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Rated: E · Prose · Drama · #2264581
A bored detective faces his first big challenge, or so it may seem.
Murder on The Island of Curacao
Keaton Foster

Detective Johan Baptist has seen some disturbing things in his long career, including drownings, accidents, and robberies. However, in such a tropic, tourist-driven place as the island of Curaçao, he has never investigated a murder.

He has read dozens of books and studied hundreds of cases. Solving crime is his life, and even though retirement is quickly approaching, he still has not lost his passion for it. Several years back, he made head detective, and any high-priority cases are certain to be his to investigate.

Today, Detective Baptist has been called out to investigate his first murder case.

Two American tourists have been found dead in their hotel room. From what he knows so far, both appear to have been tortured and then bludgeoned. A hotel maid found them early this morning and, of course, notified the police.

This is now his crime scene. He has been there for just a few minutes. Thus far, he is the only person who has been in the room with the bodies.

The female victim is Catherine Watts, 42, from Tampa, Florida. The male victim is David Gilbert, 45, from Atlanta, Georgia.

Both are nude, face down on the bed, and the room is littered with half-empty bottles of wine and undergarments. Besides other obvious injuries, each victim has a large, certainly fatal wound to the back of their skull. Brain matter and tacky blood pool around their heads.

After studying the room, it is apparently clear to Detective Baptist that robbery was not a motive. Lying next to the bed, untouched, are a man's wallet and a very expensive-looking Rolex watch. On the dresser is a woman's purse and some jewelry.

Detective Baptist wonders aloud, "If not robbery, then what? Who would do something like this? And why to these people?"

The nature of the wounds and the brutality with which they were inflicted assures him of one absolute, undeniable conclusion: whoever did this did so for deeply personal reasons that are clearly a lifetime in the making.

He is sure that it can only be one thing.

Suddenly, from behind, just outside the door, a voice breaks his concentration. "Detective Baptist, what do we have?" questions Curaçao Island's police chief, Charlton Salazar.

"Chief... Whoever did this, it's clear that it was personal. I think we are looking for a jilted lover or a soon-to-be ex. These two are not married. They have different last names and are from different places in the States. To me, the brutality and splatter patterns suggest it was done by a very angry man with a heavy, bat-like object."

"Detective Baptist, I can assure you that we don't need this. Tourism is everything to Curaçao. If word gets out we have some brutal murderer running around, it will cost us millions. We need to solve this quick and keep it under wraps."

"Chief, all I can do is tell you what I see. Whoever did it knows these people and probably came here to the island to catch them in the act. We need to get some men to the airport and check all outbound flights for anyone that might have a connection to these two."

Detective Baptist then hands the Chief the identification of the two victims.

"I will send Detective Franco right away. The first flight off the island leaves at 10 a.m.; it's only 9:15, so we have time. I will have him search the plane for anyone connected to these two."

"Good, Chief. I will stay here and process the scene. Call me on the radio if he gets anyone."

Detective Baptist continues to process the scene. After an hour of hard work, his radio squawks to life.

"Detective Baptist, come in."

"Yes, go ahead," he replies.

"Detective, I searched the plane. There was no one on the plane that I could find with any connection to the victims. I checked all the males on the plane for any signs of injury, and all of them checked clear."

"Good job, Detective. Now we know that whoever did this is probably still on the island. Stay there and keep canvassing the airport and any outgoing flights."

"Roger, I will radio you if anything comes up."

Detective Baptist continues to process the scene. After another hour, he is finally ready to have the bodies removed. He calls in the M.E. The bodies are placed in body bags and removed from the room. All that remains are the blood-stained sheets and the victims' personal belongings.

Detective Baptist closely examines the bed. Something once covered up by the female body comes into clear view. On the sheet is a handprint made in blood. The detail is quite amazing. Even from six inches away, he can make out the ridges and valleys of the handprint. Certain it was left intentionally, Detective Baptist leans closer to the bed for further examination.

Detective Baptist removes a large white handkerchief from his jacket. He calmly places it over the handprint. Softly, he presses down; the blood is still quite tacky, and the handprint is easily transferred onto the handkerchief.

After he is done, he walks over to a nearby window. He opens the drawn curtains wide. He holds the handkerchief up to the light. The clarity of the handprint astounds him. He stands there for several minutes studying each detail.

He places his own hand to the back of the handkerchief and the quickly drying handprint. He calmly whispers to himself, "Perfect match."

Sure that the bright sun has dried the blood sufficiently, Detective Baptist then folds the handkerchief like a piece of paper and places it into his jacket pocket for safekeeping.

A memento of his first murder investigation.

He walks back to the bed, retrieving a half-empty bottle of red wine from the nightstand. Sure that no one is looking, he empties the remains of the bottle onto the sheet, destroying the one bit of evidence left behind.

The End...

Murder on The Island of Curacao by Keaton Foster Copyright © 2022

© Copyright 2022 Keaton Foster: Know My Hell! (keatonfoster at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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