The First Case

Stanley Liu, 9th Grader || 9.16.18

 
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       Upon arrival to the crime scene, Officer Jonathan Schmidt contemplated the lone dead body lying in a grassy field. My first crime scene and I become a homicide expert firsthand, he thought grimly; Blood, guts, and donuts, the life of a police officer. The other cop at the scene, a more experienced officer by the name of Detective Palmer “Beefsteak Tomato” Jones stood dripping wet next to the body. He had arrived at the scene much earlier than Schmidt had, insisting on “inspecting the premises.”

“NEWBIE!” Jones barked, “Get yourself over here! YOU HEAR ME? NOW!”

       Still pondering the merits of fried pastries and death, as well as trying not to be put off by Palmer’s severely red face and mighty roar, Schmidt hurriedly jogged over. It was quickly noticeable that the cause of death was a knife through the heart.

“It is obvious that the victim was killed by a knife wound to the heart,” Palmer stated, calming himself.

Schmidt, who was less acquainted with policing matters, felt a cold, uneasy wave of nausea come over him.  

       Jones, perfectly calm, stated, “No, there is nothing here for miles and miles except that barn over there.” He pointed at a distant building, slightly obscured by the rain.  

Schmidt turned to the distant rusty red building, getting a image in his eyes other than the body. “Hey, weren’t you here with Corporal Thornton at firs-?”

       His partner turned on him, “THAT IS OF NO CONCERN TO...I mean, he has probably returned back to the station...They’ve been notified of the crime I happened upon”

Schmidt, not wanting to risk another verbal lashing decided to stay silent.

       “I’m going that shed,” the Detective yelled over the rain, “Stay here, and let the superior take action.”  He reached into Schmidt's car, stumbling, and crashing into something and clumsily pulled out the officer’s gun.  Palmer tossed it to Schmidt. Not caring to make any more trouble, Schmidt nodded slightly and prepared to wait. His partner disappeared into the rain, and was soon out of sight.

       Schmidt decided to go back to his car to sit and take in the events of the day. He liked classical music, and decided that he would listen to some.  However, when he twisted the dials of the car radio, he found nothing but static and electronic crackling. Now fully alert he spun to look at the dash.   The radio was completely smashed, so he had no way of contacting anyone back at the station.

       Schmidt’s blood ran cold with the thought of the accident in his squad car, his partner’s suspicious mood swings…and the body.  Turning quickly around, Schmidt leaped out of the car, no longer paying any mind to the rain. He put off his initial squeamishness and took a good, hard look at the dead body.  Now that he had a better look, he could see the nametag, slightly obscured by the grass reading “Corporal Jack Thornton.” This simply cannot be a coincidence Schmidt thought, head spinning. A dead cop, a demented partner, a smashed radio, no contact with headquarters, the barn-the barn..the barn.  He knew he had to at least check out the scene, but he was nonetheless terrified. First day on the job, and I’m more than a homicide detective.

       Schmidt was relieved to find his pistol had not been tampered with.   Sliding the magazine back into his pistol, he felt a little confidence returning.  It was strange that Jones had done nothing to damage his weapon. Putting the thought out of his mind, Jonathan Schmidt made his slow journey to the structure in the distance, heart sinking into his sloshing shoes.

       A few minutes later, Schmidt stood in front of the farmhouse, realizing that it was much larger than he thought.  The two wooden doors were slightly ajar and a lock was strewn in a grassy patch near the right front corner of the building. Opening the doors, he found a large spacious room with several large bales of hay haphazardly strewn across the floor.  They were tall enough to obscure his vision and probably enough to cover the paunchy Detective Jones. He was already beginning to feel very irritable with the whole matter. Why did he have to put up with a traitorous partner? Why was he the one who had to face off against a probably insane and unstable individual? WHY?

“GET OUT HERE JONES!” Schmidt screamed, “SHOW YOURSELF BEFORE I START SHOOTING SOMETHING!” This explosion was childish and unstrategic, but Officer Schmidt wasn’t about to care. He was going to make Detective Jones pay.

       Surprisingly, this outburst was met with an unnerving silence.  Schmidt began to feel doubt slowly creeping in, but he fended it off angrily. He decided to go look around the hay and maybe find what was actually going on.  Crossing the room with his pistol in a two hand vice grip in front of him, he slowly took steps, occasionally pivoting left and right. After half the room had been cleared, Schmidt’s uncertainty began to creep back. Like bales of hay, he thought bitterly, obstructing my view and confusing the hell out of me.  “Nothing,” he spat, “Nothing here, nothing ANYWHERE!” In reply to this second outburst, a wood plank obliged to creaking, under the weight of something, or somebody substantially heavy.

“Hello...partner, nice for you to be here.” Jones said quietly, stepping out from a shadow.

The man was entirely composed and had no trace of his previous yelling or screaming.

“What the HELL is wrong with you?” Schmidt shouted, “Why would you kill anybody? Wha-”

Jones cut in, “You do not understand the situation here Jonathan.”

“UNDERSTAND WHAT?” Schmidt burst out, “IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT YOU DO..WHAT YOU DID?”

       “The things that police work does to you, make you doubt things and lose control. Always fighting against the bad guys, always thinking people are guilty...of a crime, any crime...any crime. Control is the key. Joining this police force was the most idiotic thing I’ve ever done. They twisted me. They USED me.”

Schmidt bit his tongue, “So what does Thornton have to do with anything,” he asked, regaining self-control.  

“He was in the way.” Jones simply said, “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“I’m going to have to turn you in, don’t you realize that?” Schmidt asked quietly, “No matter your rambling, the prosecutors aren’t going to take that.”

       Jones closed his eyes and laughed, “YOU THINK I CARE?” His chuckling rose in intensity, “HA ANYTHING TO GET OUT OF THIS-.”  He stuck out his hands, eyes wild and body shaking. “BRING ME IN CHAINS BACK TO THE STATIONS, MAKE THEM see...”

       The “see” was drawn out in a hiss of pure madness.  There’s no going back, Schmidt thought, I’m going to have to end this before this maniac goes and causes more problems. He approached Jones slowly, keeping an eye on him while pulling out a pair of handcuffs. Unfortunately, before Schmidt could cuff the lunatic in front of him, Jones whipped up his right arm. A pistol was firmly grasped in Jones’ right hand, and he took no time in firing it directly at Schmidt. One bullet hit the new officer and caused him to stagger.  Before Schmidt hit the ground and lost consciousness, he raised his own right hand and squeezed off a single round. Both men fell to the ground.

       The rain eventually let up, allowing the sun to come out finally. The occasional dripping of water from the roof and the rustling of the grass provided a calming atmosphere to the lone red building.  Light came through small cracks all around the barn, illuminating the hay and wood floor. The light also shone onto a scene of blood and gore. One man in the barn slowly woke to the rustling and the dripping of the distant water and field. He looked at the other man and found him to be splayed in a strange unnatural position with blood running from a wound on the chest.  The first noise he heard was what presumably was the last the other would ever make. He knew the other would never wake and, sensibly, ended thinking about him. Pain shot through his right shoulder and reminded him of the bullet he’d taken. He needed to get to the hospital and get the wound treated. Luckily for him, a cell phone was in his left pocket. He took it out and was relieved to find some signal, even in the dementedly happy distant field. He flipped it open and dialed 911.

“This is 911 Emergency Dispatch, What is your emergency?”

“I’ve been shot in the arm and need medical assistance, please–hurry.”

“Right away sir, I’m notifying the necessary officials–can you please give me your location?”

“I’m at a field, off Reicher Street, a little ways down, there’s a red farmhouse near where I’m at. I haven’t lost too much blood….I think uh..hehe”

“Thank you sir, please remain calm, now may I please have your name?”

       The man on his phone almost burst out, right then and there, into a crazed bout of laughter, the events of earlier finally catching up to him.

“My name is Schmidt–Officer. Jonathan. Schmidt.”