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Category: Uncategorized

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When He Snapped

Afterward, no one could explain why he had done it. It happened while Ashley was watching television, an after-school cartoon, Rugrats, maybe, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, sitting cross-legged on the carpet, her face inches from the screen. Her mother would have scolded her for ruining her eyes or absorbing harmful radiation or not doing her homework. But her mother […]

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La Petite Morte

Evelyn had arrived early for the meeting. The curtains were closed on the first floor windows of the motel room. It didn’t matter. The only view was an empty parking lot, on this weekday at lunchtime. A Reader’s Digest lay abandoned on an end table next to a plastic cup of water. Rumpled linens covered the bed, spilling partway to […]

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The Farmer

“How long was he out there?” I asked my assistant, who was unzipping the body bag. An aroma of mildew mixed with the sour tang of blood assailed me. The man was face down on the gurney, left in the same position in which he was found. “Two weeks,” Paul answered. “The trooper said the 15-year old son found the […]

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B.I.T.C.H. Part 2

The courtroom felt stuffy like an airplane cabin on a transatlantic flight. The defense attorney continued to bark questions at me. Jurors shifted in their seats. At times, a prosecutor objected and the judge would intervene — the referee in a game of words. Counsel spent time asking about each scratch and bump on the decedent, trying to attribute any one of them to a more benign event than the murder. As the medical examiner that had performed her autopsy, I knew the intimate details of the injuries that had claimed her life. She had been savagely attacked, sexually assaulted, and then run over in the road. This lawyer had a hard case to defend. The victim’s blood, and brain matter […]

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Tick, tick, tick, tick. The circular clock’s second hand made its way to the hour of 3:00. I had been waiting 45 minutes in this windowless room, seated on an inflexible metal folding chair. The overhead panel lighting cast a yellowish glow over the papers on the table in front of me. I looked over the ten pages, five times, […]

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Dark hair was matted to the little girl’s head. Her lips were dried and cracked, her eyes sunken. Amina was gaunt, and less than fifth percentile for height and weight. Despite her olive-toned skin, she was pale. She lay lifeless on the morgue table. I sharpened my pencil, preparing to take notes. Feeling sluggish, I thought about stopping for a […]

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“Hi, you’ve reached John and Kelly. We’re not here to take your call right now, so leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.” The voice is cheery like the one we all use for our phone tags. I listen to these reminders of the recently departed life with momentary panic. The hair stands […]