“Drake!” I jump at the sound of my name. “Drake, we found another bo—“
Byrne’s voice trails off when he notices I’m on the phone. He stands, intrusively at my door, waiting; arms folded, foot tapping.
“I need to go.” I hang up and glare at him. “What, Byrne? What is so important that you can’t give me two minutes for a personal call on my lunch break?”
Sensing my frustration he cautiously makes his way to my desk where he abruptly sits. “We, my dear, have a possible murder to solve. Now if that is not a pressing enough matter, perhaps a change of career is in order.”
“Get your butt off my desk.” I say as I stand.
“And stop staring at mine!” I bark over my shoulder as I march out of my office.
I can hear him chuckling as we make our way to the car. He stands by the driver side door, hands resting on the hood. I glare at him. “Fine, you can drive” is all he says as he tosses me the keys. His form of both a surrender and an apology.
“The body was discovered about an hour ago by some guy out walking his dog. He says it was suicide. He was shot in the head. The shotgun was found next to his body. They want us to check it out just to be sure.” Byrne fills me in as we drive to the crime scene.
The crime scene is surrounded by overgrown grassy fields with a small clearing close to the road. There are at least three squad cars with lights flashing. One police officer is getting the man’s statement. His dog eagerly trying to get to the body. I give the man a once over and observe him. Just to be sure he’s not the possible murderer.
Another police officer escorts us to the body. He pulls the sheet back revealing a half-blown off head. I crouch to get a closer look. Something about this case doesn’t feel like a suicide. It reeks of a cover up. And rotting flesh. As I examine the body Byrne continues to ramble on about useless stuff. Now that he has a super smart and amazing partner he never does any work. Which I am grateful for. The sooner I prove myself the sooner I can work alone.
“Drake, do you ever smile?” I do my best to ignore him. Sometimes his carefree and fun attitude comes off as more childish and annoying. “Hello? Drake?”
“First of all, my name is Alex, not Drake. Secondly, I am examining what is left of a man’s head who was shot point blank a few days ago. He stinks. It’s disgusting to look at. Why would I be smiling right now?” I return to examining the mush that is left of the man’s head. I will never get used to the smell.
“Good point. However, it’s warm out. The sun is shining. And we, are not dead. That’s reason enough for me, Sunshine. Plus, we’ve been partners for, what, eight months now and I have yet to see you smile. Actually, genuinely smile.”
“So, do you?” He says as he crouches down in front of me.
“What?” I’m examining the victim’s right hand, not really paying attention to what he is saying.
I jump up, “this wasn’t suicide.”
“Wait, how do you know it wasn’t suicide. This looks like a suicide. Single gun shot wound to the head. the gun was in his hand. Plus, you aren’t the coroner.” He follows me into the tall grassy field.
“Aha! Look! Shoe prints. Boots to be specific. Our victim is wearing sneakers.” He crouches down next to me. “Yes, I see them. But how do we know they aren’t from the guy who discovered the body or from before the victim was left here?”
I stand, “first of all, the guy who discovered the victim was also wearing sneakers. ADIDAS to be exact. Secondly, it rained in the weeks prior to the suicide/murder. Any footprints made prior would have been washed away. The man died about three days ago. These footprints are fresh. Either someone was watching or these belong to our killer.”
“Oh”, that’s all he can muster to say as I start walking back to the body.
(to be continued…)