DUSTED FOR PRINTS - DES NNOCHIRI
The office was spotless. Polished bookshelves, neatly stacked. Plush furniture. Even the knick-knacks on the desktop looked to have been placed there by design.
Only the upturned swivel chair behind the desk gave any clue that something was amiss. That and the circular depression in the wall behind. Oh, and the poor slob sprawled feet up on the fallen chair. The guy with the bloody hole in his forehead.
He didn't look too neat, at all.
Vitale and Garber, wearing surgical gloves, poked around the office as the Forensics guy (it was Clapton, this time) fussed around the body - plotting trajectories, doing scrapings. He was taking forever with it.
"Hey, Matty," said Vitale. "What do you say? D' you think he's dead?"
"It's Matthew," replied Clapton. And that was all he said; he'd dealt with Vitale before.
"So," Vitale was addressing his partner, now. "What's it look like to you?"
Garber frowned. "I'm not sure..."
He prodded the desktop for a moment. Nestled - neatly - behind a drinking bird paperweight was the victim's cell phone. A sleek little model that Garber wouldn't mind having himself. He found the key combination for last number redial and hit it.
A whiny, nasal voice on the other end. "Arnold Gleissner, paparazzo. Hello? Hello?"
Garber cut the connection. Mouthing the word, "Paparazzo?", he turned toward Clapton, who was approaching with a scrap of paper in a clear plastic evidence bag.
"Pried this out of the victim's hand," Clapton said.
He handed the bag to the detectives.
"I had to smooth it out a little. Well, a lot, actually--"
Garber, not really listening, held it up to the light. And grinned.
"Paparazzo," he said, handing the bag to Vitale, who studied the paper. It was a fragment from a glossy photograph, showing--
"Hey!" Vitale said, "Isn't that--?"
He was interrupted by Clapton. "You guys can go ahead. I've dusted for prints already."
A harsh laugh from Vitale. "Yeah. That's what this guy was, looks like."
He pointed toward the corpse.
"Dusted. For prints."
Garber nodded. "Yes, indeed."
BIO: Desmond (Des) Nnochiri spent his early years traveling with his parents, and was educated in England, the USA, and the Republic of Ireland (Eire). He writes freelance now, and has taken his first steps into the world of screenwriting. He has contributed stories to A Twist of Noir, The Flash Fiction Offensive, and Powder Burn Flash. He has just started blogging, at Des Nnochiri's Write to Speak.