Chapter One: The Edge Of The Blade
My name is Ixora Ishikawa and I work for Tylerville Police Department. Although we aren't a huge city like Dallas or Houston, we get our share of big city crime. Don't let anyone tell you that country life is simpler than city life because it isn't. We had more arrests per capita for drug possession than any other small town I can think of and don't even get me started on our sexual assault numbers.
My job is to investigate those crimes and bring those responsible to justice. I've worked my way up in the food chain in other police departments to find myself being hired on as a detective. I usually find myself in other cities more than in my own since I get sent to a lot of seminars as a representative for my little hamlet. I'll be the first to admit, other than the small time crap, Tylerville is the most boring town on the face of the planet and I welcome the getaways.
The last murder took place while I was still in high school and there hadn't been one since. Tylerville prided itself on its serenity, seeming to forget about the rest of the crap going on. Their selective memory seemed to omit the drug arrests and other assorted crimes that happened. A few people weren't blind though and insisted the town get a police department instead of letting the county handle everything.
Another reason for the inception of the police department was the fact the little burg had decided to incorporate as not to get absorbed by the city to our south but it took a while to get it done. There were many clashes over what direction the town should take. Many people wanted to maintain the small town charm while others wanted chain stores to move in and create new jobs closer to home. The most of the people who wanted change were young while the ones who wanted it to stay the same were older.
The older folks had even opposed the police department being founded until a rash of robberies changed their minds. The county was overwhelmed with other things and could send Tylerville little help at the time. This opened their eyes and caused them to rethink the idea. Even then, it took a lot of voting and fighting to actually get the ball rolling.
The police department itself was barely three years old when I was offered the job as a detective. I had no reservations about being based out of such a drab little town and it was better than the big cities I had been in. I wasn't there though because I was in Dallas, at an in-service to continue my education.
It had just ended when my cell phone went off, interrupting a very awkward conversation about where I was from. The man that was laughing at me pointed at it, still chuckling at the operatic metal that emitted from my phone. "That's a creepy ringtone," He commented. "Is that your boyfriend? Does he wear black too?"
I hated that everyone had to make it an issue that I was rather Gothic but I can't really help it. My naturally pale skin and page boy cut pitch-black hair didn't help matters either. Since I'm half Japanese and half American I really had no hope of getting anything but what I had. At least the gods had been kind enough to give me a D-cup chest and height closer to my six foot seven father's than my four foot ten mother's.
I also got my mother's last name though my father was an American. My mother was too but she had been born in a Japanese internment camp to Japanese American parents exactly one week before the internment camps were ordered closed. My grandparents made friends with
one of the soldiers and they would often visit one another. It was on one of those visits that the soldier's son became enamored by my mother.
Long story short, they married and the soldier's son took my mother's name. It was customary in my mother's culture for such a thing to happen. They had five sons before I came along on my mother's thirty-seventh birthday. Being the baby made me tough and able to handle myself, especially with five hulking jocks for brothers that treated me like I was another boy.
One good thing I got was a curvy build, looking more like a nineteen-sixties go-go dancer than a cop. I often got surprised looks when people would find out I was in law enforcement. My build wasn't the only thing that threw them off either. I drove an antique sports car more suited for racing than police work, making people often do double takes.
I narrowed my eyes and growled. "Funny." I pulled my phone from my belt. Truthfully, no one ever called me, just the department when I was needed. Otherwise, my phone was a glorified MP3 player/Internet device that rarely got used between cases.
"This phone only goes off when there's been a crime." I gave him a sideways look.
"Oh... I... I..." He sputtered. "I didn't know they had those in Tylerville."
I quickly snapped a photo of the man's face with my phone for his expression was priceless. He continued to sputter a lame apology but it was useless.
I quickly saved the photo and answered the call. I fought the urge to smile as the man in front of me started to blather another, more earnest apology and I quickly shushed him.
"This is Ishikawa. What's up, Jant?" I asked even before the person on the other end could say 'hello'. I knew who it was because I knew the number by heart.
"You need to get back to Tylerville as fast as you can," Jant said, his silky smooth voice making my toes tingle in spite of the urgency of his tone.
"What happened?" I walked towards the exit of the convention hall without a good-bye to the man who had been laughing at me. Jant's tone was enough to put a fire under my ass, just like his voice was enough to send heat through my veins. I knew it was more than just the usual stuff we dealt with.
"Someone's been murdered. Get back to town now," Jant said firmly.
My blood ran cold. I was unable to believe my ears. "Wait... A murder? Like a shooting?”
“More like a stabbing," Jant replied.
"A stabbing?" I repeated.
"Yes. You have to see it to believe it," Jant said. "Just hurry.”