Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

What had begun as a lovely excursion ended in tragedy.

The uncontrollable shaking wouldn’t stop. She’d never come across a dead body before, not that many had, but it hit her hard. Not only because she’d stumbled upon the victim, but because he was a neighbour of sorts. Mr. Jacobs lived several doors down from her in the newly renovated condo the Johnston’s had owned.

Detective Forbes watched her through the corner of his eyes. She was holding together very well all things considered. Grace Muir was made of sturdy stuff. It was obvious she was shaken but she hadn’t fallen apart either and had given a detailed description of the location and although squeamish, had led the detectives to the body.

They’d talked for a while until she’d calmed but sensed that she was still feeling the stress. He’d sent one of the officers to get a couple of coffees and when they arrived, he took one and walked to where she sat and handing her one said, “Wasn’t sure whether you drank coffee or what you’d want in it, but I took a chance and got you a double double. The extra hit of sugar couldn’t hurt right now.” He smiled down at her then joined her on the grass cross legged.

“Thank you, Detective Forbes, that is most thoughtful and I always order a double double when I buy coffee. Strange since I never take sugar otherwise.” She smiled wanly.

“You’ve handled the situation admirably. Most would have fallen to pieces. Your made of sterner stuff than most.”

She looked up into his eyes, “Thanks. I’ve seen my share of difficulties over time, but this is definitely a first. And last I hope.”

“Did you know the victim well?”

“Not really. He moved into the condo a few weeks ago and I’ve seen him come and go and we chatted, occasionally, but I didn’t know much about his private life. He seemed nice enough and always pleasant. I know the other tenants nearest him liked him.”

“So you wouldn’t know whether he’d had any disputes with neighbours then.”

“No, sorry, I really can’t help much other than identify him.” She shook as the picture reformed in her mind. “God, do you ever get used to it?” She nodded toward the location they were moving the victim from.

“Yes and no. You become desensitized in a sense, but it never becomes common place, one because each situation is different, and two because they are somebody’s family and no matter what the course of their life was, they deserved better than that!”

“That’s very compassionate,” she said as she turned to look at him.

“Most cops care or they wouldn’t become cops. We’re not perfect, nobody is, but the vast majority of us do our jobs to the best of our ability.”

Sighing, she asked, “What happens now?”

“More interviews to find out who knew him then locate any family and explain what’s happened.”

“That must be difficult.”

“Delivering that kind of news is heartbreaking. You see their reactions and it isn’t easy to watch.”

“I have to go, if we’re done here. I have a deadline to meet and I’ve put it off long enough and then this happened and well…I forgot all about it but my editor will be chomping at the bit.” She hesitated, “You have my address and phone number if you need anything, right?”

“Yes, Miss Muir. Indeed I do.”

“Ok then,” rising she continued holding out her hand, “call any time.”

He smiled, “I’ll do that!”

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