I knew it was going to be a bad one when the ashen faced shock of a grieving husband was mirrored in the faces of every uniform on the scene. The smells associated with violence seeped into the hallway and assaulted my senses as I got off the elevator. The sharp smell of ammonia of a voided bladder mixed with the stench of the release of bowels. The acidic smell of vomit over all, freshly deposited on the worn hallway carpet by the husband or maybe even one of the fresh meat uniform officers encountering their first defiled body. And over it all the coppery smell of to much blood spilled to sustain life.
The observational skills that made me an effective detective picked up other orders as I approached the door. Smoke from cheap candles, sulfur and burned spices, laced within the aromas. A younger officer stood at the door, head bowed in disbelief he wordlessly pointed towards the open apartment door with a trembling hand. I glanced at the only man not wearing a uniform in the crowded hallway, hunched over against the far wall sitting on the floor rocking slowly back and forth his arms clasped tightly around his knees tears silently streaming down his blank face as he stared into an abyss only he could see. He wasn’t going to be much help right now, and from the small puddle of urine that he was sitting in made me wonder if he ever would. I took a deep breath and instantly regretted it, while a deep breath of fresh air can calm the nerves and prepare you for a shock, this was like trying to breath under water, the stench of death was so overpowering it caught in my throat. My throat rebelled and I coughed as my body tried to reject the foulness from my lungs. With eyes watering from the unexpected strain I entered the apartment and within seconds was ready to add my own contribution to the drying scattered bile that splattered the floor and wall.
Against all proper procedure I stepped rapidly across the crime scene to the window on the far side of the bedroom and wrenched it open. As I stood there gasping in the crisp evening air to calm my nerves I heard movement behind me followed by a wet splashing sound and whatever nausea I was feeling was suddenly replaced with an exasperation rapidly approaching outrage.
(This is being continued in a separate media for later publication. Please feel free to read the first story in its entirety below)