Ingram works it out. Winner of SCREAMS!!! March 07 2021.
|Ingram on the Case
It seemed an open and shut case. There was the wife, splayed out on the bed, face shattered and disfigured, blood seeping into the sheets and spattered on the walls. On the floor lay the murder weapon, a twelve gauge shotgun, both barrels empty and recently fired.
Experience told Ingram that the likely culprit was the husband. It was, in so many of these cases. And the fact that this particular husband was notable mainly because of his absence lent weight to the theory. No doubt he was on his way right now to Mexico or even further afield.
There was just one aspect of the case that troubled Ingram. Both barrels of the gun had been fired, yet the wife had been hit just once. Where had the other shot gone? Until he knew that, this case was not closed in the detectiveâ€™s mind.
He worked it out later, sitting in his car parked outside the house in the early hours of the morning. A theory had occurred to him and he envisaged it happening before his eyes. In the moonlight, he saw the husband stagger from the house, open the garage door and stumble into the garage. He tripped and fell, raising himself slowly afterwards as though through great effort.
Ingram imagined his silhouette, something bloody in his upraised hand. Or was it blood? The darkness was such that there was no colour to back up the supposition. It could as easily be used motor oil that the husband had dropped his hand into when falling. This was reinforced when Ingram realised the shape of the thing in his hand. It was a wrench, also black with oil, probably lost in the bottom of the oil tray and instinctively picked up by the groping hand.
It all made sense now and Ingram continued to watch as the silhouette dropped down into darkness again, disappearing behind the parked car. And it was now that doubts began to flood his mind. Why hadnâ€™t they found the husband, if he had indeed been shot and now lay dead in the garage?
Ingram got out of the car and walked up the driveway to the garage. If the husband had been shot and was looking for a place to hide, it might be a good idea to slide under the car. The detective turned on the light and crouched to inspect the ground beneath the car. He saw the pit immediately. Whoever had been delegated to search the garage had not looked hard enough, it seemed.
They moved the car the next day and found the husband, curled up and cold in death, his belly peppered with shotgun pellets and sticky with blood loss. Clearly the recipient of the other shot, he must have escaped the scene and crawled into the pit to hide. Ingramâ€™s open and shut case had suddenly become a lot more complicated. Was it a case of murder by the wife and subsequent suicide? Or an armed intruder?
Word Count: 500
For SCREAMS!!! March 07 2021
Prompt: His silhouette in the darkened garage, something bloody in his upraised hand.