Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Looking grim, he let the door swing shut behind him

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AN: watching too many ww2 dramas?
Looking grim, he let the door swing shut behind him. He stood for a second next to the car and took a deep breath. He found crime scenes hard to deal with. Another fortifying breath and then he leaned in the open window and picked up his leather medical bag.
A uniformed officer pointed him towards the crime scene.
War changed people they always said, but in his experience, it hadn’t changed them so much as exposed them for what they were. They were all discovering that as the war dragged on. And he was often called to the results of that exposure. Death. Usually violent.
He switched hands to carry his bag; it suddenly felt heavy.
“Ah... Doctor,” the police sergeant said.
“The victim?”
“A young woman.” He pointed towards the water.
The body was face down in the mud at the edge of the lake. “Help me turn her over?”
A young constable helped him. Mercifully she hadn’t been in the water long. Her skin was still unaffected. He wiped the mud from her face. She was beautiful. And she was barely a young woman. He would have described her as a girl. His eyes scanned down her body. He noticed her clothes; not expensive but well looked after and well matched. Her best outfit and it strained at the waist.
“She’s beautiful,” said the constable in an awed tone.
“And pregnant,” the doctor added. “Now there’s a motive for you.”
“How can you identify the father?”
“That’s your job, constable.”
“Oh... I suppose it is.”
“You’ll need to ask around. Perhaps I have leapt to the wrong conclusion. Perhaps she is loved and this baby is wanted and her death has nothing to do with it.”
A derisive snort. “If it’s a soldier, that’ll be difficult.”
“Yes.” They were in and out of town so quickly these days with leave, and they were determined to have a good time.
As he examined her neck, the constable saw the bruising. “She didn’t drown.” It was a statement.
“No. She was dead when she went in the water.” He sat back on his heels. “But an autopsy will confirm it.”
“It seems such a pity to cut her open.”
“I won’t touch the baby.”
They nodded at each other.
“And I’ll find out who she is,” the constable promised.
“I know you will.”
© AM Gray 2013

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