Death of a Nurse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

The mean old nurse at Healing Care Hospital had many enemies and was hated by her staff.
Who amongst them finally had enough and killed her ?

Death of a Nurse

By

Sharief Hendricks

Nurse Violet Sharp entered the Healing Care Hospital laundry room to drop off her dirty lab coat at the end of her shift. She threw it into the laundry basket then she noticed a nurse’s shoe. To her horror, the mangled body in a nurse's uniform was inside the basket. The victim's head was closed with a ward bedsheet. She gasped in terror when she realised who it was, as confirmed by the name badge, Chief Nurse Megan Meadows. A sickening scream echoed through the hospital.

Detective Mike Pringle arrived at the hospital to be greeted by young Constable Steve Mathews, who briefed him on the scene. Pringle glanced at the wall clock above the dusty Christmas tree to confirm the time on his Chrono, 9 pm exactly.

The elevator doors closed, and Constable Mathews informed the veteran detective Pringle that the cause of death was most likely blunt force trauma.

“Mathews, was the victim’s face open or covered?”

“Err, why sir?" Then he realised who he was talking to, “err my apology, sir, yes, the victim's face was closed.”

Pringle and Mathews's eyebrows raised when they spotted the boss.

“Evening Captain, fancy seeing you here?”

 “Ja well, the commissioner knows the deceased.”

Pringle couldn’t help thinking, “If only the useless commissioner cared this much about every victim.”

Pringle entered the laundry room and immediately picked up a host of perfume fragrances. He couldn’t place them all, but some stood out more than others. His strong sense of smell latched on to the five liveliest scents, Chanel no 5, Dolce & Cabana Black, Versace Lace. A deeper whiff confirmed DKNY, the green apple. There was one more that proved more challenging than the rest. Pringle couldn't identify it right away. It had a softer scent, yet it was muskier and lingered longer compared to the rest. The victim's body was inside a laundry basket amongst dirty sheets and lab coats. Her right foot was exposed as it hung over the edge. Pringle noticed that the laundry detergent shelf was misaligned. He bent down to take a closer look when something caught his experienced eye.

"Mathews, look here, reach under the shelf with your pen and get it but be careful not to damage it.

"Got it, sir,” Mathews grimaced as he got to his feet.

Mathews stretched out the latex glove and picked up the object.

“It’s a name badge detective, Nurse Lisa Little.” 

"Bag it, Mathews.”

Detective Pringle stood over the dead body dumped inside the laundry basket.

“Glove.”

“Err, here you go, sir.”

Detective Pringle lifted the bed sheet to reveal the victim’s face.

“White female in her late fifties, name on the badge, Chief Nurse Megan Meadows,"

The seasoned detective surveyed the corpse looking for the missing pieces he needed to put the jigsaw puzzle together.

“You were a tough old girl, weren't you. I bet you put up a good fight.”

On closer observation, Pringle noticed that her head was in a weird position.

“Look here, Mathews, probably broken?” Pringle pointed out the dark purple discolouration on the side of the victim's neck.

That was the easy part, but what bugged his brain and garnered all his interest was the strange bruises and light scratches on the deceased face. Rigor Mortis hadn’t fully occurred yet. Pringle opened the dead nurse's right hand from which he carefully and meticulously removed a beige elastic hairband.

"Mathews, please bag this as evidence,"

Pringle then turned his focus to a little brown smudge mark on the victim’s left elbow.

“Mathews, please swab this and bag it.”

Captain Crass entered the laundry room, “so what do you think, Pringle?”

“Simpler than what I initially thought. I should have something for you within 48 hours.”

“Good. I will see you back at the precinct.”

“Yes, captain, later.”

Mathews was impressed with Pringle’s confidence after having assessed the crime scene for only a few minutes.

“Mathews, let the boys know they can remove the body.”

The basket was finally free of its unwanted load after the coroner’s transporters removed the chief nurse whose shift ended permanently.

"Mathews, please toss the basket and empty it, slowly."

The Constable’s heart started to race as the upside-down basket let go of its treasures. Mathews removed all the garments from the floor and picked up the fabrics carefully to ensure he doesn't remove anything important.

"What’s that shiny purple object over there, Mathews?”

"Where sir, I don't see anything," Mathews said as his nose hovered inches from the floor.

"Next to the socks.”

“Oh, I see it, well-spotted detective. It’s a gemstone. it's way too small to belong to a ring or a chain, right?"

“Possibly. I have seen enough Mathews. Let's go and interview the staff and possible suspects, starting with the owner of the name badge, Nurse Lisa little,” Pringle said as he got to his feet.

“Ok, detective. There are only seven people on night shift duty on this floor which includes the receptionist and the deceased. This is the ICU ward.”

The following days were spent interviewing the night shift staff. Some more than once.

__________________**_________________

Two days later, Detective Mike Pringle returned to Healing Care Hospital. He gave firm instructions to Mathews to get everyone to report to the ICU staff room. Present were Pringle, Mathews, Captain Crass, four uniformed officers, the Acting Chief Nurse Olga Fritz, the hospital superintendent, and the five-night shift staff. The receptionist was not summoned.

After concluding the intense separate interviews, Pringle narrowed his list down to five possible suspects. He was confident that one of them was the killer. They all had motive to want to kill her and all their alibis were weak and suspicious…

Nurse Violet Shaw discovered the body.

The name badge belonging to Nurse Lisa Little, was found at the scene of the crime.

Nurse Ingrid Bird left before the police arrived.

Nurse Cassidy Block had openly threatened the mean nurse and had an altercation with her on the night of the murder.

The only male nurse that worked the night shift was Liam Webb. Rumour had it that Mean Megan told every patient in her care that nurse Liam was gay. Nurse Megan often remarked about Liam's manhood and even touched him inappropriately in the canteen a few times.

"Thank you all for availing your time. I scheduled this meeting at this hour as this is when you have your shift break. Thank you for your cooperation, allowing me to interview you all in length over the past two days. We are all here tonight to establish what happened two nights ago when Chief Nurse Megan Meadows, AKA Mean Megan, was brutally murdered.”

It became clear from all the interviewees that Mean Megan as she was secretly known had earned that name. She was not a very nice human being, but she was a human being nonetheless. The law stated that if you kill a human being, you shall be prosecuted and punished. During the interviews, Pringle emphasised that fact to all of them.

“I am convinced that whoever is responsible for her death is in this room right now. You see, I suffer from a condition called Hyperosmia. It’s an increased olfactory acuity. In short, it means a heightened sense of smell.”

Captain Crass intervened, “Pringle the hound we call him. He can smell a cigarette 500 meters away.”

Pringle continued, “I can pick up a definitive scent if it was in a small area such as the laundry room for longer than two minutes. If perfume fragrances or body odour expelled from heightened perspiration, those stand out and are etched in my nostrils."

The five suspects stared at each other nervously.

“When I entered the crime scene two nights ago, I smelled the unmistakable fragrances of:

“Chanel no: 5 as used by Nurse Lisa Little.”

“Dolce & Cabana Black as used by Nurse Violet Shaw.”

“DKNY Green Apple as used by Nurse Ingrid Bird.”

“Versace Lace as used by Nurse Cassidy Block.”

“The last one proved to be more of a challenge, later it was revealed to me during one of the interviews. Nivea Men body lotion as used by the only male nurse on the night shift roster, Nurse Liam Webb.”

“A gasp of disbelief filled the air and was followed by the accused defensive cries and protests. Alibis were frantically hurled in the air by the accused.

“Quiet!” said Pringle, “you see the question is, which one of you five killed Chief Nurse Mean Megan Meadows?”

An eerie silence took over the room as everyone hanged on Pringle’s lips waiting for his big reveal.

“Well, the answer is… all of you!”

Oohs and aahs filled the ICU staff room as all the accused were taken aback and unable to comprehend the shocking claim.

“All of them, Pringle, are you sure man?” said Captain Crass somewhat baffled.

Pringle adjusted his thick framed spectacles and took in a deep breath before he resumed.

“The evidence will support what happened two nights ago. You all decided you had enough of Mean Megan and planned to teach her a lesson that night. It did not go as planned. Liam, you lured Megan into the laundry room with a promise of showing her just how much of a man you are. Then you all confronted her, but Megan being a bully, didn't appreciate being reprimanded by her subordinates. I surmise that this is how the events that took place two days ago actually unfolded and what role each of you played in it.”

INGRID

“Nurse Ingrid, you blocked the door and Mean Megan hit you with her elbow, removing your make-up and giving you a bruised cheek. You left before the police arrived. The brown smudge mark we found on the victim's elbow came from the high-end make-up brand, MAC Blush, N550, to be exact. The Kleenex you threw in the interview room bin had just enough make-up on it from when you wiped your nose, which allowed our lab to do the necessary chemical tracing that identified it.”

LISA

“Liam jumped in to protect Nurse Ingrid when the victim attempted to bite him in the neck. He pushed her away. She fell back and grabbed at Lisa’s uniform, ripping off your name badge, which we found in the laundry room from when Mean Megan crashed into the detergent shelf.”

VIOLET

“As Megan got up, she pulled off the beige elastic hairband from your head, Nurse Violet. I retrieved it from the victim's hand. DNA tests revealed a 100% match. You left two strands on the table the night of the murder when you kept trying to fix your hair or hide it. Mathews collected the hair strands after you left. I must say you put on a pretty convincing performance pretending to be the first person to discover the victim’s body.”

CASSIDY

“Nurse Cassidy, your bracelet was missing a gemstone when you showed it to me in the interview room. Mathews has what will prove to be that missing gemstone found inside the laundry basket when you helped dump the victim's body.”

LIAM

“The coroner found a button inside Mean Megan’s mouth. She missed your neck, but her teeth did find your uniform shirt button before she fell against the detergent shelf and broke her neck. We will surely find your uniform shirt with the missing button inside your locker. Captain, I take it you have the search warrant?”

“Yes, I do,” said the captain grinningly as he waved the paper in the air.

Pringle acknowledged his captain with a grateful nod when suddenly he had to remove his bifocals as Liam lunged towards him. The angry male nurse was ranting and raving incoherent verbal obscenities as two uniformed officers restrained him. Tears raced down the cheeks of some of the suspects who experienced grief and disbelief in that sobering moment.

Pringle composed himself, “cause of death was a broken neck, so why the strange facial bruises and scratches? This question kept me awake for the past two nights then, in a moment of clarity, it came to me. You see, Mean Megan was not going to go quietly, broken neck or not, so she had to be silenced. The facial bruises and weird scratches are what binds you five together. The mean old nurse had a lot of fight in her, didn't she? So if there were signs of life, she could still terrorise all of you. You all placed your hands on her face covering her mouth and nose. Each one of you had a hand in her death. Pun intended. Of course, you never meant to kill her originally. She just needed to be taught a lesson.”

In the impending silence, Mathews gestured to Pringle by drawing an imaginary circle around his face.

“Ah, yes, thanks, Mathews. After murdering your Chief Nurse, one of you or all of you covered her face because even in death, none of you could stand her stare. So, you closed her face with a bedsheet, which was symbolic in a perverted way because you thought you put that nightmare to bed.”

Pringle took a moment to make eye contact with each one of the killers. Not one of them had the innocence to meet his gaze.

“You are all under arrest for the murder of Chief Nurse Megan Meadows,”

Pringle glanced at the wall clock and confirmed the time on his Chrono, 9 pm, exactly 48 hours since he entered the hospital and set foot on the crime scene.

"Mathews, go ahead and read them their rights.”

 

The End


Submitted: June 04, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Sharief Hendricks. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Serge Wlodarski

Amateur criminals are no match for the guy with a good sniffer. Good story.

Fri, June 4th, 2021 2:12pm

Author
Reply

Thanx soooooo much Serge

Appreciate the read and the cool comment LOL

Fri, June 4th, 2021 10:43am

Vance Currie

An absorbing 'whodunnit', Sharief. I like detective stories where the detective gathers the suspects together to hear his deductions. It keeps the reader guessing who the guilty one might be. But this is the first time I have read one in which all of the suspects turn out to be guilty. Good twist. I was too absorbed in the story to think of grammar, but nothing bad jumped out at me, so that was good. Well done.

Fri, June 4th, 2021 10:42pm

Author
Reply

Thanx soooooo much Vance...

Knowing that you read and enjoyed a story of mine gives me so much enjoyment and confidence to keep going...

I really enjoyed writing this one and my goal was exactly that to hopefully keep the reader guessing.

I am in a good space writing wise, so good in fact that I posted 2 stories a few days apart something I had not done for some time...

Thanx so much once again Vance, hearing from you means more to me than you will perhaps ever know....
I really appreciate you taking the time to read one of mine ????

Fri, June 4th, 2021 9:46pm

Celtic-Scribe63

Great detective work,
great detail in your writing,
Another fine thriller from you,
And some very good characterization of your cast of players.
Agatha C, would be proud of you.
Nice one.

Sat, June 5th, 2021 7:25am

Author
Reply

Thanx soooo much CS63

I am really happy I have had more time to write again...

Work has been really hectic...so now things are returning back to normal...

I actually published 2 stories this week and my confidence is also at an all time high...

Thanx again for your encouraging comments
...I am constantly trying to improve by learning from excellent writers like yourself ...

I will also have more time for reading now and am looking forward to catching up with your portfolio...

Sat, June 5th, 2021 2:55pm

bloodman

I read the other comments, they are correct. Well done.

Sat, June 5th, 2021 9:00am

Author
Reply

Thanx soooo much bloodman...

I am so happy you enjoyed the story man !!

Sat, June 5th, 2021 2:48pm

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