Bob or Stew

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This story was contributed by SydCarv

"What's his name?" I asked, tugging on my plastic gloves and booties.

"Edberg Watson." Emma replied after glancing at the victim's details. "Though the CSI guys are calling him Bob."

I frowned in confusion as I ducked under the yellow tape. It was a fine suburban neighbourhood, but at the moment, its clean pavements and manicured lawns were currently hidden behind the police cars cordoning 44 Garden Street off.

The vic was a gunshot victim. Hadn't shown up to work for three days. He missed a very important meeting which prompted a very angry co-worker to come all the way out here to find him.

The co-worker in question had a glassy-eyed look on his face and was talking to a uniform about how he'd found Bob. Apparently he'd heard the hot tub going and had gotten furious enough to cut across the neighbour's backyard.

"Why Bob?" I inquired, stepping aside to let a CSI worker go out.

Emma smirked. "You'll see."

It was a nice house. Hardwood floors, dark walnut finishings. Not exactly a bachelor pad but he definitely had money.

"Sweet digs. Break-in perhaps?

"Nothing seems to have been taken."

"Angry ex or current girlfriend?"

"He's been single for a few years from what I've found out." She paused to let me enter the backyard first. "Seemed married to the job and besides, in a neighbourhood like this where gossip is currency, nobody would've missed it."

There was a tent set up around the hot tub. It had already been in the open for a few days. Whatever evidence might've been left needed to be contained before it was contaminated any further.

The heat and stench inside the tent was overpowering. It forced out any clean air lingering inside my lungs once I stepped through the flaps. The only sounds inside were the soft murmur of the hot tub and the hushed lull of busy conversation.

I loosened my tie with a huff, unbuttoning a few buttons on top. "Why don't they switch off the hot tub?" My eyes were fixated on the body. "It's not like he's using it anymore."

"I don't know." She shrugged. "Something about evidence probably."

Bob was splayed out in the water, face down, body bloated and an angry red from the heat. The mixed stench of human feces and boiled meat was nauseating. I'll never look at chicken the same way again.

Emma stepped away for a few to talk to some of the uniforms as I surveyed the body from a distance. It bobbed in the water, moving in a lazy pattern.

I sighed as I checked my thoughts. "You guys think you're so funny, aren't you?" My voice was loud enough to be heard by everyone in the tent. I glared at some faces, trying to find the culprit who created this bad pun. "Bob as in 'bobbing, dead man'. Very funny."

There were guilty snickers from the CSI uniforms as I continued to growl about how there would be another dead body once I found out who renamed the vic.

I couldn't see his face, just a mass of dark hair with a gaping, red exit wound. There was some blood in the hot tub, brain matter on the ground, whatever the birds had left anyway, indicating where he was when the shot drilled clean through him.

Sitting, facing the killer. Someone he knew, maybe, if he didn't stand. But then again, if the perpetrator had a gun, Bob-er-Edberg could've been forced to stay seated.

I dabbed some sweat away with a handkerchief, deciding to get closer to the hot tub. Carefully avoiding the blood splatter and brain matter, I started taking a slow circle around the tiled rim of the hot tub when I heard, or rather felt, a click under my shoe.

The hot tub came to life. Lights turned on under the body as from the sides and bottom, heavy heated streams of water turned on.

I watched on in horror as the over-cooked body fell apart like well-cooked meat from the bone. The skin practically unpeeled itself from the bloated carcass as the jets continued to wreak havoc and separate the newly-revealed insides as well.

The water had turned a dark, murky red consistent with congealed blood as the smell of boiled meat intensified. I felt my gut roil as I raised my foot and let it come down again, effectively turning off the display.

There was absolute silence in the tent as the water came to a standstill. I took a step away from the carefully concealed button and swallowed, my eyes stuck on a pair of baby blues knocking against each other in the water.

"Please tell me the photographer processed the crime scene before I did... that." My voice was tiny, my heart pounding in my chest as I imagined the headlines. I could be demoted to beat cop for this.

"Yes," answered Emma, sounding slightly sick. "Though, I guess we should, call him in again."

Untold amounts of relief consumed me as I exhaled the nasty air I'd been keeping trapped in my lungs.

Eventually, life came back to the crime scene, even though it was way too late for Bob. I quietly stood out of the CSIs' way as they went about straining the body parts out of the broth.

"Well." Emma spoke up after a while. "I guess we can't call him Bob anymore. Unless we name each individual floating part Bob." She paused, her face turning slightly green again. "I guess Edberg it is."

I shrugged. "Not exactly the smoothest name. Bob was growing on me."

"And now he's going everywhere." Emma muttered grimly. "Darn thing looks like a bowl of messed up soup."

A smirk tugged on my lips as she said that. "I think I just figured out the perfect name for him."

Emma glanced inquisitively at me.

"Stew."


College student, 20. Water enthusiast, Water. Getting by on procrastination and stress. Daydreamed my way through four books, got two in the Paid Stories Program and got featured once in the Wattpad Action. Pretty sick. Check out more of Sydney's stories here

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