Hey everyone, welcome back to Short Story Sunday. Here’s this week’s short story. Hope you enjoy!
The New Case
When Detective James Acaster strolled into the 95th Precinct on a delightful Thursday morning, everything appeared to be operating as usual. The officers were hurrying around, busy with keeping the city safe as was their primary port of call. The sergeants were going through paperwork at their desks. The Captain was in his office, flicking through files, taking phone calls, the usual. And the detectives were sitting at their desks, likely reviewing cases and preparing themselves to go out on various investigations. At least, that’s what Detective Acaster would be doing today.
The Detective made his way over to his desk and took a seat. His designated space, albeit small, was something he appreciated in this job. He was quite content with the arrangement he had in this precinct. A desk all to himself, a set of drawers built in for storage of various object, sometimes even files and documents. He brought his own laptop of course, that was something that he preferred. On the desk were an assortment of pens and pencils, held together in a wire cup shaped container. There were some files sitting flat in the middle of the desk, probably cases he would be looking into in the coming hours. And whilst the desk was very much bare aside from these things, there was a single framed photograph of four people: a man, a woman, and two young children. The boy in the picture appeared to be around the age of nine or ten, the girl looked to be about five or six. The woman was a brunette, and appeared to be in her late twenties or early thirties. The man standing next to her also had brown hair, which appeared to be thick and full, and which was pushed back and to the left side of his face, some of it hanging loose. He was a little taller than the woman pictured with him, and looked to be in his late twenties to early thirties, very much similar to the woman next to him. This image seemed to be a family, a husband and wife with their two young children. All four had a grin plastered onto their face, suggesting this moment in their life must have been one of happiness, of pure joy. However, that was solely one moment in their lifetime, one piece of their lives that had now passed them by, and was now purely a memory, only kept alive by the photograph that sat on Acaster’s desk.
After spending just short of an hour sitting at his desk flicking through the case files for an investigation that had only just been opened, Detective Acaster rose from his seat, began making his way over to the coffee machine they’d had installed in the precinct last year. He grabbed one of those disposable cups, the cardboard variety, and placed it in position, then pressed a few buttons, and his coffee began construction. When it came to coffee, the Detective enjoyed a nice latte with a little extra sugar, and a little pinch of salt just to dissolve the slight bitter taste that came with the energising liquid. The Detective grabbed the now filled cardboard cup from the coffee machine, and sprinkled a little salt into the beige liquid. He stirred it with one of those thin cardboard sticks, then took a lid made to fit the cup and placed it securely on top.
He took a few sips on his way back to his desk, about to get back into the never ending files, when he was suddenly interrupted, stopped in his path by one of the officers at the precinct. He wasn’t completely certain of the officer’s name, although he thought it might be Daniels. He decided to find out why he was unable to get back to his desk.
‘Hello officer. Is there a reason you’re preventing me from getting back to work now?’ he questioned.
The officer gave a quick response ‘I apologise Detective, I’m just to inform you that there’s been a body found by the pier. Must’ve washed up onto the shore just now, or at least that seeing as it was only just spotted. Anyway, you’re required down at the pier.’
The Detective sighed, ‘Yeah, alright, thanks officer.’
‘Samuels, Sir’ said the officer.
‘What’s that?’ the Detective asked.
‘Samuels, Officer Danny Samuels at your service’ the officer replied.
‘Oh, yeah, whatever’ the Detective said before moving past Officer Samuels to his desk. So it was Samuels, not Daniels. Well, close enough, at least his first name was Danny. Detective Acaster took his coat from the chair it was sitting on, moved the files from his desk into one of the drawers, and left the precinct, coffee still in hand. He got to his car, a black 2016 Dodge Charger, and opened it. He got in, placed his coat on the passenger seat, put his coffee in one of the cup holders, and sped off.
It was almost eleven by the time Detective James Acaster arrived at the Ocean Bay Wharf. Located on the edge of the city, a coastal beach, Ocean Bay appeared to be a luxurious place, likely attracting tourists of all walks of life from all over the world. The beach was fronted by a number of shopfronts and beachside resorts. There were cafés, seafood stores, a few restaurants, some more classy than others, a few takeaway stores, and some surf shops. And then of course there was the beach itself. In all its glory, this beach was one of the finest you’d ever see, a brilliant masterpiece. The smooth, soft sand stretched for miles, fronting a deep blue ocean that sparkled in the warm sunlight. It was quite wondrous, and very much serene. Waves crested and fell, crashing onto the shore, washing over the sand, and the lifeless body that lay on it. Detective Acaster stood over the body, taking a good look at it and its surroundings. It was a male, relatively tall, jet black hair, eyes closed. He appeared to have been in his mid to late thirties. The Detective put on a pair of gloves and bent down, parting one of the victim’s eyelids to see a now faded blue. The Detective closed the victim’s eye and ran his hand down the victim’s body, counting fifteen stab wounds, some which indicated a knife or some other sharp object or weapon of some sort had cut in length, each of them having bled profusely before the death of this man. Although it was more likely that the man had died from the stab wound he had that went right through his neck and the base of his skull. It appeared that his left foot and his right hand had been cut off, and he was missing two fingers from his left. This was a brutal murder, something that was very much unlike any other the Detective has ever seen. The Detective stood and took a look around the victim. There appeared to be nothing else in the immediate surroundings, although the Detective would ensure that a sweep search of the beach was carried out, and would also place a watch procedure on the shore for any item that happened to wash up with the tide, just in case something did present itself. The Detective spoke to the attending officer in charge and gave him instructions for the search and the watch, and also told him to have the body removed and taken to the Medical Examiner for autopsy.
Having completed his initial investigations here, the Detective walked back to his vehicle, got in, and sat there, perplexed. He wasn’t really sure how this had happened. He was certain he’d made sure that this would never occur. He’d carried out everything just as it was meant to be done. But now here it was. The body was in the open now, and it would soon become public knowledge, probably being featured in news bulletins and papers in the coming days. And here he was, right at the centre of it. Detective James Acaster had just become the Lead Detective on this case, but there was a major conflict of interest. He couldn’t solve this case, because he already knew who the killer was. It was him.
Hope you all enjoyed the story! I’m thinking about continuing this one at some point. Leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to see more of this story. Have a good one!