Immoral Certainty by Robert Tanenbaum

Immoral Certainty by Robert Tanenbaum

Author:Robert Tanenbaum
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: ebook, book
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Published: 2010-08-05T16:00:00+00:00



“My mom’s bleeding,” said the little boy’s voice on the phone. The 911 operator was a skilled listener to people in trouble and caught the note of barely controlled panic in the high voice. She quickly extracted the child’s name and address and dispatched a patrol car to the address given, while encouraging the boy to remain on the line. Obviously something awful had happened in his home and she wanted to keep in contact should whoever did it return.

Patrolman Martin Dienst, working the four to twelve shift out of the Ninth Precinct, caught the 911 call and was at the door of 217 Avenue A within ten minutes. He left his partner in the blue-and-white and climbed the three flights to apartment 3F North. Dienst had eleven years on the job and a year in Danang with the Marines before that, but what he saw when he reached the top of the landing was rich even for his system.

A woman lay on her side in the hallway, with her feet in the open doorway of apartment 3FN. Her blond hair was matted and dark with blood, and the blue robe she wore was slashed and stained almost black with it. There were thick ropes of congealed blood on the floor, and Dienst stepped carefully to avoid these as he approached the body. It was certainly a body. The throat had been slashed so deeply as to almost entirely sever the head.

Swallowing hard, Dienst stepped over the woman’s corpse and entered the living room of the apartment. The place was a shambles, in the literal sense, being as thickly sprayed with blood as the floor of a slaughterhouse. Furniture had been overturned and the remains of glassware crunched under the patrolman’s shoes. A child’s stuffed toy in the shape of a small white goat lay beside an overturned chair. It too was stained with blood, and seemed to Dienst to be the most pathetic object in the entire dreadful scene.

Nearby lay the crumpled shape of the goat’s probable owner, a boy of about seven, blond like his mother, dressed in shorty pajamas with little clowns on them. He was lying on his back, his limbs spraddled like those of an abandoned doll. His chest had been split nearly in two by a tremendous blow from some great blade. Blood was splashed high up the wall near where he lay. Dienst hurried by this door to the next room, which was the kitchen-dinette.

There at the kitchen table sat a dark-haired boy of about nine holding a telephone receiver to his ear. Dienst quickly checked the apartment’s two bedrooms and, finding them empty, returned to the kitchen, where he gently took the telephone from the boy and identified himself to the 911 operator. Then he hung up the phone and knelt to face the boy.

“What’s your name, sonny?” he asked.

“Josh Mullen. Is my mom OK?”

“We’ll have to see. We have to call an ambulance. But first we both have to get out of here.


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