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I guess you had to be there to know what I mean.

It was one in the morning. The call came in from a group of teenagers who had been down the road a little way, parked in a deserted building’s parking lot, rapidly shedding their clothes and getting to know each other better. As any good teenager would do on a hot summer night. The site of their introductory class into physical anatomy was on the outskirts of town in a run down industrial park. At night the place was absolutely deserted. About a half hour ago they heard a car screeching to a halt on the road. They heard two men shouting. They heard a man scream. They heard gunshots. They got scared. One pissed all over the backseat of his buddy’s car as he and his girlfriend quickly put their clothes on and thought about leaving as fast as possible. But the buddy who owned the car . . . actually his father’s brand new BMW . . . grabbed his cell phone and called the cops.

So here we were. Actually on the way home when the call came in. But we were the only homicide detectives available to take the squawk. Frank Morales, my partner and a carbon-copy of what a Neanderthal should look dressed in slacks, a dark shirt, and a light common sports coat covering his huge set of shoulders, stared with his hands in his pockets down at the body. Grunting, he shook his head sadly and sighed.

“Think he’s dead? I think he’s dead. Do you think he’s dead?”

The guy had been shot in the back of his head with a large caliber weapon. Which meant the bullet had punched a neat hole in the back of the skull as it entered. But what it did coming out through the man’s forehead was another story. Let’s just say it was messy. Very messy.

“Yeah, I’ll take a chance and say he’s dead, Frank. But when did you start doing a comedy routine?” I said, looking up at my friend grinning.

“About an hour ago when I actually thought I was going to go to bed tonight while it was still dark. Silly me.”

“Lab boys on the way?”

“Won’t be here for another half hour, Turn. They’re tied up across town on another homicide.”

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