The days of the week lined up like buckets, ready to catch whatever fell in. That’s the funny thing with buckets though. Unless you have something to catch, they really don’t serve a purpose. That’s exactly how Jack felt.

He stared out the office window and contemplated what he was going to do next. His buckets were empty. The last lead he had dried up over a week ago. The captain¬†was nagging him for results. Most of all, he had a splitting headache that just wouldn’t go away. He rubbed his temples with his thumbs as he watched the cars go by below him.

A soft knock on his door brought him back to the present. “Boss, I might have something for you.” Jack turned and saw Parker, his partner, standing in the door. Parker was a good guy. Been on the job for 5 years, just recently got promoted to the unit. His eagerness was a point of contention with the guys, but Jack liked him. In some ways, it reminded him of himself when he first made Detective, before the world got complicated.

Sitting behind his desk, Jack waved Parker in. “What ya got?” he asked as he Parker sat in the chair in front of him.

“Well, I was doing a bit of digging into our case. I’m not sure if I actually have something or not, but…” Parker stalled on his words as if waiting for permission to continue. Jack waved him to continue. “Ok, so. You know how we have kind of run out of leads. So, I was thinking, what if we have been going about this all wrong?”

Jack leaned forward. “What do you mean? All wrong?”

Parker continued, “What if this whole time we have been looking for a criminal, but we should have been looking for…” Parker paused again, looked around to make sure no one was nearby, then continued. “A cop?”

Jack stared at Parker, unsure as to whether or not the rookie detective was joking or not. “Seriously?” He asked in disbelief. “A cop? You think a cop has been doing all these murders?” ¬†Parker started getting nervous as Jack maintained a very normal tone, afraid that someone might hear what they were talking about.

“Well, um.. yeah.” He finally managed to push out. Jack just stared at him. Parker leaned closer to the desk, trying to keep his voice low. “Think about it boss. Every crime scene is spotless. Every time we think we have a lead, we find ourselves at a dead end. And that doesn’t even include the victims.” He finished, nervously looking around.

“The victims?” Jack had to admit, to some minor degree his curiosity was peaked. Parker’s argument had merit. Thin as it might be.

Parker placed several files on Jack’s desk, and fanned them out a bit. Photos of the victims were displayed in front of Jack. “Everyone of our victims is somehow connected with illegal activity. Gang members, drug pushers, mob guys. All of them have rap sheets longer than my arm. All of them have been acquitted of their crimes.” Parker let the comments sit in the air while Jack leafed through the files. As the silence settled, Parker finally said, “Maybe we have a cop who thinks he is God. Out there playing judge, jury and executioner.”

Jack looked up at Parker, then leaned back in his chair, putting his hands behind his head and letting out a whistle. “So, you think we have vigilante cop, taking law into his own hands. I got to admit, it has traction.” He paused and looked at Parker. “Who do you think it is?”

Parker sat back down. “That’s the rub boss. Whoever it is knows what he is doing. If he is a cop, he would have to be someone who has been on the force for a while, maybe disenfranchised with how the system is working. I’d say someone with some rank, someone who knows how to read a crime scene, so maybe a detective.” Parker’s words started to slow down as he spoke, almost as if another thought started to come to his mind.

Jack leaned forward, “Go on.”

Parker looked at his boss, then silently sat back in his chair. “You know what, it’s just a spitball idea. I’m just shooting in the wind.”

Jack nodded, but silently, he could hear the familiar patter of rain falling into his bucket again.

(missed the deadline, but just had to finish this.)

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