This is my fifth installment of a new Sophie Marceau mystery with Ronovan Writes and the Friday Fiction prompt. Basically Ronovan gives us a one word clue to utilize in building a story. I decided to give my established character, Detective Sophie Marceau, a new series within this weekly challenge. I invite you to check for previous chapters in the links that follow this week’s story. This chapter follows the theme of: A Dream
Tom yanked a white handkerchief from his pocket and pressed it against the flow of red from the suspect’s head, strengthening his grip as the fellow seemed to falter. Sophie pushed from behind as they closed ranks to enter the throng of reporters that were now recovering from the shock of the moment. Cameras clicked as they documented the scene of fresh violence and the crimson trail escaping the limited reach of Tom’s small cloth.
Sophie saw a smug look of accomplishment on Mayor Crawley’s face where he stood some twenty feet from them now. With a re-election vote less than ten days distant she was sure he would add this to his ever growing list of positive events during his tenure. She was amazed how politicians could manage to take the most benign measures of success and tailor them to fit their personal agendas. This man was no different, willing to claim any positive and deflect all negative criticisms.
In contrast she was encouraged to see her Captain’s usual dour expression at least shifted to a neutral one. He rarely looked overtly happy, but if the Crimson Nights case was settled it would be one less agitator in his life. For this crowd the wounded man embodied the gruesome purveyor of horrific acts. Having him in the open one more second than absolutely necessary would expose him to more of the brutality they had just experienced. She continued to gently nudge him forward faster, seeing another hundred yards to the safety of the front door.
“Great job detectives. You deserve a raise!” the mayor shouted over the boisterous crowd as they passed near to his position.
Sophie found herself remembering a very similar dream from three nights earlier. It seemed out of place at that moment, but now as she looked around so much was familiar. She blinked several times to give herself the chance to get back in this moment. Sophie struggled to keep her expression passive, wanting to shoot back a comment, but knowing it would be lost in the sea of confusion and excitement. This politician seemed to eschew the idea that all are innocent until proven guilty, but then innocence meant the case would not be closed and his achievement would be lost. Would that alone be the difference in his bid to claim another five years leading the city? She had no interest in the politics, because no matter who held the chair laws would be broken. She had little to fear as far as job security in this city, of that she was sure.
In the sanctuary of the precinct she finally let herself breathe again. Two uniformed officers took the suspect from her and Tom, rubber gloves in place to shield them as they tended to the wound. It was something they had not even considered in the heat of the moment. But then who had time when the potential for further violence loomed so large?
“Do you still have a change of clothes in your locker?” Cammie O’Neal asked. She was the Public Information Officer for the department, over from the Commissioner’s office.
“No,” Tom replied. Sophie nodded her negative response, drawing a frown from the middle aged, brown haired woman.
“You have thirty minutes before the press conference. You think you can make something happen?”
“Press conference?” Sophie questioned.
“Yes! “You caught the Crimson Nights serial killer! CNN, Fox News and the major networks are on their way. This is a big deal!”
“We don’t even know . . .” Sophie began before Cammie cut her off.
“I need you to do . . . something,” she said nodding at their appearance before answering her ringing cell phone. Tom grimaced at Sophie as they watched Cammie walk away as she continued to coordinate the incoming media horde.
“I’ll be back,” Tom said grabbing the keys to his car as he jogged toward the employee entrance in the rear.
Sophie plopped in her chair and rubbed the bridge of her nose as she repeated the thought Cammie had short-circuited.
“We don’t even know for sure if he is the Crimson Nights killer!”