♦ It's a Dead End ♦
By N.O. Larsen
Bare white walls in a geometrically square room, excruciatingly bright lights and a body lying on the autopsy table. Dr. Polly Torrance was well acquainted with the procedure. Day in, day out; it was always the same. Her expression was blank even as she let the knife poke through the flesh of the stomach. She did it in an easy, swift movement, sliding through as easily as smearing a piece of bread with butter; right down the middle.
This one, a man, was well down his thirties, with graying hair at his temples and minor almost invisible cracks/wrinkles by the eyes.
“What do you think? Are we looking at a serial killer?” Officer Wright asked, frowning as always. Torrance gave him a quick look, and fixed her glasses.
“It could very well be Officer Wright, these scratches on the inside of the stomach are definitely suspicious and very much identical to the other victims we have had last week. I won’t be able to tell with certainty just yet, but I do believe that is what we are looking at, yes,” Torrance nodded to herself, and caught sight of the Officer sighing beside her.
“I just don’t get it” he pulled a grimace, “I’m trying my hardest but so far we got basically no suspects at all.” Torrance put a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sure we will think something after we get the test of his stomach tissue back,” she said, smiling reassuringly to the devastated officer, who was by far comforted by her words.
“I know, I know, it just, you know, it get’s to me.” Yes, Dr Torrance knew. After all these years, the two of them had crossed paths quite a few times by now. Acquaintances didn’t really cover their relationship anymore, yet friendship seemed a bit too much. Maybe they weren’t really anything at all. Just two people who were meant to cross paths and drift apart. And maybe that was really okay, really.
“Don’t frat, Officer. No case you have had so far has been left unresolved. You’re great at your work.” Officer Wright nodded, albeit sceptical.
“Can i touch it?” he then asked, and Dr Torrance furrowed her brows: “Why?”
“That mark right there,” he paused for a moment, “that spot-”
“It’s a birthmark,” a new voice in the room stated, stepping between the two.
“But it looks almost exactly alike that one mark on, what was his name aga-”
“A birthmark, Officer.” The man nodded promptly, lips pressed together in a thin line above his stubbly chin. His eyes were fixed on the body before them, no matter how much the Officer tried to make eye contact. Torrance moved away from the autopsy table.
“We will check up on it,” Torrance interfered, clicking her tongue; “Isn’t that right/wont we? Dr Mccallister?” It wasn’t really a question, but more like a statement, like it was for most parts when Torrance had the word.
“...Yes, Dr Torrance.” It was Mccallister bowing to her words. And then a click, click, click as Torrance went over the floor to the computer at the other side of the room.
“We have got pictures of the previous bodies stacked in a folder, and we have been trying to compare them the last few days.
“I’m sure the officer has already examined those photos,” Mccallister pointed out, and Torrance gave him a look. “Please, do come closer, Officer Wright,” she beckoned him with a wave of her hand, while Mccallister stood silently grumbling. Officer Wright moved on his belt and went over behind her.
“Yes, that’s it. The mark. It’s the same,” Officer Wright poked the screen with a fat sausage finger. “Are these photos new? Could you perhaps send me those?”
“Of course, Officer.” Mccallister remained silent in the background, and watched as Torrance gently pushed the officer in front of her, and let a hand slip into the pocket of her lab coat. A syringe needle came into light, the tip glistening in a wet liquid substance. It all went so quickly. She had barely gotten her hand out of her pocket, yet the needle was poked into his arm. Torrance pushed down on the needle, then pulled it out and watched blankly as the man fell to the floor with a loud ‘bump’.