Archive for April, 2017

Death Prescription

Posted in Uncategorized on 04-18-2017 by jeffreymartinsnovels

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The morning had a slight chill to it, as Conservation Officer Alicia Strand checked the ridge for accidents. Satisfied the topography wasn’t responsible for another fatality; she reached into a paper bag and plucked out a cold cinnamon roll. Alicia also brought along a bridal magazine, which she glanced at when time afforded the opportunity. Not like Ethan will ever pop the damn question anyway. Alicia popped the gate lock and entered the deserted Dunlap County Conservation Center. She turned the jeep onto the dusty road and followed until she was along the highest peak. The park consisted of one hundred and eighty acres; many recreational activities were available to the large number of tourists. It was known for its dangerously tall bluffs. Many climbers had attempted to ascend the mountainous terrain, but most were unsuccessful. That meant Alicia and the other patrol officers would spend a lot of time to conduct rescue attempts for the misguided. She passed one of the bluffs and was careful to maneuver the tan patrol jeep up through a series of turns on fresh paved road. One turn too many and that could be it. The overused vehicle bounced along the path; she felt every deformity the road had to offer.

“Damn Jeep! I told Renni to fix these shocks,” Alicia said. She remembered the report she had given to the park’s mechanic about the needed repairs. Alicia drove for a few minutes longer and then decided it was time for a break. This will work. Alicia had driven to the most secluded part of the park known as Parma Point. Not too many campers knew it even existed; most of the time the park’s maintenance employees were the only people ever to spend time here. She turned into the gravel lot and noticed unwanted weeds had grown wild between various parts of the broken pavement. She would make a note of it and have the park engineer come out and throw some weed killer on the nuisance.

She turned into a haphazard parking spot, made of green treated two by fours. As she grabbed her magazine, the police radio came to life.

“Dispatch, to four-ten.” The sound of a male voice filled the interior. Great!      “Four-ten, go ahead, dispatch.”

“I need you to respond to a high angle rescue at Sutterman’s Bluff ASAP!”

“Affirmative, dispatch, I’m about ten minutes from there now,” Alicia said.

“I will show you en route to the location. Be advised I have already called fire rescue as well.”

“I will let you know when I’m on scene.” Alicia shifted the vehicle into drive and activated the emergency equipment. She turned the vehicle around to leave, but instinct directed her to look right. The conservation officer did a quick double take. That’s sort of weird. She stopped the jeep and stared out at three picnic tables. The middle appeared to be covered in a dark mass.

She squinted to see what was on top but couldn’t tell from the distance. She decided this may be just as important as the rescue and figured it wouldn’t hurt to investigate. Alicia would need to call dispatch back and let them know. The fire department will be expecting me, She pushed the transmit button. “Four-ten, to dispatch.”

“Dispatch to four-ten, are you at Sutterman’s Bluff already?”

“Negative, I think I have discovered something else here at Parma Point.”

“I already informed fire rescue you were on your way to their location. You’re the only one on duty. You copy that?”

“I need to check this out. I will advise.”

“Ten-four,” the dispatcher said; the radio went silent.

Alicia exited her vehicle, and flipped on her portable radio. She walked toward the picnic area. When she was about twenty feet away, she noticed the massive dark object were a swarm of crows. They weren’t the usual loud, obnoxious birds she was used to; these creatures appeared to be content. Very eerie. Alicia edged closer to see what they were drawn to, but couldn’t tell what lay beneath the flock. She figured some careless campers might have left out their trash or spoiled food and forgot to throw it away when they departed.

When she got within eyeshot, Alicia looked down, and almost tripped over a folded pile of clothes. The garments were within arm’s distance of the picnic table; she bent in closer. Why would someone leave these here? She took a few more steps in effort to scare them. They appeared to be oblivious to her presence; only a few made any noise at all. Most of them continued to shove another aside, as they flapped their wings in violence to include themselves in the feast.

Alicia waved her arms to shoo them off; they were deliberate to fly away but with her persistence they left and exposed what was underneath. Prone on the tabletop was a mutilated figure of what appeared to be a young female. She was naked; spread eagle and was tied to the underside of the bench, by thin ropes. They were secured to what remained of both her swollen hands and ankles. Alicia approached, and choked on her saliva. The repulsive odor of defecation and torn flesh made her eyes water. She gasped at the sight of the woman’s face. The skin around her cheeks was ripped away from the bone. Her eyes were now empty sockets that held a gateway to her brain tissue. The sight was so mesmeric; she was unable to look away. Alicia glanced down; the woman’s fleshy mid section appeared to have a carving engraved into it.

Not him…not here. Those words, and that monster were enough to scare anyone in law enforcement the last several days, and she was no exception. Alicia out-of-breath yelled into the radio. “Four-ten, to dispatch. I need assistance from a county supervisor and a detective ASAP!”

“What have you got up there?” The dispatcher said.

Alicia lost all radio etiquette. “A fucking homicide here at Parma Point! Homicide and it’s the guy… you will also need to call the coroner as well. I will secure the crime scene until they arrive.” Alicia peered at the corpse.

The dispatcher’s voice cracked. “I will get the detective on duty from the county! Also be advised more units are on the way.”

“Ten-four.” Alicia bolted to the patrol car. She pulled out a roll of yellow police tape and a plastic body bag. The cover would prevent the deceased from being eaten further by the wildlife. It was going to be a very long day

 

 

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