Shotgun

The sun was finally out and this time not just for show, it actually felt warm enough to toss away the jackets. Post the brazen cold of the winter which for some odd reason waned away rather slowly this time around the sun was a welcome respite.

Jane was in the garage, she’d been there all morning greasing the chain and checking the brakes and pedals; biking was one thing she’d always loved, for company she had Lana with her. The wet nosed bundle of energy was the only other thing that got her to beam from ear to ear the way she did.  “Breakfast is ready Janie, grab a bite when it’s warm”, called out Martha; her mother. Rodriguez, her husband was just back from his morning run. His breathing seemed heavy to Martha, but then again he was just back from a run, more so he looked worried, and strained out. “What’s wrong, something’s troubling you”, she said.

He looked at her, opened his mouth to speak and fell to the ground. Shocked by what she witnessed, Martha let out a cry as she rushed towards her husband. However no sound escaped her throat. Hearing the commotion above Lana rushed up, barking frantically, closely followed by Jane. Seeing what had happened she rushed towards the phone, called for an EMT and started out performing CPR the way she’d been taught at camp, however to no respite. 

What had dawned to be a beautiful day was suddenly filled with gloom. The EMT members arrived ten minutes later, only to spell out the obvious; her father was no more. They put him into the ambulance, with the family following close behind. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital, the official declaration was now out. All hope dispelled.

Meanwhile the county hospital had received another EMT assistance. Lucas had experienced a fate similar to that of Rodriguez. They had been the best of pals since either of them could remember, going for runs in the day, drinking at night, hunting, vacationing or just grabbing a bite with some conversation. They were never short of topics to talk about. As the Rodriguez family watched, Lucas was brought in, on a stretcher, Linda and Gabe following closely tears streaming down their faces.

Another death, for people who’d known them it only seemed fitting that they departed together having spent pretty much their entire life’s together. Only that very morning had they gone out running together. The pancakes in the Rodriguez house had cooled down, flies now feasting on them.

A post mortem was in order as part of the procedure despite them appearing to be routine cardiac arrests. The dual death did leave room for speculation, not many had given it a second thought. Dr. Thomson was in for a surprise, the autopsy reports said a different story all together. Both the victims had been killed. Poisoned, with care, using a poison having a very specific residual time.

The coroner’s report had reached the sheriff, and it had been clear that this was a double homicide. A rather carefully planned and executed one. The County of Willowhall was not one known for atrocities,  peaceful county, one where pretty much everybody knew each other, a rather closely knit community,  it was. The public unrest and tension that such a news would cause, if it went out is what worried Sheriff Woodbridge the most.

Two of the county’s most respected people had been killed in a rather efficient manner. What could be the motive behind the murders? Would there be more to follow? Who killed them? The endless stream of questions had the sheriff sweating. This didn’t look like something that was in his control anymore, giving up however was not an option. Those were friends of his who were dead;  good citizens who had done enough and more for the development of their county and people.

“How were they poisoned?” The coroner’s examination hadn’t presented him with any leads with respect to that either, he needed to have some answers before he could disclose the news to the grieving families. A thorough examination of the bodies revealed puncture holes behind the earlobes of either victims apart from which there seemed to be no other sign of foul-play.  

 

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