I’m continuing with scenes from the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series, Desperate Season. I’m still working on the final read-through and edit before submitting it for publication.
I hope you enjoy reading these excerpts, and I’d love any feedback you are willing to give. If you’d like to get the first two books in the series, Open Season and Stalking Season, they are available for many reading devices from Draft2Digital.
Sarah pulled into the small parking area next to the soccer fields. The minute McGregor had told her about the kid who had been shot, she knew she was not going to like this. Not that she liked any murder victim, but kids were the worst. Accident, disease, or murder. Didn’t make a difference. Kids just shouldn’t die. Period. They should live the full extent of years that took them to gray hair and wrinkles and lots of grand-kids.
A few hundred feet from the parking area, Angel stood next to Walt, the medical examiner, who was hunched over a bundle on the ground. Sarah didn’t want to go look at what was in that bundle, so she glanced over to where two uniformed officers were talking to a small cluster of people. She moved toward them, and noted one of the officers was Doug Grantham. Good guy who could have made detective years ago, but he liked being a beat cop. And Sarah liked it any time their paths crossed. He was a more seasoned version of Rusty, and she always appreciated working with someone that good at the job.
“What do we have Doug?”
“Girl was shot.” He made a vague gesture in the direction of Angel and Walt. “This guy here,” he nodded to a young black man wearing shorts, a red tee-shirt and running shoes, “found her while he was jogging this morning.”
Sarah looked at the witness. “Your name, sir?”
“Jeremy. Jeremy Wilson.”
“Did you see anybody? Hear any gunshots?”
“No, ma’am. There was nobody else around when I found her. And I almost didn’t. This isn’t my usual route to run, but I decided to cut through the park this morning.”
Sarah glanced at the small crowd of gawkers that had gathered, and Doug seemed to anticipate her question. He was good at that. “They came when we pulled up with sirens and lights.”
Sarah nodded, then turned back to the young man. “Did you touch the body, Jeremy?”
He swallowed hard, then offered a slight grimace. “I didn’t want to. And I knew I shouldn’t. But, well, I’m pre-med. Thought maybe I should make sure she was… you know… dead.”
As much trouble as he was having, Sarah wondered if Jeremy might reconsider his college major after this morning. But then, finding a little girl dead in a park is much different from treating some old man’s gastritis.
“Any ETA on the crime scene team?” Sarah asked Doug.
“Okay.” She turned to Jeremy. “You need to stay here until the techs can get your prints.”
Suddenly there was an edge of hostility in his stance and his expression changed from friendly to wary. “What for?”
At first Sarah wondered why the abrupt change. What did he have to hide? Then she stilled the impulse to ask him, remembering what Angel had told her about how young black men are taught from the cradle on up to be wary of the police. She wished it didn’t have to be that way, but there it was. It wasn’t going away any time soon, as Sarah could well attest to after her experiences with racism on both sides of the coin. She spoke in a well-modulated tone, “If we get any prints from the area, we need to eliminate yours.”
Jeremy gave a slight nod, and Sarah watched his shoulders slowly relax. “This officer will get you squared away with one of our techs and get your contact information. Then you can go.”
That was met with another nod, and Sarah started to move away. “Later, Doug.”
He acknowledged with a wave just as the CSU van arrived.
Sarah walked over to Angel and Walt, who had moved a few feet away from the body. A girl’s bicycle lay on its side where it must have fallen when the girl was shot. She still had a backpack strapped to her back and a helmet on her head. The helmet was a deep red, matching the blood that had seeped into the girl’s white tee-shirt. The ground, where the girl’s head rested was dark and damp.
“What a day,” Sarah said as she stepped up to Angel.
“McGregor told me about the break in at your place. You okay?”
“Yeah. Shit happens. The only thing they took was my TV.”
Sarah could joke about it, but part of her still seethed when she thought about some stranger in her apartment. Some stranger with felony on his mind.
That’s all for me folks. I do hope you have a great weekend ahead of you. I’ll be doing some major celebrating with family. Whatever you have planned, be safe. Be happy.