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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2251618
Contest entry from another site.
Detective Randolph walked into the victim’s house. The first thing he noticed was empty cardboard boxes and crumpled-up newspaper scattered around the house. When he continued to walk through the house, he saw a dining room chair with one leg missing. On the floor was a set of used dentures and a harmonica.

Randolph noticed some papers on the table. One was his tax returns. He picked it up to check the name, Larry Henderson. A police officer walked up to him.

“The victim was found in the backyard. A neighbor saw him with their telescope. Notice a man digging in the yard, with a garden spade. It seems like he was trying to bury the body. The neighbor yelled at the guy. He ran away and the neighbor called 911.”

“Description?”

“He noticed suspect was wearing a butcher's apron.”

“A butcher's apron?”

“Yeah, it appears he was making a delivery. There is some meat on the counter with today’s date. No logo.”

“Well, there is only a small number of places nearby that deliver. Shouldn’t be too difficult to check them out. The question still remains, what caused someone to kill an old man?”

Randolph noticed a box on the table with a broken lock and a bill inside.

“Is that a $100, 000 bill?” he asked.

“Yes, it is. It’s weird, I never saw one before. Don’t even think they make them. I think it might be some sort of novelty item.”

“They did in the past, but only a small amount was made. Technically it’s illegal to own one.”

“Perhaps that is why he was killed?”

“I don’t know. But something to keep in mind. Anything else to report?”

“They found some chewing gum on the ground near the body. Should be easy to get DNA off of it.”

“Should take the bill in for prints. If he was killed over it, maybe his prints are on it too.”

The officer carefully bagged the bill then walked away.

Just then Randolph heard some commotion outside; it was the victim’s daughter.

“Please let me through,” she said to the cop outside. The detective walked out the front door. He walked up to the daughter.

“Miss-”

“Penelope, call me Penelope. Please let me in, I must see if my father is ok.”

“Penelope, there is no easy way to say this, but your father is dead. It seems that he was murdered.”

Tears rolled down Penelope’s cheek.

“How? Why?”

“Does your father have any enemies? Is there anyone that might want to kill him?”

“No, not that I know of.”

“Also, do you know why he was wearing a mismatched pair of boots?

“Oh, he does that a lot...he did that a lot. He used to say, ‘When you’re my age, things like this happen.’ Tell me, how did he die?”

“We’re still trying to figure that out. All we know right now is the killer was trying to bury him in the ground. He was halfway there when his neighbor saw and scared him off.

Randolph went out to check the local butcher shops. The first one was a dead-end. He was about to get in the car and drive to the next one when he got a call. It was the lab.

“Randolph the test results are back. There were no prints on the bill, however, the bill is a fake.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, checked it more than once. Also, the DNA test came back with no match in the system. But there is something noteworthy. The killer has 23 chromosomes that are not all paired.”

“Meaning?”

“You need to be looking for someone who was born with an abnormality.”

When Randolph arrived at the next location, he looked around for the manager. Before he could find him, he heard someone talking to himself in the back. He walked behind the counter and into the kitchen area. That is where he saw a man, about 5ft (1.52m) tall. He was intrigued by his face and voice.

“You you…can’t…you can’t be here. You have to wait upfront. Someone will help you there,” the man replied.

“What’s your name?”

“Pete. My name is Pete. And you need to go upfront and wait. Someone will be right with you.

“Tell me, did you make a delivery earlier today?”

The man quickly turned his head away from the detective and continued cutting up some meat. He did so as if that would make the detective go away.

“I will take that as a yes. Did you deliver some meat to an old man named Larry Henderson?”

The man just continued his work. He tried his best to ignore the detective. Not too long after, the manager showed up.

“What’s going on here? You can’t be back here. Please, go upfront and wait.”

“I am detective Randolph. I am investigating a murder that took place at a house your employ delivered to earlier today.”

“And you think he has something to do with it?”

“I not sure, but I have a few questions I would like to ask.”

Pete stopped cutting some meat and turns his head to the manager.

“Mr. Edwards, can I go home? I’m not feeling well.”

“Pete, I need to ask you about the delivery. We can talk here or back at the station. Your choice.”

Pete looked at the manager.

“Pete, listen to the detective. Go to the station with him to sort things out. I will call you a lawyer.”

“Ok, Mr. Edwards. If you think that’s what’s best.”

Once they were at the station, Pete was put in an interrogation room. The detective waited outside until his lawyer showed up. In the meantime, another detective came up to him to tell him some new information.

“Randolph, the lab called. They just finished the autopsy. The victim died of asphyxiation from the dirt. He was alive when he was being buried.”

Randolph gave a grim look.

About ten minutes later, Pete’s lawyer showed up.

“Hi, here to represent Pete. Where can I find him?”

“Right through that door,” said Randolph.

Pete and his lawyer talked for about 15-20 minutes. When ready his lawyer opened the door.

“My client is ready to talk now.”

The detective walked inside and sat down at a table, with his back to the door. Pete and his lawyer were on the other side of the table.

“Go on Pete. Tell him what you told me.”

“He was playing the harmonica. Then he stopped. He fell backwards on a chair. He was not moving. I saw blood. He looked dead. So, I went out and dug a hole. Then, placed him in the ground because that is what you do to dead people. You bury them.”

“Why did you run away?”

“The man was shouting and I got scared; so I ran. Am I in trouble?”

“See, detective, there was no murder. The best you got on him is tampering with evidence, which he is willing to admit to.”

“The thing is, he was not dead when your client tried to bury him. He died of asphyxiation. He died because his head was buried in the dirt. He killed him.”

Pete’s eyes widened and his mouth opened slightly. His head moved back in forth, sideways.

“No no no,” said Pete over and over, in a small whining tone.

“I am sorry but it’s the truth.”

“I need to speak with my client alone, again.”

“Very well, I will go call the DA.”

The detective left the room and went to his desk. He sat down and pulled out his phone. He gave a big sigh and called the DA. After talking to him for about ten minutes he put his phone on the desk and got back up. He walked over to the interrogation window and another detective walked up to him.

“So, what did the DA say? Is he going to prosecute?”

“He’s not sure.”

“Well, what do you think he should do?”

Randolph looked through the window and saw tears were running down Pete’s face. He can tell he was scared and confused. He can tell he was devastated.

“I’m not sure.”








Contest Rules:

Include at least 3 of the following elements

An empty cardboard box
A set of used dentures
A butcher's apron
A garden spade
23 chromosomes (not paired)
A dining room chair with one leg missing
A harmonica
A mismatched pair of boots
Chewing gum
A forged high denomination banknote
A telescope
A bureaucratic communication (e.g. a letter about income tax, social security benefits et cetera)
A broken lock
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