Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crime Scene

Detective Gina Walder stood in the doorway of the apartment taking a mental snapshot of the living room. An overturned chair. Magazines and knick knacks, were scattered on the floor, along with an HP laptop, probably from the coffee table. One couch cushion askew and a bright green throw pillow tossed haphazardly to one side. The Price is Right was screaming from the television.

Her experience told her the scene was staged.

Her partner had a different thought. “Looks like the perp was searching for something.” They stepped further into the room, careful to not disturb anything. The crime scene geeks were already busy taking pictures and cataloging evidence.

“I don’t think so, Charlie, its pretty neat for a ransack. The shelves are all intact. None of the books or Cd’s are out of place. Her purse is emptied, but cash and cards are still there.”

“Nah. He just ran outta time before bing surprised by the vic.” Gina shook her head. Charlie was a nice guy, but he didn’t always put forth a lot of effort during investigations. Just a quick look was enough for him. “Besides, Gina, the kitchen is where the action took place, come on.”

The kitchen was definitely where the action was. Breakfast dishes had been swept from the table. Soggy cereal was topped with blood spatter. A puddle of coffee was mingling with red from the head wounds suffered by the once pretty blond lying on the floor.

“There was no surprise, the vic was already here,” Gina said, “whoever it was, was after her.”

Charlie shrugged, “we’ll have to wait for the ME before we can move her, but I’d say the COD was blunt force trauma to the head. What d’ya think Gina?”

Gina looked at what was left of the woman’s face. “What do I think? I think this is a crime of passion. Overkill for sure. The perp was pissed off at this woman.” She turned to Charlie, “that’s what I think.”

“Or just robbery gone bad. The living room’s a mess, remember.”

“That room was set-up. And if it was robbery, why not steal the TV, laptop, or at least her credit cards?”

“Neighbors say she was a nice quiet type. No male visitors. Home at a reasonable time in the evening. Everyone liked her.” Charlie spied a glint around the woman’s neck. “Some bling here, Gina.” He gently lifted a pendant with his pen. A golden heart with a single diamond.

“She had a man in her life then. Women don’t often buy that kind of thing for themselves.” Gina unconsciously touched the pendant she wore.

Charlie switched gears, “anyway, the guy across the hall is a maybe. About her age, I’d guess. Maybe he was more interested in her than she was in him.”

“Possible. Check him for priors. Ask him downtown for more info, then push him to see how well he knew her. Or wanted to know her. I’ll go see her employer and talk to her co-workers. See what they have to say.” Gina made her way to the entry door. She’d wait for the forensics team to tell her more.

Charlie watched Gina leave. Before he got away himself, one of the crime geeks brought him the vics cell phone is a clear evidence bag.

“Your body just got a text, detective.”

Charlie held the bag up, he had his perp. The message was on the screen.

She knows

Write a piece in which your character catches that dramatic break in the case and is on the verge of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Help us solve a classic “who-dunnit” but don’t tell us who it is! Let’s see if we can guess for ourselves in your comments!  (yes, I failed.  But I tried!)

Story Dam


  1. Was it the detective? Gina? Even I was wrong, it was fun to read! Love the gritty CSI -side of Renee!

    1. This was a toughie for me. I wanted to put so much more in.

      And, yep. Gina's the perp.

      I think.

  2. My guess is Charlie, though I've always been terrible at solving these things. I figured out the most recent Patricia Cornwell a third of the way through and crowed about it for days, because I never ever manage to do that.

    1. Sometimes I can figure them out. Not always though.
      Actually I was thinking Gina, but all the comments have me rethinking.

  3. Really haven't got any idea who did it - maybe Gina was having an affair with the victim - both had pendants?
    Your writing of dialogue is good - moves the story along well - and shows the two characters too - 600 words is difficult to work with
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you, I'm starting to feel more comfortable with dialogue. It really scared me for a while.
      And I'm loving the different directions I'm getting from the comments.

  4. Well, if "she knows" and we are only to choose from the characters presented in the piece, it would have to be Gina.

    I really liked the pace of the story and the back and forth between Gina and Charlie.

    One thing that I am not fond of is the use of brand names (HP laptop) unless they are relevant to the story, same thing for the name of the show (The Price is Right). It could just be "laptop" and "some cheesy game show (or soap opera)". It may date your piece. But that's just me... it's a pet peeve of mine.

    1. Thank you, and yes it's Gina. Or at least it was when I wrote it. After reading the comments I can see other scenarios.

      I get your thoughts about brand names. I think I was trying too hard to create the "scene".

  5. I'm with Martha on this. But if it was Gina she kind of points her partner in the right direction when he's happily going off in a completely different one. Why would she do that?

    Same with the brand names, it's usually no problem but if and when you get published your stuff could sit around in a publishing house for one or two years...brand names are always a problem then as it's easy to date a story. But as it's just fine and adds to making it feel real.

    1. It was supposed to be Gina. She treats this crime scene as all others though. Professionally. Charlie is laid back. Without the text, he'd never have worked hard enough to solve it.

      I lost a lot with the word limit too. I had way more to add that might have made it better. Maybe I'll play with it some more.

  6. Im with Jester, Charlie. Gina's too friggin obvious. She's a hot mess with too many red herrings.

    I love the cliffhanger.

    I need to comment more. I've been lurking like a champ.

    1. It was supposed to be Gina. She was just doing the job expected of her.
      However, the comments have been making my mind flip back and forth. I may have to work with these two some more.

  7. This turned out fine! I don't know what you were worried about.

    I LOVE the ending... "She Knows" GAH that has me so curious!

    As for constructive advice, I know we shouldn't be too critical of punctuation, but when it affects readability, I feel obligated to say something. Aside from that, great job!

    1. Ack! I'll have to go back and fix that. I'm usually pretty obsessive about my punctuation.
      And thank you, I was really stressed over this. I think I wanted to add more.

  8. Great job! I'm with Brandon, I don't know what you were so worried about ;)

    I pictured everything about the scene of the crime, which made my stomach turn a little by the fault for eating while reading this. I saw it perfectly!

    This definitely left me wanting to read more, the "She knows" could have come from several people so this could make for a great 'who done it'.

    1. Thanks Brandi, sorry about your meal, ;-)
      As I replied to Brandon, this one was hard for me. And after reading the comments, there are so many places to go with it.
      I hadn't planned on revisiting, but....hmmmm.