Drifting The Scene

 

The dawn rain had stopped only a few minutes before the Detective arrived on the scene. Water still dripped from the fire escape onto the tarp-covered body below. The city was waking up around him and the air was still. It was the Detective’s favorite time of the day, the calm between the throbbing excitement of the night and the pounding pressure of the day. The overnight showers had squelched the normal smells of an alley, at least for a while. The eye-stinging tang of the dumpsters and garbage cans. The urine. The car exhaust that would get trapped in condensation and seep down the sides of buildings. For a little while the rain took it all away. The only smell that crept around the taped off crime scene was the coffee.  The smell of the uniform officers’ coffees and the first brewing of the day at the Starbuck’s around the corner drifted into The Detective’s nose.  He took a deep breath of the husky smell, smiled at the memories of his family’s lakeside cabin vacations and the old metal stove-top percolator that would wake him every day and then crouched down to begin his homicide investigation.