So this was written a little out of desperation, and the reason I am going down to bi-weekly postings of short stories in the new year. I grabbed a random prompt from Agirlnamedjana’s prompt account on tumblr.
“When they tried to dig up the body, to everyone’s surprise, it was not empty. There were more bodies in the casket than expected.”
I wrote the following in about 30 minutes, and I highly recommend her blog for anyone who is looking for some inspiration.
We all stood around the open casket, dirty, sweating, and horrified. It was supposed to be empty.
We were crime enthusiasts, or at least thats what we liked to call outselved. It was a litle weird, but we had all watched a few too many procedural crime dramas, which led to true crime dramas, which lead to this, which even I admit was really freaking weird.
We had been following the case on the news, until it it ended in the supposed death of the suspect, who had been proven the kiler post mortem. The thing is, the crimes didn’t stop, not entirely. Well, they did in our town, but those of us who fanatically track this stuff online found that there were crimes with similar MO’s a few states over.
There were just enough difference that it wasn’t flagging on any databases, but there was something about these new murders that just made you know that it was the same screwed up guy. Then they stopped and another set of similar, yet different murder started in another state.
Some were saying partner, others copycat, but my little group of weirdos, we had a different idea entirely. With a copy of the autopsy, forensic results, and deterctive note. I know, you want to know where we got them, but even I am not entirely sure. Suzie started to imply sexual favors and we all decided we weren’t going to ask any follow up questions.
Anyways, everything we had was conclusive right down to dental records, except this one small thing, the reason none of us could let this go, the damage from the grenade that ended up going off in his hand, it was his right hand, and this guy was most certainly left handed. Why would he have been throwing with his non-dominant hand.
Some illegal hacking, more of Suzie’s favors, and we had some CCTV footage that had a guy that looked super similar leaving the scene, and then around town for a few days, and then turning up where the next murders started.
It should have been enough, a slam dunk, but the cops wanted this over with. The bad publicity from not catching this guy for so long was haunting them, and they wanted it over. There would be no more investigation. Even if it did look like he had faked his own death and was murdering people elsewhere, because, well, it was elsewhere and so not their problem.
We reached out, I swear we did, to other communities, other cops, but ultimately, we got nothing. No one wanted to touch this with a ten foot pole. It was bad news, and spoke of police maleficence that no one wanted to be the harbinger of.
So we stewed, and then we sulked, and then we came up with a really dumb idea. If, and it wasn’t really an if because we knew it was true, the killer had faked his own death and was on a killing spree, then there was an empty coffin in the local cemetary that would prove as much.
We snuck in shortly after dark, and even with 6 of us, it took a suprisingly long time to dig down to the casket. Six feet is a lot of dirt, and by the time we reached it, we were all painfully aware of why people used machinery to dig graves nowadays.
What we were not expecting when we finally popped it open, was the smell. I, I don’t really know how to describe it, decomposing human flesh smells so much worse than I ever could have imagined. There was a body in there, and if it hadn’t been for Suzie’s gasped “We were right.” I wouldn’t of looked.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The casket wasn’t empty, we were wrong about that, but the killer in question was a man, 6’3”, dark hair, and all three of the bodies jammed in the casket were short blond women. I could hear the sirens approaching and I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, after all, we were right, but oh, so wrong.