“What am I looking at, detective?”
“It’s a picture of the mother and father, sir.”
“So they liked each other’s spits. I see it. How does a shot of them necking helps us understand what happened to the victim?”
“The father is the one with the… interesting hair, sir.” The detective leaned closer towards his boss’s desk and tapped the photo with a calloused trigger finger. “This one is the mother.”
“Baby Jesus on a T. rex, look at the scowl on her face. Was this after the victim was born? And, detective, who took the shot?”
“No to the first, sir.” The detective filled his lungs with determination. “And my gut tells me that answering the second will drag the killer out of the shadows.”
“Get dragging then.”
The detective grabbed the picture and walked out of his boss’s office. His heart was trying to low-crawl up his throat. What if the captain had asked if there had been anything else? He didn’t mind getting creative with the truth, but straight up lying to his boss was a ballgame he didn’t play.
It can’t be helped, he thought. There was digging to be done before telling his boss that the baby’s eyes had been replaced with two rolled up black rags. “Pre-mortem, detective,” he heard the medical examiner’s words echo inside his skull.
Note: “Black Rags” takes place after “Neglect” (128 words). The reading order shouldn’t affect your understanding of the storyline. But I suspect that reading both will add to the experience.
for Magpie Tales 250
photograph by Robert Doisneau