Flash Fiction inspired by The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt Apology .

I’m Sorry.

Two words scrawled on a dirty take away napkin. That was all.

Detective Harvey Laraine stared down at it again. The waxy paper product was the only thing not covered in the perpetual spread of blood that was, even now, dripping from the once crisp, white, bed clothes of the hotel room.

Flashbulbs popped around him as the crime scene techs documented every tiny detail of the shattered and gore splattered room.

Just one question circled Harvey’s mind. Why? Why apologise?

The maitre’d had shown him the register, pointed out where the victim had signed her name to log her arrival. There was no question about it, the signature matched the scrawl he was looking down on, etched on a filthy paper napkin from Pappa Don’s Pizzeria. The remnants of the take out had been bagged and tagged and were on their way to the lab. But Harvey had kept hold of the napkin. He just couldn’t figure it out. What did she have to be sorry for?

The Medical examiner had made it quite clear. She’d known her attacker. The lack of damage around the frame of the hotel room door said she’d invited him in. Maybe she hadn’t known what was going to happen, but then, maybe she did.

An idea was fluttering around in Harvey’s brain, tickling his temporal lobe.

Maybe she knew exactly what was going to happen. Maybe that was the point. He’d seen it all before; but not quite like this.

Death by cop it was normally called. Some guy decides he’s had enough of the world so he goes postal, until some poor city cop is forced to put him out of his misery. But this…This was something else.

Death by homicidal maniac and all the mess that came with it. This would keep him busy for at least a month. Maybe she did have something to apologise for after all. Harvey sure felt sorry about the whole thing.

Heaving a sigh, he bagged up the napkin and handed it to one of the crime scene guys. Time to get to work. He would accept her hastily scribbled apology. After all these years and all these cases, it was the only one he was ever likely to get.



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