David Rossi wasn’t by nature a superstitious man but there was something about walking into a house at night, in which an entire family had been murdered, glancing at a calendar attached to the fridge and seeing the date, Friday the thirteenth ringed in red, that sent a small shiver down his spine.
“Goose walk over your grave, Rossi?” a voice murmured from next to his right shoulder and Rossi jumped then turned to flash a small embarrassed grin at Morgan.
“Something like that,” he replied. “This doesn’t give you an eerie feeling?”
“Sure it does,” Morgan said, “but then they all do. There’s always something kinda creepy about walking into a place where people were alive just hours or a day ago and finding all that life snuffed out.”
“Yeah.” Rossi nodded and moved closer to the fridge. He peered more closely at the calendar, reaching out with a gloved finger to touch the red marking the date. “This is blood,” he said.
“Good,” Morgan said flatly. “Maybe he left a print here or from wherever he got the blood,” he added to Rossi’s inquiring look.
“Hopefully.” Rossi turned from the fridge and made his way into the living room. He stopped, frozen mid-step by the horror before him then took a breath and continued forward, moving across to the bodies, stepping around the pools of blood and the detritus left behind by the paramedics with the practiced ease of the experienced forensic investigator. He crouched next to a small girl, blood smeared across the back of a bright yellow sweater, crimson marking the pattern of the bright flowers that danced jauntily across the fabric. He reached a hand out and brushed a lock of corn-gold hair out of her pale face then stood and left the room, tears burning his eyes.
He’d recovered his equilibrium more or less by the time Morgan joined him on the porch but he wiped an unsteady hand across his eyes to remove any trace of his loss of composure anyway.
“You okay?” Morgan asked, his voice a mixture of empathy and concern.
“Fine. Kids are always the hardest.” Rossi straightened up and released the deathgrip he had on the porch railing. “You try to stay impartial. Death is death, murder is murder but some get to you more than others.” He put his hand in his pocket and fingered the charm bracelet he kept there.
“There’s nothing wrong with feeling sadness for these people,” Morgan said. “We’re still human. Investigating these crimes shouldn’t take away your humanity.”
“No, it shouldn’t.” Rossi knuckled away the tension between his eyes then patted Morgan’s shoulder. “So let’s go back in there and investigate this case the best we can and lock this bastard away for good.”