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The Boy Called Death (Part 1): THE CRIME SCENE
Jeremy Fields had survived many sleepless nights from what he'd seen throughout the thirty years of his detective career. He’d been through serial killers, arsonists, drug curtails, white collar thieves, and gang violence…You name it and he’d been through it. After a while, all the crimes seemed to melt together and turn into one big pessimistic mess. It was one case after another. After he’d spend weeks on one case and finally close it, another ten were thrown at him. Sometimes he dreaded those mountain high stacks of files that he knew would greet him each morning in the office.
It was eight o’clock sharp when he arrived with the police at the crime scene. All he’d heard about the case was that it’d been a family of three, a good and upstanding white family by the sounds of it. The car slowed to a stop at the side of Maple Lane; red, blue, and white lights flashing in the cool of autumn night.
“So what are the details?” Fields asked the first police man he came to within the perimeter of that familiar, yellow caution tape. “Dennings: family of three. Mom is Stacy, dad is Edward, and son’s name is Kyle right?” He’d actually been off work and on call the whole day and they’d alerted him not an hour ago while he was at the bar. If these murderous pricks pulled him away from a good night at Buffalo Wild Wings again, by God, he wouldn’t hesitate to light up their asses: protocol be damned.
“Right. It’s a real mystery until we get lab results on the bodies,” the police noted tiresomely.
“What do you mean? No outward cause of death? What about a struggle?” Fields asked as he began to walk into the house, shouldering past the other policemen. It was a scene of organized chaos. Everyone seemed to be doing their job, bustling about searching for fingerprints and other fragments of evidence that could be found.
“The parents are in their bedroom upstairs,” the policeman pointed up the wooden stairs and they climbed up towards the scene of the crime.
The room was simple with a red carpet, white furniture, a walk in closet, and the master bath. It seemed like an ordinary display to him. A vase of flowers was knocked on the floor and the mirror above the dresser was shattered. The men tried to avoid getting cut by the shards as tried putting together what had happened.
Two bodies sprayed out on the floor. Mr. and Mrs. Denning’s dead, glazed over eyes were wide with frozen terror. Stacy’s was open in a desperate scream and Edward’s was clamped shut. Their bodies were pale, stiff, and cold. The estimated time of death was around 3pm that same afternoon. Fields examined the corpses from head to toe but it was true. There really weren’t any signs of outward damage besides the blood on Mrs. Denning’s fists, probably from breaking the mirror. “No gunshot, bruises from strangulation, stabs or slices, or poison via syringe. I’ll be damned. Maybe someone slipped them something in food or drink?” he wondered aloud.
“Like I said, we won’t really know until we get lab results,” the policeman beside him huffed. “They look like they were living their worst nightmare before they died. Jesus Christ…”
“It probably was, officer,” Fields breathed. He crouched over the bodies for examination of anything out of place but with no luck. “Where’s the son?” he finally asked as he made the struggle to straighten up again.
“In his room. It’s through the hallway out here.” The policeman led him down the hallway where the framed pictures of a once, so happy family hung on the cream walls. In the center of the room a young, blonde-haired boy lay face down on the carpet, his toys scattered everywhere as if dumped from their buckets.
There were no scratches on the furniture, shattered lamps, or traces of blood. Fields turned the boy’s head to see his face: pure terror. There weren’t any rips or drops of blood on his pajamas or his body. Something had obviously spooked him. Was it a fight between his parents or was he upset and had a temper tantrum? No, temper tantrums were violent but they didn’t cause death. That he knew for sure. “Were there any witnesses at all? Anyone who heard screams? Anything?” he asked, still probing the body in a search for any physical clues to what had happened.
“No neighbors have come up to us with anything, no,” the police man shook his head. Another police man ran into the room from downstairs in an almost excited manner. “What is it?” the police man with Fields turned to face his co-worker.
“I think we got a fingerprint, sir. I mean, I suppose it could be the family’s but…” he rubbed his gloved hands together, suddenly unsure of the information he was delivering.
“Are you serious, Archer? Of course there’re finger prints everywhere that’d belong to the family. Where did you find them?”
“On the stair rail…I think,” Archer took the insult casually, as if he were used to it. Fields sure wouldn’t put it past the man.
“You think. Well if the men think it could be the suspects then get it identified as soon as possible. Got it?”
“Yes sir,” Archer retracted himself from them at once and retreated down the stairs.
“So there’re no traces in the rooms or the bodies. Why the heck would this killer let himself make the mistake of getting his hands all over the stair rail?” the police man wondered.
“Mistakes happen,” Fields shrugged and began heading out the door. “Make sure to call me once you got identification on that finger print.”
“Right.” The police gave one look back at the boy’s room and shivered. Something felt awfully wrong about this murder, almost spooky. It didn’t seem like anything ghastly happened and there weren’t signs of torture. Still, he couldn’t shake off the feeling like a darker force was behind the looks on the dead’s faces.