CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 666
The man was precise as he unbuttoned and rolled up his shirt sleeves, inch of fabric folding upon inch of fabric in a tight curl upon each of his forearms. Through the bars of the cell he scoped the area outside, and stood for a few minutes, silent and intense, watching the movement of people passing by, waiting to see if any discernable pattern would emerge. This survey provided nothing, aside from the conclusion that people did pass by, that the hallway outside of the cell was a regularly visited piece of floor way for the passage from here to somewhere else. He had already known that. There was no pattern though, no people coming by, then a pause where none came, followed by more people, at regular intervals. There was just unpredictable randomness, one person from left to right, a pause, then three people from right to left all at once, more people, more people, more nothing, more people It could not be said that there was a definite time where there would or would not be a pause. To do anything in that cell, a person would have to come upon a period of low or no activity, by pure happenstance.
Ecklie made a careful examination of the small room, bars at the front, three walls, toilet and sink at the back, empty bench on one side, and another empty bench on the other. There were two blankets, one on the end of each long seat, a hatch on the door for the passage of food or items. It was all standard affair, all completely frustrating, nothing to discover, nothing to use that blared significantly obvious cause and effect, but many small details, things amiss here and there that may have helped him. That would have helped him. Inwardly he may have heaved a sigh, but even his innards could not give him this emotional recompense, and instead chose to stay silent. He may have even wished to escape the prison, but he did not, because it was now his designated place to stay, for the time being.
Taking a second to smooth the fabric of his sleeves, the man turned around, and bent down to his kit and pulled out a pair of gloves. Slipping them on, he approached the dead body on the floor and examined it. There was a balding security guard who was dead inside the prison cell of a shopping mall security lockup, where shoplifters went, where people who vandalised property went. A cell which was on the way to the shopping mall break room, with people passing to and fro almost every damn minute. A man killed and locked inside the very cell he probably guarded every day of his working life, by whoever had been inside it and was now out.
Time move on, as it always did, and the coroner arrived, as the coroner always did. He processed the scene, found the knife hidden under one of the blankets, photographed the arterial spray painted high on the wall and then left the prison for the day, to return to his labs. At the end of this day he returned to his rooms, his office, his own world, outside of the three prison walls and one door. That prison should not have been the scene of a death. That prison should not have been the scene where a hard working man died. That prison was a cell where mildly criminal people went. That prison was his only for the working day, to examine and note down. Inside his mind he had his own prison, and had lived in it far longer than the one he had just spent a couple of hours processing. While he could leave the shopping mall prison cell, just like the person who had killed the security guard had done, leaving the jail inside his mind, that could never be done. That was, impossible, and had been for a very, very long time.