Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Woman's World magazine - December 31, 2012

by Jody Lebel

Beth studied the black smudges on the pads of her fingers.
"We'll be done in a few minutes." The crime scene tech gently rolled her index finger from side to side on the screen."Just relax and let me do the moving."

Being fingerprinted was a new experience. One she hoped to never repeat. "What is this for again?"
"Those are what are called elimination prints. Once we have yours, we can concentrate on any others we find."

That had come from the detective who appeared in her doorway. She took in the crisp fold of his suit and his gold badge dangling on a chain around his neck.He held a cloth grocery sack away fromhis body as a green substance oozed through the bottom and trickled on the stoop. 
"I’m Detective Kevin Stone. Is this yours?"

"Yes, when I opened the front door and saw the mess I guess I dropped it."
"Smells like pistachio."

The tech passed her a lemon scented wipe to clean her hands. "That was my ice cream."
The detective turned to the young patrol officer who was making an inventory of stolen items. "Add a container of ice cream," he ordered in a stern voice.

Seeing as how she was standing ankle deep in a jumble of her belongings, that unexpected bit of humour took Beth by surprise. But for her it was the perfect thing for him to do.  She felt her tension begin to drain. Waggling a finger at the list she added, "Anddon't forget the container of whipped cream in there, too."
Detective Stone peeked into the bag. "That fiend," he hotly declared before breaking into a teasing smile.He headed to the kitchen.  "I do realize this is serious," he assured her, depositing the sloppy mess in the sink. "But you looked like you were going to have a meltdown there for a moment."

Beth and the detective studied the list of missing property together.  "I don't care so much about the television or laptop, those things can be replaced," she said."But the silver frame?  That belonged to my grandmother."
"We'll do our best to find this guy," the detectiveassured her.  Crime was rare in her part of town. He glanced around at the disarray, much of it now also covered with black dust from the crime scene unit.

"Do you think it was random?" she asked, arms folded tightly over her chest. "I mean do you think he'll be back?"
Detective Stone put a warm, reassuring hand on her arm."It's only a burglary. This guy wanted quick things to sell. He struck while you weren't home, he won't be back."

His confident manner was soothing and for the first time since she walked through her door she wasn't frightened. "Okay," she nodded, her voice stronger.
"I’ll leave you to clean up," he said, moving toward the front door. "You've got good deadbolts; keep them latched even when you're home."

Beth glanced at the pamphlet one of the officers had handed her, an organized list of things for the victim to do. "I'll get that window boarded up right away," she said.  That simple task gave her a sense of empowerment.
"We'll be in touch as soon as we know something."

Although Beth had lived by herself for years, when thedoor shut behind him she became acutely aware of just how alone she was. She could use a man like the sensitive detective in her life.  Too bad she had to meet him by being robbed.
Several hours workreturned everything to normal, but jangled nerves refused to be swept away as easily. At midnight she found herself on the couchin the darkened living room staring where the television used to be. "I'm sorry, gram," she whispered. 

A few days later a knock on her front door brought Beth to the peephole. Pleased to see Detective Stone she gave her hair a quick fluff and licked her lips. A rush of heat warmed her cheeks. As she swung open the door her heart fluttered at the sight of her precious silver frame.Or maybe it was at the sight of him.
"We got our man," he grinned. "He tried to pawn everything down at Royal Pawn. Your other items will be returned as soon as we process them, but I figured you'd like this right away."

"Thank you," she whispered, holding the frame gently against her heart. "I didn't think I'd ever see it again."
"You can thank me with a spoon," he said, a twinkle in his blue eyes.


He whipped out a box of pistachio ice cream from behind his back. As her face lit up he said, "I told you he wouldn't be back. I never said I wouldn't."

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