Public Service…new writing…The beginning of Chapter Two…unedited…

The jackals in the media loitered about the scene hoping to catch the whiff of a murder, but as Tammy Bowen had explained to Lilly and me, this was difficult to call. Of course, it didn’t help matters that two homicide detectives had reported to the scene. Our arrival was akin to tossing gasoline upon an open flame.

Sasha Robideux, an online reporter for The Rowdy Rag, waited on the outskirts of the ticker tape for a comment. The mainstream news crews had packed it in, and told the responding officer they’d keep tabs on the story from the comfort of their corporate headquarters.

Me and Lilly walked over to Sasha. At 5’9, Sasha stood taller than the average male and had no need for heels, but she insisted upon wearing them. Even out here by the lake, Sasha was sporting a new pair of Jimmy Choo heels. Her round face and brown eyes darkened with fury when she stumbled as we walked toward her. 

“Nice shoes,” Lilly said, greeting the reporter with a wry smile. Sasha nodded and retorted with ‘they were until I almost snapped the heel off.”

“Yeah, we saw that. All the other reporters took off, why did you choose to linger?”

Sasha looked over at the bench and shrugged. Lilly walked over to her and followed her gaze to the bench. I stood to the side and observed Sasha. 

“I don’t know,” Sasha said. “It just seems kind of wrong to leave. This is a story I don’t want to write about. It’s…sad.”

“Yeah, but she died with a great view of the lake.”

“I suppose so, detective. It’s just, you know the kids found her. They thought it’d be fun to prank her, and then they realized she was dead. It’s horrible how people are nowadays.”

Lilly stayed quiet but nodded her head in agreement. Sasha wasn’t wrong. The world had always seemed dark, cold, and alien at times, but now somehow it seemed even worse. As Lilly and Konan could attest, humanity had reached a level of discord unseen by previous generations. This new generation of humans lacked empathy, tolerance, compassion, sympathy, and greatest of all losses, respect for one another. In exchange for these values they substituted sexual deviance, embraced violence and hatred, and spewed lies. There was zero accountability for their own actions.

It was always someone else’s fault, and in this case of a dead lady by the lake, the stress of the modern world may have killed her. As far as the Chief Medical Examiner had diagnosed upon her precursory glance, all signs pointed to a heart attack.

For now, that would have to do. Yet, in the silent shadows of doubt, I knew it wasn’t so simple. Allison hadn’t died from a heart attack. Someone had shown her the benefit of an early departure from a life she found unfulfilling.

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