Welcome back to the continuing saga that is poorly titled (for now) "A Murder Story" although an earlier suggestion is really growing on me. This is the seventh part of the second day of this winding and twisting crime saga. I was writing this as part of NaNoWriMo -- sadly I didn't crack the 50,000 word mark but the writing continues...
If this is your first visit here, please feel free to go back and read the story from the beginning.
Miranda Grove slowly opened the driver’s side door of the unmarked police-issue Dodge Durango and, wiping the remaining tears from her cheeks, slowly walked towards her waiting partner. As she approached him, her facial expression turned from one of sadness, shock and grief to one of seriousness with a noticeable tinge of anger and vengeance. Kline, seeing this dangerous mix of emotions, looked at Miranda as she got closer to her already walking partner and said “Hey, I know you’ve got a rather personal stake in this case and I can see that you’re angry but we’re professionals Miranda,” Kline put his hand on her shoulder as he stopped walking and turned to face her, “remember that this is routine shit. We’ve trained for years to deal with scenes like this. We’re in this job to help people and solve crimes. We’re not here to exact revenge or settle a personal grudge.”
Miranda looked down at the ground as she shuffled her feet a bit. “Yeah, I know why we’re here. Today it’s to figure out who this piece of shit is who killed my fucking best friend.” Miranda began to choke back tears again, her small fists balled up tightly.
“Listen,” Danny interjected, “people pay attention when you are the one asking them questions Miranda. Ms. Pinkowski’s next door neighbor, Taylor Briggs, was home when this took place. He’s the one who called it in. We need to stay sharp and see what else this Briggs guy saw or heard. We’re gonna get who ever it is who did this Miranda. We’ll get him.”
“Damn right I’ll get him.” Miranda said quietly as nodded and slowly raised her head to meet Kline’s eyes. The look of grief was now gone, replaced by an eerily serious look complete with a furrowed brow and an otherwise emotionless face. “Let’s see what we get by talking to the neighbor.” Miranda exhaled a slight puff and walked with Kline to the door.
Lead Investigator Danny Kline knocked on the storm door, ignoring the doorbell.
The door opened as a bleary-eyed man in his mid- to late-twenties stepped outside.
“Hi,” Officer Grove began, “you must be Taylor Briggs.”
“Yep.” Taylor said as he yawned and rubbed his eyes.
“Excellent,” Miranda stepped aside, “myself and Investigator Kline would like to go over things one last time.”
“Mind if we sit over there?” Miranda asked as she pointed to a small bistro-type table and chairs on the townhome’s front porch. “This should only take a few minutes.”
“So,” Miranda began as she opened up her note pad, “would you mind walking us through things one more time?”
“Yeah, no problem.” Taylor began as he again rubbed his eyes and yawned. “It was about 2:20 AM when I heard a scream from next door. I mean, I assumed it was next door, it sounded pretty close but still muffled a bit. It was loud enough to wake me up. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not but then I heard a loud thud. It seriously sounded like someone had thrown something heavy against the wall.”
“And how did you hear it so clearly?”
“My bedroom,” Taylor began as he yawned another time, “is right against that wall dividing the units. I sat up in bed, wondering what I had just heard, and that’s when I heard another even louder scream -- it sort of sounded like ‘no’ or ‘help’ -- I’m pretty sure there was at least a word in it.”
“Okay. Did you hear anything else? Any other voices or sounds?”
“I didn’t.” Taylor stated matter-of-factly as he sat back in his chair. “Yelling, a thud and more yelling. Then it stopped. I thought it might have been the end of an argument that just happened to wake me up but I had never heard any sort of argument from next door. I sort of sorted things out in my head for a minute, threw on my glasses and came out to go next door and see if everything seemed alright.”
“You hadn’t called 911 yet?” Miranda continued hastily writing notes.
“No, not yet. I came outside, went up the steps next door and knocked on the storm door. That’s when I noticed that the inside door was partially open. I knocked a few more times then pushed it open a bit more and yelled inside asking if everything was alright.”
Miranda leaned forward, “Did you hear anything when you opened the door?”
“Nothing.” Taylor shook his head. “It was totally silent. That’s when I saw blood as I looked down. Then I looked towards the kitchen and that when I saw her.”
Be sure to check back for the ongoing second chapter of this (hopefully) intriguing murder mystery!