Returning to An Unfinished Story

One of my writer’s resolutions this year is to finish this romantic suspense story that I started in 2001. I’ve worked on it sporadically since then making minor changes and occasionally adding new dialogue or a new piece here or there. Although it was the second story that I started it has been a bit neglected. It was going to be my thesis project but there was another story that I had to tell so here it sits on paper, in my sent email, in a folder, and on a few USB drives. This year it will be finished; I am committed to seeing it thru even while I work to pursue another degree and while helping others with their writing.

The story is about a female FBI agent who is forced to face her past when her former flame ends up in the middle of a FBI investigation. Along with her past relationship and what the failure of that relationship cost her; she is also forced to deal with an overeager boss. I am sharing an excerpt from the second chapter but please keep in mind that it’s very rough as I haven’t worked on the story in almost two years.
As always, thanks for reading!

Chapter 2: From Bad to Murder

The phone was blasting its shrill ring into my left ear when I emerged from the cocoon of my cranberry comforter. It must have rung at least one hundred times to awaken me from the deep slumber of early morning. As I reached for the receiver I noted the time, the bright red numbers of my clock displayed. It was 5:58 a.m.
Somebody better be dead.

“Robinson,” I mumbled into the mouthpiece.

“We’ve got a hot one. Get dressed and meet me at 248 South Broad,” my partner’s raspy voice replied obviously happy at finally reaching me.

“Dutch, come on. I’ve only been asleep for four hours. Can’t someone else can handle this,” I said around a yawn. This was my first night sleeping in my bed in three weeks. I’d just finished a report on the capture of a serial rapist that had eluded the bureau for two years. You’d think that entitled me to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
“No way, this one has your name written all over it. Trust me when I say that this will be worth getting out of bed for,” he responded. I could hear his smile through the phone.

I guess there would be no more sleep for me tonight.

“I’m getting up. Make sure forensics beats me there. And this better be good,” I growled then leaned over and hung up the phone. I fell back into the pillow face first. Then I got up and headed to the bathroom to brush my teeth, take a quick shower, and get dressed. As I threw my hair into a ponytail, I reminded myself that I’d always wanted to be a FBI agent and this is what I signed up for. It’s my job to go out in the middle of the night to profile and catch killers. I walked downstairs, into the living room to look for my bag and my glasses. Once I found them I picked up a coat and walked out the door.

Luckily I had been too tired to park in the garage when I got home earlier this morning so my baby was sitting right in the driveway. As I walked towards my dove gray Durango what was a fine drizzle turned a little heavier as some sort of proof that God thinks that I’m an idiot for going through this. Only an idiot would be up headed toward an unknown murder scene at 6:30 in the morning I thought while waiting for the SUV to warm up. Surely whatever Dutch has discovered on Broad this early could not be that great, even though he sounded as if he found Jimmy Hoffa. I slowed as I eased onto the Expressway heading into Center City Philadelphia.

I flipped my badge out to show the officer at the door of the office building that was located at 1248 South Broad St. “Agent Robinson, they’re on the third floor,” he informed me as he opened the door for me. I was walking through the lobby towards the elevator when my cell phone rang. It was Dutch, again.

“What?” I asked irritably, wondering why the hell Dutch would be calling me when he knows that it takes at least twenty minutes for me to get here. This must be one hell of a case.

“Where the hell are you? There are people here waiting for you,” he responded.

“On the way up. I’ll be there in a second,” I said. The elevator doors opened onto the third floor directly into another lobby, which looked like hell. There was broken glass everywhere and it appeared that someone had trashed the receptionist desk.

The bureau’s coroner appeared from down the hallway and headed over to me.

“I’m happy you decided to join us Robinson, we’ve got an interesting scene back here. We’ve preserved it for you. There’s not much of a body, but there’s a lot of blood. I’m afraid there might not be much of anything for you to work with. Jones is in there taking pictures. ” He said with a grimace, he’s been looking out for me since my first summer interning with the bureau my junior year of undergrad.

He led me down the hallway as he updated me on the preliminary findings at the scene. Still I was totally unprepared for what I saw when I stepped through the doorway. The walls were covered in blood; the remains of the victim were in a chair in front of the bay window. The room was crowded with members of the forensics team, the coroner, and what appeared to be a couple police detectives. Also in the room was the reason I was here, my partner Roman “Dutch” Evans who rushed up to me and started updating me on the particulars of the case and why we were involved.

“The deceased is one David Dixon, thirty-five years old, African- American, licensed psychologist, turned up missing three days ago from his Mount Holly, New Jersey residence, found at this location at 5:00 a.m. by secretary Janice Bryant who came in early for a conference the office had set up for 7:30 a.m. We were called in because Dixon disappeared from his New Jersey home on the fourth, and magically reappeared here dead. The locals called us when Bryant called in the body.”

“So who told you he was dead when he turned up here?” I asked while pulling on latex gloves. I headed further into the crime scene, pointing to a spot I wanted a picture of “Cause I know that you didn’t figure it out yourself,” I said while kneeling over the body. “Jones, did you get a shot of this?” I asked as I pointed to the slices on the torso of David Dixon. She nodded, as she continued to take pictures of the blood- splattered walls.

Dutch chuckled as he informed me that the coroner told him that Dixon had been killed somewhere else and put here, he also told me that the surveillance tapes were being checked for clues as to who dumped the body.

“Did someone notify the family yet?” I asked while checking the desktop for information, finding nothing I began removing the gloves and informing the coroner that I was finished for now.

Apparently that was the question of the morning because Dutch’s round face burst into a grin and he said, “I thought you’d never ask. He’s the reason you’re here. David Dixon’s brother is Tyrell Dixon so of course he was notified immediately and once he was, he demanded that you be called in.”

“What?” I practically shouted drawing stares from everyone in the room. Dutch handed me the photo from the desk showing Tyrell and David Dixon in front of their family’s house in central New Jersey.

I ordered two sets of pictures of the scene to be on my desk by 11:00 a.m., informed forensics that I needed a preliminary report by lunch, and asked Clint, the coroner, when he could schedule the autopsy. He said for me early afternoon. He told me he’d give me a call when he was ready to start. I thanked him, grabbed my coat and started for the elevator.

Tyrell Dixon and I had been classmates at The Day School in Lawrenceville, NJ. He was my guide on my first visit the semester before eighth grade and we remained tight throughout graduation, even during undergrad while he attended Columbia and I was at Princeton. I had met his brother maybe seven times during our friendship and when I heard the name it never occurred to me to connect the two.

Tyrell is the commissioner of the city’s minority advocacy committee; he is also a minority liaison to the governor of Pennsylvania. And he could have us put on a case with just a phone call. Now I knew why I’d been yanked out of bed; Ty had used his pull to have us called in on his brother’s case.

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2 thoughts on “Returning to An Unfinished Story

  1. Jill Lichtenwalner says:

    This is the one you let me read a little bit of years ago, the one I begged you to finish!!! Love love love it. So glad this is the year I get to read the whole thing. Wedding gift? Haha…

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