Short Story Sunday: Parchment

Three human hearts were placed on the table on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. A severed hand was on the floor under one of the four blood spattered chairs. A severed hand that looked male, was on the ground next to the table. Blood marks on the floor looked like something, or someone was dragged from the kitchen to the back door.

Detective Jeremy Fitzsimmons now understood the horrified looks on the faces of the police officers he’d talked to outside of the house. In all his years he’d never seen anything like this. Of course he hadn’t.

His partner Detective Julie Hill looked at the hearts then glanced down at the hand. “Just think,” she said. “Those hearts could have been donated to somebody who needed them, but now…” Julie was just talking to herself. Jermey knew that. It was one of the quirks he’d accepted with Julie.

According to the neighbors the family was touring colleges with their 16 year old daughter. The sons, aged 17 and 14 were at home that weekend. Dustin was a good kid and his parents trusted the boys not to get into trouble while they were gone. The eldest, Dustin, had called 911 an hour earlier. He sounded terrified. No surprise there.

This didn’t look like a crime two well adjusted upper middle class boys would commit, but one never knows about these things. Dustin and his brother Andrew had been invited to join the neighbors for burgers and they’d all watched a documentary about surfing huge waves like Mavericks. The brothers headed home at 11:30. At 11:40 they were back at the neighbor’s house. Carla Hernandes, the neighbor had called the boy’s parents.

According to Dustin and Andrew they’d gone home and saw two people dressed all in dark green, with black masks dragging something, or someone out the back door. The boys ran back out the front door and back to the Hernandes house. Neither the brothers or any of the Hernandes family had heard anything.

It was heartbreaking how Andrew sat close to Carla holding her hand. It was good the boys had a safe place to be until their parents returned home.

Footprints were found outside in the backyard as well as drag marks that stopped at the side yard fence that led out to a greenbelt area. Then nothing. More investigators would be back in the morning to see if they could find more in the light. In the meantime lights were brought in for a nighttime investigation.

Jeremy arrived home around 6:30 a.m. It was Sunday morning. She had coffee in a French press waiting for him. He’d called his wife Britt before he left the scene and told her it had been horrible.

When he arrived home he hugged her tight and told her he loved her. He watched her as she started to fix breakfast. As she pulled out a sheet pan and covered it with parchment paper.

“Britt, honey. Let’s have waffles. I’ll make them,” he said.

“You sure? I had something new I was going to try out.”

He looked at the pan with the parchment paper. “Two teenage boys went into their kitchen and found three human hearts sitting on pan, on parchment paper. The oven had been set at 375 degrees.”

“Oh. Oh my god. Jeremy. That is horrible.”

“Yeah, thanks for understanding.”

He took another sip of coffee and thought of what Julie had said. “You know, two guys are home now washing blood out of a load of green laundry.”

“I’ll fix the waffles Honey, and if you don’t mind tell you about it. As always Julie had some interesting random thoughts to share.”

Jermey, started to get out the eggs, milk, and flour, then without even thinking checked under the kitchen table for a severed hand.

“You ok?” Britt asked.

“I’m fine Britt. Just fine.”

~ end

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