Author's note: An old type-writer inspired this book.
The crime in late SundayThe body was thrown without consideration into the bed of the truck. Month old beer cans made their presence known as the outsides of their rusted aluminum made contact with the dismantled figure that was once known as a human being. Doris threw his gloves off and joined Stark in the front seat off the vehicle. They both looked at each other without saying a word. After a few failed attempts at starting the engine, a powerful turn of the ignition sent them on their way. Just like that, they were gone. They disappeared just as quickly as they had appeared. As the night grew silent, the piercing shriek that came from Mrs. Larth’s throat ended the few minutes of silence. There had been a crime.
As Mr. Ramond approached my office, I swiftly put my magazine under the desk and pretended that I was working diligently. He walked through the door and informed me of the news every person who is employed hates to hear.
“I’m not a moron Otis. I saw you reading that magazine. I am completely aware of your slacking of duties. This kind of leisurely activity is not what we need in this department.”
“Of course not Mr. Ramond, it won’t happen again.”
“No, I don’t want to hear it. You say this every time. I’m tired of the typical bull-s***. You are terminated.”
For a second, I just sat in my chair, not knowing what to say. I quickly realized that my source of income was on the line.
“Please Mr. Ramond, I swear that this form of behavior is a thing of the past. Please, one more chance.”
Mr. Ramond thought for a moment, then began shaking his head. I began gathering my things as I realized I realized that I was going to be unemployed.
“Alright, ONE more chance, but that’s it. If it weren’t for your stellar workmanship when you actually work, ten you would be out of here. This is your only chance to prove that you are a key asset to this department.”
“Yea, yes sir. I’ll do anything.”
“Last night, around 10:00, Mrs. Sheila Larth contacted us with news that her husband had been kidnapped. After some preliminary searching of the Larth residence, we found nothing. You are assigned to this case. We need you to find us some answers. Anything from evidence to whereabouts is what we’re looking for.”
“I’m, I mean I’ll get right on it.”
“You’re damn right you are, the Larth’s address is 5382 Smithson Dr.”
The moment the words ‘Smithson Drive’ flowed from Mr. Ramond’s mouth, a shiver sent my bones rattling. Smithson Drive was the street I grew up on. It was unbelievable that such a crime happened in the very area I called home for more than half my life. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to grown men, and there’s rarely ever an instance where nothing is found in the home of a victim. I grabbed my wind-breaker and disappeared out the door of my office.
“Don’t mess this up Otis, don’t mess this up,” echoed Mr. Ramond’s voice as I jogged out of the corridor. The wind-breaker did nothing to keep the frigid November winds from making me shiver. I got into my car and cranked the heater up, before zooming off to the neighborhood I grew up in. As I jogged my memory for the directions, I nearly ran over a dog. I threw on the brakes and gazed forward for a moment. I pulled my car off to the side of the road and tried to calm myself down. I don’t know why I was so hyped up, but my nerves were on the edge. I guess the combination of thinking I was going to be fired, paired with finding out about a kidnapping in my old neighborhood just got my heart pumping faster. After taking deep breaths, I started my engine and drove.
My car screeched to a halt in front of 5382 Smithson Dr. The house was a battered mess, to put it lightly. I opened my car door and approached the side walk leading up the home. I knocked on the door and waited for a moment. When nobody came to the door, I knocked once more. After standing and shivering for about a minute, I concluded that no one was home. Once I had turned and began descending the stairs down to the walk way, I heard a door creak open. I spun around and saw Sheila Larth peeking her concerned eyes through the door. I slowly walked towards the door.
“Hello Mrs. Larth,” I said as softly as possible. “I’m Otis Mackey, I’m with The Department of Justice. I know what you’ve gone through is rough, but I need to ask a few questions.”
“Come in,” she said with a voice that indicated years of screaming and yelling. I entered here home and tripped over god knows what. I couldn’t even see the floor. Now I know why there was no evidence. This place was the filthiest thing I’ve ever encountered.
“Have a seat on the couch,” Mrs. Larth said. After I looked around the room for a few moments, she walked over to what I thought was a pile of trash. She brushed off cans, clothes, and debris until I saw a coach hidden beneath the rubble. I cautiously sat down. The only thing in the room I could see that wasn’t trash or the couch I was sitting on was a rocking chair. Surprisingly, this was completely clear of all the garbage contaminating the rest of the room.
“When did you notice that your husband had gone missing?”
“Well, I was sitting on my rocking chair and enjoying a beer. My husband had already gone to bed. I was trying to get drunk so I could pass out, I haven’t been sleeping very well. After 3 beers, I was starting to feel dizzy, so I stumbled over to our bedroom. The lights were off when I crawled into bed. I put my hand where my husband was supposed to be, and when I realized he wasn’t there, I panicked. I ran around the house looking for him. I re-entered our bedroom and noticed something I hadn’t noticed before.”
Sheila Larth then looked down and a small tear appeared in the corner of here eye. She sniffled and peered forward with a distant look.
“What did you find Mrs. Larth?”
“Our window was smashed and there was blood on the remaining shards. I let out a shriek of horror afterwards because of the realization of what had happened.”
I went into the bedroom and searched for fingerprints. I collected samples and went to say good-bye to Mrs. Larth. As she was thanking me for trying to find her husband, we were blinded by a pair of lights that shone into the front room. I walked to the window with my eyes covered, tripping over trash as I made my way. I opened my eyes slightly could see a car. There were two men in the front seats. The car backed out and turned so that the left side of the car was facing the house. The driver slipped a gun barrel out of the window.
“Get down!” I screamed as I ducked. A group of three round bursts were fired at the house. I looked at Sheila and saw the panic in her eyes. Bullet after bullet broke through the house, hitting everything around us. I tried to scream to Mrs. Larth and get her to crawl to her bedroom, but I couldn’t be heard through the gunfire. After watching a bullet pierce through Mrs. Larth’s leg, I began crawling to her. She let a scream and the men in the car must have thought she died, for they drove away. I swiftly brought myself to my feet and helped up a now weeping Mrs. Larth. I told her that I was going to bring her to the hospital.
While helping Sheila Larth limp outside, I looked back at the home. The gun men made the house look like Swiss cheese. The house was plastered with holes, every window was shattered. I helped Sheila into the car, then got in myself. We drove to the emergency room silently. Upon arrival, I got her a wheelchair and wheeled her inside. I didn’t stay, I made sure she was in good care, then departed. I dropped off the fingerprints for DNA testing, then went home for the night. The day went from me reading a magazine to my life being put in danger. This was the wake-up call my career had needed.