Detective Blackhorse took his time surveying the crime scene, attempting to mentally reconstruct the murders. An hour later, he felt that nothing more could be gleaned onsite. His back was beginning to ache from bending over and the sun was beginning to go down. Blackhorse stood and stretched, before returning to his vehicle. Behind the wheel, he turned the key in the ignition and discovered that the engine was dead. Mystified, Blackhorse popped the hood. Within seconds of peering underneath, he saw that the spark plug wires were ripped out.
“That sonofabitch Schneider sabotaged my cruiser!”
In his haste to retrieve his cellphone, Blackhorse nearly dropped it. He pulled up the phone number for the Nodaway County Sheriff’s office, placed the call and waited impatiently for it to go through. An operator answered and tersely informed him that Officer Schneider was out on a call. Blackhorse requested a tow and she sounded doubtful about the chances that anyone would arrive before the next day. Blackhorse held it together long enough to disconnect the call, then angrily let loose with a stream of expletives.
Blackhorse paced around, until he calmed down. The dim recollection of hearing two car doors slam, when Schneider left him, suddenly made sense. The first had been the hood of Blackhorse’s vehicle slamming shut. Now, the reason for his lame ghost story was glaringly obvious. Blackhorse shook his head disgustedly at Schneider’s childish, spiteful behavior.
As a Detective in the Missouri Highway Patrol Rural Crimes Investigations Unit, Blackhorse had been subjected to any number of dirty tricks. Residents of every small town he rolled into considered him an outsider and didn’t take kindly to him nosing around in their “business.” The moral obligation to catch criminals always took a backseat to the opinions of the bigoted folks in charge, who were offended by his brown skin.
Breaking through those barriers was always a trial. Blackhorse sighed annoyedly. It looked as though he would have to prove himself yet again, while simultaneously hunting down a murderer. He took stock of his situation. The daylight was quickly fading into twilight. By moonlight, he could navigate the long winding road back to town on foot. But somehow, Blackhorse knew that Schneider would view that as a cowardly act and him the loser of Schneider’s little pissing contest.
It was beneath him to stoop to Schneider’s level. But, if there was to be any hope of earning respect or gaining any modicum of cooperation from the Nodaway County Sherriff’s office, then Blackhorse would have to meet and overcome whatever challenges came his way. So, it looked as though he was would be spending the night in the Bent Woods. Blackhorse climbed back behind the wheel of his vehicle and reclined the seat thinking, What’s the worst that can happen?