Tie Dyed Shirts V.2 By D.I. Jolly

“What do you think?”

“Honestly? I think some dame realised that she was being fed lies and took matters into her own hands.”

The two men puffed on their cigarettes and looked at the body in front of them. He was possibly a handsome man, under the dirty hair and tie-dyed clothes. As that stood there wondering if the smell came from the murder or if it was just because he hadn’t bathed in a while a thought occurred.

“So, do we investigate this one?”

The older of the two detectives looked at his new partner.

“Of course we do, it’s our job to uphold the law and investigate every crime that gets handed to us.”

They stood in silence for a few moments before the older man spoke up again.

“But, if, after we find out this the victim is the scumbag we think he is, and that trail to the murderer runs dry right after that, what else can we do? I mean, of course we’ll keep the file and our ears open for as long as possible, hoping to find a lead but you know. Somethings are just beyond the department’s capabilities. It’s not our fault, it’s the government cutting our funds.”

The younger cop looked hard at his partner feeling conflicted. He knew that on one level he was saying that perhaps the victim wasn’t much of a victim in this case, but at the same time a law was broken and he’d recently sworn an oath to uphold those laws. As a child he’d always read stories about the cops that broke rules to get the job done but, in his experience, he’d only found people who broke the rules to get the job not done and it bothered him. He turned again to the body lying in front of them and breathed another sigh, trying not to choke on the smell of unwashed hippie.

“I don’t like it, it shouldn’t matter if he deserved it or not, the way he dresses shouldn’t be a cause for us to …”

But older man cut him off.

“It’s not, we will look into this, but kid, you got to learn that at some point, clichés happen for a reason. I’m happy, or at least willing, to be wrong here, but not everyone who pulls a trigger is a murderer, and not every dead body is a victim. I know that’s what they teach you in the academy, but in reality, here in the real world. That line is mighty blurry. Our real job, our secret job, is to figure out which is which and see about making sure real justice is done. You seem like a good kid, smart, capable. I’m not telling you this as a copout, I’m not trying to make you lazy. Truth is, if you want to be a good cop, if you want to follow that voice I can see happening in your head, you got to work twice as hard to seem three times as incompetent just to do the job you should be doing.”

Silence hit the younger man again, only this time it brought a weight with it and his shoulders sagged. He realised he was being asked a question, being offered a path to take, and being warned that it was the hardest path available. But he also knew that if he had a choice, he wouldn’t have been asked. He took a long pull on his cigarette.

“It’s a pity we didn’t get here earlier, what with the way fingerprints fade in sunlight.”

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