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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Biblically Dark

Chapter 13 (v.1) - Chapter Thirteen

Submitted: August 27, 2018

Reads: 89

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Submitted: August 27, 2018



Medio Terrarum 

"How's the wife?"


Peter laughed. "Unless you have another one." 

"Yeah, she's doing well. Did I tell you she got that writing position for the paper she applied for?" 

"No kidding! And little LJ?"

Jack smiled. "Not so little anymore." 

The two of them pulled up in front of the small, tan house they had been assigned to. Yellow crime scene tape was being held up by tall traffic cones set up on the sidewalk. Two officers stood guard outside the perimeter of tape, keeping passer-bys and news reporters at bay. One was slimmer and the other more heavy set. Jack and Peter stepped out of their black police cars, slamming the doors shut in unison. 

The heavier officer watched as they approached, standing his ground. Jack pulled his badge out of his pocket and saw Peter do the same beside him. "Detectives Jack and Bedisa." 

"Ah, yeah. They told us you were coming." The officer lifted the tape so the two men could duck under. "Gloves are on the table in the hallway when you first step in." 

"Thanks," Peter responded, continuing up the driveway with Jack. As they drew closer to the house, another officer appeared in the open doorway. She had a slim but fit figure and her long, dark brown hair was tied up in a pretty - but formal - bun.  Her gloved hands were resting on her hips. 

"So, the big shots finally decided to show up," she called to them. 

Peter leaned close to Jack's ear, whispering proudly, "She called me a big shot." 

Jack shook his head before retorting simply, "We just got the call." He climbed the one step to meet her on the porch. 

"Figures," she sighed. "Anyway, I'm Sergeant Julie Smith." She extended a quick hand to Jack, and then to Peter who had a stupid smile planted on his face. "Vic's inside. Grab a pair of gloves." She lead them into the house, going all the way down the hall until she entered the living room. 

Jack and Peter followed close behind, each snapping on a pair of white rubber gloves. 

"Nothing's been touched since the police got here," Julie stated, gesturing around. 

There was not much to see. Just the back of the young man's head resting on the couch. His mouth was hanging slightly open, and if his eyes were closed, he could've been mistaken for sleeping. 

"Do we know how he died?" Jack asked as he circled around the couch to get a better look. 

"We're never certain until the autopsy, but it appears to be asphyxiation."

"I'm guessing you drew your hypothesis around these?" Peter gestured toward the bruises around the teenagers neck. They slightly resembled a hand.

"Originally, yes. But take a look in his mouth." 

Jack raised his eyebrows before leaning over the body. His gloved hand carefully pried the boy's lips open and he peered inside. 

"What do you see, James?" Peter asked, leaning over the back of the couch, trying to find a view through Jack's fingers. "Did he use Colgate?" 

"How very mature," Jack said, leaning in closer. Peter only smiled in response. After examining the contents of the boy's mouth Jack asked, "Is that pizza?" 

"Sure does look like it," Julie answered. "It's as if he tried to swallow it whole." 

Jack let the boy's lips snap back into place, standing straight. 

"Wait..." Peter started. "This isn't one of those stupid challenges is it?" 

"What do you mean?" Jack inquired. 

"You know those ones LJ is always talking about? Like the 'Tide Pod Challenge.' Eat a Tide pod and see if you don't die. Now it's swallow a whole pizza and see if you don't suffocate." 

Jack looked to Julie to see what she thought. She shrugged. "I'm not counting any ideas out just yet, but it seems more likely that he was forced to eat it. Probably by the same person who strangled him." 

Jack pondered the situation for a second. "That's what doesn't make sense to me. I mean, this is a big guy, but the handprint on his neck is small. So how does one person - a female by the looks of it - hold him down with one hand and stuff and entire pizza down his throat with the other?" 

"It must've been Wonder Woman." Peter said seriously. 

Jack sighed. "I hate to agree with that but yeah." 

Julie looked between Jack and Peter. "So... you guys are telling me our suspect profile is some chick in skimy armor." 

"Well," Peter said, matter-of-factually, "It was a joke." 

Julie made a no-duh face.

"Who made the call to the department?" Jack asked, ignoring Peter's shenanigans. 

"The kid's mom. She came home this morning and found him like this." 

"Where is she now?" 

"At the department. She's making her statement." 

Jack took one final look around. "I think we're done here. CSI can have the scene." 

Julie nodded, unclipping her radio from her belt. "She's all yours," she spoke into it. A staticy voice replied simply, "10-4." 

"Thank you, Sergeant," Jack said, coming back from around the couch to shake Julie's hand. Peter followed suit saying, "Thanks, Julie." He handed her his contact card. 

"Um... what is this?" Julie asked, holding up the tiny piece of cardstock. 

"You know," Peter shrugged, "In case CSI turns up anything interesting." He winked before following Jack out the door. Behind him, Julie placed the card in her pocket, a look of slight confusion on her face. 

"Was that really necessary?" Jack asked once they had crossed the tape and were on the sidewalk. 

"What? I'm just being thorough." 

Jack shook his head, smiling. 

"I mean, you've gotta admit, she was kinda cute." 

"I'm married, Pete." 

"That's not a denial." 

"Get in the car." 

Peter smiled mischievously, opening up the passenger side door. He slid into his seat, grinning the whole time. Jack shoved the keys into the ignition and the two of them made their way back to the department. 

© Copyright 2019 P.J. Bomre. All rights reserved.


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