Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
Winslow walked out the doorway past the snooping crime scene investigators. A few of them had shuffled away from the jamb when he yanked it open and he could see them trying to hide their guilt. The older investigators, the ones that were closer to 30 and had previously been rejected by Winslow, maintained their position around the body. These young recruits fresh out of the academies would soon learn that they shouldn’t ask too many questions.
He bent down by the body of Mr. Johnson, taking out a pencil to poke through his pockets, and then turning up to one of the younger detectives. Norton had recently been moved to homicide and even more recently had a newborn baby at home.
“So Mr. Norton, what do you think of this situation?”
The young detective flipped open his notebook with a noticeable clack. Winslow smiled at the thought of being so young in your career and trying to please your superiors. For this man, pleasing his superiors would be a spike in closed cases. For Winslow, it had been a much more treacherous and terrible pathway to becoming an officer, and a trusted man in the government scene.
“Well uh Detective Smith,the witness statements so far have said that Mrs. Johnson came home and found her husband at the base of the stair case,” Norton paused while flipping through the pad in his hand. “And there were attempts to revive him, but as you can see everything seems to have failed.”
Norton’s particular wording ran with that particular anxiety of young investigators. They weren’t always sure of what they were seeing - even if it was someone jaywalking - and tended to add in “maybe” statements. Working with this kid was going to make it a tedious case, but everything was possible in the pursuit of justice.
Even if Winslow was one of the few folks in the whole damn county interested in justice.
“Mr. Norton, is there anything odd that you notice about the position of the body?”
Winslow watched the detective’s eyes move between himself, the body, and the recently returned Dr. Reilly. He tried not to make any implications about what might have kept Reilly for those few prized minutes.
The notebook clacked again and the papers were flipped.
Detective Smith popped up from the ground, bringing a shard of glass up with him and placing it into the palm of the waiting tech. The bits of glass embedded into the carpet spoke of an argument that happened before this night, but something certainly pertinent to the investigation as a whole.
He turned to Reilly in the door way and asked, “So did your boys find anything on the body?”
Winslow stopped looking at the corpse and moved across the hall to look at the casual bar with a small crystal cabinet. The four glasses on the top of the bar were all matching, but the sets below were mix matched in different crystal styles. It was sets like this that reminded him of his mother’s own kitchen cabinets with glasses that were prone to breaking and “slipping” out of her hands.
“Yes, Detective Smith, they did find a few things on the body, but I thought you were going to seek out the widow,” Reilly’s voice stopped for a moment and Winslow heard the soft click of a lighter. “Or did you forget about the poor, grieving dear in your pursuit of hunting debris in the carpet?”
The detective huffed with a sigh, knowing why Reilly was being such an absolute ass. Perhaps he shouldn’t have threatened the coroner or perhaps Winslow shouldn’t have survived the war at all.
The widow could wait a damn moment.
Smith took from his crouch in front of the bar cart to lying flat on his stomach on the tile of the hall to the kitchen. It was cool against his stomach - reminding him of the basement cubby holes of Paris - and he slowly crawled across it, more and more aware of the squeaking of his shoes. As he went along, Winslow pulled small pieces of glass out from under the molding.
From above he heard a sharp, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
The sight above him was a short woman wearing high heels with blond hair and eyes of an undetermined color. Based on her position in the kitchen compared to a young girl in a maid’s uniform and a slightly older woman in a crisp fur, this lady must be the mourning widow that he wanted to talk with.
Once more, Winslow brought himself up from the floor, dusting off his overcoat, and extending a hand to the woman waiting with hands on her hips.
“Oh, pardon me, Mrs. Johnson. I was just doing the job that the crime scene investigators seem to be failing to do.”
She relaxed slightly at his soft expression, but Winslow could see how tense she was. He decided to further introduce himself by saying, “Capt-Detective Winslow Smith.”
His slip in his title added a noticeable amount of doubt to the room, from the eyes of the friends of the widow to the snickering comments of the officers and investigators behind him. Mrs. Johnson stepped around the side of the kitchen bar, pouring herself a drink and asking, “So which one are you, Mr. Smith? A detective or a captain?”
She brought over another glass, presumably with a few fingers of whiskey and placed it in front of him with no permission. Winslow wasn’t planning to drink on duty and gave her a thoughtful nod. It took him a moment more to think of his answer to the question in front of him.
He brought the glass to his lips as he stated, “Detective Smith, ma’am. Formerly a captain of the United States Army.”
Winslow took a sip while she watched him with a waiting gaze. Mrs. Johnson finally returned his welcoming gesture, now extending her own hand and saying, “You don’t have to call me ma’am or Mrs. Johnson or any of that nonsense. I’m just Queenie.”