It is three hours later that we find all three men gathered in one of the briefing rooms at the precinct to compare information they have gleaned since the shocking scene in the apartment building.Sometimes the problem with writing is the editing process, there are things that you want to add but as you write the realization sinks in that if you do add it, it slows the story down until it lumbers along because it is too much information. The downside is being so spare in writing style it turns into a dry as dust memo. Hopefully I have navigated those shoals successfully.
“The life of one Kim Hsi-feng is one of sorrow and hardship.” That is how Park opens his report. “She is 28 years of age, parents were Communist Chinese refugees. She was orphaned at the age of thirteen when the family was on an outing and their car went off a cliff on one of the mountain roads to the north. Hsi-feng was the sole survivor found by rescuers several hours later. Since she did not have relatives in South Korea she was sent to a foster home for the next five years. Then she won a scholarship to attend the university in Seoul. It is there it seems she met Mr. Kim
while she was in her third year and Kim was working on his Masters. Officer Lee, perhaps you can fill in some missing data with what you have gathered of Mr. Kim’s life.”
Papers are shuffled on the table by nervous hands by Lee as he scans his notes before proceeding. “Yes sir. Kim Kwan is 31 years of age. Born in Pusan. Both parents are still alive and he has two sisters. When I talked to his family they were all shocked and concerned but I did not tell them all the details, just what has been released so far. Last I heard they were planning on visiting Mr. Kim in the hospital.” There is a pause as notes are looked over again to get Lee back on track. “Kim did his required time in the Army, married his childhood sweetheart, and went to the university in Seoul to study information technology followed by a Masters in business administration. It was during this time his first wife died and he later married Hsi-feng. He is employed with IBM here in Pusan and seems to be a rising performer.
For the past six years they have lived in that apartment, it is the only home their daughter Mei has known.” Lee takes a large swallow from the glass of water to quench his suddenly dust dry throat.
Without prompting Officer Rhee starts his report. “The first Mrs. Kim was named
Min. She is survived by both of her parents and two younger brothers. She was 22 when she died. According to the accident report, she was returning to Seoul from visiting her family in Pusan when her car went off the road and down an embankment. There were some Japanese tourists,” Rhee lets slip a small hiss of dislike that the others pretend to ignore before resuming, “who saw the accident and rushed to render assistance, but Kim Min was dead at the scene. According to the witnesses there was no obstacles or weather conditions to explain the accident. The investigation ruled out her falling asleep because she was on the cell-phone talking to her mother when the accident happened. Her mother’s statement did mention that
Min let out a scream, then she heard the phone drop, and heard the car crash before losing the connection.”
Park leans back in his chair which creaks in protest. “Interesting.” Then silence reigns again as both officers look at him with questioning expressions on their usually serious faces. Park idly taps at a folder on the table he has not opened yet. Naturally two pairs of eyes are drawn to the non-descript folder that just reads Kim Jin on one edge.
Satisfied that his bit of melodrama has got their attention, Park opens the folder to the first page and starts to read some of it aloud paraphrasing as he goes. “Deceased is named Kim Jin, age eight. No abnormalities noted during autopsy. Cause of death has been tentatively determined to be a lethal dose of sleeping pills. Contributing factor is listed as the removal of roughly 50% of the liver, of which none of the missing liver was found at the scene. Due to amount of blood observed at the scene the incision was started before the subject was dead. No foreign fingerprints were found on the instrument used to perform the cut, which was a carving knife that was recovered at the scene.” All through this Park is flipping the pages reading while both officers listen intently. “On the floor were noted two sets of what appears to be animal prints.” Park slides out a black&white and a color photo for the officers to look at and they trade glances that Park pretends not to notice. “Also three non-human hairs were recovered and sent for analysis.” Park closes the folder while the two other men stare at the photos.
“Do you gentlemen have anything to add to this that might help resolve this case?” Park asks quietly while looking at Lee. “Did you see those prints on the floor while you tended to Mr. Kim?”
Lee looks up quickly from his study of the color photo, “Uh yes sir I did note the prints but after witnessing the wound…” Lee’s voice trails off and it is the silence that indicates what he thought would have happened if he had entered it into his report. Park merely nods as Rhee speaks up to rescue his partner.
“Sir, if either of us had reported a dead boy with what appeared to be his liver missing and sets of animal prints at the scene, well you would have thought we had been watching too many soap operas with monsters in them.”
Park looks at both of them and in the ensuing silence nods, “Very true what both of you have said. And if I reported what I suspect has caused this murder in a formal report; I might be sharing a room with Mr. Kim sedated. Still it does not absolve us of trying to apprehend those responsible. Perhaps we can craft a report that contains the facts while shying from the sensational and perhaps apprehend this
person we know of as Hsi-feng whom we think did it and rescue Mei in the process.”
For the next hour all three men bend to the daunting task of writing up a report that combines what they had seen in the apartment with the preliminary forensics and autopsy reports while not mentioning any hint of their true suspicions. By the time they are finished and sent the report recommending an alert be issued for the
apprehension of Hsi-feng as a person of extreme interest in the death of her step-son Kim Jin, the sun has long set and the waning Moon is far up in the sky. But finally they are done and can go to their families while wondering if another such lurked even in their homes.
During the days to follow any jokes of women being monsters make all three men nervous. But as the days turn into weeks and months, no sign of Hsi-feng or her daughter Mei are discovered. The sensational first flurry of media coverage also wanes until there is none left save when it is included as part of a soap opera.
As for Mr. Kim, no matter what was tried by doctors or his family to draw him back to a normal life he remained withdrawn. Since he was never violent during his stays in the hospitals, his parents and sisters took him home to take care of him. As the months went by, he would be wracked by nightmares in which two sets of glowing red eyes regarded him over the body of his son. But he never breathed a word of these nightmares for fear of attracting such monsters to him again. Not even when Detective Park visited him in the room his family had prepared for him to interview him about that terrible day again did he hint at those nightmares.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A Little Horror for Halloween Pt IV
Well here is the conclusion of the story. Wow it ran longer than I expected it to be. Just a little story I thought for Halloween. Well we know what happens with the best of intentions. If you think you know who the culprit is, please leave your guess in the comments. And thank you for reading this.