Tracey Underwood is a full-time online student at Full Sail University majoring in Creative Writing for Entertainment. Underwood believes that a Creative Writing degree will open many doors of opportunities for a career in the entertainment industry. After spending nearly, a decade working with children, whether it was in childcare or elementary schools, Underwood decided to go back to school and pursue her passion for writing. Underwood is a past Special Education Paraprofessional. A graduate of Pensacola State College, she is an avid reader and writer. She lives with her husband and four sons in Pensacola, Florida.
Detective Jackson Montgomery opened the door to the Shady Oaks Motel room 206 and the eerie quietness of the room. The smell of stale, old food and wet blood hit him in the face. There was a woman lying on her stomach with a pool of blood puddling out around her head on the floor next to the first bed. He glanced around and didn’t see anything out of place except one unmade, messy queen size bed. Jackson, a ten-year veteran, a homicide detective, worked these types of cases in his sleep.
“So... what do we have here, Jack? Just one?”
He turned to his partner, Shelby and said, “No, there’s a male in the bathroom.”
“Looks like a cut and dry double homicide or murder-suicide. Anyone I.D. the bodies yet?”
“No, the coroner hasn’t got here yet.”
Detective Shelby Davison stood in the middle of the room wearing black ankle boots and a trench coat. She pulled on her gloves and began looking around the room. The brown plaid curtains were drawn tight. The second queen size bed was still made up. She kneeled next to the female body and looked her over. The woman was only wearing a sheer, pink short nightie, the kind that was supposed to match your flesh tone. The female’s long blonde hair covered the left side of her face and the right side of her face was buried in the brown shag carpet. She picked up the female’s left hand and noticed the discoloration of wearing a wedding band, but no ring was on the finger. “Jack, was there a wedding band on the female’s finger?” There was a long black hair in the palm of her left hand, she shook out her small plastic baggy and placed the hair inside.
“Huh, uh, no, I don’t think so. Why? Is it missing?” Jack tightened the rubber band around his ponytail of long black hair and fidgeted with his tie at his neck. He turned away from Shelby’s probing gaze, looking everywhere but in her eyes.
Shelby’s eyes followed Jackson around the room. Jackson picked up the clock, then the telephone and put them down with a quickness. Something was off with him today. Different. The first day of working a case he would always be sharp and focused, even dogmatic about getting all the details.
“Jack, you okay? You get enough sleep last night? I know you were out late last night, what time did you get in?”
“I’m not sure, I was so exhausted I climbed straight into bed as soon as I walked in,” said Jackson.
The coroner came in and began working discretely on the female and now had her turned over on her back, with her face fully visible. Shelby walked over to get a closer look at the face of the female victim. “Uh... Jack, can I talk to you outside, please?”
Jack followed her outside the door and clicked the door close behind him. “What is it, Shelby? Something wrong?”
“Jack, I don’t know how to tell you this but that woman in there looks just like your ex-wife, Julie,” said Shelby. The blood drained from Jackson’s face and he turned and ran back into the room. Shelby was right behind him as he dropped to his knees beside the woman on the floor.
“Oh, God, no! What happened? Who did this to you?” said Jackson as he kneeled over the woman’s body and smoothed her hair back from her forehead.
Shelby pulled on Jackson’s shoulders, “Jack, I’m so sorry. We’ll find whoever did this and put them behind bars where they belong, I promise you that.” She fell to her knees beside Jackson and pulled him into her arms as he closed his eyes and tears ran down his face.
“Both bodies looked to have been bludgeoned with a blunt object, looks like blunt force trauma,” said the coroner walking out of the bathroom.
“So, we’re looking for the weapon around the premises, usually it’s left behind, might be a crime of passion. Jack, why don’t you go ahead on home and I’ll let the Captain know what’s going on here, we’ll get Detective Ryan to help with the case,” said Shelby.
“Yeah... maybe you’re right, I know Ryan is one of the best, he’ll help you get this figured out. But please keep me in the loop, I want to know everything that’s going on with this case. Especially when you have a suspect,” said Jackson wiping his eyes.
“Jack, now you know that’s against protocol, you’re going to have to excuse yourself from this case, you’re too close to the victim. Cap, is not gonna go for that.”
“Shel... I can’t be out of the loop with this case, it’s too important to me, you know that,” said Jackson as he tightened the rubber band around his long black ponytail.
“I’ll try to let you know as soon as I know something for sure, but you can’t be involved, Jack. Go on home, Captain will want you to rest today.”
“I know, I know, I’m going.” Jackson slammed the room door on his way out. He went to his car and got in the front seat, he rested his forehead against the steering wheel and took a couple of deep breaths. His right hand crept under the front seat and felt around. Good, it was still there. Where else would it be, dummy? You know that we put that hammer there last night after we left out of motel room 206 in a hurry. Why did she make us do it? Julie, I always loved you, you just never loved me enough. I would have done anything for you. She never should have taken our old high school rival as a lover. She knew how much we hated him. She knew better. Jackson took a swig from his silver metal flask.
Shelby didn’t hear Jackson start the car. The only sound she heard was the single gunshot from the car Jackson was sitting in alone, in the parking lot of the Shady Oaks Motel.
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