Detective Harry Crenshaw glanced at the pamphlet one more time. Tonight was his last day as a homicide detective. By this time tomorrow he’d be drinking rum and coke in the Bahamas.

He couldn’t remember the last time he went on a vacation. He’d lost his wife a year ago … not to cancer or a drunk driver, but to a guy named Steve Gentry. The two met at her spinning classes at a local gym. It didn’t matter though, the marriage started to crumble long before Steve was sticking his dick in her.

“Crenshaw, you’re up?” he heard his lieutenant, Mike Pomroy, shout from across the room. The man in charge of the division was thirty-four, nearly fifteen years younger than Crenshaw.

“What’s the case?” Crenshaw asked as he refolded the pamphlet and put it in the top drawer of his desk. Daydreaming would have to wait. His mind needed to be focused on the case.

“Looks like self-defense, but the DA wants us to take a look—make sure it’s not a homicide.”


“The Villas.”

Crenshaw sighed. “Great. My last night on the job and I pull a case in crack central.”

“The lieutenant ran a bony finger through his thinning hair. “Crime Scene is in route, so you should be cleared to enter by the time you arrive.”



Crenshaw parked several houses down from the one with crime scene tape in the front yard. He liked to take in the scene and get his bearings before anyone tried to tell him what had happened. This way he wouldn’t be misled or manipulated by anyone. He went through his checklist as he continued down the sidewalk. Crime scene, evidence, interviews.

The two bedroom house was located near the middle of the block. A rusted metal gate sagged along the outer perimeter of the yard. The landscape was made up mostly of weeds and dirt. The windows were caked in grime. He ducked under the yellow crime-scene tape and moved to the front door.

The Crime Scene techs were inside.

“Is it okay if I come in?” he asked to no one in particular.

One of the techs, a short-plump man waved him in.

Two expended shell casings lay on the floor near the couch. His gaze followed the trail of expended casings, all looked to be from a 9mm as he made his way down the hallway toward a bedroom. Seven more rounds had been fired.

Inside the bedroom he saw the lifeless body of a man lying on his stomach in a pool of blood. The deceased held a large kitchen knife in the right hand. Crenshaw didn’t find any other evidence in the bedroom.

When he got back outside there was a man being checked out by a paramedic.

“I’m Detective Crenshaw,” he said. “Are you the person who called this in?”

“Yes, Detective. My name is Todd James.”

“Okay, I’m going to start by reading you your rights. It’s just a precaution and you can choose not to speak to me. Do you understand?”

“Yes, but I don’t have anything to hide.”

After reading the Miranda warning, Crenshaw asked his next question.

“Do you own a gun, Mr. James?”


“What kind?”

“A Berretta 9 millimeter.”

“Do you know the name of the deceased?”

“Yes. Chad Dunn.”

“Okay, can you tell me what happened?”

“I got home around three this afternoon. And Chad was upset. We got into an argument. One thing led to another and he came after me with a knife.”

“Why did he attack you?”

“He accused me of cheating on him.”

James looked away. “We’re lovers, well were.”

“So what happened next?”

“I ran into our bedroom and hid, but Chad was able to get his arm in the door and shove it open. He swung the knife at me several times but missed.” He paused. “I grabbed the 9mm from the dresser on my side of the bed. I shot once to try and scare him, but it was like he didn’t even hear or care. So I pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger.”

“How many times did you fire the gun in the bedroom?”

“I can’t remember, but then I tried to do CPR.”

“And you didn’t move the body?”

James scrunched his nose. “Ewe. No way.”

“Mr. James,” Crenshaw said retrieving his handcuffs. “You’re under arrest for the murder of Chad Dunn.”


James Glass retired from the United States Navy after 22 years of service. After retiring, he exchanged his rifle for a pen. He and his family moved back to the Florida Panhandle. He’s married and has two children. James is also the President of the Panhandle Writer's Group.

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