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Backwater Cove by Steven Becker

Backwater Cove by Steven Becker

Author:Steven Becker [Becker, Steven]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: The White Marlin Press
Published: 2018-04-03T04:00:00+00:00


15

It wasn’t something that would typically even arouse my curiosity, except it was new looking and appeared to be a dead match to the pieces I had picked out of the mangroves on Adams Key. Hoping this was not going to play out like I thought, I idled the center console until the hull brushed against the barnacle covered piling. Martinez would have a fit that the newly repaired boat had suffered its first blemish and I should have dropped fenders and come in from the side, but my attention was riveted to the piece of floral print fabric waving like a distress signal in the light breeze.

It was pinched between a sliver of the piling that had peeled back and I left it in place to preserve it if this was, as I suspected, a crime scene. Moving the boat past the piling, I took the time to drop the fenders, hoping to delay the inevitable, and tied off the boat. To one side was a ladder, installed to provide access from a boat to the house, was secured to the piling, and as I climbed to the weathered deck, I could see how the fabric had gotten there. I paused to look at it again before setting foot on the dock.

I had made enough noise that if someone were hiding inside they would know I was here. With my pistol held in front of me with both hands, I crossed to the one-story structure. The weathered siding snagged my shirt as I slid along the exterior of the building, and I had to pause to unhook myself before moving to the closest window. Maintenance was a never-ending issue here, part of the reason Martinez was lobbying for the structures to be removed.

With large windows on all four sides of the building, the room was well illuminated and I had no problem seeing the interior. The older, rustic furniture was askew. Several of the dining room chairs along with the sofa and a recliner were upended in the large open room. To the side was a kitchen with a bar littered with red solo cups and empty liquor bottles. I could see most of the room and inhaled deeply when, despite the evidence of a party gone bad, there were no bodies. There were still the bedrooms to search, inaccessible from the dock.

Moving around to the door, I checked the handle and found it unlocked. Lifting the lever with the tip of my index finger to preserve any prints, I pushed the door open and entered the room. Swinging the pistol from side to side, I cleared the main room and the bathroom. There were two more doors, both closed, off a short hallway. So far, there had been no sign of foul play, but as I kicked open the first door, the smell of death hit me.

Before looking for the source, I cleared the other room and, finding nothing living other than a couple of small crabs, I holstered my weapon and pulled the mag light from my webbed belt.



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