Body

Posted: August 30, 2009 in Beauty, City, Crime, Dark, Death, Drama, Ecstasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Imagery, Life, Medical, Night, Rural, Sleep, Ugly, Women

Blonde hair that might have looked good if it was washed, faded green eyes, clear skin, almost rail-thin; by today’s conventions, she was very pretty. Her skin was pale, almost anemic. Besides a possible case of anorexia (judging by her weight and height), she had a slight yellow tinge to her skin that signified the early stages of liver failure, symptomatic of heavy drinking. To most people, she might have looked like a typical California girl, yet to me it was evident that her body was being badly abused through alcohol and starvation. Which, it could be argued, did in fact define a typical California girl.
White, cotton blouse. Dirty from the night, maybe a party. Dark blue jeans that were clinging far too much to her skinny little legs. Hollister sandals, bronze toe ring. A ring on her finger, a plain silver band with an opal set into it. Diamond studs in her ears. Cheap, gold-colored bracelet on her left forearm.
She looked like the kind of girl with family problems; a lot of problems, in fact. Maybe an abusive boyfriend, friends that were regularly drunk and stoned every night, trouble with school. Anything could have contributed to the situation she was now in. The situation being, of course, the fact that she was lying on her back in the middle of a grassy field at seven o’clock in the morning, eyes open, staring into the sky with cuts and bruises fresh across her face.
Add that to the list of her problems. She was dead.
“What was the name?” I ask curiously, pushing her head from side to side with the eraser head of a pencil I had found in my pocket. Tammy looks disgustedly at me from behind a clipboard that she’s scribbling on.
“Have respect for a corpse, Taggart.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, Tam,” I mutter, peering into the dead girl’s mouth, “call me Johnny.”
She ignores me. “Her name was Cassandra Halverson. Found her wallet and driver’s license. No cash, credit cards still there. Organ donor.”
“Well, I wouldn’t want her liver,” I murmur, poking curiously at dead, jaundiced skin. I pick up her hand and inspect her fingernails; yellow, like her teeth. A heavy smoker, drinker, possible drug user. “Did you send off samples to the lab for a tox screen yet?”
“Haven’t gotten them yet,” she mumbles, distracted by the clipboard in front of her.
“What are you doing there, Tam?”
“I like to guess at causes of death while I’m waiting for the brass to arrive.” She brushes a strand of hair back from her face. “At the top of the list now is alcohol poisoning, drug overdose, or boyfriend beating. All of which could have contributed to each other.”
Tammy’s a very smart woman. Those were my guesses as well. I peer into Cassandra’s staring eyes; the pupils are heavily dilated.
“Looks like ecstasy. Combined with alcohol could have lead to dehydration…which wouldn’t have been helped by her body type.”
Tammy nodded. “There was a card for an anorexia support group in her wallet. Looked like it was there for a while.”
“To be honest, though, the bruises are at the top of my list. Or some other kind of external damage.”
“Why is that?” she asks curiously. “You think this could be a murder? Sometimes bruises are just bruises.”
“I’m just thinking out loud. Twenty bucks says someone killed her.”
“I’ll take that. You’re not always right, Taggart.”
“Johnny,” I grunt, squatting next to the body and looking down at it. “Did anyone move the body yet?” I wave my hand at the forensic techs combing the field.
“No, but Noriega doesn’t want anyone moving it anyway, so you’ll just have to sit tight until he gets here.” She returns to her list.
“But you took pictures?” I ask.
“Uh-huh,” she says quietly, drawing a line through something on the clipboard.
“You were always very thorough about that kind of thing,” I comment as I reach under the body and flip it onto its stomach.
“Johnny!” Tammy cries out, eyes widening as I disturb her crime scene. “You can’t–!”
She stops, staring at Cassandra Halverson’s back. I look up to her, unable to keep a small, smug look off of my face.
“Seven in the morning and I’ve already made twenty bucks,” I laugh. I gaze back down to the body, to the dark, almost black bloodstain that spreads across her white blouse.
I give Tammy’s horrified expression a grim smile. “Murder.”

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Comments
  1. carole cromwell paddock says:

    omg I love it. Keep going. I wanna know what’s next. XXmadre

  2. I love it. Makes my little story looks like nothing. Ha, i would love to hear more!

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