Litkicks Message Board Archive
Text from a Dream (Ballistics, and Other Evidence)
"They're both the same, aren't they?" she asked. "Well," I replied, "this one is the civilian model. A centimeter shorter barrel." She snatched the longer one from my hand. (That was the one I wanted, but I decided it didn't matter.) She studied the weapon briefly, then extended her arm and began firing at some other woman. ("Christ," I thought.) I backed her up. We emptied our clips, systematically pumping twenty-six rounds into the woman's upper back and skull. Her body jerked spasmodically with each penetrating slug -- tiny explosions of fluid, tissue, and bone erupting from her wounds. The woman collapsed in stages; first to her knees, then to her palms, and finally her shoulders hit the concrete as the lead barrage concluded. Very messy. I hoped my partner had a reason. "Well, that's that." But then the woman started moaning -- a deep guttural sound, gurgling through blood -- and slowly began lifting her upper body up off the cement. I rushed forward and pushed her back down into that sticky pool. "Reload." Damn... The blood was all over now, flowing around my shoes, and I was haunted by visions of DNA evidence being clinically disputed in some courtroom a year or two from now. But, looking down, I saw that it was probably too late even before I moved to stop her. My clothes were already speckled with the stuff -- even a few solid chunks on my sleeve. I felt her struggling beneath me, trying to get enough leverage to prop herself up. My partner clumsily inserted a fresh clip, chambered, then finished the woman with one shot to the head, point blank. My ears were ringing, especially from that last round. The smoke was thick in my nose, but there was another smell too. Unmistakable. "Well," said my partner, "now we've got three." I looked in the direction she gestured to see a couple other bodies I had forgotten about -- already wrapped in plastic. "We can't leave town," she continued, "We'll have to dig a hole in the park." ("She's crazy," I thought.) "Right," I agreed. And it was cold out, making the ground even harder near the surface. We dug furiously, displacing a seemingly inordinate volume of soil for the hole we got. "Not as deep as I would like," she remarked, "but it's getting light." We covered the evidence hastily and scattered excess dirt as far as we could fling it. Shallow indeed. Some of the plastic was actually sticking up out of the ground. But the sun was rising, and those early morning joggers were already combing the area as we retreated. Then that detective came around again, and I knew he knew. "I just want to ask a few questions," he said. I gave him answers on two separate occasions -- recorded statements. But one of these times was going to be different. One of these times, Miranda. And I wouldn't be going home then. No bail on murder in this State, and even if there was... He would come around with his "questions," and I wouldn't be coming back. Ever. So when he pulled up, my inclination was to bolt out the back. If this was it, they would be waiting -- but I ran just the same, and felt the cold wind blow through me for the last time.
-Marc Weber (email@example.com)