noticed one more thing: A piece of cloth right by, what would have been the victims hand. A struggle perhaps? He bagged that evidence and left the alley.
He gave the evidence to the office and told him to get it back to the lab. A hunch, wasn’t a good thing to go on in this profession, but it was all he had.
It was time to get back to the station. The coffee was getting cold.
The station door flew open as the sounds of mundane paperwork was resonant throughout the three floors. As Nick made his way to his office, he notioned for Sandy to follow him inside.
They both entered the wooden room, closing the door; leaving the ruckus outside.
He sat down in his worn down chair made of faux wood and began to sip at his coffee, leaving his gun and badge on the desk. Sandy threw her notes onto his desk, laying them out before him.
Bookshelves of various crime books, police codes, and notes he had made throughout the years collected dust at the walls of his office,
providing a comforting silence to contrast the chaos outside. Nick looked at Sandy, still drowzy from his awakening this morning as she started to talk.
“Welcome back to the land of the living detective. So here’s what we got so far: Toxicology came back negative on all the victims, clean as a whistle.
The pathology reports we’re dealing with a psychopath, a random quote unquote, ‘thrill killer’. Also, the last clue you found at the latest scene had writing on it.
The boys in the lab are working on deciphering the ambiguous trace. They didn’t say much, but they only said it seemed silky smooth. Perhaps a dress maybe?”
“Hmmm…” Nick murmured in between sips of the delicious black gold. He had three dead, apart of a dress, and no leads. Or...
did he? He thought about his hunch back at the scene and followed up on it. “Say, Sandy, where were all the victims found at? I didn’t write it down.”
“Victim one, Martin Vazquez, was found by the Red Daisy,” A whore house, Nick remembered. “Victim two, Johnny Reer, was found in his car outside The Lola Bar.
Victim three was found in the alley in between the Lola and the drug store.” The coffee didn’t numb him to the words that fell out of Sandy’s mouth as he finally had his first lead.
Maybe, one of those girls from the clubs had snapped. The blinding lights, egregious clientele, and the pole dancing are known to not be the best of working conditions.
Could lead alot of people to do alot of things. He had decided to set a course to The Lola Bar to start his search. But he’d be damned if he’d let this coffee go to waste.
The aroma of the fresh brew, combined with the stench of cigarettes past,
made Nick’s office more serene and peaceful to Sandy as she sat on his desk reviewing the information with him as she had did, countless years prior.
Since she had been hired, the combined odors of his office were nostalgic to her, bringing back memories of the subsequent cases. Suddenly the phone rang and her hand darted to the handset.
“Hello, Detective Nick Bradshaw’s office, this is Sandy speaking how may I help you? Mmhmm. Yeah. Alright. Yeah, I’ll tell him.
You take care now!” She hung the handset back onto the receiver of the rotary phone and turned towards Nick, falling asleep in his chair.
She picked up all of her folders and slammed them down hard onto the table, causing a loud crash, jolting Nick from his slumber, spilling his coffee. “That was the coroner.
Said something about the fissure of the gunshot. He found a .45 bullet in each one. The casing that you found wasn’t the one fired into our victim though. No word yet on the name.
Better get going to the clubs.” Nick stumbled out of his chair and out the door. Sandy rolled her eyes and shouted to him, “Badge!” He walked back in, and grabbed his badge and gun, and left.