Invisible Boy(5)
Author:Michael J. McCann

    “Shotin the head,” she said, tucking her wavy red hair behind her ear.The freckles that spattered her face, neck and wrists gave her theappearance of a twelve-year-old. “Before lunch, about three hoursago, is my preliminary guesstimate. He was sitting down at the timeand the assailant was apparently standing over him. I’d say thevictim turned his head away from the gun, perhaps in fear, justbefore he was shot.”

    “ID?”Hank asked.

    Sheshook her head, staring at him with pale blue eyes. “A John Doe.Just a kid, Hank. A homeless kid. I’ll never understand why thesethings happen.”

    Shespoke with sincerity but not much feeling. Chalmers had learned notto display unnecessary emotion at a crime scene.

    Hanknodded and moved around her to take a look.

    Itwas the front entrance of an abandoned movie theater. Above theirheads was a wedge-shaped marquee with the words “Majestic Theater”spelled out on the top in large blue porcelain letters. The marqueeadvertised ET The Extraterrestrial, which suggested how longthe place had been closed. The doors were sealed with plywood thatwas covered with spray-painted graffiti in red, black and fluorescentgreen. The shallow concrete entrance area was filled with litter anddebris. Next to the body was a typical homeless person’s bindle, ablanket rolled around a few personal articles and tied with pieces ofcord. The sergeant had also mentioned a knapsack that crime sceneinvestigators were now processing.

    Thebody was seated, leaning back against the wall. It was turned to oneside so that the knees were drawn up in a fetal position. The victimwore tattered, filthy olive cargo pants, a charcoal hoodie nowheavily stained with blood, low-cut canvas running shoes that mighthave been any color to begin with but were now were an even shade offilth, and grey woolen work socks. A battered, threadbare Ravensbaseball cap had tumbled to one side when the shot had been firedinto the victim’s left temple.

    Hanklooked at the victim’s face and felt a sudden rush of anger. Itstruck him so quickly that he turned around and walked away before herealized what he was doing. He shoved his notebook and pen back intohis pocket. He took out his sunglasses and put them back on. Bitingthe inside of his lower lip, he thought about Chalmers and how he’dnoticed her firm professional demeanor. He reached back to whateverplace it was where he kept these things and brought forward calmself-control. He removed his sunglasses again and put them away,checked his watch and noted the time, pulled out his notebook and penand walked back to the victim for another look.

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