The Case of the Medgrove Murders

Submitted into Contest #193 in response to: Write a story containing the words “it’s the thought that counts.”... view prompt



This story contains sensitive content

Contains the use of tobacco products, a description of a corpse, and explicit language.

The small town of Medgrove in Oregon was full of mystery. The town was located as a rest stop along I-84. The population was barely passing 1,000 people, and everyone knew each other. It was peaceful, and everyone got along, except for minor land disputes. When the murders started happening, however,  it was the most significant thing ever happening in the town.

Bright police lights could be seen for miles, the light pollution being the bare minimum for the town. Finally, a silver sedan pulled up, stopping just outside the police tape. The driver and passenger door opened to reveal two detectives.

“Al!” A police officer called out, seeing the older man shut the driver's side door. His white hair reflected the flashing reds and blues as he stepped closer. He lit a cigarette before waiting for his partner to follow.

“Those’ll kill you.” She said, walking over to him. Her red, curly hair was pulled back into a bun and kept back with a hat.

“If I hadn’t died since I started them, I think I’m good,” Al replied gruffly before lifting the police tape. He let her go under first before following right after.

“Detective Blakenship, good to see you.” The officer said, shaking the female detective’s hand.

“Likewise, Luke.” She smiled before the two saw Al heading toward the crime scene. It happened just outside the small donut shop they had. The owner, Jason Seabanks, was the most excellent man in town, and his wife, Susan, was the same.

“What can you tell us?” Jessica asked, walking behind Al with Luke at her side.

“Woman’s body, age unknown. Body found just like the others. We thought this might have been an accident, but the woman was either passing by the shop or leaving.”

“Can’t identify who it is?” She asked before Luke shook his head. The two continued with the conversation as Al finally reached the body. He looked over and tried to kneel as quickly as possible, but his knees popped slightly.

“Gettin’ too old for this….” He mumbled before putting on his gloves. He lifted the white sheet that covered the corpse and saw it. It was the headless body of a poor woman. Her body was already in the decomposing stages, so it had been a while since she had died.

“Clean cut at the neck,” Al mumbled before standing up, hearing the loud pops from his knees. He made a noise of irritation before looking at his partner coming over.

“Got a present for me?” He heard Jessica ask before he took a long drag of his cigarette.

“A headless body. Want it?”

“You’re not the best at giving gifts.” She kneeled to check on the body, barely hearing his gruff laugh.

“It’s the thought that counts, Jess.” As she bent down to lift the sheet, Al stood behind her to watch.

“Brusing on the upper part of her arms, along with what appears to be bruising around the neck area,” She started, gesturing with her free hand to where she was mentioning. “I can also see evidence of a struggle on her fingernails.” She said before, looking over towards the others at the scene.

“I need forensic over here!” She called, seeing them begin to hurry over. “Swab her fingernails for me. I wanna see if they got any DNA on them. Thanks.” She nodded to the two before standing to talk to Al.

“Wonder where her head is.” Al commented before taking another drag.

“Probably where the other ones are. That sick bastard really knows how to make up sick.” She scoffed, causing him to shake his head.

“Just can’t imagine why someone would wanna do this… From what I've seen, no one here is a bad person.” She looked genuinely upset about these events. Al only hummed as he pulled out his cigarette, looking over toward her.

“Things aren’t always what they seem, kid.” With that, he began to take his leave, allowing them to clean up the scene and get everything ready to be transported to the office. Jessica watched him before exhaling with defeat. She looked back towards the sheet that hid away the body before trailing after him.

The ride to the station was quiet. Classic rock played softly in the background to make the air less awkward, but it wasn’t making it much better. This, however, finally broke once Al began to cough into his hand. The coughing fit lasted a good minute before he finally was stable enough to talk.

“You sure you’re ok, old man?” Jessica asked as he nodded.

“Course I am. Why wouldn’t I be?” He asked, clearing his throat.

“You were supposed to retire because of this, Al.”

“Too young to retire.”

“More like too stubborn… You need a break. You’re killing yourself at this rate.” Jessica added before she saw him finally pulling into the station.

He parked in his usual spot, one closer to the door, before getting out and noticing the rain. He shut the door to his sedan and noticed a box on the steps into the precinct. Jessica barely exited the car before seeing him walking straight toward the box.

“Al, wait! It could be a bomb!” But he didn’t listen as he continued towards the box. It wasn’t wrapped and didn’t have any name on it. Then, a smell hit him, and he instantly knew what it was. He ripped open the top before staring into the eyes of Susan Seabanks, her head inside the box.

Jessica hurried over after she saw him staring before letting out a small scream. Susan’s milky-white eyes stared into Al’s, causing him to shake with rage. Whoever did this did it on purpose. They knew what they were doing. 

After finally being able to tear his eyes away from hers, he saw a yellow piece of paper in her mouth. He placed the box firmly in his right arm before grabbing the note with his left hand. Jessica hurried to catch it, deciding it would be best to read it while he looked at the head.

Opening the piece of paper left her with a few words that would haunt her.

“You found me! Let’s see who shows up next!”

This wasn’t over by a long shot.

April 13, 2023 17:17

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Tamarin Butcher
14:09 Apr 20, 2023

Ooh, I feel like there is more to come, and I'm a sucker for murder mysteries. I struggled to see the alignment with the prompt, though...


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Glenda Toews
23:49 Apr 19, 2023

The husband did it!😁 least that's my guess


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Mary Bendickson
16:12 Apr 17, 2023

Welcome to Reedsy. This must be the start of a gruesome mystery novel! Thanks for the gift:0)


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