This is my entry for the Summer Fiction Challenge by @theinkwell.
Prompts: murder / Did you say Camel?
My story is bit longer this time. I hope you get to the end ;)
Image taken from Freepik
"What have we got?," said detective Angela Beckett to her deputy after arriving at the crime scene.
"30 year old female, caucasian. She goes by the name of Emily Carson, single, and she is a lawyer. She was found on the kitchen floor by the housekeeper early in the morning".
"Cause of death?", asked Angela as she walked into the kitchen.
"Head wound consistent with a stroke with a cooking knife, probably. We are waiting for forensics to confirm as we haven't found the murder weapon"
"Time of death?"
"She's been dead for 12 hours according to forensics."
"Not in any place in the room. Only in this letter. We'll send it to the lab for examination,"
Deputy Lopez showed Beckett the letter.
Dear Emily, No matter what you said, you won't do this. This isn't over. I will come to you.
The rest of the letter was illegible as it was covered with blood.
Angela looked at the dead body.
"Yeah. What a waste."
Angela looked at Victor with contempt. He couldn't take things seriously. She, on the contrary, was a serious woman who had a deep respect towards the victims. She followed her father's footsteps by becoming a police officer and dedicated her whole life to her career.
"Have you notified the family yet?"
"Yes, but they are out of town."
"I see. I'll take a look around."
Beckett put on the gloves and bent over to examine the body. Her long black hair was covered in blood. Angela turned the victim's head and saw the gash in the scalp.
"It looks like she's also been stunned by a blow in the back of the neck. I don't think it was premeditated, otherwise she would have been stabbed right away."
She stood up and took a look at the area around the body which was next to the kitchen table. The objects above seemed jumbled and there were a couple of spoons and a glass on the floor, followed by the trace of what appeared to be wine.
"There are signs that indicate she fell unexpectedly probably after the hit, and struggle to escape her killer by dragging herself away."
"Yes," Lopez replied. "We looked for fingerprints but they were all hers. There was no sign of force entry."
"She knew the killer."
"Exactly. But if it wasn't premeditated, the killer's fingerprints should be everywhere."
"Maybe they didn't touch anything other than the murder weapon which they might have hold with a handkerchief or a napkin. But we'll determine that later when we find it. What did the maid say?"
"Well she left the house around 5pm last night. Nobody came to the house by then. She wouldn't know if anyone could have wanted to hurt the victim. She only remarked that since Miss Carson was a criminal lawyer she could have had enemies. But she didn't know about her work and told me to ask directly in her office."
"Let's go then."
Miss Carson's office was rather small. There were three desks and a couple of offices in the back. A woman in her twenties looked up from her desk as the detective approached.
"Good morning. I'm detective detective Beckett and this is detective Lopez. We are here to ask about Miss Emily Carson. She's been murdered."
The woman leaned back in her chair looking surprised and conflicted. "Emily's dead? Oh God!"
Beckett nodded as she wondered how Ashley really felt but she couldn't actually tell.
Did she have any problems at work? Do you know about the cases she was working in? Miss…"
"Miller, she replied as the shock wore off and she came back to reality, "Ashley Miller, I was her assistant. There's no problems here in the office, but if you ask me about the cases, there might be one. She puts...put, bad guys in jail.'
"Anyone in particular?".
Ashley thought for a moment. Well, there was this guy. He's about to be convicted for murder. He threatened Emily so she would stop investigating, but she got to the bottom of it. If you want I can give you the file."
"That would be great. Do you know if Miss Carson had a boyfriend, husband?"
"Yes. She was actually engaged to Robert Ellies."
"The baseball player?," Lopez asked.
Miss Miller nodded.
"Do you have his address?"
"Yes", Ashley handed her a piece of paper.
"Victor, go to Mr. Ellie's and then meet me at the station. I got this from here."
"Nice. I may get an autograph...I mean...yes ma'am" said Lopez after seeing the look of contempt in Angela's eyes. He took the address and left.
Ashley stood up and went to one of the offices.
Angela heard a deep voice behind her.
"Good morning officer. I just heard about Emily. What a terrible thing."
He looked agitated. "My name is Walter Riley. I'm her partner.", the man said as he shook her hand.
"I'm detective Angela Becker. May I ask you a few questions?"
"Of course. Let's go to my office."
They entered the small room and Walter tossed a box of cigarettes on the desk, sat in his chair and lit a cigarette, "do you mind?"
"No at all" (you should have asked me first). "Were you working with Miss Coleman's murder case?"
"Not really. You think the guy did it?"
"It's a theory. Can you think of someone else?"
"Her boyfriend", he replied at once. "He's a violent man. I don't know what she saw in him, always in love waiting for him to commit until now after several years. But I think he doesn't care about her. He cheated on her, you know"
"I see. You seemed to know a lot about this."
"Because she confided on me. I'm her friend."
"Oh I understand. You care about her"
"I did", he replied with sad eyes". It's such a shame she was murdered like that."
Ashley came with the file and handed it to Beckett.
"Well. I think I got what I need. Thank you."
Mr. Riley gave her a card, "Call me if there's anything you need"
When Angela left the building, she called Lopez, "Victor, Robert was having an affair. Ask him about it.".
After leaving Mr. Ellie's home, Lopez rang the bell of Miss Simmons, Robert's lover who was also Emily's former friend.
A beautiful blond woman opened the door.
"Miss Simmons?. I'm detective Lopez. I'm here to ask you a few questions about Miss Carson."
"Yes. Did something happen?,"
"She was murdered last night".
Miss Simmons made a sound of astonishment, covered her face and started to cry.
"She was stabbed in the back. I understand you've been fighting after what happened with Mr. Ellies."
She looked nervous. "Well, yes. But we didn't mean for that to happen. It just did"
"Where were you at 9pm last night".
"I was home...wait, you think I did this??"
"I'm just asking. It's protocol. Unless you wanted her out of Mr. Ellies' life"
"Of course not! I...Robert and I were involved, yes. But it is over now. He ended it. I wouldn't do that to her"
"We'll see about that. Stay in town in the meantime.", Lopez told her and then left for the station.
"Are you Mr. Barrenson?", Beckett asked the man of the murder case.
"Yes. What do you want?"
"I'm here about a murder investigation."
"I don't have anything to do with that. Who died?"
The surprise in his face changed to a sort of satisfaction.
"You seemed glad. Where were you last night?"
"I can't say I'm not. She was messing with my life. But I didn't kill her. You can ask my guys at the club. I was there last night."
"It seems to me you have every reason to kill her. Sir, I would need to come in."
"Do you have a warrant?".
"Then you can't come in."
I'll get one. Stay in town.
While Angela headed back to the station, she got a call from the lab. She was told the fingerprints found in the letter were Robert's.
At the station both detectives discussed their findings. Victor told Beckett he couldn't tell about the boyfriend's possible implication in the murder.
"He seemed very conflicted. I asked him about the letter and apparently, he just meant to ask her not to leave him".
Angela remembered the words from a different perspective. It's not over. I'll come to you
"Well. He doesn't seem to have a motive."
She reflected on what they got so far. The two suspects who had a motive to kill Miss. Carson were Mr. Barrenson and Miss. Simmons.
Beckett decided it was necessary to go back to the crime scene as she felt there might be something they were missing.
Back in the victim's home, the detectives looked for any clue that could be hidden somewhere. Beckett stood in the kitchen with her hand in the hips, glancing up and down the room. But nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.
A smell filled her nose. "Are you smoking? I thought you ran out of cigarettes.", she told Lopez.
"I did. But I found a box on the floor. I was just about to show you. "
"You are smoking the evidence??" she exclaimed with a reprimand tone.
"Relax. There's plenty, we can use the rest as evidence. I couldn't resist my favorite brand, Camel."
She couldn't believe her partner's stupidity, and suddenly realized, "Wait. Did you say Camel?"
It all seemed clearer now.
She remembered Walter's box of cigarettes, the logo was Camel. They came back to Emily's office. And approached Walter. "Mr. Riley, you are under arrest for the murder of Emily Carson"
"What?? I didn't do anything!", he said as Lopez handcuffed him.
In the interrogation room. Beckett stood in front of Riley who was seated behind a table.
Lopez entered the room and whispered to Angela "Barrenson's alibi checks out."
Now Angela was more convicted of her theory. She put her hands on the table and leaned towards Walter. "You went to her house last night, didn't you,? Your fingerprints matched the box of cigarettes you probably dropped at her house. All it took was one mistake."
"Ok. I did go to her house that night. She texted me she had broken up with Robert and said she needed a friend. So I offer to go there. But that was it".
"The hell it wasn't" Beckett said as she raised her voice. "You couldn't have known how she died unless you did it, and yet you said "It's a shame she died like that"
"You went there hoping you would be something more to her than a shoulder to cry on." Angela continued. "I think you made your move after all the time you wanted her. But she didn't return."
"Your wrong!", He said as he raised his voice.
"I'm not. She told you she didn't see you that way. Didn't she? She was never going to leave Robert. She loved him the way she will never love you."
"That's not true!." he said, raising his voice even more as tears started to come down his cheeks.
Angela slapped the table hard. "You killed her! Admit it!"
Her words caused him to react, and he slapped the table with rage stood up.
"YES I DID IT!! I was so angry. I've always been there for her. But she used me. She laughed at me when I confessed my love to her. I don't know what came on me. I…. I just couldn't help it. I hit her and then grab the knife... If she wasn't gonna be with me, she could never be with anybody else"
Angela sighed "And she never will."
Well done ... I write my share of mysteries, and I appreciate how you put this together because I was able to follow the clues, but I REALLY had to pay attention!
Aw thank you!
I'm really glad to hear that. It's the first time I write this kind of story. I wasn't sure if it was to obvious. I found it hard to come up with clues and to make sense of it because everything has to have coherence. It was also difficult for me to create dialogues. I guess it helped all the movies and TV series I've watched.
Thank you for stopping by and read. I really appreciate your comment.
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To support your work, I also upvoted your post!
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Wow! Thanks to #OCD and #theinkwell
I really appreciate it :)
And thank you for providing this space for writers to challenge themselves.
Hey @lacrucita. Was interested to read one of your stories after you dropped by at mine :).
That was a good read! I really liked how you kept the pace of the story high. There was a lot of content, moving the story forward all the time. I wasn't bored for a moment, but really curious about how things would go. Great work on putting the pieces of the puzzle together in the end.
What I liked about the dialogue is that from the very beginning, we get to know what type of lady Angela is by what she says. All her sentences are short, to the point, and kind of commanding. Showing she is in charge, powerful, a serious lady. By the way she speaks, I don't think she smiles a lot, but I do get the feeling she is probably great at her job.
Then maybe one point of feedback, which I think might make the story even stronger. Which has to do with describing, with showing the reader what's going on. Not too much, to keep the pace of the story high. But now and then, so that we feel we are really in there with the characters. For example, when Angela visits the office and the receptionist 'leaned back in her chair looking surprised and conflicted'. I felt like I wanted to know what she did, to give that impression. Especially for a detective like Lopez, who has an eye for detail, who doesn't jump to conclusions immediately but looks at the world objectively and collects her evidence from every little interaction. And maybe just a few details of the surroundings. Maybe the office has off-white marble floors and high ceilings. Something to speak to our imagination.
Looking forward to reading more of your stories! I really liked how you put together the clues, subtly, and gave us that 'aha moment' at the end!
I'm just reading this @amritadeva, sorry for the late reply.
I loved your feedback. It moves me how a reader such as yourself appreciate and accurately Interprete my story.I mean, you may even have a broader definition of my characters, which gives me more ideas on how to develop them.
I agree with you that the story needs more details so readers can have a better idea of the setting. I also wanted to include more of the characters' thoughts, what they are thinking.
This is the first time I write something like this. And to be honest, It's not my favorite. I actually wasn't sure if it was good enough. I guess all the crime stories of movies and TV series helped hehe. But I remember thinking that writing crime stories is more complicated that it seems, not only because of the development of the story and clues, but also because of the dialogues, which was the most difficult part for me. After finishing it I felt exhausted, even though I didn't write it all at once. But I wished I had more time to improve it.
I actually think I will hehe. Maybe the next readers will read something better. And maybe I will dared to write another one ;)
Thank you again for your feedback I really appreciate it.
Oh and I just published an article in which I included my previous work
I'll see you around!