“In a moment. Go get started.”
Detective Winston hovered back by the car, letting his new partner forge ahead with all the enthusiasm that came with youth and adrenaline. It wouldn’t hurt Stevenson to get the practice. The kid was sharp. Respectful, too.
Winston held his cell phone to his ear as if he were having a conversation while he studied the scene before him. Not immediately before him, but the larger scope, past the farm road and off to the horizon. Hills rolled slowly away from him, lush with pastures dotted with cattle, fields sown with rows of crops, and scattered with well-watered trees. The green was crisscrossed by an occasional fence line, a pond here and there, still, shimmering like huge shards of glass. He could hear only birds and the low rumble of voices down by the road where the body of a young girl had been discovered in a ditch.
Good thing he was retiring soon. He was losing his grip. And longing to let go.
“You okay?” Stevenson said, startling him.
Winston heaved a sigh. He had obviously been “on the phone” too long.
“No,” Winston responded. “But let’s get it done.”
“If you aren’t feeling well, Sir—“
“I just needed a minute, Stevenson.”
“It’s an average crime scene. I think we can pick up plenty of evidence, have some solid leads to help us wrap it up soon. Still hard with such a young victim.”
“That’s not what’s getting to me, believe it or not. It’s the place.”
“The place, Sir?”
“This,” Winston said, sweeping his hand across the view before them, “is exactly the campestral location I dreamed of moving to when I retire. No noise, dirt but no filth. No crime scenes. Away from this line of work, you know? Now I’m going to go down there and ruin my vision.”
“I’m sorry, Sir,” Stevenson said after a few moments of silence during which they stared out at the horizon. “Is there something I can do? Would you like to stay here at the car? Headache? Upset stomach? I believe I can handle this one, if you’d like. I can come get you if I run across something I need help with.”
“I like you, Stevenson. You’re going to do just fine. I can’t expect to retire from reality, though, can I? Fact is, there is no perfect place on this earth. Not now, anyway.” Winston pocketed his phone. “Show me what you’ve found in our campestral crime scene.”
From the prompt: Crime Scene from Monthly Prompts, January 2019 http://www.writerwrite.co.za and M-W word of the day: campestral.