Hassan Al Hammadi returns as a Guest Writer on the website with a piece inspired by our current theme Crime titled A Just Reaper We hope you enjoy it ^^
Charlestown, Boston January 4th 1982. It’s another cold evening with cars noise rumbling outside my place. It was raining earlier and my backyard is soaking wet. The clouds formed above the city in sorrow and cried for all the sins it has witnessed.
*Telephone Ringing* “Ahh, Who’s calling me now!?”
I got up and sat on the side of the bed and picked up the phone.
“Detective Jack? This is Deputy Sheriff Sam Clarkson from BPD… There is a double homicide on 8th street and the Captain wants you on scene immediately…”
“I’ll be there in fifteen minutes Deputy Sheriff…”
Double Homicide… This city is not a stranger to murders. The air here stinks with evil in all its forms.
I put on my clothes hastily and took my trench coat. My old Caprice is still wet and I hope the wiper is working fine as it had been raining. I set off to 8th street, which is only a couple of blocks away, and I’m still thinking there might be lots of traffic. I’ve been on the force for eight years, six months and thirteen days now and I’ve worked on low profile cases except for two: The “Axe-man serial killer” and “Blood Line Killing”. The first one ended up closed with the suicide of the Axe-man. The second one… It was three years ago and the murderer disappeared. No one can trace him but I still say one day he will show up. All will answer to their Fate…
Stop light… I look around and it’s all the same. Skyscrapers hiding the darkest of us humans. We are so blind and unfaithful to ourselves. Blindfolded by greed, power and selfishness. We raised hell out on our own playground and yet we deny we ever did. We blame those who are below us and those above us blame us. Everyone is lost in their own endless maze.
A fancy car pulls next to me. Mr. Smith… I recognized his guilty face. Owner of three fronts to illegal drugs activities. A member of the most notorious gang in Boston. A hit-man in his time and a boss now. I look at him and I see darkness surrounds him. It’s a sinful aura that justice failed to recognize. Traffic light turned green and as his car went forward he flicked his cigarette out and rolled up his tinted window after puffing the smoke. The smoke and tinted windows said that he is invisible. The sky ignited with lightening and answered back in thunder “No he’s Not!”
Approaching the location. The Crime Scene personnel are scattered all over the place along with their vans and other police officers. The Do Not Cross yellow tape has closed an entrance to a narrow alley between two buildings. I parked next to the Sheriff’s patrol car. I went out of the car and took a deep breath. The place stinks with evil on a different level. It smells personal here!
As I bent over a little to cross under the yellow tape, I could see CSU personnel doing their routine checks on the two bodies and the surroundings. Flashes lighting up the ground where the two dead bodies soaked in blood. Blood glistening with guilt in every flash. I stopped for a second to draw a picture of the scene in my mind before I go into the details. The two dead bodies trapped between the walls of fate and the Reaper had pulled their souls from under. Their souls are now answering for all their sins.
“Do they look familiar to you?” said the man standing next to me.
“They do…” I said without looking at him. He was a normal looking guy with a small beard and shades covering his eyes. Added more mystery to his looks. He was well dressed with dark blue trousers, dark blue jacket and a grey shirt. He was gazing into the crime scene just like me and it felt like he also sensed the darkness here.
“You know they had it coming Jack. Right?” said the man.
“Yeah… I guess…” I replied. I recognized the two dead men. Two of the most brutal criminals this city introduced to us with more than a dozen kills linked to them. Of course, the system had failed us when it set them free for “Lack of evidence” and they wandered like invisible men but now, they’re finally seen. The light of victory hid them openly and they celebrated with laughter poisoning the air but not for long. They got dragged in the darkness by a reaper and they are now soulless. The city is better off without these two malicious souls and their reaper should get a prize for delivering them to salvation. Instead, I’m working to deliver his.
I continued walking to the dead beasts and the guy walked behind me.
“You know it’s your job to find the killer Jack.” said the man.
“I hope I didn’t this time Steve.” I replied.
I reached the place and took out a pen and a small notebook… Blood-soaked little hell brought upon these two unforgivable demons. The first victim was laid on his back with a knife in his left hand and gunshot wounds on different parts of his body. Two in the chest, one went through his thigh and one through the side of his head. There are burn marks around the head wound that indicates the gun was near his head when it was shot… Execution style…
The second victim was sitting against a wall and the upper part of the body was tilting to the left side. Several stab wounds cut through his expensive shirt and soaked it in blood. One gunshot wound on the right side of the head and a gun in his right hand. Blood and pieces of flesh marked his end on the wall and ground… A suicide.
“Looks like they got into a fight…” Said the nearby forensic expert and he kneeled down next to where I was standing against the second victim. “You see this?” he asked me while pointing to the dead man’s neck”
“Yes…” I answered and noticed some bruises on the neck and the shirt’s collar was wrinkled.
“Our friend over there…” forensic expert said pointing to the other dead body ”tried strangling Mr. Suicidal. He failed somehow so he pulls out a knife and stabs him a couple of times. Then Suicidal took out his gun after pushing the guy away. Shot him randomly in self-defense and put the gun to his head and finished the job. Then he sat here most probably to process what happened. He realized that he’s in trouble and he most probably is not going to survive and BANG! Problem solved…” he finished with a smile, proud of his strong analytical skills.
“Any witnesses?” I asked.
“None…” He shook his head, “Something doesn’t add up here…” He continued”
“Uh-Oh” said Steve behind me.
“These two were more like brothers,” said the forensics guy without any reaction to Steve, “they have great history of alliance in various illegal activities including drug trafficking and weapon trading. They got dozens of legit businesses. They own at least four or five casinos in other cities. Yet, they end up fighting with each other for no obvious reason! It’s weird really… I can’t seem to work out a motive for this fight that resulted in their death…” he finished and stood up.
“What do you think Jack?” asked Steve “Someone is barking up the tree where the treasure is hidden?” he continued.
“I agree with you Bob” I said to the Forensics person ignoring Steve “but I can think of many reasons. Greed and power are my top two.” I said.
“Well they both were big shots…” Bob said “and I guess one of them decided he should be the king of the underworld. Seems like they didn’t’ really agree”
“What about evidence?” Steve asked.
“Anything out of the ordinary Bob?” I asked Bob.
“Well, now that you have mentioned it…” Bob said while grapping the dead body’s arm and pulling its jacket sleeve up to show a tattoo “look at this right here…” He said while pointing his finger at the tattoo.
The tattoo was a drawing of a skull with an upside down cross beneath it. Demonic tattoo mistaken for a religious one The devil has found his fellow demons. I noticed a wound that seemed to be marked by a needle.
“What’s that Jack?” Asked Steve.
“Looks like a needle mark…” I said to Bob “did you get anything off that?”
“Yeah I did.” said Bob.
“What are you going to do Jack?” Steve said, “This might change the course of this investigation!” he added.
“What did you find Bob?” I asked as he was taking off his rubber gloves.
“Well…” said Bob and turned the pages on his report, “We found traces of a new type of drug… a mixture of cocaine and some other substance of a small portion. It has the same effect as the drug commonly referred to as ‘Crack’. It makes you hallucinates temporarily. Plus, it’s fairly fresh so it might have affected his judgment.” He continued.
“I guess that explains it all then…” said Steve in a relieved tone.
“Now we know then…” I said to Bob “Guy went nuts because of drugs, went into an argument with his partner in crime, things got out of control, kills his partner in self-defense, realize his partner’s men will come hunt him down and so, he puts a bullet in his head.” I ended my sentence and put my notebook and pen in my pocket.
“Looks like it…” Bob said, “My team and I looked in every possible spot for more evidence but failed to find anything. I think it’s safe to say that this case is closed” he finished writing notes in his notebook and put it away in his jacket pocket.
“Good Job Bob.” said a strong voice from behind us.
“Captain James!” said Bob in surprise.
“Jack…” Said the captain and put his hand on my shoulder “Justice has been finally served.” He finished with a sympathy smile.
“Yes Sir…” I replied.
“I asked for you to be here so that you’d be one of the first to know…” Said Captain James. He looked at the bodies and continued; “Now we can all put this whole thing behind us. Bob, wrap things up and I need a full report first thing in the morning. Jack, if you want to take sometime off, please do…” He said.
“Thanks Captain but I’m good.” I said shaking the Captain’s hand.
I excused myself from the party and started walking back towards my car. I stopped at the entrance of the alley just to have one final look. The system had failed us but nature took its course. The beasts have gone deep under and the clouds are no longer crying. The blood has marked a lesson and all sinners must learn; A just reaper will always flap his wings in the shadows of the wicked ones. At the end, Justice will be served.
I went into my car and started driving home. The crime scene is only visible through the back mirror and is now behind. Another victory that not all will know about but it will affect the most. Another corrupted soul put out of its misery.
I parked in the driveway and went inside my house. I dropped my jacket on the sofa and walked into my bedroom and laid down on bed. I closed my eyes for a moment to erase the mental images of the dead corpses so that they wouldn’t infect my mind.
“It’s done now” Steve said while standing against the window looking outside, “I can finally rest Jack…”
I opened my eyes and looked at Steve. I can feel he is content and his face looks alive again. He is happy and I am happy too.
“You’ve done one hell of a job Jack” Steve said, he then walked towards the chair next to my bed and sat on it.
“I’ll sleep better now Steve…” I said, “The system had failed you and I promised you that I wouldn’t fail you my friend.”
“And you did not…” Said Steve, “I always had faith in you good friend. It was very smart of you to mix that material with the cocaine and got him unconscious to work on your masterpiece. You’ve placed the righteous carpet and punished the wicked.” He continued.
I reached to the drawers next to my bed and opened the first one. A pack of cigarettes was placed on a picture that was faced down. I took out a cigarette and light it to smoke away a painful memory. I took out the picture and stared at it… It was a picture of Steve and me taken when we graduated from the Academy and became cops.
Thank you Jack…” said Steve “Now I can finally move on…” He completed in a low tone. A vanishing tone…
The chair is now empty and it’s just me with my memories in the room. My memories of my friend Steve who died two years ago at the hands of two vicious criminals. Two vicious criminals that bent the system and walked free. They wandered like invisible men but now, they’re finally seen… The light of victory hid them openly and they celebrated with laughter poisoning the air but not for long… They got dragged in the darkness by the reaper and they are now soulless.
They got dragged by me…
Author: Hassan Al Hammadi