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Tools of Terror ISBN 1-4241-6474-5

Novel By: Roxanne Sackville
Mystery and crime

After Misery’s Companion comes:
Tools of Terror
By Roxanne Sackville

Detective Marke and Detective Sharpton thought their lives would finally go back to normal after the Ronin case. Life had other plans for them when an accident puts Detective Sharpton out of commission, leaving Detective Marke to solve the latest string of murders. With bodies mounting and the disappearance of one of their friends, Detective Marke must try to find the killer before other bodies hit the streets of Chicago. Not only is time running out for their friend, but now Detective Marke has to deal with a new partner and a love he can’t seem to quell. Can detective Marke solve the case and find the killer before his friend is the next victim or will all hell break loose before his very eyes?
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Submitted:Mar 29, 2007    Reads: 134    Comments: 0    Likes: 1   

With Bruce in the passenger's seat of my car, we drove towards the

hospital. I had to see Miss Suher, to make notes before I could return to

Nicole's for evidence. My mind replayed the evidence from Miss Suher,

her torn clothing and full wallet. In all my years of detective work, I had

never seen such a thing. A woman murdered, her clothes torn, but her

money still in her wallet. What did her assailant want? Was he looking for

something? But what? Not a word was said from Barnes while he stared out

the window as I drove, which was a relief considering I had nothing to say

to him. His attitude about Ralph had rubbed me the wrong way as well as

his earlier "fat" comment. He was lucky the chief showed up when he did,

I thought to myself as I turned my car into the hospital parking lot. Once

the car was parked, we both exited the vehicle simultaneously and walked

towards the front entrance. The same woman from earlier was sitting at

the desk. Lynette was unmoved from her work as we approached, her short

black hair draping over her round face as she held a novel in her hand,

completely enthralled in the story. Clearing my throat, I smiled as she

looked up at me. The look on her face was shock and then relief as she

recognized me.

"Detective Marke," she smiled, "What can I do for you?"

"I've been sent by Chief Grinhold from the detective precinct to look over

the body of a woman brought in here last night or early this morning," I paused

as I looked into Lynette's eyes, "I believe her name was Melanie Suher."

Lynette seemed to scan her memory and then smiled as she gazed into my


"Oh yes. She was brought into the morgue this morning. You are free to go,

but first..." pausing she looked quickly down at her desk, her hands

rummaging around, searching for something before looking back towards

Barnes and I, "you will both need these," she added as she produced two ID

badges. Both Barnes and I took one, attaching it to our uniforms.

"Thank you," I said as I threw her a smile.

Lynette blushed, "No problem, Detective."

With that, both Barnes and I turned away from Lynette and walked down

the corridor towards the morgue. We had been there many times in the past,

so no directions were necessary. Barnes still remained silent as we traveled

down the corridor, making a left at the end down the hallway entitled

MORGUE. As we reached the secure double doors, both Barnes and I

removed our ID badges, swiping them through the slots before replacing them

onto our shirts. With a loud noise, the doors opened up revealing the inside

of the morgue. Stepping into the room, the door closed tightly behind us,

locking us in with slabs and body bags atop them. From the shape of the bags,

we could tell there were bodies inside them, each one zipped closed to keep

the identification's of the dead concealed. Looming over one body atop a well

lit table surrounded by an assortment of utensils was a man; he seemed to be

running tests. The closer we got to the table the more we realized the body was

that of a woman. The man seemed startled as we approached. Turning

abruptly he faced us. His glasses were set on the tip of his nose with his hands

frozen in mid air, a scalpel in one and tweezers in the other.

"May I help you?" he asked.

Barnes spoke up.

"We are here to look over Miss Melanie Suher. The woman found recently

on the side of Main Street"

The man looked from Barnes to me, before responding. As he studied us,

I could sense the tension in the air. The doctor stood tall at a little over six feet

with short salt and pepper hair and a thick mustache of the same color. His

face was pale, his glasses black and thin. The man seemed to be in his late 50's

or 60's. Deciding to break the silence, I pointed to the woman on the table.

"Is this Miss Suher?"

The gentleman looked from me to the woman on the table before turning

his attention back to me.

"Yes," he replied, "I was just finishing up my investigation."

Slowly he lowered his instruments onto the table to his left. Wiping his

hands together, he stood back allowing me to step closer.

"Chief Grinhold sent us to get some information about this woman. We've

been assigned to her case," I informed him as I looked from the woman on the

table to the gentleman. He seemed to relax as he crossed his arms across his

narrow chest, turning a smile to me.

"No problem. Let me tell you detectives what I've found so far," he began

as he turned around taking a seat on the stool a few feet behind where he had

stood originally. As I watched this man, I could sense his expertise in this field.

From his stature I could tell he had seen many a body over the years.

"It seems Miss Suher was assaulted, her arms and legs have bruising around

them signifying she may have been bound with something. From my

investigation I did not find any vaginal tearing or semen to signify any sexual

assault. Aside from the bruises on her arms and legs, she also had a slight bruise

on her face where she may have been punched with either a fist or hit with

something around the same size," pausing, the doctor lifted his glasses up on

his face as he looked to the victim. "She also suffered severe trauma to her

skull which ultimately caused her demise. The victim was then taken and

dumped on the side of the road. From what I read from the police report she

was placed specifically, her killer must have wanted her found," he finished as

he looked up from Miss Suher to me. Facing the doctor, I looked deeply in his

eyes, trying to read something that he may not have said, but it seemed he was

not hiding anything from me.

"Her clothing was torn," I began, "but from your investigation there was no

sexual assault?"

"No, Detective, there was no evidence to confirm that," he answered.

"And she ultimately succumbed to the trauma to her head. How long do

you think she was alive after the hit to her head?" I asked as I began to take


Barnes had walked closer to the table and was now hovering over the

victim across from me, making his own notes on a pad of paper he held in his


"I would have to say it was almost immediate, she did not suffer long," he

answered as he removed his glasses, cleaning them with the bottom of his shirt

before replacing them atop his nose.

Nodding my head, I made more notes.

"Was there anything...out of the ordinary about this body?" I asked as I

looked up from my notes to the doctor.

"I do not think so. It seems pretty cut and dry. From what I can tell, and

of course this is just an assumption, I assume she was taken to a remote place,

tied up and then beaten to death. Her clothes may have been torn in a struggle

or possibly just to make us think there was a sexual meaning behind this

senseless killing," he said as he looked up at me, "after she was already dead,

she was then taken and placed on the side of the road, her clothes and

personal items were placed strategically."

"Strategically?" I asked with confusion imminent in my voice.

"Yes, from the original report, she was naked; her clothes in a pile on top

of her face, her purse lay atop her feet."

Baffled at what I was learning, I tried to paint a picture in my head.

"How long did she lie on the side of the road before she was picked up and

brought to you?" I asked, making more notes.

"I would have to say about one hour, tops."

Really, I thought. That meant her killer had dumped her not very long

before she was found.

Turning my attention from the doctor, I looked to Miss Suher and made

notes of her features. She had to have been a pretty woman, in her late 30's,

with red hair about five inches lower than her shoulders, her skin was pale and

once had been quite soft.

"Her eye color, Doctor?" I asked without turning to face him.

"Hazel," he responded from behind me.

A quiet came over the room, unlike the quiet of death, but more like

tension and unease as both Barnes and I took notes of Miss Suher's body. The

mortician did not move, nor did he speak up and the quiet continued for a few

minutes before he broke the silence. His voice was loud and excited as he

spoke up.

"Oh yes, now I remember, there was something unusual," he began as he

jumped up from his seat and approached the victim. Without explaining

himself, he rolled the woman onto her side, "during my investigation, I did

find this on her body," he added as he pointed towards a mark showing on her

left buttock. It was a burn mark, a large burn mark shaped like a heart with an

'x' through it. Baffled I looked to the doctor who shrugged his shoulders.

"I am not sure what that is from, but it is possible that that's our killer's

insignia," he confirmed as he slowly placed the woman back down on her

back, "let's just hope this doesn't signify more woman will be found like this or

else...." he paused.

"Or else we have ourselves a serial killer," Barnes interrupted as he locked

eyes with me.

A serial killer, I thought to myself as I backed away from the woman. The

doctor covered her up with a white sheet before turning his attention to both

Barnes and I.

"Let's hope not."

"I agree," I affirmed.

Slowly, still feeling the effects of the surgery, I opened my eyes. The bright

white of the room was blinding, but within moments, my eyes adjusted. Lying

still in the bed, I turned my head to the left where an empty chair was and then

the right where another bed like the one I was in sat empty. In the room there

were four beds with four separate chairs beside each. A beeping sound

resonated in my ears. Turning my head to the noise above me I saw a machine

showing my heart rate. The beeping was making my head pound. Slowly I

reached both my arms up and placed them over my ears as I closed my eyes.

My arms felt like jelly as they continued to slip off my ears allowing the beeping

in. After what felt like many minutes, I dropped my arms only to hear nothing.

The beeping sound had stopped. Opening my eyes, I saw Doctor Zimbell

hovering over me, his hands adjusting the volume of the machine. Looking

down at me, he seemed shocked to see me staring up at him. Dropping his

arms from the machine, he placed them in his pockets and threw me a smile.

"So?" he asked, "How do you feel?"

"Kinda drugged up a bit, Doc," I responded, my words slurring as they

came out of my mouth.

The doctor laughed.

"Well, Detective, that's to be expected, you just went through a serious

surgery," he replied as he sat down in the chair beside my bed, "other than

that, how do you feel?"

I knew what he meant by that question, so using all my mental strength I

tried to move my toes. Nothing. Still staring at my toes, I tried again. Bingo!

I thought as I watched my toes move from side to side. Almost as soon as I saw

them move, I turned my gaze onto the doctor. He seemed to have been

watching my toes as well. Turning his eyes on me a smile formed atop his face.

"Success!" he stated, his voice strong and proud. He had did it, he had

achieved what he had set out to and that was to make me mobile again.

"Thank you, Doctor, thank you!" I declared. My excitement could be

heard in my drugged voice. I was relieved to see those toes move, to know that

it would not be long now. As euphoric as I was, I turned back to my feet and

tried to move my entire leg. Could I do it, I wondered. Within seconds my

question was answered as I watched my knee bend, my foot flat on the bed, the

cast on the lower half of my leg holding my busted bones in place. Looking to

the doctor I could see him watching my leg with pride. I could not stop then,

I had to try the other. With as much determination and confidence as I had

two days earlier, I tried to bend my other knee. Tears of happiness streamed

down my face as I turned back to the doctor.

"Well, Detective, I knew you were still a detective and I knew you would

walk again," he said as he sat back in the chair, crossing his arms across his

chest a smile formed on his face, "I never gave up hope."

"Thank you," I stated again. My hope was renewed, my strength would

come back and I would walk, run and work again. Resting my head back on

the pillow, I closed my eyes.

It was a miracle.

The doctor's next words cut into my day dreams.

"Now, Detective, let's get you some crutches and get you up out of this

bed, back on those feet you've walked on for all these years."

With those words, I opened my eyes and turned my head towards him.

Was he joking? This soon? After everything this doctor had done for me, I

could not doubt him now. He thought I could get up and I would. With the

doctor's last word, he grabbed the cord with the small red button on it from my

bed, pushing it in and speaking into the air.

"Nurse, please send a pair of crutches into the recovery room," letting the

button go, he placed it back on the side of my bed and smiled at me again.

"Now, let's see just how good of a job I did."

Stunned with the doctor's statement, I turned my eyes on him.

"You think I can walk already?" I asked, doubt filling my voice.

Nodding his head, the doctor smiled.

"Of course I do, I am an excellent doctor and I have a 97% success rate on

the surgeries I do for patients," his eyes closed as he sat in the chair, his pride

overflowing into the room. I have to admit, hearing him so positive of himself

made me feel sure that he was right. I would walk, not in months from now,

but right now. Many emotions began to come over me; fear, excitement,

nervousness and doubt, but I tried to stay as positive as Doctor Zimbell

seemed to be as I forced a smile across my lips.

"Ok," I began. "I will try, I will do my best."

The doctor then opened his eyes, fixing his gaze on me.

"You won't just try, Detective, you will be successful."

With the doctor's last word, the door to the recovery room opened inward

and the nurse from earlier walked in. In her hands was a pair of crutches. She

smiled and nodded toward me, her golden locks bouncing with her head

before she turned her attention on the doctor. Outstretching her arms to give

him the crutches, she stood back and waited for his next command. The

doctor did not tell her to leave the room; he simply nodded and smiled to her

before standing up out of his chair and looking down at me.

"Okay, Detective, here they are, now it is all up to you. Take it easy, use

me for leverage and slowly get up out of the bed," he stated as he held the

crutches out towards me with one hand, crooking his other arm for me to grab

onto. With the hand closest to him, I grabbed the crutches, closing my fingers

around them. My doubt was evident as I stared at the crutches.

"Go ahead," the doctor insisted.

With my eyes closed, I took a deep breath before opening them again. The

crutches were still in my hands, this was not a dream, I thought to myself.

Slowly, I edged my body closer to the end of the bed before swinging my legs

over the side. With all my strength, I sat up. My head felt funny and I was dizzy

but I did not stop, I could not stop now, not when I was so close. Wrapping

both my arms around the crutches, I shoved them under my armpits and

slowly edged my way onto my legs. The doctor grabbed my arm to help steady

me as I stood straight up. It had not been long since I walked, but my legs felt

like jell-o as I tried to stand on them. Sharp pains shot up from my broken

Tibia to my hipbone, but that did not deter me. The doctor let go of my arm

and backed up.

"Alright, now take a step," he instructed.

With my eyes closed again, I used all my might and self determination to

move my legs. Slowly I could feel my right leg tensing up, the knee bending

and then I moved it forward one step. Opening my eyes, I looked down to my

feet, screaming inside from exhilaration at the sight of my leg moved into a

new position. Knowing I had to move the other leg, I quickly summoned all

my courage and moved my broken leg forward. Yes!!! I thought to myself as

I mentally patted my back. Great job, David! My euphuism could be seen on

my face. Looking up to the doctor I could see he was just as happy, his smile

wider than before.

"And now, you can walk!" He stated excitedly as he brought his hands

together and clapped for me. Internally I was clapping as well.


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