Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)
- TITLE: Priorities
By Debbie Sickler
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“Was.” The detective calmly stated as he brushed past her to continue his investigation.
The air was a heavy mix of cat urine and death, as he carefully negotiated his way down the cluttered hall to the location of the first victim. “What we got here boys? Anything?” he asked with a sigh in his voice, stepping over dirty diapers and beer cans scattered across the dingy floor.
“Hey, Bobby. We found a scale and some empty bags in the parents’ room, but that’s it…the perp must’ve found what he was after.” Officer Johnson responded, holding up the paraphernalia. “Kids most likely woke up and surprised him in the act.”
Detective Nickie Morison looked up from the evidence she was examining when she heard Bobby come in. “Mom’s story checks out. Already talked to the motel manager; looks like she’s a regular.” She glanced around the chaos as she walked over to him. “From all the needles around here, it's easy to see what she does with the money. Kitchen’s empty though. Guess a loaf of bread and some milk would just cost too much, huh?”
“Hey, at least she’s got her priorities straight right?” Bobby quipped. “Anybody track down Dad yet?”
“According to Mom, he spends Thursday nights over at his girl friend’s. Sent someone over about ten minutes ago to break the news.”
“What a mess! Why are people like this aloud to breed? Didn’t anybody ever tell this broad a mother’s supposed to be home protecting her kids, not pimping herself out at the No Tell Motel?” The continuous senseless death Bobby had encountered on the job over the years was slowly eating away at him. He was thinking about retiring early in hopes of escaping all the ghosts that haunted his soul. “I need a drink! After we wrap this up, wanna head over to Bernie’s with me?”
“Bobby, you know I don’t drink. You shouldn’t either. Why don’t you hold off and go to church with me on Sunday? The effect will make you feel a lot better than a beer and there’s no hang over the next morning.” Nickie replied, smiling slightly despite her present surroundings, a warm glow spreading over her cheeks. “Believe me, I understand the temptation; it may have been five years since my last drink, but sometimes the urges would still overwhelm me, if it wasn’t for the strength I’ve found in God.”
“Come on Nickie! You can sit here, in the middle of something like this, and still believe in a loving God?” Bobby had always struggled with the things of Heaven, since everything he normally dealt with seemed more like Hell.
“God is the only way I could sit in a place like this! Do you really think I could handle day after day on this job, if it wasn’t for the knowledge that these innocents can finally rest in peace in the arms of their Lord after ‘something like this’? Personally, I don’t know how you handle it without Him…or why you’d want to try.”
Nickie had such a sincerity about her. She was the only one who ever got close to reaching Bobby’s heart. When she talked like this, he found himself wishing he could have faith like hers. He understood what she was saying, but just couldn’t comprehend the fact that God would forgive him for things he couldn’t even forgive himself.
“Thanks for the offer Nick, but tonight I think I’ll just settle on the drink.”
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