Sand paused once more at the grave of his wife before turning away. He walked back to the bench he had sat at and picked up his bicycle. The cemetery was at the top of a hill, Sand free-wheeled down the path, scattering tourists along the way. The rush of air, leaving the resting place of death behind him, lifted the shadow that had enveloped him.
He made it back to the office as the lunch hour was ending. An afternoon of paperwork lay in front of him. As he sat at his desk he felt a nip on his ankle. He wiped away a stray ant that had survived his earlier attack.
This was the part of his job he hated the most. The hunt was over, the adrenaline vanquished, the mundane form-filling reducing life and death to paperwork and box-ticking.
The murder of Lene Olsen had been a straightforward affair. Most homicides were. A jealous husband, drunk and abusive, had gone too far once too often. It had taken Sand all of ten minutes to piece together the scenario. Then it was just a matter of gathering the evidence and finding the husband, who had woken up hungover and fled, leaving the battered and bloody remains of his wife on the bedroom floor. The manhunt had lasted only a few hours. The husband had been found in his local pub, drowning his regrets in more drink.
After an hour or so, Sand’s boss emerged from his glass cubicle in the corner of the room.
‘Court date is set for next Tuesday. You will have the paperwork filed?’ Daniel Pedersen asked Sand.
Sand nodded. ‘Yes, sir. Almost done.’
Pedersen was a tall man, a foot taller than Sand, and thickly-built. He looked uncomfortable cooped up in an office environment. He was street cop, built for dealing with criminals out in the alleys and hovels that they inhabited. Injury had forced him behind a desk.
‘Got a call for you to go and look at.’ Pedersen put a scrap of paper on Sand’s desk, with a scribbled address on it.
‘Homicide?’ Sand felt the familiar adrenaline as the prospect of another case loomed.
Pedersen shook his head. ‘Not really. Hate crime possibly. A mutilated cat. Check it out, see if it’s anything we need to worry about or just some kids getting carried away. We can pass it on to Animal Protection once you’ve checked it out.’
Pedersen carried his giant frame back to his desk. Sand picked up the piece of paper and read the address. It was about five miles away. With the afternoon traffic in the city he would be quicker cycling there than taking a squad car.
This is part two of my A to Z Challenge 2017. More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.
Throughout April I hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:
Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.