Just toying around with prompts for practice. The actual ending may not be creative, since I’m not good at stuff like that. Just want to practice my prose and my style.
“Shit.” Detective Castillo muttered to the single curse quietly, his eyes frantically retracing the results of the forensics report again and again.
Castillo read enough reports over his long career to know where to look. The results he was looking for were always at the back, only made available after wading through several pages of scientific, jargon-riddled bullshit.
Meticulous enzyme recombination, systematic genetic reconstruction, blood spatter analysis, database cross-referencing. Whatever.
All he cared about was the conclusion, laid out there in its pristine, type-set font. He liked that part. Liked knowing that there was no real arguing with what was in the Conclusions box, with the finality of black ink on white sheet. Whether it confirmed his suspicions or not, justice was sure to be served, regardless.
He rested easy, knowing that.
But for the first time in his 34 years on the force, he hoped the Conclusion was wrong.
Re-reading the pages he so often ignored, Castillo came face to face again with the details of the case and grew increasingly uncomfortable, his composure struggling under a troubling train of phrases.
“Victim was involved in a long extended struggle with suspect. Apparently subdued and put under extended torture, as evidenced by the fresh burns on both arms and tongue.” He gripped the manila folder tightly.
“Victim’s bruising as a result of decreased blood circulation on hands and wrists indicates his being bound, likely for several hours.” Tighter.
“Signs of suspect involvement mixed in with genetic samples from victim’s open wounds, created by methodical incision via rusted bonesaw. Blood from victim and suspect both found.” Tenser.
And then he turned to the end, seeing it there again. The light in the lab was dim and draped in shadow, but what he saw in the conclusions box was still the same in the second, third or fourth readings, and would have remained that way, no matter how well-lit the room was.
“Results strongly imply suspect’s involvement and guilt.”
Now faced with an inarguable conclusion, Castillo’s hand remained on the manila folder, but the other acted of its own accord, vigorously rubbing the creases of his middle-aged forehead, well-worn from years of service.
“You’re sure there’s no mistake here?” Castillo asked, breaking the long silence.
“It isn’t mathematically impossible,” the young lab technician replied, “but I’d say it’s exceedingly unlikely. Somewhere upwards of one in six billion, to be exact.”
“Did you try it again?”
“Sir, we run all the results the tests multiple times. Enough times for them to fall within the 99.9% confidence interval.” The technician gulped, visibly uncomfortable with Castillo’s increasing agitation. “I sent you the report because I thought you should be the first to know.”
“Did. You. Try. It. Again?” he repeated menacingly, his voice rising. Castillo crept toward the technician as he spoke, pushing his imposing 6’1″ frame close enough to see wisps of developing facial hair.
“…y-y-yes…yes, I’m sure I did,” he fidgeted in his chair, darting his eyes from corner to corner behind Castillo’s back.
The detective turned around and sighed, trying to retrace where he had misstepped.
Castillo had meant for the punk to hurt. That was not the issue – he had meant for him to feel pain in his existence, for him to dread and anguish over every moment until his heart finally decided it had enough.
He had simply ignored the possibility of his blood being on the victim during it all, too caught up in the perverse joy of his screams and his suffering.
But he had not planned on getting caught – and with the news that his blood had been found on the victim, the report had left him no other choice.
Whirling around and unholstering his gun in one continuous motion, Castillo pointed his weapon at the technician, who immediately lifted both of his hands in the air, a universally accepted signal for surrender.
“Delete the report,” he hissed angrily, the words slithering through the gaps of gritted teeth.
“Delete the report,” he said again, now raising his volume.
“I c-c-can’t. My clearance doesn’t let me access the f-f-files themselves — I can only run the programs and see the re-re-s-ssults.”
“Look, kid. You are going to find a way to do it. I don’t fucking care how. Sleep with Martinez if you have to. But you are going to do it, or I will leave you like I did him.”” Castillo spat venomously, waving the file in the technician’s face as he kept the gun trained on him. He cocked the safety for emphasis, the sound echoing off the walls of the lab.
And then it was over — Castillo felt a sudden impact from behind, meeting the cold linoleum face first as the even colder bite of steel snapped down around his wrists.
“I knew it was you all along, you fucking son of a bitch.” Those would be the last words he ever heard as a free man.