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Behind closed doors

This was not what I’d expected when the call came in, double checking with dispatch that I’d been given the right address.

“I think there’s been a mistake. Could you re check the address please?” This surely was the wrong place. I parked the car in front of the large period home, drawing the ire of an elderly lady across the street. She scurried back inside as I glanced in her direction. This was not an uncommon reaction, but my presence here was warranted.

“Can confirm. 64 Liddiard Street, Glen Ascot. You’re at the right address. Proceed with caution.” Heeding the warning, we tentatively make our way to the large double doors.

All day there had been reports of strange noises from the home. Plates crashing into walls, vile abuse and threats of death echoed down the quiet suburban street. There had been no previous reports of any violent behaviour, nor did anyone at the address have any prior convictions.

This was a good neighbourhood. Well, at least that’s what the residents here would have you believe.  Maple trees hung over the road, forming a shaded canopy, while gardeners tended to the neatly manicured lawns and topiary hedges. A woman in her designer activewear jogged down the street with her airpods, while the neighbours backed out of the driveway in their expensive European SUV heading to the café for brunch. They drive by slowly, watching with curiosity as we make our way up the path. People think nothing like this ever happened in this part of town, but in my line of work you never really know what happens behind closed doors.

As a detective, you see all sides of life. Unbeknownst to many, I’d seen more in my life than I care to recall.  I grew up in commission buildings, sparsely furnished and unkempt, but I’d managed to climb out and escape the intergenerational poverty that had beset my family. I always looked longingly out of the window on the tram to school, hoping that one day I’d be able to live in a house on the ‘right’ side of town. I admired the students in tailored blazers with their starched white shirts, windsor knots and neatly pressed trousers. But I’d never be part of their world.

The large doors at the end of the path were ajar, framed by ornately decorated stained glass. The terrazzo tiles on the porch and well tended plants a picture of perfection. We proceeded with caution through the front door, careful not to alert anyone to our presence.

The house was grandiose and decorated with impeccable taste. White Italian polished porcelain tiles glimmered in the light emanating from the large windows at the end of the hall. The  12 foot ceilings ornately decorated with detailed cornicing and a grand chandelier is the centrepiece of the hallway. All the doors to the rooms along the long hallway were open, all looking staged like a photo shoot for  a home magazine. We split up and checked every room for any signs of disturbance, but nothing was out of place. The linen on the beds was crisp and the antique furniture was immaculate.

As I made my way down to the kitchen, the smell of coffee wafted through. I saw the remnants of the reported hostilities, careful not to step on the broken shards of crockery that littered the floor. Marks on the wall indicate that they had been hurled across the room in a fit of rage. The kitchen and lounge were a stark contrast to the order that pertained in the home. The marble benchtops were covered in broken glass as wine dripped slowly off the corners. There were signs of a struggle, the large black leather chairs were flung over, the drawers on the island bench were flung wide open and silver cutlery was strewn across the tiles. The knife block caught my eye, the large carving knife seemed to be missing from its holder.

“Police. Anyone here, come out slowly.” I called out, hoping for a response. I was alert as my eyes surveyed the chaotic scenes. Drops of blood trailing to the rear of the house catch my eye from just behind the black leather lounge suite. I make my way slowly forward through the room, my holster unclipped and my hand at the ready. 

“Come out. Hands on your heads” I approach with caution, grippinh my pistol tightly, my finger on the trigger as I cock the safety back.

A woman sat on the floor, her face was bruised and battered. Her crisp white blouse was torn and soaked through with blood. She sat huddled on the plush brown rug, her breathing shallow and her eyes fully dilated, like a wild animal after the hunt. In her blood stained hands was a large kitchen knife, her petite hands gripping the handle tightly. I could see the whites of her knuckles and a large clustered diamond ring gleaming on her left hand. She seemed oblivious to my presence.

She looked through me, her eyes vacant and empty as the horror of the scene dawned on me. The birch trees cast their long shadows as the morning sun poured in through the large windows, the dark crimson blood pooled on the polished white tiles.

“I’ve killed him” she says, her voice meek and barely audible. “He’s dead.”

© T. Zerafa 2023

This, like much of my prose is a piece of fiction.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my writing.  If you haven’t read any of my other pieces, take a look through my blog or listen to my podcast ‘Flash Fiction in Five’ on Spotify or iTunes.

Please feel free to like, share, subscribe or comment below.


4 responses to “Behind closed doors”

  1. Everyone has a breaking point. She snapped.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What did he do?? Great story with lots of very good details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The writing is definitely a work in progress. I liked the plot, but on a third or fourth reading there are a few tweaks I would have made.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d love to see you write more of this one. I really love the idea.

        Liked by 1 person

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