An aspiring author, gets a close look at the world he has always read about.
| "Lanny! Holy shit! Oh my God, I'm gonna be sick."
JJ had begun to turn a weird shade of green. Lanny smirked because he had never seen an Indian do that before.
"Dot not feather, and Sikh not destroy." JJ had described himself with a wry grin. JJ and Lanny had been paired up about a week after 9/11. Lanny was shocked at what he had just heard, and then broke free with a huge belly shaking laugh.
Lanny was questioned a few times by family and some work friends about his new partner, and his only response was, "Aww Hell....JJ's good people." That was good enough for anybody that asked.
Lanny was not alarmed at all. Most of the time, his newer partners would get ill while they were out "picking up the customers". Lanny sat behind the wheel of the Texas Highway Department dumptruck with the AC running, upwind from the carcass. He supposed it had been a big black dog when it was in one piece. But now it was strung about 35 yards down Highway 59. It was still hot even early in the morning on the first day of November.
Lanny looked into the rear-view mirror, just as JJ finished retching on the side of the road. That is when he saw the black sneaker attached to the dog's leg, a ring on a what was left of a human hand, and the makings of what used to be a black gorrilla halloween costume.
Lanny grabbed for his Nextel and beeped into dispatch. In almost no time, there was HPD, Metro Cops, and Texas Highway Patrol on the scene.
Lanny and JJ answered all the questions posed to them and this all became record.
Greg McCord, was called in to look at the body. This was out of the ordinary for what most of the cops assumed was a suicide. Even Greg was wondering why they called him for a bridge jumper who was just talented enough to put himself down in front of an eighteen wheeler. "Well, the guy was determined anyway, you had to give him that. The 20 foot drop would not have done it, but the Truck sure did." Greg said, while surveying the scene, to an HPD officer who Greg happened on first. Officer Sam Coffey, just shook his head.
"You haven't had a look at the bridge yet". Sam continued, "This guy was bleeding out as he went over. 'Lota blood up there. Nothing to show what he could have cut himself with and the way the blood's on the ground, looks like there was something else up there when he was cut...maybe like somebody gave him a ride. Just looks funny to me, but I thought you ought to know. You're the expert."
There was a lot of blood on the bridge as well as the road. It looked to Greg as if the vic was already injured by the blood trail.
Greg looked at the scene, and what he saw did not add up. The blood started about eight feet from the south side of the bridge and sprayed roughly three feet north east. Then he tracked the trail just like he had from his years as a hunter. That same thought passed thru his mind briefly, and he longed to be down at his family ranch near Catoolah, where the big south Texas white tail rivaled any he had seen elsewhere.
The trail went due east for 5 of Gregs steps and then headed south, from what he figured to be the originating point, to the hole in the fence. There was a small pool of the sticky brownish-redness at the fence, a smude on the concrete, a rub on the rail, and then expectedly, nothing but the street below. Looked to Greg like a gutshot buck running through the brush, trying to get away from whatever had hit him. He could just wonder if the the same thoughts went thru the vic's mind that went thru a big ol' buck's mind as it was mortally wounded from 250 yards away.
Greg went back down the highway, where the traffic was already backed up about 2 miles, and saw an impact mark. The blue and red lights lit up 15 foot retaining walls on either side in an almost dizzying symphony. The acrid smoke of the flares sitting on the asphalt burned his nose as if the devil himself has arrived in a cloud of brimstone. This was a mess. Greg had not worked too many jumpers, only 2 since he started with the HPD, but in his experience most of the bleeding happened internally. This was not what he was seeing here. "But the poor fella got hit by a freaking truck too...how the hell am I supposed to know what the impact should look like." he muttered under his breath. Sam watched intently as if he were a feudal page learning the moves of the knight he served.
"So this is why ya'll got me out here. Looks like it may not be a suicide. If this poor guy was a jumper, why the hell would he cut his own throat first? Dosen't make any sence, so ya'll call out the pro's. That call is the only thing tonight that looks like it is on the up and up."
" Motherfucker, this is not going to be easy. ", Greg thought.