Case #78

Brooks took a deep inhale, drawing his thick steady hand away from his gruff lips. The smoke clouded around his face shrouding his pensive stare. He watched the divers crawl from the bank of the river dragging with them the limp white remnants of a young woman. The girl was barely clothed but for clumps of glitter and sequins hiding her modesty. Her long hair (most of which was undoubtedly synthetic) was matted across her face almost conceal the heavy purple blotches. She had one pink heel on her right foot, the left was bare but for the chipped polish and the daisy chain tattoo, the rigor mortis had set her toes in an awkward curl. Arnold approached tentatively with his hands logged uneasily in his pockets.
“Not got the stomach for this kid?” Brooks tossed the butt of his cigarette to the ground mashing it in to the sodden ground beneath his feet.
“First person….well.. body I’ve seen.” Arnold ran his tongue along the back of his teeth, they still retained the faint taste of his own vomit.
“Corpse.” Brooks grunted as he approached the sprawling form with its limbs warped strangely as if clinging to the ground. He knelt down pulling back the hair. Arnold gasped feeling the sudden resurge of bile in his throat. The girl’s eyes were open but the water has caused them to swell giving her a hauntingly powerful stare. The left side of her face was entirely purple and black and decorate with a large gash that ran the length of her skull.
“Ah recognise this girl,” Brooks muttered.
Arnold nodded attentively but refused to break his position.
“Dancer in the Golden Swan a few miles from here. The boys had her in a few weeks ago, apparently one of the punters got a bit handsy so she punched him,” Brooks smirked to himself. “Scumbag dropped the charges though. Her names Amber,” he said rising and turning to face Arnold.
“Well at least her stage name is in any case.” Brooks slid his hand in to the inner pocket of his jacket and withdrew a fresh cigarette.
“What was her real name?” Arnold asked shakily, his eyes fixed on the battered girl’s delicate thin lips.
“Not much difference anymore,” Brooks shrugged. “Get her bagged up. She’s evidence now.”

Prompt: underwater, evidence, amber

by Hayley Rutherford

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