Detective Hudson walked towards the bedroom where the victim lay dead. With every step, Hudson felt his heart beating harder against his ribs. Nobody had told Hudson to be careful. He had a reputation of being a diehard cop. Yet, he could not get the final words of Inspector Buckworth out of his head.  The body is too mangled even for you to look at. The words just kept ringing in his ears.

He turned the knob and slowly pushed the bedroom door. The blood had dripped down towards the edge of the room. He stepped on the blood making an impression of his boot prints. And then, his eyes fell on the naked body that lay still on the bed.

Hudson wanted to throw up right there. He pushed his palm harder against his mouth to stop himself from vomiting. For minutes, he just stood there, ignoring what lay on the bed. Gathering his strength back, he walked towards the body, this time looking into the dead body’s eyes.

The man, Victor Costa, was in his mid thirties and worked for Bastalia’s most reputed software company, Techco Softwares. Even when dead, it looked as if Victor was begging for mercy.

What happened here? Hudson murmured, wondering how easy it would be if dead bodies could talk. Then he mocked at his own foolishness. A sharp knife lay at the edge of the bed. The man had been stabbed several times. Pieces of broken vase lay scattered on the other side of the bed. Hudson walked to the other side and bent down to pick up a piece. He had not finished scrutinizing the piece when his eyes fell on something under the bed. He crawled to get a closer look and when he noticed the unusual thing, he could not help but throw up.

He sat with his back resting against the edge of the bed, looking away from the dead body.

What did you do Victor? What did you do to have met such an end?

Hudson pulled himself up and walked out of the bedroom with the knife in his hands. It was the only thing that could direct him towards the murderer.

Inspector Buckworth’s men from PD entered the room.

“Not your best night Detective Hudson,” said one mockingly.

“I have an old acquaintance with dead bodies, Inspector,” replied Hudson. “The body’s in the next room. I have the knife. Send the body to forensics; I want the reports by morning. I will have a look around.”

Hudson walked towards the bar, pulling out a clean glass, he poured himself a drink.

“Oh, and Inspector one more thing. Under the bed, you will find the body’s genitals. They were amputated from the body by the murderer. Don’t forget to take those; they will be needed back at the forensics.”

When Hudson got back to pouring a second round, he noticed two used glasses at the bar. He picked up one and smelled it. Then he picked up another and smelled it. Several times he smelled the two glasses, sometimes in sequence, and sometimes he blindly shuffled and picked a glass randomly and smelled again.

He finished his glass of whisky and went into the kitchen. His eyes fell on an incomplete set of knives decently hung in a shelf above the sink.

Damn. He thought. He pulled out the knife picked up at the murder scene and replaced it in the shelf to complete the set of knives.

Inspector Buckworth’s men were on their way to the forensic lab. Detective Hudson drove towards the PD. All the way while he focused on his drive, Victor’s dead body kept flashing in his head.

At the Police Department, Inspector Garrison had resumed duty for the night. At the sight of Detective Hudson, Garrison greeted him with an unwelcoming smile. He pulled out a bottle from the nearest shelf and asked, “Scotch?”

“No thank you. I will take the letters,” answered Hudson. Garrison opened the drawer and pulling out three envelops, he tossed them towards Hudson.

“Any evidence back at the crime scene?” asked Garrison picking up his glass of scotch.

“No fingerprints, a knife, a broken vase, two empty glasses and genitals,” answered Hudson replacing the letters in his overcoat pocket.

“Tell me all about it.”

“The murderer was known to Victor. My guess is that the murderer was a woman.”

“That is obvious from the letter,” interrupted Garrison. “All the names mentioned in the letters are women, nothing brainy about that.”

“The body was naked when the murder took place. Victor and one of the women mentioned in the letter were in the middle of physical intimacy. An argument must have taken place during the sex. In a fit of rage, the woman picked up the vase and hit Victor on his head and he fell unconscious. She went into the kitchen and came back with the knife. He was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and the stomach.”

“Why cut the genitals if the man was dead already?” questioned Garisson.

“I have no answer to that yet,” replied Hudson.

“What about the empty glasses?”

“The murderer stayed in the apartment for very long after the murder. She drank whisky from the two glasses in long intervals. One glass had a strong odour while the other had a meek one. Anybody could differentiate between the two glasses. The lip marks were cleared.”

“Victor could have had whisky from the two glasses or either one of them.”

“Let’s wait for the forensic reports to discuss that further.” Hudson got up from his chair and left Inspector Garrison back in his room.

Detective Hudson was back in his apartment. His sleep had deserted him. He looked at the three envelops on his desk. Each was marked according to their arrival. He picked up the first envelop and pulled out the letter. It read:

Murder at 5th Avenue by Mary Capal – XXX

Then he opened the second letter that read:

Murder at 5th Avenue by Samantha Cross – XXX

And finally the last one that read:

Murder at 5th Avenue by Martha Cox – XXX

Hudson placed all letters on the desk, juxtaposing them in the event they arrived. Then carefully, he replaced his glance from one letter to another looking for that one evidence. And then he had found it, right there.

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