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A Lead

The rain pattered on the tarp collecting a rivulet that streamed into the protruding palm of the pale manicured hand. A young hand in wet shriveled leaves - he'd seen enough.

His lungs expelled smoke. "Find anything, Jack?"

The investigator ducked under the tape. "Just this, Watson."

A dirty envelope was crumpled and torn in the evidence bag. Watson held it up in the poor light to read the name and address. "Tracy Williams? Address is smudged. Anything else?"

"She died last night. Probably between one and two. Estimate she's in her early twenties. No apparent cause yet. We're assuming the usual though: assault and murder. We'll start the autopsy as soon as we finish processing."

"This envelope is it? No personal effects?" It wasn't much to go on.

The investigator shrugged. "No. Nothing yet. Rain's not helping either."

Watson took a snapshot of the envelope in the bag with his phone. He handed it back.

"It's not much." He sighed. "Let me know if you find anything."

In the car, he googled the name and found a phone number to dial. Raindrops tapped on the glass.

"Hello?" answered a voice like sandpaper on speakerphone.

"Yes, this is Detective Watson. I'm calling about Tracy. Is she your daughter, sir?"

"Tracy? TJ? No. He's not." The voice grew louder. "What's my deadbeat son done now?"

Watson looked in the rearview mirror. It was a lead.

Story by:

E. Arne Kahlfuss

10 December 2014