“So you want just the facts, Ma’am?”
I stared at my new partner with annoyed eyes, his obvious glee at making what I was sure he thought was a clever joke only annoying me all the more. Being a detective with a last name like Wednesday made the Dragnet jokes inevitable but no less tiresome and I didn’t even bother sighing.
“Yes, Jensen, that’s what I want.” I folded my arms across my chest, the straps of my shoulder holster crisscrossing between my shoulder blades pulling comfortingly. He stared at me, his expression suddenly confused and I arched one eyebrow at him, cocking my hips to one side, clearly waiting.
“Ma’am?” he said with a frown.
“Give me your facts,”
His police training finally kicked in and he slipped into the routine rundown of himself: age, height, weight, ranking in his class; I stopped him with one raised hand when he was about to launch into the list of his accolades. Using my full six foot two inches of height to my advantage I stepped toward him, my blue eyes piercing the chocolate brown of his and he actually backed up a step.
For a full minute I simply stared at him, unconcerned with the sudden hush that had fallen over the bull pen behind me and the press of dozens of gazes against my back. When I finally spoke I kept my voice a whisper, “I hate Dragnet.”
Laughter erupted from the bull pen and Jensen looked confused for a moment when I smirked at him, giving him a wink and a playful slap on the cheek. Turning on my heel I grabbed my coat and headed for the door, smiling as Jensen was ribbed and teased as he hurried after me.
I slipped behind the wheel of my red ’69 Camaro and brought the 396 cubic inch motor to life with a growl that never ceased to make me smile. Jensen paused in his stride and simply stared for a moment, looking the car over from bumper to bumper the way he might check out a leggy blond. Taking up his post in the passenger seat he gave me a sideways look, his question clear on his face.
With a shrug I said, “I can’t stand police cars, that’s why I went for Detective, I wanted to drive my own car.”
“Not very subtle,” he replied, buckling his seatbelt as I pulled out into traffic.
“I’m not a subtle woman.”
As we drew closer to our destination our conversation dwindled, both of us focusing on the crime scene we were about to see. The little bit of information that had been called into the station was enough to already bother me; the city’s resident serial killer had struck again.
The scenery didn’t surprise me as I drove down the access tunnel and emerged into the concrete valley of the nearly empty canal, slaloming my way between piles of junk and debris until I reached the line of yellow police tape.
“We’ll have to ford the canal,” Jensen said and I looked over at him.
“Ford? Who talks like that?” I asked rhetorically, killing the motor and climbing out, wading my way toward the scene both knowing and afraid of what I’d see.
“Detective Wednesday,” the men standing near the body said in unison with synchronized nods.
“Jones, Maddock,” I replied, nodding back at them both. “Anything different about this one?”
“Not that we can see, just more of the same.” Maddock replied, stuffing his hands into his pockets.
Jensen followed me silently as I approached the victim and once glance at his pale face told me he’d never seen a dead body before, terrific. “If you’re going to throw up do it down stream.” I said matter-of-factly as I crouched down and stared into lifeless blue eyes.
The woman was tall, at least six foot, red hair and wrapped in what always reminded me of a burlap toga. The slowly moving water eddied around her, spinning in little whirlpools before continuing on their way.
“She… she looks like… you,” Jensen’s voice was steady despite his peaked face and I glanced over my shoulder at him before turning my attention back to the dead woman.
“Yes she does, they all do.” Rising to my feet I scrubbed my hands over my face, impatiently pushing my hair out of my eyes. “His letters say they are impersonating a Goddess and must die for their blasphemy.”
“So he sees you as the Goddess?”
I couldn’t help but sigh; I wasn’t good at being the focus of adoration in the best of situations, but this was sick. There was always a letter on the body, neatly folded and tucked inside the chest cavity where the heart once was. With a deep breath I pulled gloves from my pocket and knelt beside the body as I pulled them on. Pushing the burlap aside I exposed the open wound between her breasts, dipping my fingers into her chest and extracting the neatly folded, plastic wrapped note.
Taking it from the baggie, I stared down at the now familiar handwriting: I see you.
The gunshot echoed off the concrete walls of the canal, the sound more painful to my ears than the bullet itself was to my shoulder. With practiced focus I detached myself from the burning heat of the wound and shifted my gaze, scanning the area. My eyes locked on the gunman, this was the first time he’d shown himself and without hesitation I drew my weapon and fired.
I felt nothing as I watched his body drop and roll down the sloped wall of the canal, an evil rag doll landing gracelessly with a splash in the filthy water; he should have realized I was a Goddess who could kill.