Friday, September 10, 2010

Here's a little snippet from Chapter 3 of Murder Behind the Closet Door

They reached the edge of the property. There were brambles and weeds that hid what was left of an old rotted chain-link fence, parts of which still stood two feet high. They carefully picked over the weeds, shining both lights on their path. Rocco tore his pants on a piece of rusted fence, and let out a quiet but evil-sounding curse. Riggins did all he could not to laugh.
Ahead to the Right was a boarded up bungalow. The roof was partially caved in and the back porch had collapsed long ago, but the house still stood. There was a pile of scrap metal behind Slate’s garage that cast jagged, eerie shadows from Rocco’s light. Small dead trees and weeds obscured most of the house, but they could still make out “CONDEMNED” stenciled across each of the boards on the windows.
They made it through the thicket and headed for the old car. Riggins shined his light under the trunk, noticing a lot of rust and scale on the ground under it, and large dark patches on the cracked and worn concrete slab on which the rear of the car rested.
“See those dark spots?” He said.
“Yea, you think it’s old blood stains?”
“Could be.”
“After all these years? Could be oil spots too.”
“Could be.”
The car dipped at about a 15° pitch to the driver’s side due to the two flat tires. When they got closer, they could see that all of the glass was still in the windows, but each pane was so encrusted with grime that the light simply bounced off. Holes from the size of quarters to baseballs were rotted through all along the bottom of the fenders and doors. But it still held itself together.
And then they were at the trunk.
A cold sweat was breaking out all over Riggins. He hated this detail on any investigation, finding bodies of murder victims. It made him sick a couple of times, like the time he found the teenage prostitute hacked to death with a kitchen knife and stuffed in a trash can. But there would be no blood this time; if this guy was still in here, he was nothing but rags and bones. He hoped.
And of course there was a good chance there was nothing in there at all. After all, a junk car in a neighborhood like this is usually attacked by kids as soon as no one is looking. He thought about the Dodge 440 up the same street with no wheels or glass. He found it very odd this car was still intact, aside from the rust.
“I’ll hold the light…you use the crow bar. Shouldn’t be too hard…the trunk’s all rotted out around the lock,” Rocco said, taking a step back. Apparently he didn’t like this detail either.
“Ok, here goes.” It only took one pry of the bar to snap the rusted metal of the 30 year-old sedanette like peanut brittle. The springs were still good though, and the trunk popped up fast and easy.
It was the first time the trunk was opened in 20 years.

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