Category Archives: adventure

Stuck in L

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The-letter-the-alphabet-22187428-2560-2560

 

My love life has been surrounded by women whose names started with the letter L. Yes, there have been other alphabetical choices, but L’s seem to prevail. There’s been Lynette, Leslie, Laura, Lucy, Lisa, Lori, Lindsey, Linda, and even a Lola. I know I’m a man; Lola wasn’t. Boy, she wasn’t. I’m sure there were a few others who I’ve simply forgotten, but in the end, I’ve had my fair share of L. No matter. None of them ever prepared me for Lili. I can’t even begin…well, not true. How do I skirt around a cliche? My life has never been the same since I met Lili.

I was on my bike, a Yamaha YZF-R6 that I called Yaz, going home after an uninspired date. Not an L, that I know. It was two in the morning, and the Merritt Parkway was almost car free. I was going fast, keeping an eye out for speed traps; I knew where most of them were, traveling this road so often in my life. It was cop free that night. Connecticut sleeps, unlike New York. I revved Yaz up to the century mark. We whizzed along the road, passing trees and the few cars on the parkway. This more than made up for a so so date.

Until I noticed headlights in my mirror that were getting closer. Thinking COP, I slowed down, knowing it would not be enough to avoid a ticket. But, no flashing lights. No megaphone voice telling me to pull over. The lights were catching up to me, low to the ground, and then it passed me on the left. As it pulled ahead I noticed a very quick two blinks of the brake lights. The car sped ahead, slowed a bit, two quick bursts of brake lights, then speeding on. I took the hint.

We played taking lead, overpowering the other, back and forth, for miles. The car was in the lead when a new light appeared, the right blinker. The last gas station/rest area was coming up, the one that’s just before the NYS border. I clutched and braked Yaz down and followed the car to the parking area.

It pulled into the spot furthest away from the station/mini mart. I parked right next to the car I’d been having fun with, giving out a little happy gasp as I took my helmet off. Didn’t need one in CT, but I was heading to NY. The car was gorgeous: a bright yellow Lotus Evora 400. A car I’ve been drooling over. Well, one of them. We were at too high a speed for me to notice anything really more than the color, but now…

But now the driver door opened. The gasp I had for the car was amplified by the woman that stepped out. Long black hair ran down and over her shoulders was the first thing I noticed. Then the smile. It radiated a lot of things; well, in my mind, and other parts, it did. She was wearing sunglasses (2:00 am, remember) that only accented how beautiful she was, eyes or not. Black buttoned down shirt was equally unbuttoned as buttoned, and painted on looking black jeans. Boots. Goth to the extreme, but she wore it better than well.

She leaned against her car and beckoned me over. Beckoned. I’d never been beckoned like this before. We exchanged names, admired each other’s driving, me admiring a whole lot more. Lili? I’m not a mind reader, but if you judge by where we went from there, she was doing the same. Talking turned to kissing, kissing turned to other things. We were both sweaty and smiling when Lili got a serious angry face going.

“Davey, this has been lovely, but you need to get out of here. Now.”

Rude shock, but there was something in her voice that was more urgent than anything else. I backed away, adjusting my clothing, trying to adjust the very mixed feelings I was having.

“Now, Davey. Now!”

Helmet in hand, I watched her as she opened her car door. That was as far as she got before a really terrifying animal growl sounded. That was followed by the biggest, meanest looking dog I’d ever seen. Then, another one. They came out of the wooded area behind the station and lopped rather quickly towards us. I wasn’t watching Lili at the moment as one of those things came towards me.

It leapt over the Lili’s car and came right at me. Only thing I could think of was hitting it in the head with my helmet. A quick not-even-a-yelp came out, and then a very angry snarl was directed at me as it landed behind me. I was at a loss as to what to do. Bike was off and cold, I had no weapons beyond my helmet. I turned slightly to see what was happening with Lili.

What was more surprising? These two beasts coming at us, or seeing Lili holding off the one, her hands on both parts of its jaws, pulling them further and further apart. Just as I heard a squeal coming from her beast, mine decided I was game, fair or not.

The blow to my back knocked me down and almost out. I rolled over onto my back and shoved my helmet into it’s maw as it came for my face. Believe me, having a death grip on that helmet saved my lift. Jamming the piece further into the mutts’ mouth, I did the only thing I could think of: try to Mountain it.

Just saw the episode of Game of Thrones where the Mountain killed his opponent by squeezing a guys head real hard, pushing his thumbs into the eyes. Gore and victory ensured on the show, so…why not? Reaching up while the thing continued to chomp down on my helmet, I started to push as hard as I could once I had my hands in the right position.

It wasn’t easy, by no stretch of the imagination. I was hurting the thing, but I wasn’t winning. Victory was definitely not ensured. I head the helmet crack, gave a big prayer, dug in harder…and then poof.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Except, Lili was standing over me, holding a very wicked looking knife like thing that glittered. She held out her hand and helped me up. Lili gave me a once over, running her hands over me, kinda like she had before the attack, but in no way sensual. I felt OK after that, but also weak once the adrenaline rush wore off. I was just about to ask her what was going on, when another growly voice sounded, this one not from an animal.

“Mother, congratulations.” Which did not sound congratulatory in the least.

“Buzz off, B,” Lili said, still checking me out. “I’m very, very sick and tired of this game you insist on playing”

“It’s not a game, Mother, and you know that. One day, and soon, you will pay for your insults.”

Lili just smiled, waved her hand in the air above her floating hair. Yes, floating hair. No wind. Floating. But it fell down, cascading over her shoulders again. I could sense that whatever had been there wasn’t here now.

Before I could ask any “What? Huh? Who? What?”, Lili put her hand on my chest and closed her eyes. I felt a bit of a tremble inside, something clicked, and, well, things were different.

Lili got into her Lotus; I got onto my Yamaha. She pulled out of the lot, and I followed her. As I continue to do.

This was how I met and became involved with Lili.

Lilith.

Mother of Demons.

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Author’s Note:

So, hi. A to Z Blog challenge is over two weeks ago. I needed a bit of a mental break. I kept getting messages to write more, continue more Rovas & Berrak, but…not right now.

I plan to do a bit more with Lili and Davey. Let me know what you think

Zenith of All Things (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first parts of this story line:  X-Folders and Yesterday’s Sorrows

Zenith

“Zenith of All Things”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Khazarian Rovas, ex police Inspector, awoke in the hospital with a splitting headache, woozy and disoriented for a moment. Knowing only he was laying down, Rovas raised his head. Bad move, as more pain shot through his head. Putting his head back down was almost as painful as when he raised it. The room was dark, the only light in the room was either emanating from the machinery near his head or seeping in from outside his room. Looking the other way he saw Berrak, sleeping, in a chair.

He coughed when he tried to call her name. She woke and immediately came to his side.

“Hi,” she said, running a hand through his hair on the left side. She saw him wince and moved her hand. “Would you like some water?”

Zarian nodded. He sipped some, started coughing again, drank some more. Berrak put it down and moved the chair closer. She left the room only to return with a nurse a few moments later. Berrak refused to leave as the nurse brought in her cart and  turned on all the lights. She took all his vitals down, entered everything into her computer, and asked her questions. She didn’t stay any longer than she had to, which suited both Zarian and Berrak.

Berrak walked over to the light switches, turning all but the light by the bathroom off. Closing the door, she sat down and took Zarian’s hand.

“Obviously I got hurt, but I don’t remember how.”

“What do you remember?”

“Peters had a knife up to one of the children’s throat. He nicked her with it. Is she all right?”

“Yes she is. They all are,” she squeezed his hand.

“Good. Peters put down his knife, picked up his rifle, and aimed it at me. He lost seconds when he tossed…”

“Aemilie. She’s 13.”

“He tossed Aemilie away and brought the rifle up. He knew the recoil: one handed and nothing to brace with, he’d have little to no chance. As it is, he got off two shots before I beaned him.

I had that moment between the tossing the girl and his training his sites on me to barely dodge the first bullet. As I went down I reached for a fairly hefty crystal candy dish…could I have some more water?”

Berrak brought the straw to his lips. He motioned it away after a few sips.

“I tossed the dish as hard as I could. It hit him in the chest with a satisfying thud. Peters staggered. I got to him as fast as I could, going for his knife. I turned…I turned…dammit, I don’t know what happened next.”

“I do, Zarian. The mother, Mrs. Frasier, told us what happened. She was cringing on the couch, trying to protect her children with her body, but she saw you throw her dish at Peters. Mrs. Frasier -Caroline- said as you grabbed the knife and turned, Peters fired one more time. He…clipped you on the side of the head, there.”

“Ah, that’s why the pain there.”

“Yes. It was a nasty looking wound. I thought you were dead when the police let me in. So much blood.” Berrak stopped, took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“And…?”

“And you fell, knife in both hands. You fell down on Peters, driving the knife into his chest. The police found you on top of him, blood all over the floor. Yes, before you ask, he’s dead.”

She brought his hand up to her lips and kissed it. He moved it out of her grip and cupped her face, sliding his thumb over her chin, her mouth.

“It’s over, Berrak. I wished he could have stood trial and rotted in jail, but…it’s over.”

She nodded, closing her eyes as his hand cupped her cheek.

She stayed all night by his side.

*****

EPILOGUE

Many hospital visitors later, they both returned home. Gil and Jill had organized a small “Welcome Home” party. Rovas was not a fan of surprise parties, but this one he tolerated with grace. Jill had brought Sara, her daughter. Tina, who had nicely recovered from her ordeal with Peters, brought a date.  Chief Inspector Oliver Dole was there, with his wife, as well as other friends from the force. Even Maggie and Pearl, who kept refusing the people food the others tried to slip her. Maggie allowed Pearl her treats. He was content with this crowd, but then the doorbell rang one more time.

The Palmonts arrived, all three children in tow. Berrak had gone to the door, ushered them in, and called Rovas over. They gathered around him, the parents shaking his hand. He got hugs from both Janice and April. The three of them shared some tears; the girls hugged Berrak as well, then went into the living room: they had noticed Sara.

Rovas’s arm was tugged on. It was Gerald. He beckoned to him with his finger. Rovas stooped down a little. Gerald went close to his ear, saying, almost in a whisper:”Thank you for stopping…him.” Rovas got another hug. He returned this just as fiercely.

Rovas sat on the couch, a cup of perfect coffee in his hand, made by Berrak, of course. Dole came over. He was congratulating and chastising him in the same breath, until his wife smacked him on the arm and made him promise to behave. This brought a round of laughs from all, more so from those who worked with him daily. Rovas was glad, later, that he kept to his promise.

Gil, with Jill in hand, came over and sat with Rovas. Berrak was talking with Tina and her plus one, Samuel. They went over to join Zarian.

As they sat, Gil hit himself in the head, smiling. “Oh, I can’t believe I didn’t…well, yes I can. It’s not like nothing else has been happening.”

“What, Gil?” asked Rovas.

Gil turned and looked at Tina. “I think we’ve found the man who killed…um…your friends,” he said, pointedly not looking at Samuel.

“He knows, Gil.” She took Samuel’s’ hands in hers. “Go on.”

“Well, while Inspector…um…Zarian,” he changed after a look from Rovas. “While he was recuperating, one of my inquiries into this Vic character came to my desk. In one of the books we found from the…woman of the house…there were numerous booking for a VG. So, I started searches for anyone named Vic or Victor with a surname starting with G. I finally got a hit, and I think it’s him. It took long enough, but…”

“And…?” Berrak asked, pushing Gil along.

“If this is the guy, his name is Victor Gilbride. I found him in the mental ward. Scarily, he was in the same high level ward that Peters had escaped from.” Gil shook his head.

“Victor had been in another…house…when he was arrested. He was with two girls and got rough with them. He left teeth marks, pretty bad ones, on one of the girls. They screamed, he was getting more violent, the madame threw the door open and tassed him.”

“Good for her. I wish Lily had one.”

“Yes, well, once he was in police custody, Victor went a little bat crazy.”

Everyone groaned.

“Yes, well…when they searched his home, they found more equipment like was left at the scene of the murders. Victor didn’t confess so much as relished his telling of why he did such a disgusting thing.”

“Gil, he drank the blood?” Rovas asked.

“Yes, and he got good and sick from it. Victor really thought he was a vampire- wait, I know, but according to the docs this is a syndrome. He was planning to do it again, he said. His biting was a kind of foreplay for him. The madame said she knew he did it, but it had been more restrained before that night.”

“Oh. Oh…wow. I just…I’m not really sure how I feel, Gil. Thank you.” Tina got up, nudged Jill slightly, and gave Gil a hug. She went back to sit by Samuel. “He’s not on the streets. Wow.”

They all smiled and relaxed.

The evening wound up early. Everyone knew Zarian needed his rest. They didn’t linger very long. He got many hugs and pats on the back, and some kisses on the cheek from Jill, Tina, and Janice, the oldest of the Palmont girls. Gerald stood in the doorway, looked him in the eye, and waved. Rovas waved back.

Alone, the two settled on their couch.

“I will clean up tomorrow, Zarian. I’m tired, and I know you are as well. It’s in your eyes.” She leaned her head on his shoulder. “All this horror is done with, now. I think I could sleep for a week.”

Zarian stroked her hair, closing his eyes, relaxing with her on the couch.

“Come,” she said after waking up from dozing off. “Bed time, for both of us.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. Let’s go up.”

He took her hand as they both levered themselves off the couch. She turned off the light in the room and made their way to the stairs. Rovas stopped for a moment, looking into his darkened study, out the window.

Rovas noticed a silhouette of a man briskly walking away from their house, down the street, hands in his pockets, head cast down, fading down the street horizon.

He smiled, looked at Berrak, and headed upstairs for some much needed sleep.

The End

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Well, that’s it…for now? I’m not sure if I’ll return to this or not. There are a few other story lines I like (Devil’s Diary; The Kitsune Mochi; The Abysmal Dollhouse) that I’d like to re-explore, as well as an idea for a novel that has been floating around the vast emptiness of my mind, one that sets foot in the urban paranormal vein. I need a couple of days off of just vegging. Then…we’ll see.

I’m supposed to have a Reflection Post up sometime in May, say the Masters of the A to Z. I will get to that, and announce the date as soon as I firm it down.
There is still plenty of time to check out blogs from the A to Z Blog Challenge. Click on the banner below. It will take you to their home page. Or, click HERE to go to the A to Z Challenge list.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

Thank you for coming by. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series, mistakes and all. As I said awhile back, I consider this my “First Draft”, which kinda sorta means I might pull this out and rework it a bit down the road.

Anyone want to be my editor? Beta Reader? Cannoli maker?

Comments, likes, and outpouring of love and gratitude is always welcome.  🙂

 

Yesterday’s Sorrows (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first parts of this story line: Venus Ascending , Witch’s Moon, and X-Folders

Yesterday

“Yesterday’s Sorrows”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The manhunt for John Peters continued. Fresh from the attempted second kidnapping of a prior victim, his attack on Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros and ex-Inspector Rovas and his wife drove the police in a wide search to bring him to justice…one way or the other. That escalated by his next crimes.

A family who had not been heard from in five days, were found, brutalized, in their home. A friend of the wife’s had come round, not hearing from her after she didn’t show up to a play date with the youngest children. She peeked in a window, saw the place in shambles, and called the police. All five were found dead; John Peters’ fingerprints were found all over the house, and on the murder weapon, a kitchen knife.

He had a hiding place and lost it. Police presence was out in full force. Gil was taken off the case, forced to receive protection, which he fought until Rovas fed him back his own words of caution from weeks ago. Berrak was uneasy: both glad and bothered by being so closely guarded. The Palmont family was put into a safe house under heavy rotation. Tina, who had undergone two more operations due to complications from being shot, was finally on the mend. She, too, had police watching. She was never left alone in her hospital room.

There were no other sightings, which worried them all. Gil called in favors to keep him updated; Rovas discretely doing the same. The three of them met often, adding information to their wall as it came in. Berrak was busy online, researching anything that related to Peters, his family, and the families he had affected. Every now and then the three of them would pick over the other open case folders left in the study, doing research both by phone or computer. But no chasing down any ideas or leads. Not then. Capturing Peters was of utmost concern.

Rovas and Berrak were brainstorming in the study while Gil busied making the coffee for them. He had insisted, and Berrak gave in, knowing he wanted the privacy to talk with Jill on the phone. He eventually came in with three mugs, balancing them and burning some fingers in the process.

“We have a tray,” Berrak softly scolded while Gil blew on his fingers.

Rovas’ attention was on the information tacked on the wall and written on the white board. He was trying to fathom any pattern of Peters. He was considered a loose canon by those he kept in touch with on the force. The destruction at the family vacation house, the attempt on Gerald Palmont, the shooting at Tina’s apartment…yes, a loose canon. But, there was something…

“Damn!” he slammed his fist down on the table, drawing Berrak’s and Gil’s instant attention. “There. The families.” He got up, stepping up to the victims list they had made. “Besides the police deaths he caused in the bombing, and his attempts on us…the families. The Palmont’s: three children. This latest atrocity: three children.”

“Oh…the three girls that were traced back to him before…” Berrak clenched her fists.

Gil got on the phone. Once he was connected to Chief Inspector Dole, he put them on speaker phone.

“Dole, Rovas here. We may have a pattern that I know you’re not perusing at the moment…”

*****

The search for families with three children went from a 25 mile radius to 50, officially. Rovas and Berrak bought a laptop and Gil brought over his. Jill helped out from her home when she could. They made lists of their find, which went beyond the 50 mile search, but discarded them one by one as Gil made “official” calls to the schools, seeing if those children had all been absent, and for more than one or two days.

During one call, he held up his hand to the others. All they heard were “yes, yes” or “Are you sure?” with a final “Yes, alert the police. Now.” while he scribbled information down on paper. “Three children, again two girls and a boy. Third day they haven’t shown up; one teacher reported she was having trouble reaching the parents on their in school reporting system. It hadn’t been picked up on anyone’s radar.”

Berrak and Rovas stood up at the same time.

“Gil,” Rovas said, “would you mind distracting our minders outside?”

He smiled. “With pleasure. Now, how will I meet you?”

They formed a plan.

*****

They pulled up near a barricade forty minutes later. Police car lights dotted the area. Gil went up to the officer standing duty, identified himself and pointing out the Rovas’. After a short conversation, he rushed back to them.

“Inspector…Peters is asking for you, well, the three of us, but specifically for you. He,” Gil took a look at Berrak and then continued, “he killed the father and tossed him out an upper window. Said he’d gut the kids and let the mother watch.”

The police officer letting them through after he had called in that they were there. They made their way to the commander in charge and introduced themselves. He reluctantly went over the details, more to Gil, but firmly aware of Rovas’s presence.

“He has a gas mask, he claims. Curtains are drawn; any shadowy figures are always of two close together. No secure shot. The only communication we’ve had with this guy is he wants you, really badly.” He pointed his finger at Rovas. He nodded back.

“Then, let’s give him what he wants.”

“Zarian! No.”

He looked at his wife. “The children,” was all he said.

With tears falling she fell into his arms.

All attempts to change his mind failed. All Gil could say, at the end point, was “I have faith in you.”

No more needed to be said.

*****

Rovas was in the living room. He took everything in: Peters with a knife the throat of a young teenage girl, her hands tied in front of her, mouth gagged. The mother and two other children were also tied up and gagged, sitting together on a couch. He noticed a rifle-an M82, he wasn’t surprised to see-resting just off to the right side of where Peters stood. His eyes took in the area around him as he walked into the room, his hands up to show he was not carrying.

They stood starting at one another. Peters blinked first. Rovas moved a step closer.

“Well. I’m here. Let the children and their mother go.”

Rovas noticed Peters knife arm was tense, an indentation against the girls throat that drew a thin line of blood. She was shaking, her face a mask of pain. “Stop moving,” Peters growled. Rovas felt it was as much for him as it was the girl. He stopped.

Peters held onto the girl with his left hand while he put the knife down behind him. He reached down to pick up the rifle, bringing it level with Rovas’ middle. Rovas knew what was next.

Peters’ tossed the girl to the floor and brought the riffle up.

Outside, they heard two shots ring out.

“Zarian!” Berrak cried out. Gil and the commander had to restrain her.

“We have to go in. We have to go in,” she insisted.

They heard one more shot.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. As this has progressed, it’s become something more for me. I wasn’t planning to do such a connected story line, but it’s the way it has worded out for me. I hope you’ve been enjoying this, mistakes and all.

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, one more post. I was late with this one. Life happens. The final post, the Z, is supposed to end on Saturday, April 30th. I’m going to take a short break and get to the last part of this story and post before Midnight, so it ends on time.

Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Please click on the below pic/badge. It’ll take you to the A to Z home page; from there, click on the top link to find the other bloggers who took the challenge. I’m sure you’ll find something enjoyable to read.

Perhaps the Dog (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

** To read the first part of this story line: Offending Elm

Perhaps

“Perhaps the Dog”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Pearl, the yellow Labrador cadaver dog, was brought in. A fairly new addition to the police force, Pearl was acquired in the last months of Inspector Rovas’ service. He and Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros had worked with Pearl and her K-9 handler, Officer Maggie Trabold, previously. They were rewarded with good results  from each interaction. It was Berrak who had brought up the idea, remembering Zarian remarking on the dog’s prowess. Officer Maggie allowed Pearl to get to know Berrak on the drive over to Haley’s Woods, but once on the scene of the crime, Pearl was all business.

Along with her missing teeth there was little to no soft tissue left for any identifier of the victim. The ME at the time postulated that she would have been in the tree approximately for a month before discovery. Rovas wished, as so many times in the last few years, that the advancements in crime detection today were available decades ago. How many more cases would have been closed quicker. If only.

They had used some of their K-9 troops when the body was first discovered nineteen years ago. Rovas had hoped to find any scent of the person or persons who shoved the body into the tree cavity. The search dogs followed a trail that led a little bit away from the Elm, due north.  The dogs stopped just about ten feet away from the tree. The scent went no further in any direction.

Rovas, Berrak, and Gil followed Officer Maggie and Pearl into the grove of trees. Rovas gave the yellow taffeta to Pearl’s handler. Gil had signed it out of police storage in the hopes there would be something the dog could work with.  Officer Maggie got down on one knee and offered the material to Pearl. She sniffed it, picked her head up, then sniffed some more. The officer got up in time as Pearl started to drag her towards an Elm tree.

Pearl had an extremely sensitive nose, which had been noted early on in her training. She honed in on the Elm tree as she pulled Officer Maggie to it. “This is the tree where the body was found?”

“Yes,” Rovas answered. He was pleasantly surprised at this turn, skeptical at first due to the length of time involved. Berrak had done her research before presenting the idea to him. Some cadaver dogs could find a scent even up to thirty years old. Gil was harder to convince, but he went along the day after he had dinner with EMT Jill.

Maggie helped Pearl up a bit towards the space in the tree trunk. Pearl dove her head in as best as she could, came up with her head swiveling, and then again she thrust her snout into the tree opening. Officer Maggie eased her down and took off Pearl’s leash.

She started at the tree, walking around it a few times, but then veering off towards the north. Rovas, Gil, and Berrak were various degrees of pleased at this. Berrak hoped Pearl could lead them further along, and she was clutching her husband’s hand when Pearl led off in another direction, this time to the east of the copse. She wound up at another grouping of trees and snuffled along the ground. She came back to one spot again and again until she just stopped and looked at Officer Maggie.

Both Rovas and Gil muttered “Damn!” It took a few seconds for Berrak to also utter “Damn.”

Gil went back to the vehicles and retrieved spades and electric lanterns from his and Officer Maggie’s car trunk. The four of them took turns digging where Pearl “told” them to dig. Rovas was livid while he dug. The previous search turned up blank, no hint there could be another body in the vicinity. Pearl was bred to find the dead, human dead, and of that he was sure that was what they were going to find. “Damn!” he said a few times more with each shovel full of the disturbed earth.

Berrak was the one who found the human skull. In unison, with spades and hands, they brought up the skeletal remains of a body. Gil went back to his car to call for transport. The sun was setting, so Rovas and the officer turned on the lanterns. Berrak had been gently cleaning away dirt clumps on the body, careful not to cause any damage. She looked up at Rovas and held up some metal on a chain.

“Zarian, look. Dog tags.”

She got up as he brought a lantern over, with Officer Maggie and Pearl following. He turned it over, cleaning the dirt out of the grooves as best he could.

“Hmmm….there’s his social security number, blood type B, name…,” he wiped away more, “David…Sosenko. And…huh.”

“What, Zarian?”

“Berrak, what does that look like to you?”

She examined it closely. “An H. I’m pretty sure, in this light, it’s an H.”

Gil had arrived back while they were examining the tags. “H is for his religion. H for Hebrew.”

“He’s Jewish, um, was Jewish,” she said.

“Yes, it appears so,” Rovas responded. Turning the tags over in his hands, Rovas felt they finally had an important piece to this puzzle.

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“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Offending Elm (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Offensive Elm

“Offending Elm”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

The gunshot wound to Gil’s left shoulder was more serious than first perceived. On the way to the hospital the EMT grokked the swelling and immediately splinted Gil’s upper arm. Upon arrival, Gil was rushed into the ER. He underwent surgical debridement, the wound cleaned out but some bleeding continued. He was hours undergoing treatment before he was brought to recovery. The doctor wanted to keep Gil overnight for observation. The prognosis was overall good, but there was concern about nerve damage.

Rovas and Berrak got all this information from Jill, the EMT who brought Gil in. She had access to the surgical team that they did not. She had left with her team but returned when her shift was over.

“We get a lot more hunters accidentally shooting themselves or a friend. Dumb asses.” Jill shook her head, sitting back in the waiting room chair opposite Rovas and Berrak. “Things like this…I feel I have more at stake, y’know?”

Berrak nodded to her. Rovas was distracted. She nudged him slightly, and he, too, nodded at the EMT.

Rovas had called Chief Inspector Dole, filling him in with all the details as he knew, when they arrived at the hospital. After their conversation-which did not go all too well, for either of them-Rovas made another call. He was waiting for answers to his inquiries.

When Gil was finally out of recovery, all three went up for a quick visit. He woke up briefly, insisting he should still be released so they could go after Peters, and dropped back to sleep just as quickly. “Pain meds and trauma to the body,” Jill said.

Berrak and Rovas stayed for a little bit longer, getting one more audience with the Sargent Detective before he drifted off again. They left the hospital soon afterwards, leaving Gil’s EMT in the room, getting a recommendation and directions to a nearby motel from her. Rovas checked at the desk about the conditions of the other police from the explosion. Both were doing better than expected: they were alive.

“Stake in her duties,” Berrak mentioned on their way to their car. “Jill and Gil, hmm?” She held Rovas’ hand through the hospital lobby.

Rovas got a text after they had settled into their room: no trace of Peters. Whatever trace he left up the hill and with his bike ended once the motorcycle hit the main road. The note Peters’ left stabbed into the tree went straight to the point: “Inspector, if you are reading this, you are alive. I’ll make sure that changes, and soon. If I got you, good. You took my boy!”

The next day, Berrak and Rovas went back to the hospital, hoping Gil would be released in short order. They could hear him laughing as they came to his room. Jill was sitting in a chair, a big grin on her face. Berrak nudged Rovas and smiled.

It took a few hours more for the hospital to discharge him, with strict notes for Gil to follow up with his own doctor as soon as possible. Berrak said “I’ll make sure of it” at the same time Jill said “He will.” Rovas finally smiled at this. Berrak’s observation were on the nose, again.

*******

A month passed. Gil was doing PT, getting his arm back into shape. They all were happy there was no deep damage to any muscle or nerves. Over dinner Gil told Berrak and Rovas that he had a “lovely” scar to show for all this. He blushed deeply when he realized he said “lovely.”

“And how is Jill, Gil?” Berrak asked. No one thought it was possible for Gil to redden any more, but he did.

Cups of Berrak’s coffee in hand, they made their way into Rovas’ study. They had pulled all they could on Peters and were at a standstill at this point until the active investigation turned up anything, or Peters made an appearance. Rovas had been reading over his files sporadically with Berrak-sometimes with Gil present-compiling further questions on many of the cold cases.

Rovas lifted up one of the folders. “I suggest we try and shake ourselves out of our waiting for Peters to make a move. This one,’ he passed the file to Gil,  “has nagged at me for way too long. Berrak, it’s what we were looking at the other night: the woman’s body that was found in the Elm tree by those four boys.”

“Certainly not boys anymore. They’d have to be in their early thirties by now,” Berrak said, looking over Gil’s shoulder at the files’ contents.

“The…boys…were poaching in Haley’s Woods, they admitted, when one of the group climbed up the Elm for a ‘look see’ around. His foot dropped down into an opening where the branches parted. When he looked, he found the remains of the body.”

“Says here it was a woman, aged between twenty and thirty. No one reported any sister or daughter missing in the area that fit that?”

“None. Dental records were no use: her teeth were missing.” Rovas paused, remember the sight that greeted him. “The boys didn’t look too closely. They reported what they found to the police, and I was called in soon after that.”

“Gil,” Berrak pointed, drawing his attention to the photograph under the report he was going over. He took out the folder and laid it on the desk so all of them could see it.

Putting his finger on it, Rovas said “We found a piece of yellow taffeta shoved into her mouth. A gold ring, no inscription, was placed in the middle of the material.

We’ve had luck with these cases, coming at them with time and new eyes,” he nodded to Berrak. “I think it’s time we revisited this and do our best to find out what happened, and who the young lady was.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Inquiries (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Impulsive2

“Inquiries”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The tiny caskets were lowered into the earth. The entire Palmont family was there; Gerald was holding both his parents hands, while Janice and April held each other, slightly apart from their mother and father. Berrak was standing off to the side, towards the back, while others gathered around, the first to the grave site trying to touch or hug the girls. Most still didn’t understand Janice and April’s avoidance at the chapel: here, the rebuffs left nothing to misunderstanding.

As the mourners were leaving in small clumps, Berrak gathered herself to join them. She noticed that Janice was staring at her. Neither of them moved for a moment, Janice did a small wave to Berrak, then looked to her parents, then to April. Berrak caught her eyes one more time. She nodded and left.

Khazarian had stayed at home. He felt that he had done all he could do for the girls. The case closed. The funeral, in his opinion, was for them to come together again as a family. He was not part of that process. Berrak disagreed, so she went while sat at his desk, looking over the notes he was adding to the Palmont children’s file. Plus, the file notes about their abductor/rapist, John Peters. Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros had called early in the morning, bringing him up to speed on the proceedings.

John Peters was ex-military, a fact Berrak fathomed by the way Peters held himself while they were in his kitchen. “His posture was stiff, and he clasped his hands tightly about his back,” she said. “I’d be surprised if he didn’t have a military background.” She was right, of course. Each turn of events with his wife left an ever growing sense of respect for her, even with a high regard to begin with.

What he was loathe to tell her was that Peters’ lawyer had him plead not guilty, by way of PTSD. An insanity plea. Khazarian shook his head when Gil told him, this, noting the anger in Gil’s voice over the phone. At this point, Peters was locked up in a secure mental ward, undergoing psychiatric examination to either support or deny any of this. His military file was sealed. Both of them were extremely curious about that, but there was no way they could get that information. It would be on the shoulders of the prosecutor.

There had nothing in their data system about Peters. He had no arrests, no outstanding tickets, and nothing more than an expired meter ticket from three years prior. Bank statements came up clean. There was nothing that outwardly appeared unusual.

That is what gnawed at Rovas. Psychopaths walked among them, he knew all too well.

Rovas completed updating the files, copying down all that the Sargent Detective shared with him. He had a light bite and returned to the study, looking over the files to other cases on the desk. Berrak returned soon after.

“How was it?”

“Dreary. Dreadful. A funeral.” She sat facing him. “Why is it worse when it’s children?” Pausing, not waiting for an answer. “I know, I know. I know all of the usual reasons, the life ahead never happening. This…this was just compounded by what Janice and April-and Gerald-went through.”

Khazarian got up, knelt in front of her, and gave her a hug. He held her until she stopped crying. She gave him a kiss. He patted her back and returned to his chair.

“Zarian, got your shirt wet,” she said as she wiped her face dry with a tissue.

“It’s not the first time. If that is the worst…”

“I know.” Berrak took in the stack of folders on the desk, noticing one was open, some of the papers flipped over. “Is that…”

“No. The Palmont case is closed. I’ll tell you later about what I gathered from Gil about John Peters.” They both involuntarily twitched at that name, he in his shoulder, she in her face. “This file, well, this one does not involve any children.”

He pushed it over to her. Berrak took it, turned it right side up, and began to read.

“Really? Lacing marijuana with Heroin? Why is this…oh. Five deaths.” Looking up, she continued. “Obviously, you didn’t find the one, or ones, who did this. Do you think we could find something after…” she checked “…seven years?”

“Read on,” Rovas answered.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Easy Pickings (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**Please read Delicate Decisions before reading this chapter

**To start from the beginning, go to From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

“Easy Pickings”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Rovas and Berrak went through the file together, past lunch and well into the afternoon. They looked at the photos of the beach, the walk home the children should have taken, and all the odds bits of potential clues that the investigating team had hoped would turn up as a clue. None had offered any information that was of any use.

They had several sketches of the tall blond man from the various witnesses on the beach that day.  No one seemed to agree on anything except he was tall, on the thin side, and blond. Very blond. Facially, the facial features different widely. No one had gotten up close for the details needed.

One woman, a Mrs. Foley, had gone over to talk to the eldest child, Janice. Yet, she recounted, when she drew near the man skipped away, laughing, and the children followed him, their laughter echoing his. She, too, never got a good look at the man.

Berrak was taking notes on multiple sheets of paper, putting any information into categories. They did not have a white board to chart the details. “Not yet, anyway,” Berrak answered, after Khazarian lamented that they had to work without one. He looked at her, adding another quality to his mental list of things about Berrak  he had sometimes taken for granted all these years.

They went over every particular numerous times, coming back to one facet or another. Berrak questioned Khazarian “rather astutely,” he thought. Sure she had run out every iota of Khazarian’s memory, matching up with the notes, pictures, reports, Berrak would then asked Khazarian to question her, to allow her to brainstorm with him like he would with his old squad-room partners. Hours later, one of those rang their bell.

“Sargent Detective Katsaros, how nice to see you again,” Berrak said as she let him in.

“A pleasure, Mrs. Rovas.”

“Please, after all these years. Call me Berrak, won’t you? It’s one thing when ‘Zarian was in charge. Now…things are different, in some ways.” She smiled. “Others, not.”

Shaking his head and smiling, Katsaros said “What is with you two with first names?”

“Berrak, please, Sargent Detective.”

“If that’s the ‘order,’ then it’s Gil. Not sure how comfortable I’ll be, but ok, Berrak.”

“Thank you, Gil”

She led him into the kitchen where Khazarian was bent over her notes. “Sit. Sit. I’m glad you came.”

Gil’s eyebrow shot up a tad when Berrak sat next to the Rovas. He took a third seat, giving Rovas a questioning look.

Rovas took this in, glanced at Berrak, and then sighed. “Berrak has been a great help all day. She has me looking at things from a different perspective. It has been a good thing, Gil. A good thing.” He nodded at his wife. “I called to ask you to come over after work once we attacked the file fifty ways to Sunday.”

Rovas saw the “but” forming before a sound was made. Gil’s face flashed his concern.

“I know it’s not regulation. This is not regulation. I’m…retired, for better or worse. This has the chance to bite us in the ass, but it also has the chance to catch a break and close this. Find out what happened to those three children.”

Straightening up, Gil replied: “Well, let’s dig into all this…” he waved an open palm over the paper strewn table.

For the next two hours plus, Berrak and Khazarian went over all the details and thoughts about the missing Palmont children.with Gil. Berrak brought out bread and sandwich fixings while they talked, coffee being their main choice of working beverage. Berrak made the first batch. Khazarian the next two.

Physically exhausted, but mentally stimulated, a decision was made. They would return to the scene and walk it all through with fresh eyes.

“Tomorrow is my day off, as you well knew, Sir.” Gil got a frown, but continued on. “I’ll pick you both up at ten.”

“To the beach,” Berrak said.

“Back to the beach,” Rovas answered.

They sipped their coffees as they made their plan of attack.

*******

The next morning found the three of them trudging through sand. An early summer day, the beach was not crowded, but by lunch time they knew they would be fighting for a good space to scout. Rovas, who had walked this route so many times after the children went missing, assigned the three of them equidistant locations for them to observe the throngs. Cell phones made these type of stakeouts easier in the long run, as long as the reception signals were good. At this location, the reception was spotty, but it was the best they could do. After going over their plans one more time, and Rovas warning his wife not to take any action-again-they went to their spots.

At 12:17, Gil rang Rovas, who was at the southern tip of their perimeter. “Sir, I spotted a tall blond guy. He came along the beach north of me. At first I thought he was alone, but a boy of about 9 or 10-the right age for Gerald Palmont, came up from the shore line and took his hand. They are walking away now, off the beach to the parking lot. I’m following.”

Rovas ran as fast as he could, which was not easy for him. Winded, he spotted Berrak and went to her. They set off at a fast walk, almost trot, while he told her what Gil had said.

“No girls?”

“No. He said nothing about the girls,” he panted. “Let’s get in Gil’s car and pick him up. I hope we’re not too late.”

When they got there, Gil was red-faced with anger. “I missed them. I missed them. He was parked right on the edge of the sand. I thought I would have enough time. It was white, a sedan. Not new. I wasn’t close enough for the license plate or make. “

Rovas had his hands balled into fists, laying them on his hips. His head swiveled frantically over the few roads that left the area. He saw no sign of any white car in any direction.

Berrak headed back to their car. “I think we need to try searching. Futile or not, it’s moving forward. Yesterday, we didn’t even have this much to go on.”

They got in the car and went up and down the streets, hoping to spot the Palmont boy and the blond headed man. 

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Delicate Decisions (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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Delicate

“Delicate Decisions”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The morning started not with coffee with his wife but a dialogue, one Khazarian had hoped would not happen, but knew it was eventual. Just not this soon. Berrak was sitting up straight in her chair, arms folded tightly across her chest. He took a glimpse towards the coffee equipment, sighed, and sat down opposite his Berrak.

“Why?” She nodded her head towards the file folder he had placed beside himself on the kitchen table. Berrak stared at him. Khazarian noticed her eyes were wet.

“I rarely, as you know, ever brought work home. Yes, even though that time that work followed me here. I’ve had cases that…I have cases that were never solved, that baffle and gnaw at me to this day. You know that as well. Berrak, you could always sense how I was feeling,” he tried, with a smile.

“So?” It didn’t work. “Again, I ask ‘Why’? Those cases belong to your old unit. You’ve done enough. We’ve done enough.”

“Do you really believe that?”

A tear made it’s way down Berrak’s cheek.

Rovas sighed, reached out a hand towards his wife. It took a moment for her to unclench. Berrak took his hand in hers.

“I do not do this to punish us. You. All this free time…I have not yet adjusted to this new routine. Going in early, the hustle of the day even without a major case, and when it was major…” He shook his head. “I never thought I would miss it as much as I do. I also did not anticipate that cases unsolved would come to haunt me with such a vengeance.”

The room was silent but for the ticking noise of the wall clock. Berrak soon cleared her throat. “I am assuming that that folder holds one of those cases?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

“Tell me about it.”

“Tell you…about this investigation?” Rovas’s eyes widened.

“Yes.”

“Berrak, I don’t wish to…”

“‘Zarian, how will you…well, we…adjust to our new regimen, if you don’t let me in. I am no longer at arms length. Tell me. Please.”

Rovas sighed. “You won’t like this.”

Berrak sighed louder. “‘Zarian…”

Rovas took his right hand back, reached for the folder, hesitated, and then opened the case folder.

“Do you remember, almost five years ago now, the story of the missing Palmont children? Janice, April, and Gerald, ages 9, 7, and 4. On that late summer afternoon, the three seen on the beach, just a few blocks from their house. Witnesses who knew them said they were playing games with an unknown man, blond, tall, thin, who they assumed was a relative of their mother’s,  resemblance enough for them to not be overly concerned.

The children were seen leaving the beach around dinner time. They were never seen again. No clues. We could not find this blond man. It went totally cold and was filed away”

“Could they still be alive?”

“I would like to hope so. I doubt it.”

Rovas was flipping through the pages, glancing at what little they had gathered. Berrak got up, moved her chair around to sit next to her husband. Khazarian looked at her.

“Where do we start looking?,” she said, leaning her head on his shoulder.

*******************************************************

“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Borrowed and Blue (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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read “…and Old Lace” (part one)

blue book

“Borrowed and Blue”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

It was three weeks, more or less, after ex-Inspector Khazarian Rovas began looking at  the “old lace” murders, that the case broke open anew. Micheal Avgoustidis sat in interrogation room #2 opposite the detectives in Rovas old stomping grounds.  While he was not allowed in room #2, he could watch and listen as it unfolded.

The simple fact was he had missed a very important connection the first time around: Avgoustidis had had an affair with second victim, before and during, her engagement to another man. Micheal was married at the time,  a loveless union at that point. Through part of the interrogation Avgoustidis  surrendered the information that he was  just going through the motions, not wanting to upset anything at his law firm as he entered his third year there. Avgoustidis fell passionately, and possessively, in love with Maria Vlachos nee Anton. Her fiancé, Daniel,  never had a clue this was going on. None of this was out in the open. It was easy to miss, except for one thing that tied it all together, and led Micheal Avgoustidis to his admissions.

Maria had kept a detailed diary that she hid (very well) from her soon to be husband and Micheal Avgoustidis.

Avgoustidis’ hubris, in purchasing the townhouse from Daniel Vlachos, was Rovas’s first insight. That, and that the man never got back to him. Upon further examination, Rovas unearthed that Daniel, too, was dead. Six years to the day his wife had been murdered. Rovas had never believed too much in coincidences like this. The dates were too precise. Rovas went after every little detail he could find.

Sargent Detective Katsaros was a godsend. As Rovas uncovered more and more facts, he fed the information to Katsaros, who ran with them, as eager to bring this to an end and to justice. Between the two of them, things started to gel. They discovered that Avgoustidis’s wife death had originally been seen as suspicious. She had “tripped” over loose carpeting that gave way at the top of the stairs. According to reports, Michael said he blamed himself for not fixing the carpeting when she had asked. All charges were eventually dismissed, as the facts seemed to stand by the statement. Daniel Vlachos death had also been classified as suspicious: a fairly new car, a recent tune-up, and yet the brake line “blew out.” No suspects of foul play were found.

Rovas dug into Micheal’s life. He ran as thorough an internet search as he could following Avgoustidis’s footsteps. From the death of his wife to moving up the lawyer ladder, from the purchase of the townhouse to the death of  Daniel Vlachos, backtracking to all information about Maria, to the other two women (whose only connection was the city they all lived in). He put a timeline together of facts that he and Sargent Detective Katsaros went over in Rovas’ study, late at night. Berrak, Khazarian’s wife, was inwardly distressed at this new/old obsession of his, but she made them coffee and sandwiches and left them to their consultations.

It was Katsaros who brought in the true turning point: Maria’s diary. The townhouse Maria and Daniel shared was well lived in. The wood flooring needed work, and renovation was a job both of them shared a passion for. All this was knowledge shared with their family and friends. Sometime in their labors, Maria created a hiding place under a board in a back corner of her walk-in closet of their second floor bedroom. There the blue diary rested, and would have remained, if Avgoustidis hadn’t hired contractors to put in new flooring on the second floor. The worker who found it began flipping through it, immensely enjoying some of the explicit details of the afternoon trysts. He immediately called in his supervisor, showed it to him, and they both brought it to the station, where it made it’s way to the detective unit and quickly into the Sargent Detective’s hands.

Micheal, though married at the time, was extremely jealous. His anger grew in intensity as the date of Maria’s wedding drew near. All of his rages were written in detail in the diary, as well as the main damning statement: Micheal confessed that he pushed his wife down the stairs. He had pulled up the loose carpeting a week before her death, hoping for an “accident,” but his patience wore out, and her nagging to fix it persisted. She wrote that he wanted Maria to marry him, not that “Greek loser.” Maria said no and tried to throw him out. He went into a verbal rage (not their first experience with his temper) that ended with Micheal threatening her to keep her mouth shut. He finally stormed out. Maria was frightened, enough to write that she planned to talk Daniel into selling the house after the wedding and moving far away. The only thing she hadn’t done was write his last name. His initials dotted most of the entries, and her naming Micheal only after times he infuriated her.

Confronted with the timeline, which he originally scoffed at, and then the diary, and the detectives conclusions, Micheal finally confessed to it all. He did push his “shrew of a wife” down the stairs. When Maria “threw him away”, he swore revenge not just on her but on the man he blamed for taking Maria away from him. The day he returned to work after what felt to Micheal as appropriate mourning, he noticed the paper on his secretary’s desk was open to the wedding and engagement announcements page.  Her photo and notification was at the top center of the page. While glancing and offering his congratulations, Micheal saw a photo of another bride to be, one who looked similar to his “ex-wife” and to Maria in coloring and body type. That is when the idea came to him: how to get revenge on Maria and to not draw any attention on himself.

He bought a copy of the paper and saw the date of that woman’s wedding. It was three months off, and then a one week planned honeymoon. More than enough time to plan. As he was copying the information down, which he would later destroy and scatter in various trash bins around the city, he noticed some pictures of brides with intricate veils, which to him were more pretentious than the white gowns. Chaste, pure, modest? Yet these things were still part of the wedding trousseau.

Micheal admitted that the first and third murders were picked only for their resemblances. Without a real connection between the three, he felt he had a better chance of not being caught. Searching for one more soon-to-be newlywed took a few more morning papers, but he had what he needed within two weeks time. He broke into their homes while they were on their honeymoons and had found their gowns and accoutrements hanging in garment bags. He took the veils. Once the women came home from their trips, Micheal waited for the husbands to leave. He broke into the first and third (having left a window in the back unlocked), twisted their respective lace veils, and strangled them. He partially undressed the third one to look like the others.

With Maria, he just walked up to the front door and rang the bell. Maria was shocked to see him and didn’t want to let him in, but he talked her into coming inside so they could “talk.” Once the front door was closed, Micheal wrapped his hand around her mouth and forced her upstairs to the bedroom. He started to undress her, groping along the way, Maria fighting him, him pleading still that he loved her, she should run away with him, when she got a hand free and slapped him. The next thing he knew, she was dead on the bed, her lace veil tightly wound around her throat.

As to Daniel, his punishment was to live with her death. He bought their house, feeling both that the house was a place of her betrayal and of his redemption. It was, in essence, his trophy. Micheal said he had nothing to do with Daniels’ car accident.He had wanted Maria’s husband to live and suffer.  Rovas, listening, believed him.

Upon returning home, Khazarian found Berrak in the kitchen, sitting at the table dicing vegetables for their dinner.

“Coffee?” she asked as she got up and he sat down.

“Yes, please.”

As she busied herself, she looked at her husband and smiled. She saw him relax, for the first time in a month. Ex-Inspector Khazarian Rovas smiled back, anticipating the cup of coffee made to his liking.

*******************************************************

“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Twenty six case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve from this list of cold cases. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.

 

 

“…and Old Lace” (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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and old lace

“…and Old Lace”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

Being married for forty-one years, Berrak made coffee exactly how her husband liked it, az şekerli. She liked hers çok şekerli, sweet like her nature, and fixed it accordingly. Khazarian would never be called sweet by anyone except Berrak. He had no room for sentimentality when he was working, and only relaxed, just enough, when he was home with her.Now he was home all the time, and it grated on his nerves. Not Berrak. Never Berrak. But, not working, arresting criminals and bringing them to justice. He did not know how to retire.

Holding his demitasse cup still almost full, Khazarian stood, bent over to kiss Berrak, and went into his study. He licked his lips and smiled. “Yes, she is sweet,” he thought, as he made his was to his desk and sat.

Rovas stared at the folders on his desk, the one he looked over just the night before. He knew this was a major infraction, his having old case files at his house, him not on the job anymore. It weighed on his mind for more than a moment. Sighing, he also realized that these open cases would remain so if they just sat in a box in the department’s storage. Taking a sip of his coffee, he opened up the file.

Twelve years had passed since the last of three like murders occurred. The papers played puns with the way the three women had been murdered: strangled by their lace veils. The “(Arsenic and) Old Lace Murders” headline shouted out on the newsstands after the second murder, and even more so after the third.  Each of them a bride for only a week, only just returned from their honeymoon.

He went over the facts, as they had them, and reached nothing new in summation. Each newlywed was found in her bedroom, strangled, the twisted veil still wound around her neck. They had little in common besides being newlyweds, brunettes, and of medium build and height. Differing economic ranges, different positions (the last one didn’t hold a job). Different areas of the city. They were found in various states of undress, but no sexual violence. Each was sexually active, but…newlyweds.

And then it just stopped. No reason why it started that they could find, and nothing after the last murder. Frustrating. With no new evidence, the case eventually went cold. The husbands all had solid alibis, as did neighbors, co-workers, bridal parties, caterers, wedding photographers…the man hours they put in, and nothing.

Unsolved, and new evils coming in by the day, these finally became less of interest. But, not to Rovas. Each unsolved case stayed with him.

Turning on his laptop (grudgingly relied on at first; seeing it’s usefulness in the last years), Rovas went searching. His computer search lasted almost a week, which then led him to walking the crime scene areas again, after so many years. All three residences had changed hands. Two of the three allowed him inside, to just look around the room. The third residence (which was the second of the three murders) was not at home when he called, and had not gotten back to him. He retraced his steps, mentally and in person, all to no avail.

The missing home owner bothered him. Working at night, with Berrak asleep and all offices he needed information from closed for the evening, he took a chance.  Calling his old department, and speaking with Sargent Detective Katsaros, eventually yielded Rovas a name: Micheal Avgoustidis. Online searches revealed a bit about him: a lawyer, widowed, still single, no children. His ex-wife cause of death was listed as accidental, falling down a flight of stairs. Her death three months earlier than Rovas’s first victim. He checked for a photo, and stopped, staring.

The ex-Mrs. Avgoustidis was brunette, of medium build and height.

Rovas felt he needed to take a closer look at Micheal Avgoustidis.

…to be continued

*************************************************

“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Twenty six case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve from this list of cold cases. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.