Why the White Room?

Written in response to: Set your story in a drawing room.... view prompt

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Crime Fiction Mystery

As the town detective, I was used to getting weird phone calls, getting me to do things like investigating odd un-explainable things. So one Wednesday, when I was filing my most recent case, I got another phone call. The person sounded calm and collected over the phone, telling me about their neighbor who abandoned their house last week.

Sounded to me like they were on vacation, but the person claimed they never did and was hiding their hands when they left. I thought to myself. Probably hiding something. Maybe worth the investigation. So I agreed. I went over to the shady apartment complex and went to the neighbor's house first. They said they almost never went out or said anything to them, but had them get their mail if they were to be on a trip.

I gathered information from the owner of the complex, her, and her other neighbor. The other neighbor was unsure of what happened, only that he invited her neighbor that lived next to him on the other side. They talked, but they appeared to only be neighborly friends. The person who owned the apartment was named Zach Derilis. He was around 22. According to the owner of the complex, he was usually quiet and unnoticeable. He had heard some intense coughing, almost gasping for air. As soon as I walked in, I saw an inhaler right as I walked in. That explained that. It seemed normal to me.

As I was exiting the neighbor's apartment, I noticed how full her garbage cans were. Covered in some weird red substance. She claimed she spilled tomato soup on those clothes, and that's why they smelled funny. Let me tell you how terrible the tomato soup smelled. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it smelled like. It was on the tip of my tongue. I left thereafter, to check out the actual apartment. Maybe I would be able to find some sort of suspicious in there. I was expecting something in there. Maybe an object or him hiding.

I thought. This sounded like a classic case of a mystery in the making. I soon after left and then checked their apartment. Nothing looked out of order until I found a weird white room. Why the white room? I thought. I went in, curiosity killing me. There was red splattered everywhere on the floor. And a canvas. Half blank. None of the paints were as colored red as the one on the floor. I took a sample of what was on the floor went back outside, and drove back to my office.

I went back to my office and wrote down everything I knew on a blank sheet of paper. The owner of the apartment was a male who went by the name of Zach Derilis. He owns an apartment downtown. He doesn't speak to his neighbor and rarely goes out. If he has a trip he'll ask his neighbor to get his mail. He has a white room and on the floor, there was a vivid red. The substance on the floor smelled funny but not as bad as the tomato soup in her trash can. And that's when I remembered.

The "tomato soup" that was in her trash can smelled like rotting flesh. That's why it was on the tip of my tongue. I smelled it before, but it was always right in front of me. So quickly, I gathered the police and we drove back to the apartment. We were going to get her to confess to her crime and stick her in jail. Then she'd go to court.

We got out and went straight to her door. We knocked the door down and the sheriff cuffed her. I asked her a simple question. Did she kill him and lie by claiming that he went missing. She looked down and started to laugh like a serial killer. She nods. "It was like I was giving it away. I thought it would work. It would be too easy, and you would make it difficult for yourself. I'm guilty of murder, but in court, I'm going to plead otherwise. You have no current evidence, except he's not around and that blood sample I see you have with his name on it."

I pointed out the door and then got the rest of the crew to help me. I had them look through all the trash, indoors and out to find the body. Then he could at least have a good burial. The team found it and we load them up. The body in one car, her in another. We take them away. But I had one more stop. Delivering the blood sample to make sure it was his blood on the floor and on the sheets. Now that we had the body we could match them.

24 hours later, she was being doors and I delivered the body to the morg so we could figure out how she killed Zach. He died of being stabbed multiple times according to the morg. It was his blood, and his body was in the sheets she cleaned him up in. The ones I saw in the trash smelled so terrible. Everything matched. From the blood on the sheets, in his body, and on the floor.

Weeks later, the funeral happened. I attended and found his family crying and thanking me for putting his murderer behind bars. They were crying so hard. I couldn't blame them. From what I heard about him, he was a really hard worker and a really nice person. He was just a man, a young man, who wanted to succeed and be a family man. And he was murdered. Defenseless, as I found no weapon on the crime scene. I had hoped that the judge would find her guilty of this crime.

Soon after, we went to court. She, of course, pled not guilty, but in the end, the opposing side claiming she had killed him had won. She was guilty, and that was another case closed.

February 02, 2022 14:06

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