Special Agent Marcus Fenton swallowed back the bile that had gathered in his throat; no matter how many crime scenes he was assigned to, his body responded the same way without fail. And so he stood there, looking like he’d been remoted onto ‘stand-by’, his face momentarily blank of expression.
“Sir, the paramedics are taking the woman now.” The voice barely reached him, struggling to push its way through the wall of thick fog that clouded his mind.
“Right,” Marcus grunted. He shook himself back to reality, the air around him seeming to plummet by twenty degrees or so. Blood had indiscriminately splashed around the room before him; the pool that had gathered by the body of the John Doe already seeping its way into the oak floorboards beneath. Barely a few paces to the left had been the resting place for the woman, also as yet unnamed. They had found them both like this; door wide open, hands outstretched towards each other, the man already very much dead, his lifeless eyes lingering with the pain of his final moments; the woman barely breathing, her other hand clasped over the stab wound on her stomach.
There was no doubt as to the murder weapon; a blood soaked knife lying discarded by the fireplace as though a proud reminder of a heartless victory. The rest of the room lay dormant under a scattering of letters, each one carefully constructed in a false, unidentifiable script. Anger, vileness and a seething lust for revenge gripped every word of the threats scrawled across the plethora of pages. Threats that promised to see them both be targeted; threats, it seemed, that had been realised. Every photograph that had once been proudly displayed around the homely living room had been smashed, the broken shards of glass from the frames tearing at the images of the formerly happy, young couple.
Marcus moved over to the stretcher onto which the woman had been strapped. Her eyes were wild with fear as beads of sweat trickled down her pale face.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” Marcus asked, leaning in close.
The response was barely a whisper. “M… Molly.” Her cracked lips parted to try and speak again, her hoarse voice escaping in sporadic rasps. “They… they came… I… warned him… No way out… No way out…”
“It’s okay,” said Marcus, a comforting hand instinctively reaching out for hers. “You’re safe now. It’s over. We’re going to protect you.” He turned his attention to the medical staff poised for his instruction. “Get her to hospital, ASAP.”
With a nod, they wheeled her from the small house and a deafening silence briefly weaved its way back into the desolate space.
“Tragic, isn’t it.” One of Marcus’ co-workers brushed her shoulder against his, sensing the struggle within him. “All of this over money.” The hate-filled letters had already confirmed that the deceased man that still lay before them had become embroiled in thousands of pounds worth of debt to rogue loan-sharks; predators that fed on the vulnerable and would evidently stop at nothing to get even.
“It’s sick.” Marcus sighed, taking his glasses from his face and wiping them against his coat sleeve. “That poor woman probably didn’t even know what was happening until it was too late. She shouldn’t have had to pay for her husband’s mistakes. We can’t let those bastards get away with this.”
As the paramedics slammed the ambulance doors shut and began the journey towards the hospital, Molly’s eyes glazed with a cold stare, her shoulders relaxing and mouth curling into the slightest suggestion of a smile.
This piece was written in response to the latest prompt over at Featured Fiction. Thanks for reading.