Black Star Canyon – Chapter 4

4 – Meet Jane Doe

Detective Lukas and Detective Chaney exited their vehicle on the quiet road near the mouth of the canyon. There were already other deputies rolling out the yellow tape, taking pictures, swabbing for samples and scraping under the girl’s nails.

“I know you think vodka doesn’t have a scent, but the inside of my car smells like the dumpster behind Cook’s now,” Chaney said.

“That’s just because I puked in my mouth a little when the acid reflux kicked in,” Lukas said as he swallowed hard to get the taste out of his mouth.

“Either way; next time, brush your teeth and if you insist on wearing clothes more than once between washings. Can you at least pick up an iron?” Chaney said.

“I’m sorry I’m embarrassing you, Chaney,” Lukas said, “I’m not married to a maid I can fuck.”

Chaney became even more irritated, “Excuse me?”

“That’s right,” Lukas said, “I forgot that you still happen to be a virgin despite all that.”

They saw Jonathan in a blanket, sitting on a large rock by the crime scene. Prince Harry sat on Jonathan’s lap, giving him moral support.

“Good morning, Mayor,” Chaney said to Jonathan. “How are you holding up?”

“Oh, fine,” Jonathan said in a far off distant tone. “I just can’t believe this happened so close to my home. She can’t be much older than my Elizabeth.”

“Hello, mayor,” Lukas said.

“And you are?” Jonathan asked.

Bewildered, Lukas replied, “I am Detective Lukas. I’ve been…”

Jonathan cut him off immediately. “Nice to meet you.” Jonathan extended his hand for Lukas to shake it, even though he was still staring at the dead girl.

“We’ve met,” Lukas said.

“Oh. Sorry,” Jonathan said.

Lukas tried to get on topic. “Have you ever seen this girl before, Mayor? Maybe a friend of your daughter’s?”

“Oh no, not with my Elizabeth,” Jonathan assured himself.

Lukas and Chaney exchanged glances with each other as they tried to come up with the best way to handle the situation. They didn’t have to wait long for the silence to be broken as Francine Kensington ran up behind Jonathan, throwing her arms around his neck.

“Jonathan!” Francine gasped, “My God darling, are you all right? I heard and saw the police and I thought the worst…” Her words were finally interrupted by a chilling scream that forced its way out of her mouth, as she laid her eyes upon the corpse of the naked young woman, bent over the large rock. Jonathan reached up to cover her eyes and turned her away.

“Gentlemen,” Jonathan said, “if you don’t mind excusing Mrs. Kensington and I, I don’t think that this ghastly site is something for her eyes.”

“Sure thing, Mayor,” Chaney said, “I’ll just get a statement from you later.”

“I understand,” he said to Chaney, then turned to Francine with his arm around her shoulder. “Let’s go home, dearest.”

Lukas and Chaney gave Jonathan a smile and a wave goodbye as he took Francine back up the hill toward their home. The two detectives turned and got their first good look at the victim. Chaney wasn’t an emotional person, but he had never gotten the hang of seeing dead bodies; especially women, especially young ones that had never even had the chance to experience life or follow through with their dreams. Lukas, on the other hand, also didn’t like seeing corpses, but his reason wasn’t nearly as noble as Chaney’s. The reason Lukas didn’t like it, was one of disgust more than anything else. Lukas had seen more corpses than anyone in Black Star Canyon. However, that was just because he used to work in the big city.

Lukas noticed how the deputies were having a hard time doing their jobs. The men were swallowing hard, holding back tears, looking away, retching. Lukas rolled his eyes. “Can anyone do their job today?”

“Lukas, come on now. That isn’t right to give the team crap,” Chaney stated.

“Then should you say something to motivate the troops?” Lukas asked.

“No. No, I won’t and I’ll tell you why,” Chaney said with a stern look. “The day everyone here is desensitized enough to not care when they see the corpse of a beautiful, young girl that had her whole life in front of her, is the day I hand in my badge.”

Lukas accepted the answer. “I respect that.” Lukas  looked around, “Is the Sheriff here yet?”

“Doesn’t seem so,” Chaney said. “I don’t think he’s coming either. He hasn’t been up to field work as of late.”

“What about Sue?” Then Lukas noticed something about the victim. “Wait. Doesn’t she look familiar to you?”

Chaney gave her a good, hard look. “Nope. Can’t say I’ve ever seen her before.”

Lukas squinted his eye as he looked at her, trying to place it. “She looks so familiar.”

“This town really isn’t that big. I’m sure you have run into her, here or there.”

Lukas looked defeated. “No. Scratch that. She just looks like that actress…” Lukas snapped his fingers trying to spark the name in his head. “You know…damn.”

“Which actress?” Chaney asked.

“The one from that movie…” Lukas got more frustrated each second that he couldn’t remember. “Damn it!”

“It’s all right. I can’t remember anything like that after a hard night of drinking either. No big deal.” The sarcasm that Chaney was laying on was as thick as an eight layer cake with no frosting.

“Screw off, Chaney. Just forget it.” Lukas pulled himself together and tried to get serious. “Tell Sue and the guys to make sure no one comes near this until it’s clean.”

Chaney agreed. They both turned around and saw one of their many nightmares; they noticed a photographer taking pictures of their crime scene. Chaney yelled as they ran over to him. “Hey! No pictures!”

The photographer said, “One more.” And actually snapped three.

The look on Lukas’s face was enough for him. “Beat it, man!” Lukas growled out. The man jumped back toward his car then smiled, took two more pictures, this time of Chaney and Lukas, got in his car and drove away.

“Just what we need,” Chaney said.

“Who is that little prick?” Lukas asked.

“That’s Jack Hart. He works for the paper,” Chaney said. “News like this is bound to get around fast in a town this small.”

Lukas ran his hands through his greasy hair. “Well, let’s do something productive since we have to be out here right now.” Lukas looked to the surrounding area. “It looks like that besides the mayor’s place, there are two other houses in the area. I’ll take the nice one up the hill with the view. You take the shit hole.”

Chaney shrugged in defeat.

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