The Pits

He reached into his pocket and pulled out the photo of Mr and Mrs Routledge. Mr Curtis Routledge was now deceased, and Mrs Leah Routledge had just been sentenced to ten years in prison. The photo he held was a wedding photo. Mr Routledge was grinning widely, revealing a missing front tooth, and the letters ‘H.A.T.E.’ were visible on the knuckles of the hand which clenched a pint of beer. The detective had laughed aloud when he had discovered these tattoos on the victim. Despite his dealings with numerous criminals, he had never encountered them before. He thought it was just a stereotype that Hollywood used in crime films. Mrs Routledge also looked very happy in the photo, looking up at her husband, her hair was shiny and long, and her cheeks were flushed. It was hard to deny she was a very beautiful woman. She had looked very different when the detective had last seen her. Her cheekbones had stuck out at a worrying level, she had black bags under her eyes and her hair was thin and greasy as though it was falling out. Detective White had taken this photo from their home when he was investigating the murder scene. Not strictly allowed, but he was the famous Detective White, and he liked to have a little keepsake of all his investigations.

Detective White pulled away from the curb and started his route home. The journey was slow due to the snow, but he didn’t mind. He turned on the radio, and an up beat jazz song blared out. He tapped his fingers on the steering wheel in time to the music. He turned his headlights on as the dark descended on the town.

Mrs Routledge had been a mess when he had arrived at their tiny flat, which was located in the ‘rough’ part of town. Detective White liked to call this area ‘the pits’. The flat was a studio flat with the kitchen and bedroom all in one, and the smell of marijuana which emitted from it could be smelt from across the road. Curtis Routledge had been lying on the floor in a pool of blood, eyes staring, and his mouth open in a perfect O. He had been stabbed thirteen times with a kitchen knife.

Leah Routledge had been waiting on the doorstep to the block of flats, with a Richmond cigarette hanging out the side of her mouth, and eyeliner streaked all over her face. She was wearing loose blue jeans, and a large Jimmy Hendrix t-shirt. Her hands and clothes were caked in blood. When she spoke, her breath smelt like rotten cabbage and her teeth were brown and decaying.

“I came home and he was dead!” She had wailed. She was taken in for questioning. Four weeks later, she was convicted of murder. Forensics had done tests, and although various other prints had been found around the flat, the only prints found on Curtis’s clothes, and on the murder weapon itself, were those of Leah Routledge.

Large quantities of marijuana, cocaine and ketamine had been found in the Routledge’s flat, so it could only be assumed that one, if not, both of them, were drug dealers. Detective White had questioned a number of neighbours and friends, who had confirmed this. When questioned on the couple’s relationship, the impression given was an extremely negative one.





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