Read the title. FIRST DRAFT, so don't jump on my ass if there aren't enough adverbs in there for your liking. I usually hate adverbs, so screw off. Also take into account that it's the first story I've ever written, so my writing isn't very developed just yet. Feedback is appreciated. And yes, I realize that it's short. I feel obliged to tell you that it's a short story, if you haven't been paying attention. Without further ado, I present to you Chapter One of my first story.
At three in the morning, Scott Ward’s telephone rang, waking him from a dream he could no longer remember but knew was much more fascinating than having to get up at such early hours. He sighed. It had happened before, and no doubt would happen again. At first he was unwilling to waste the energy, but after about three seemingly endless, raucous rings, he picked up the phone from his bedside table.
“Yes?” He asked irritably.
“Sorry for having to wake you so early, Scott, but we seem to have a problem,” remarked the man at the other end of the line, sounding both tired and in a hurry.
“What is it?”
“Well, about an hour ago, we got an anonymous call from someone who claims to have seen a body in a fountain,” said the man, who Scott now recognized as the voice of the superintendent of the Virginia State Police, Colonel Mark Johnson.
The news didn’t come as a surprise to Scott. After all, it was his job.
“Has the area already been sealed off?” Ward inquired.
“Yes, of course, but we can’t guarantee it’ll stay that way for much longer. Hurry, if you will.”
“I’ll be there in thirty minutes,” replied Ward. Another night without enough sleep, he thought.
Left with no other option, he sat up reluctantly. He began to stare into empty space, lost in thought. After about five minutes he realized he had nearly dozed off. He got up promptly and plodded along the length of his room to his wardrobe and began to get dressed.
Scott Ward was in his mid-thirties. He had jet-black hair that fell over his ears and covered most of his forehead. His hazel eyes were extremely sharp and missed little to nothing, as they had been trained to do. He was of average height with a strong build. He had a broad chin and a face that revealed nothing.
After getting dressed, he went downstairs. It was a cool night outside. The moon shined brightly, and the smell of fresh air allowed him to wake up and take in his surroundings, making him more alert. He got in his car and drove off. He was wondering how a body could’ve gotten in a fountain. A murder, no doubt. Still, a peculiar location to leave a body. You would think that if one committed a homicide, one would most likely want to hide the body, not put it on display. Well, I’ll find out soon, he thought.
As he arrived to his destination, it was still dark out, the moon shining overhead. He saw the superintendent in another car and got out to greet him.
“How much do you know?” asked Ward, as he shook the man’s hand.
“About as much as you do. We got the call, an officer came by to confirm the body was here, and I called you immediately. I thought you could be of help.”
“Yes, yes, of course.”
As Scott examined the body more closely, he realized that he had seen the victim, a man, before. He was sure of it. There was something about that face… it looked familiar. The man in the fountain looked as though he had been drowned, his legs sprawled out over the edge of the fountain, his head and torso hidden beneath the murky water.
“Anything jumping at you?” asked the superintendent.
“Not exactly. Not yet, at least.” He paused, then continued, “I can’t deduce much just yet. There appears to be no blood, so my best guess is that this man was drowned. There are two possibilities, however. The first being that this man was drowned right here, in the fountain; the second being that perhaps this was simply a body dump, albeit a strange place to get rid of a body.”
“Yes, quite,” replied the superintendent.
They stood quietly for about a minute or two, when finally Ward added, “As I said, I can’t deduce much from this. I need a coroner to look at it; I need a time of death and a cause of death. Also, if you can, identify the body.”
“Do you have any idea who might have called to inform you about the body?”
“None whatsoever, detective,” said Johnson.
“Strange…” He trailed off for a moment. Then, “Forgive me, but I can‘t do much just yet. There are no clues, no trails. There are no suspects--we don’t even know if this was the primary crime scene. I need more information, or at least a suspect.”
“Quite so,” said the superintendent.
On that note, they parted ways.