It’s time for another round of Tuesday Tales, brought to you today by the word prompt SKINNY. I’m continuing with The White Dahlia. Enjoy.
“Whoa!” Her eyes watered. If she worked too many of these cases, it would be a cinch getting into those skinny-assed jeans of hers. Who could eat after smelling this?
It wasn’t that the aroma of decay was new to Beth, but she usually got to the bodies when they were fresh kills. The last time she’d smelled something like this had been in Boston, but even there, the cloying scent of lilies had masked some of it. How long had this one been here? Why hadn’t someone noticed the stench earlier? Nearing the body, she pinched her nose.
The corpse lay on its side on a metal dolly. So, not a child’s toy as she’d assumed but a means of moving the cadaver. Most likely this was a murder, and Riley had been right to requests someone from Homicide. The dolly implied a body dump. Someone had been interrupted and had taken off leaving everything behind. With a little luck, he or she had left fingerprints and DNA as well.
“Hi, Mitch. Sorry you got dragged out of bed at this unholy hour. What have we got?” The pinched nose didn’t help with the scent, but gave her voice a nasal quality.
“Not a winner, that’s for sure.” The young doctor shook her head. “All bad. The last time I saw anything like this was the first case I worked with Amos Flynn and even then … This is definitely one for the books. God, I hope it’ll be the only one.” The coroner shook her head, her lips pursed tightly.
Beth looked down at the naked corpse on her side, the flaccid, marbled skin, showing signs of slippage. There was an unusual tattoo on her left shoulder, hard to see given the body’s color, but unmistakable. Was that a name under it?
“I’ve seen that tat before,” she mumbled. “Yes!” The pieces fell into place. “She was in the missing persons’ report I looked through earlier.”
The poor girl must’ve gotten involved in the sex trade and pissed off her pimp. Why did so many of them end up dead before anyone could rescue them?
She squinted. “Is that a brand on her ass? It looks like a horseshoe.”
Mitch bent and examined it more closely.
“It’s not a tattoo … Could be a brand … Some pimps stamp their whores. I’ve seen stars, crescent moons, but never anything quite like this. There’s a number under it.” She peered closer. “Looks like an eight.”
Beth shuddered. Eight could well mean seven before. How many after?
That’s it. Stay safe and don’t forget to check out the other Tuesday Tales.