M L Gammella’s Picture Choice: 2
Fumes from fresh paint hung in the air. The room looked like something from Jackson Pollock, there was paint everywhere in various colors, just strewn about without any rhyme or reason. Most appeared to be on various canvases that were around the room, but it looked like the artist missed quite a few times.
“If this is supposed to be art, I don’t get it,” my partner said beside me as we walked into the room gingerly.
“Me either, but stuff like this sells,” I replied.
The flat appeared to be empty. No movement besides our own steps could be heard.
“Who lives here again?”
“Melanie Phillips, according to the landlord that called us,” I replied.
I looked around the room again before I continued into the next room. “Ms. Phillips? Are you here? It’s the police. We received a call.” My voice echoed through the hallway without any response.
The smell of paint faded as I walked down the hallway, only to be replaced by a sharp metallic scent, like iron.
“Craig, get over here. I may have something,” I hollered over my shoulder.
The smell most reminiscent of blood was overwhelming as I stood outside a door slightly ajar at the end of the hallway.
“What is it? Holy crap, is that blood?” Craig asked, quickly joining me.
“I think so. Not sure yet.” I withdrew my firearm from my hoster and called out again. “Ms. Phillips, are you here? Are you okay? Can you hear me?”
WIth a gentle nudge with the barrel, I pushed the door open and wished I hadn’t.
“Holy crap,” Craig repeated, shocked.
“Who would do this?” I asked myself as I carefully stepped into the room, trying to avoid any blood pools. “Radio for the coroner, will you?”
Craig nodded and walked into the hallway, all the more eager for a reason to get away from the horrifying sight. Too bad I didn’t have that luxury to look away. Someone had to figure out who did this.
A woman, Melanie Phillips I assumed, or what was left of her, was very clearly dead. Her blood had been used to paint the room, similar to how the main room was, except the person had used her limbs to apply the paint. A lock of hair was dried in a clump on a bed frame, her arm tossed in a corner. Those were only the first things I saw. THere were much more. I began taking pictures of the scene with my camera phone. I would be able to download the pictures later back at the station.
Craig returned to the room while I was finishing my pictures. “Wait, did they really stake her head?” Craig looked green. He was still a rookie. I had money that he’d be puking in the alley within a few minutes.
“It appears so, but based on the amount of blood on the top of her head, it looked like the person that did all of this, decided to paint using a really big brush.”
That did it. Craig gave me one final panicked look before he bolted. He didn’t make it to the alley, but he did manage to find the deceased woman’s bathroom and leave her with a piece of art in her toilet.
I shook my head and took some more pictures. It was going to be a long day to sift through all of the evidence. Then, the hunt for the killer would be on.
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M L Gammella lives in Ohio with her husband and their three pets. She is currently working on her first novel, a paranormal suspense based in Maine. Please follow her at @MLGammella and visit her website at Onward to the Written Word.