Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

About Dead Doris 7 of 8. Detective Adult 3,350 (1 Viewer)

hvysmker

Senior Member
Synopsis: In mid 2003, Detective Sergeant Jablonski and partner are called to investigate an old woman found dead in a small hotel room. They find out it's a murder. The scene shifts to Doris Trumbell, sixteen and wild in the year 1942. Her and friends, Harry and Sammy, with the help of her boyfriend, Pete, rob a bank where Pete works. It turns out the Doris was the murdered woman in 2003. John Jablonski and partner, Larry Edwards are investigating both her murder and a 60 year old bank robbery. Pete Adams is now on his way to Smith City to murder Doris....
---------------------

Driving to Smith City, Pete had parked his Mercedes two streets over from Doris’s address. It was a little after midnight, not too early for the streets to be empty and a stranger to stand out to residents, yet not so late that such a walking stranger would be noted. He'd walked quickly, cane clacking on dirty sidewalks, as if on his way to or from a specific destination.

The hotel had a sign reading “Sta_ _ _ _ _ _ otel” over it. Since it was probably the Statler and was the only hotel on the block in any case, Pete went up to the front door. Through a glass pane, he could see nobody at the reception desk.

Pete tested the door by swinging it open six-inches. There was no bell or other sound, so he stepped in and walked quickly to a door marked “stairs,” closing it tightly behind himself. On the other side of the small landing, he saw another door. It had a bar across it to keep it closed. Through a small square window, he saw the door opened onto a dirty alley and, he noticed when trying it, no alarm sounded. Having seen doors like it many times in his life, Pete knew how to recognize the ones with alarms, so he wasn’t surprised. At least he had a way out without going back through the lobby.

He'd stopped at the third floor. A small window at eye level showed the corridor empty. Pete wondered what the bitch would think when she saw him after sixty years, a vengeful figure probably long forgotten.

Reaching down to strip the pistol out of its bindings, Pete transferred the gun to his pocket and knocked gently on the door to Doris’s room. He had to knock for over a minute, each tap slightly louder than the one before.

He could hear activity in the room, mumbling and sounds as though a chair were being shifted. The door opened four or five inches, no chain visible. Pete was surprised at how old she looked, but was certain it was Doris.

“Yes? Who are you and what you want?” a sleepy voice came to him. It had been many years, but he recognized her voice. He had been hearing it in his dreams and nightmares for all that time.

“I rented a room down the hall, and the desk clerk asked me to tell you a package arrived for you. The clerk has it downstairs,” Pete lied, edging his right foot into a crack between door and jamb.

“I ain’t expectin’ nothing,” was her sleepy reply.

“Whatever. Not my business. The desk clerk just asked me to tell you. Goodnight, lady.”

“All right, thanks.” She tried to close the door but was stopped by his shoe. As her gaze drifted downward to look for obstructions, Pete shoved back, hard. Doris bounced from it and staggered over against the foot of the bed, trying to keep from falling. Pete pushed his way in quickly, closing the door behind himself, pistol in hand.

“What you want? If it's robbery you won’t get much,” she gasped, eyes bugged out and by then wide awake. “If you’re going to rape me, let’s get it over with. I’m an old woman and need my sleep.”

The same old Doris, Pete thought, with an unwanted pang of affection. It had always been hard to frighten her.

He'd remembered, once, bringing a large rubber spider home to shock her. It had been soon after she'd moved in with him. All he saw was her eyes narrow a little, her mind seeming to click. Almost immediately, she picked the thing up and inspected it. He reminded himself to be careful. She was a quick thinker; not your stereotypical frightened female.

“Sit down, Doris,” he commanded, making certain she saw the gun. Again, her eyes steadied and she gave the impression of thinking quickly. He saw what must be recognition as her gaze flowed over his face.

“Pete? What are you doing here?”

He'd been pleased to notice her voice was a little unsteady,

“You can put that thing away. I’m nothing but an old woman,” she reiterated, obviously forcing herself to relax, mind seemingly spinning to organize her thoughts.

“Why did you shoot me, Doris? I was in love with you and thought you felt the same. Why?” Pete could feel anger evaporating and fought to keep it. It was one thing to dream of that moment, quite another to have it actually occurring.

Doris sensed his hesitation. She might still get out of it, she thought.

“I was nervous. My first bank robbery after all, Pete, honey. I had to shoot the one guy. He had a telephone,” she told him. “When I swung over to look at you, I guess I forgot it was still shooting.”

Sure, and pigs fly, Pete had thought. He knew the woman, and she wasn’t the excited type. She was also very familiar with that particular machine-gun. He’d like to believe her, but no way.

He saw a bottle of gin on the dresser and decided he could use a drink. He still planned to kill her, but was mixed up in his mind. A drink would help him concentrate.

“Just sit there, hear me? Don’t you move or I’ll kill you.” Pete brandished the pistol in her direction while looking around for a glass.

“I won’t, Petey.” Doris had seen him looking at the bottle. “There are glasses in the bathroom. Pour me one too, all right?” She tried being just a little seductive. Just a little, girl, don’t overdo it, she'd told herself. She had to take control, somehow.

He'd forced a smile and went into the tiny bathroom. Grabbing two glasses he returned to see her sitting straight up at the edge of the bed. Her pajama top had been loosened, giving him a glimpse of her right breast. Pete couldn’t help it. His memories came back.

Since it took both hands to pour the drinks, he shoved the pistol in behind his belt. Handing Doris one glass, he looked for somewhere to sit, reaching for a straight chair sitting across the small room.

While he was stretched out, reaching for the chair with one hand, drink in the other, she'd made her play.

“Pete,” Doris almost whispered.

In a somewhat unbalanced position, he turned his head to get a face full of gin as she threw it at him while grabbing for the gun butt. As he fell, her hand on the gun's handle pulled her down on top of him. As the two grappled in silence, the pistol slid away into a corner.

Pete, being heavier and stronger, was soon on top. Feeling the metal pick rubbing against his leg, he sat on her left side, pinning her to the floor. Left hand holding her head steady, he inserted the ice-pick in an exposed ear and shoved down as hard as he could. After a very little resistance, it went in to the hilt.

Pete had to sit for what seemed minutes as she spasmed, legs thrashing in a staccato rhythm against a post at the foot of the bed. Doris finally quieted, lying limply under him. It was only then that Pete extracted the instrument, realizing she was really dead.

Panting hard, he'd sat quietly next to her cooling body, looking at the bloody device. It seemed strange that such an innocent kitchen tool could do such a deed. He had used it to chip ice hundreds of times, never realizing what a deadly weapon it actually was....

*

The killing had been an anticlimax. It had given him no satisfaction at all. In fact, it created a large empty space in his life. After all those years of thinking and planning, he now had nothing. Nothing at all to look forward to. Nothing but a few more years as an old man, living in an old house with his memories, gardens, and guns for companions. The thought of revenge had been far sweeter than the deed itself.

Shaking his head in pity for himself, the banker in Pete had put things to order. He'd wiped off everything he had touched in the room, using a spare towel from the bathroom cabinet.

Next was putting Doris to bed as though she were sleeping, carefully wiping her ear inside and out and shoving a bit of toilet paper deep into the wound, wanting his last look at a past love to be as serene as possible. Lastly, Pete kissed her on a cooling cheek.

The killer had thought of searching the place for money but was too disturbed at that moment. Besides, it had probably been spent long ago or she wouldn’t be living in such a hovel. Wrapping the glasses and gin bottle in the towel to take with him, he'd quietly left the hotel and gone home....

Now, figuring the game was playing out, he was determined to finish with a bang -- literally. The police were getting too close for comfort. Pete still wasn’t certain they'd tied his murder of Doris in with his part in the robbery but at his age either charge alone would put him in for the rest of his life. He had little to live for in any case, little to lose by fighting back. Killing Doris had effectively ruined his own remaining years on the earth.

Pete finished his preparations. With plenty of supplies, he would snort a little speed to stay alert, then wait.

***

Detective Sergeant Jablonski and his partner, Larry Edwards, were met by a familiar, to Jablonski, face at the small Storyville airport. The airport itself was a private enterprise run by a local resident. It consisted of one short runway, which had necessitated their department renting a small airplane and pilot. The detectives were in a hurry though, wanting to close the case. To his surprise, his captain had okayed the expense.

“Hi, John. Glad to see you,” Lucy Chin shook both their hands, her’s particularly warm in Jablonski’s -- or so he thought. Her eyes seemed to drill into his, and that was no imagination, he decided. After that, she glanced over at his partner.

Although he hadn't kept in contact with her, all the way to Storyville he'd found himself thinking of the petite Chinese police officer.

While she drove, Lucy briefed both detectives on what the local police had found on the mountain.

“Not only the corpse of that Harry Blackwell guy we were looking for, but also the getaway car and most of the guns used in the robbery. One was a machine-gun traced to Pete Adams. One that he'd denied owning, not once but at least twice. That ties both of them into the robbery, as well as into Harry’s killing,” she finished. “Because of the statutes, we can’t charge him with the robbery, but murder has no such limitations.”

“What about Sam Burrows. Could he have killed Harry?” Edwards asked.

“Not likely,” Lucy told them. “The newspaper in Harry's car had a date two days after Sam was arrested. Sam would have been in our jail at the time, waiting arraignment.” She thought a moment. “Unless someone threw the newspaper in later?”

“Again, not likely,” Edwards replied as they pulled into the police station parking lot.

“And we can hardly ask Trumbell,” Jablonski observed. “It looks as though that leaves poor old Pete Adams as a strong suspect for either or both murders, unless he can give us another name. There still could have been a driver for the bank job.”

“If there were, Burrows would probably have told us. He seemed cooperative and had nothing to lose. He couldn’t have killed either one and has already served his time for the robbery,” Jablonski said as all of them left the vehicle.

After a short introduction and talk with Detective Swint in his office while search and arrest warrants were being acquired, the four of them set out for Pete’s property. They didn't feel it necessary to take any backup to arrest the eighty-year-old retired bank manager. Four of them should be sufficient, or so they thought.

“You circle around to the back, Edwards. Lucy, check out the barn over there and wait in case he leaves by the side door. Careful. He could easily be inside the barn. Me and Jablonski will knock on the door. Should be able to take him by surprise,” Phil Swint ordered, it being his jurisdiction. None of them expected trouble and even left their pistols holstered.

After giving the others time to get ready, John and Phil went up to the porch where they knocked on the front door, with no answer.

What sounded like a dynamite blast came from around the house, briefly shaking the structure. Both detectives ran around the side of the building to find a smoking hole in the ground. Larry Edwards was found wrapped around the base of a large but splintered tree in the backyard, blood already pooling. He didn’t move. He had tripped one of the land-mines and been thrown there.

“Get some people here,” Jablonski almost screamed. “Larry? Larry?” He ran over to his partner. All it took was one quick look to ascertain Edwards would never answer. His head was turned toward Jablonski and had no front to it, only a mass of exposed bone and brain matter.

Drawing his pistol, Jablonski rushed toward the barn to warn Lucy. As he ran, he heard the heavy distinctive chatter of a machine-gun. He saw Lucy start to come outside and then run back into the barn as shots stitched through thin wooden planks, easily penetrating that side of the building. He himself dodged behind a nearby tree in the backyard and studied the innocent-looking brick home.

The first thing John noticed was that all of the ground-floor windows along his side of the sturdy building were bricked up. The ones upstairs were open but sported heavy iron bars. It looked like a fortress. A few minutes later he saw a shadow in one of the upstairs windows and a rifle barrel poking out.

The detective fired several rounds from his pistol at the other weapon, causing it to withdraw. He was afraid to move. Whoever it was in there could still be watching him from the shadowy interior, or might have moved on. He couldn’t chance it.

Looking back at the hole in the ground where his partner had probably stood, he realized the place must be mined. Although not knowing anything about them, he dropped down to his haunches and carefully rubbed the ground for any protrusions that might indicate recent burial. He knew Pete had once been a gun collector and might well have any number of such weapons available.

Jablonski decided he should wait for reinforcements. He could cover the rear and one side of the house, and Lucy had the same side. Of course, all they carried were pistols. Nothing much against the firearms Pete was capable of using. He had already heard some sort of automatic weapon.

The sound of sirens interrupted his contemplation. In a few minutes John saw activity behind him and heard much more in front of the house. As the police finished deploying, the battle-zone again became silent.

That silence was interrupted by a loud ripping sound as some sort of heavier automatic weapon was heard from the front of the building. John saw Lucy running for the house. Thinking it was only Pete inside, firing from the front, he also took a chance and ran for the cover of the house itself. Both made it to the brick walls of the home with no trouble, pressing themselves against sun-warmed surfaces.

The loud firing stopped and the detective waited, heartbeat settling down. It felt a lot safer there than behind a tree. Pete probably had weapons that could cut that damned tree down, Jablonski thought. Who the hell knew what all he had in there?

“John.” He heard a whisper near him. It was Lucy Chin. He couldn’t help noticing how pretty she looked, even in a ripped uniform, complete with dirty face and disheveled hairdo.

“You all right, Lucy?”

“Sure. I can take care of myself,” she told him, smiling nervously. “What about your partner, Larry?”

“Dead. Probably a land mine, booby-trap or something.”

“Jeeze. Too bad it had to happen,” she said with a shudder. “I wonder how many I just missed stepping on?”

“In this case, just missed is as good as a mile. You don’t have a radio on you do you?”

“Course I do. I’m a street cop. Always carry one.”

“Let me use it.”

She came up to him, very close. He could smell her nervous sweat, even over his own since it was perfumed. Having interrogated a good many criminals, John knew all about sweat smells. They could be guilty, from fear, or simply body odor.

“The case is on my belt. It's easier to let you use the handset,” she explained, stretching a cord that ran from the top of her blouse. He could see part of two pert little breasts as he pulled the cord tautly towards himself. “Easier to keep the cord out of my way," she explained shyly.

“Hello? I don’t know your codes. This is Jablonski,” the detective spoke into the mike.

“Do you mind? I’m frightened, even though I try not to show it.” Already almost touching, Lucy flattened herself against him.

“No, of course not. A pleasure. Yeah. Go on, Phil. Just talking to myself. What the hell’s going on out front? Me and Lucy, Officer Chin, are against the wall out back.”

“Yeah, ha-ha. Stick to business.” Phil told him that it had been a .50cal machine gun he'd heard in front, firing through a basement window with a firing slit, exposed with some sort of armor-plate around the barrel. As they'd fired back, police could see their pistol rounds sparking on the metal of a shield.

Pete must be running around his house, Jablonski thought. No telling where he was at any one time -- unless he was firing. Phil told him they were still checking, but couldn't think of anyone else that might be in with him. Pete hadn’t had much time to get help and wasn’t known to have any close friends. Not close enough to want to die with him, anyway.

That couldn’t go on forever. Only one sighting at a time, he assumed, so it must be the one man pinning them all down. A dangerous assumption, but logical.

Jablonski learned authorities were going to wait until a state negotiator got there to try to talk the fool out. There was no way he could win. Sooner or later he would be wounded, get tired, or have to sleep.

Police could lose men if they stormed the house. Tear gas wouldn’t work. For one thing, Pete probably had a gas-mask. With all that military ordnance, they had to assume he did. Clouds of tear-gas drifting in the thin breeze would hinder the police more than Adams.

End of Section Seven of Eight. To be posted approx. every two days. Please tell me of any mistakes you noticed.
Charlie
 
Top