The Family Slaughter

There had been a gruesome murder. Three or four of them, I believe. A family wiped out--father, son, daughter. As well as another woman--I'm not sure how she was related to it all, but I get the impression she was sort of a hussy. It was believed the mother had done it but she was denying it. I remember seeing her smoking a cigarette and saying so. I saw her because I was a detective and I was with my partner, Lennie Briscoe. <:) It was our job to investigate the case and determine who had killed whom.

We went out to investigate the crime scene. It gets hazy in places but eventually I ended up with a handful of pictures. Briscoe was busy on another aspect of the case and so didn't know exactly what I was up to, but I met him in the bathroom to show him the pictures because DAMN, did they seal the case, and NOT in the mother's favor. Briscoe was distracted by minor things and I practically had to shake him to get him to pay attention to what I had to say.

I was thoroughly rattled myself, seeing the pics. I couldn't believe what I was looking at! There was water on the edge of the sink and in the tub, and I had to warn Briscoe not to set the pictures down in it or else they'd bubble up and be difficult to look at. I wanted to make the greatest impact possible and so tried to sort through the pics to show him the least incriminating one first. But I kept mixing them up. Briscoe was getting impatient, so I presented myself as more rattled than I was just to silence him--I was TRAUMATIZED, how was I EXPECTED to get things straight on the first try??

Giving up, I selected one of the milder pics and handed it across to him with an explanation.

"The crime scene," I said, trying to keep the quaver out of my voice. "Before it was cleaned up."

By "cleaned up," I meant by the criminal--whoever had done it. Because someone had messed with it before we got there. Briscoe took the pic and looked at it. It showed a man and someone else--the daughter, the son, uncertain--lying across a bed, all bloody. This was something we hadn't seen when we first showed up...because someone had taken care of it before we arrived.

There was a similar picture with a person sitting at the computer in the background, typing away as if the bodies weren't even there. It was too dim for us to see clearly who they were. But it looked a lot like the wife. I said to Briscoe, "Is THIS how newly made widows act after their family's been slaughtered?"

Briscoe said nothing and set the pic down in the water on the edge of the sink. "NO!" I chided, picking it up and wiping it off. "DON'T put them in the water! We need to use these as evidence. Believe me, it gets better."

I pulled out another pic. This one was of the dead woman. She was blond, pretty, wearing a light blue sleeveless dress. She too had been murdered; she lay on her back on the ground outside the house. She had some blood on her but I can't even remember how it was any of them had been killed--shooting?--stabbing?--bludgeoning? The creepy thing was, she was LACTATING. It showed on her dress; I supposed it was some kind of bodily reaction that occurred shortly after her death. It was unnerving, to say the least. I showed Briscoe the pic and we mulled over it, trying to determine exactly how she'd been killed. And as we talked over this, the woman herself offered some commentary, at least, what she could--she sat up and listened in as if really there, and looked surprised by the conclusions we came to. (Conclusions which escape me at this moment.) I sighed--Briscoe was very dense today and not getting the point--and ruffled around for another pic. (Strangely, many of them were of my pet cat.) I'd find one that'd make him eat his words.

He tossed the dead woman's pic in the tub and it swirled around in the water.

"NO!!" I practically screamed. "Don't ruin my pictures!!" I fished it out and wiped it off as much as I could. DAMN, he was pissing me off. Enough for show and tell. It was time to show him ANOTHER picture--the one that had shaken me up the most, the one where the "innocent" mother herself was standing at the dinner table posing with a sweet smile, her dead family members propped up all around her, faces pale, eyes vacant...

I never got to show Briscoe the picture. Something drew us away. Outside was a sort of forensics scientist who was ready to demonstrate something that hopefully would help our case. (As if we NEEDED much more help, considering the pictures I had seen...)

She stood on the lawn with an Irish terrier near her, as well as a body--whether it was the dead woman, or a test body, or a person playing dead, or merely a dummy, I couldn't tell. But she was ready to demonstrate something for us. The dog, a beautiful red terrier, trotted over to the "body" and began nudging at its neck, whining a little bit. The forensics lady explained.

"This is normal behavior for a dog trying to revive its master," she said. "You see how he nudges at her and tries to get her to wake up. When that doesn't work, he'll attempt to roll her over. All of this is normal behavior for a pet dog that has just lost its master."

As she spoke the dog proceeded to nudge at the body's neck enough to turn it over onto its stomach. It took a few tries and we were impressed by the dog's strength and determination. We wondered what he would do next. He DID try to do something else, but it was difficult for him, so the forensics lady attempted to help him out.

She did this by fashioning a sort of lure. She explained it to us as she did it--she would fling it through the air, and it would attach to the dog's mouth, embedding itself either in his gums or between his teeth--such a thing wouldn't hurt, it would be like catching a fish--and this would help him do what he needed to do next. We were rather puzzled, so she demonstrated this also, flinging the lure through the air and pulling it back--

--and it lodged itself IN THE DOG'S EYE.

I clapped a hand to my mouth with horror. Briscoe just raised an eyebrow. "Oops," the woman said with a guilty smile, reaching over to pull the lure from the dog's eye. He had been blinded, apparently; there wasn't a gush of blood, but it had practically torn his eye out. Yet he simply stood there calmly while she dislodged the barb. Everybody stood around as if it were a simple mistake, the most normal thing in the world.

I, however, turned away as quickly as I could without seeming rude. Screw appearances. This really HAD traumatized me by now. What kind of people had I been forced to work with here??

...Most often my dreams don't make enough sense to get inspiration from them, but it has happened. I'm currently dwelling on a couple that would go well in this story I (probably won't but) plan on writing someday...the sun getting dim and blood on piano keys...very weird dreams.

2000 Dreams