Bit of a rocky start today. I’m having some trouble with pacing and, well, exactly what I’m doing. I made several large changes. I churned out almost 1,300 words today. Not a terrible start, but not what it should have been. Brief excerpt after the jump.
Lieutenant Gary Talbert crouched beside the body, grimacing. The man shrouded by alley shadows had not died quickly, or painlessly. He counted off with his pen.
“Yep, twelve,” he called. Talbert cut a tall, lean figure a crisp brown suit. His clean, chiseled features matched the neat lines of his clothes. A service revolver bulged conspicuously under his jacket. The detective kept his blonde hair short, a habit left over from time spent in the military.
Rich Masson, his partner, stood back on the sidewalk, well within the early morning sunlight as it crept across the lake. Despite two decades with the Chicago Police Department, Masson had never been good with dead bodies. His stocky form tilted away from the carnage as he pretended to search for tracks at the entrance to the alley. The beat cop who had found the body on this warm morning stood close, face wrinkled in disgust but apparently unable to tear his gaze from the mutilated body.
They’d instantly recognized the corpse. Jack Gerard, highly trusted advisor to the Mayor. He’d been a friend to the CPD on more than one occasion, channeling funds and helping cover up embarrassing blunders. Now he lay in a lumpy puddle of his own blood, a dozen screwdrivers protruding from his torso. Gerard’s vacant eyes stared skyward, his mouth agape in a silent scream he’d never finish. His salt and pepper mustache was flecked with blood. Talbert gently pressed against a clean patch of skin on the man’s wrist. The skin was still warm. He prodded the clothes as best he could without disturbing the tools.
“Wallet’s still here,” Talbert said. “No way to get to it without removing some of these screwdrivers.”
“Are…are those powder burns?” the patrolman leaned close and pointed at a dusting of black marks on the screwdriver handles.
“Little early in the morning to be drinking, son,” said Masson. He finally ventured forward and peered over Talbert ‘s shoulder. “What’s that on his wrist?”
“Handcuffs,” Talbert said. “They’ve been cut. He had a briefcase or something cuffed to himself. Who knows?”
“Jesus,” Masson muttered. “Daley is going to have the whole damn US Army in town for this party.”
Talbert stood and brushed alley dirt from his trousers. His gaze drifted up, between the grey brick walls that loomed on either side of the alley. In the gaps between the buildings, he spotted the elevated train clattering past. In the street beyond Masson, a street car rattled, mostly empty as it moved by. He mentally traced the local bus routes. This close to Comiskey Park, there were any number of ways the killer could have escaped the area. He could be half way to Milwaukee by now. Or he could be in the restaurant two doors down.