Emma stopped crying, and with her tears, her infatuation with David evaporated too, or so she thought.

“He is evil. He is truly evil. A psychopath, I’m telling you Beth, he is Satan himself. You should have seen his eyes, and licking the dogs blood and brains. Eww.”

“Should I answer the phone? Nancy asked with her most loving, empathetic tone of voice.

“If its David, I want to give him a piece of my mind,” Bethany exploded.

“Just leave it. I’m over him. That poor, poor dog.”

“Are you going to report him?”

“Don’t think so Beth. We work different beats. He is smooth as velvet. He’ll dress the story up. Persuade everyone the dog attacked me. End up a hero. No. I want nothing more to do with him.  I’m finished with men.”

Beth laughed loudly, fully, releasing all the pent up emotion that went with the girl’s week-long cry-in over broken hearts and violent men.  “Yeah girlfriend. We all are. Out there, ten million women – and each and every one of them will tell you they’re finished with men. Forever.” They giggled, and then went deeply into post-heartbreak ice cream mode.

“Nancy darling, ice cream!” Bethany bellowed.  Nancy remained quiet, and the girls chanted together.

“Nancy, ice cream, Nancy, ice cream!”

“This will not do” Nancy bemoaned their insistence. She begrudgingly took her seat, and frowned, but she could not hide her delight, and she burst out laughing. “

Just a wee bit” she pretended, pushing a giant bowl towards Emma.

“Fill her up, sunshine” she giggled.

When Emma woke up, she cried again.  Then she knew she was in trouble. He was her first, and she was physically infatuated. And disgusted. She showered, and spent half an hour in front of the mirror. She was dressed in tight denims, very nice denims, and she wore a white blouse and her detective badge. No jewelry.  I look stunning, she thought, but then she changed her blouse and tied her hair at the back of her head.  This also did not work, She untied her hair and  shook her golden locks coyly.  Detective Jones. She smiled at herself.


They were having coffee at the wooden stand down Lombardi when the call came in.

“We have a possible one-eight-seven on the corner of Sycamore and Mission. All units, a possible one-eight-seven on the corner of Sycamore and Mission.

“That’s us” Emma said. Her partner, detective Brody gulped his coffee down and they ran to the Crown Victoria. A 187 was the call sign in California for a murder. ‘Detective’ Jones was on her way to her first homicide.

When they arrived at the scene there were more squad cars than bystanders. Yellow tape surrounded the crime scene, and a uniformed officer kept everyone out.

“Jones, homicide” Emma barked proudly, and for a second she stopped inside the yellow tape and lingered the moment. She will never again take her first step into her first homicide case, into the ring where fighting crime is a life or death struggle.

“Ready for a walk through when you are,” Brody smiled.

“Ready. Emma breathed in deeply, and they went into the dilapidated yard behind the Sycamore restaurant and bar.


Brody and Emma went to the Inn-and-Out at the waterfront afterwards.  Brody brought them both a double-double, with animal fries and a large sweet soda.  Emma drank the soda until her eyes watered, and then she went for the food. She was amazingly hungry after witnessing the carnage, and she was trembling inside, doing her best not to allow Brody to see her fear.

“Best burger in America,” Brody said, wiping his mouth and hunching forward to go for another huge bite of the tasty burger.

“Shake-shack is quite good too, Emma offered weakly, swallowing a chunk of saucy burger and downing it with soda.”

“Been there, nothing like Inn-and-Out” Brody munched.

Emma went for a refill of her soda. She had enough soda, but she just needed space. The waterfront restaurant was queuing, and more than two hundred people were lined up to order.  She returned to Brody. “Let’s go. You drive.”

Brody drove towards the station, and Emma stared out at the people milling about. The City was very busy as the sun went down. That’s when the people come out of their holes, she thought bitterly.

Emma knew the moment she saw the dead body.  The woman was beaten to death with a blunt object. A brick was found outside, covered in brains and blood.  And the woman was beaten until her head looked like fresh burger. Raw, red and grizzly.

The killer propped her up against the wooden fence, and then he filled her mouth with earth, with grit and sand he dug up outside.  He dumped the brick and went out to dig up enough earth to fill what remained of her face and mouth.

It was David Lang. And she was the only one that knew this.


Emma stayed at the office alone after Brody left.  She sat down, put her legs up, and just sat quietly watching the sun go down.  She pulled her keyboard towards her. She had to make a report, and she faced a conundrum. If she told the truth, she had to add the name of her suspect to the murder book. And if she did that, her career was probably over.  If she left her suspicions out, she was one step closer to becoming the kind of cop she promised never to become: the cynical, brooding non-conformist who ended up in the drunk tank or downstairs in a dark office where everyone could ignore them.


Emma started typing. Then she stopped, and deleted her report.  She understood that she had to take the law into her own hands now.  Nothing will ever lead the force to David Lang. Ever. She had to get into his circle of trust, behind the walls of his lair, if she wanted to expose him. And she knew she only had a fifty-fifty chance of surviving such an endeavor despite her mental powers.

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