****Previous installment of Vivid Black – Coming Down
The uniform with the bull horn did his best to keep the “zombies” and the rest of the crowd away from the crime scene at Wyoming State University. Several officers and a street crew worked to set up barricades and rolled out tape to keep them back. Henry stood over the body while McEwin crouched down to help the Medical Examiner look for ID on the male victim dressed as a zombie. It was hard to determine which slashes were “zombie” and which were real. The only certainty was what the coagulating, syrupy pool of blood meant.
Finding leads in this case was slow. The killer easily moved among Zombie Gauntlet events filled with fake zombies, victims, and a mock apocalypse completed with people who ran and screamed bloody murder. Over confident, the Zombie Reaper had become sloppy. Adrenalin surged through Henry as he saw the victims hand tightly clenched around something. A bloody knife next to a park bench along the Quad was like a late Christmas gift.
Anxious to get the scene tied up he tried to hurry Medical Examiner Dr. Janice Jones, but she had her own pace and procedures. She chose words and delivered them inca clipped tone as she informed him, “I could hurry or I could do it right. I’ll wait while you decide detective.”
Arms crossed over her 5 foot frame, she glared at him and waited for his response. His attitude was quickly dampened by the petite red head with the firecracker attitude.
“Uh, OK. Well, you do your job. CSU is still working anyway.”
He turned and shuffled away in a hangdog posture and muttered, “I’ll leave you alone. Maybe you’ll work faster that way.”
Walking to the yellow crime scene tape, he paced along the perimeter stealing glances into the crowd looking for expressions and behaviors that might give away someone who knew something. Hanging on the edge of the crowd, was Max, and Sarah Jane’s friend McKinley. Max was teetering back and forth from foot to foot chewing on a nail. McKinley was closed off, arms crossed, ashen with shock and fear.
Henry lifted the tape and walked under, winding his way to the pair.
“Max. You seem a little nervous.”
“Shut up man! You come up to me and ask questions in front of all these people and I’m gonna be the one they blame for all this crap!”
Henry shifted so he was at an angle facing slightly away from McKinley.
“McKinley, does your mom know you’re here?”
He signaled with his head “Why don’t you wander over to my car. The officer standing there will let you in.”
He caught the officers eye, indicated with a glance toward McKinley and slowly nodded. She looked up with vacant eyes and moved toward the car.
“What do you want?”
Henry stepped in front of Max and made sure he had his eyes.“You’re not telling me something.”
Max’s gaze shifted, and he sprinted away.
Gary Go is out there quietly putting out some amazing music, lyrically and musically. This song just fit Henry and his situation as he deals with yet another murder from the now named “Zombie Reaper”.
Inspiration came from Write On Edge’s weekly writing prompt Red Writing Hood. They presented an “I Spy” image with 14 items and instructions to “choose one of the 14 items in this “I Spy” game and use it in a fiction or creative non-fiction piece….Word limit is 500.” I chose the police officer with the bullhorn as my inspiration for another installment in my Vivid Black fiction piece. This piece actually precedes the last one when Ray and Henry lock horns. It will be put into the lineup before “Experienced”