Month: June 2013

A beginning without an end

I had an idea for a story. Or maybe a novel. It begins with a pair of dirty cops finding a body. I will let you know how it ends, when I figure it out. In the meantime here is a sample:

A dead blonde lay in the gutter.

She was naked, bound at the wrists and ankles with barbed wire. Spidery veins of blood trickled from where the steel barbs had bit into her skin. Her hair hung down over her face. A full-color tattoo of a cobra baring its fangs ran the length of her right leg. The open mouth and fangs were centered on her thigh.

She lay in a pool of light from the block’s lone functional streetlight, like someone had put her on display.

“Dead hooker I bet.”

Hackett shrugged. “Why’s that?”

“Snake tattooed by her pussy.” His partner, Ross, held out a pack of cigarettes. He was a thin, greasy, weasel of a man. Everything he touched suddenly seemed cheaper and dirtier. “Smoke?”

Hackett brushed Ross’s smokes aside. He knelt beside the body.

“Suit yourself,” Ross said, lighting up. “Want me to call it in?”

Hackett took a pen from his jacket pocket. He touched the tip to the barbed wire coiled around the blonde’s wrists.

“It would take gloves to wrangle this wire.”

“Gimme a break, boss. We got our own jobs.”

He’d seen plenty of dead people. This was different. Someone planned this. He wrangled the wire. He laid her out in a spotlight. He wanted her found. Dumping her here was like hanging a painting in a gallery. It was a labor of love. Whoever did this fancied himself an artist.

“Ever hear about that old guy out west who kidnapped all the hookers and tortured them in his trailer? He was a mechanic. Made all his own torture gear. He had a recording of himself explaining what he was going to do to them he played every time he kidnapped someone. Guy had a whole other trailer where all he did was keep his homemade torture stuff. Called it his toy box. Fucked up, huh? That’s what this reminds me of, this wire and shit.”

Ross would talk forever if you let him, and Hackett usually did. Eventually he wore himself out.

“I saw a thing about it on TV,” Ross said. “The guy’s wife actually helped him do it. Sick twist, huh? Fuckin’ crazy. Should I call this in yet?” He reached into his coat for his phone.

Hackett held up his hand.

Ross stopped. He stood smoking with one hand inside his coat. “And what the fuck is Noodles doing, calling us on this then splitting? His rent’s going up.”

“I set rent,” Hackett said.

“If you ask me we oughtta raise it.”

“I didn’t.”