The Midnight Hour, Part 4
He’d stood over a lot of bodies in his life; kids, adults and anything in between. Being a detective in Chicago brought one face to face with the dead on a daily basis. He’d moved here to raise his daughter in a safer place, but was anyplace really safe? Long as human scuffed in the dirt, folks were going to die.
But like this? Stupid kids. And by kids he meant anybody under twenty-five. Maybe, after tonight, thirty.
Their whole lives in front of them. What a waste.
He knelt by the body, using his pen to look under and around Mark’s neck. Broken hitting the big-ass rock. Why did kids hang around places like this? Drugs, sex? Why didn’t they learn? Only last year, his deputy had fallen down this hill, but he was alive. Just a matter of inches alive, but alive.
Accident or deliberate?
He looked up. Wish I could, wish I might. He’d given up wishing on stars a long time ago.
He’d have to bring in Mary, hoping for a truth he knew didn’t exist. She hung with Mark and that delinquent, Bobby. Better bring in Bobby, too. He had to put suspicion anywhere it would be with Bobby. The boy was bad, had always been bad. Then again, apples didn’t fall far from the tree. Look at his old man. Beat the shit out of the kid until Bobby got old enough to hit back.
He wasn’t a whitewasher. He was a good cop, a solid cop. He’d never taken a bribe or thrown a case or planted evidence, but if it came down to Bobby or Mary, his baby girl was not going to jail. She wasn’t even going to be involved. She had a life to be ruined.
Damn daughters and their teen-age heart breaks. In love with both boys for different reason. Had them fighting over her. A disaster in the making, but he’d done nothing. It was different in your own house. If his wife had still been alive thing might have been different, but she wasn’t. Her death the only one he could neither solve nor prevent.
He nodded for the Coroner and rose, stepping away from the body. Began the long climb back up the hill as his Deputies searched the top for clues.
Moving to the back of his car, he popped the trunk and pulled back the carpet, holding it up with a shoulder. Reaching into a bag, he pulled out a cigarette butt. He’d started the stash when Mary started dating Bobby Wymith, knowing – without admitting he’d ever cross that line – he would need it one day.
But could he cross that line? Crossing meant he was a bad cop, or did it? Was he framing or making sure justice was served?
Dropping the butt into the pocket of his jacket, he moved just beyond the perimeter of the search, listening to the reports. Trash bagged but it would be useless. Scuffed footprints and tire tracks; useless.
He reached into his pocket, fingering the cigarette butt before pulling it out.
Far in the distance, the whine of a siren startled the night. His fingers opened.