House Drip (Day 18)

“Why was the coffee filter soaked with blood, then?”

Seeing the blank look Wozinski was giving him, he pointed down into the trash next to the kitchen sink. Wozinski stepped gingerly over and peered down at the red-stained paper object, sopping wet and heaping full of used grounds.

“Oh, I see.” Wozinski considered this find. “Dunno,” he concluded after several seconds of visible reflection.

Hoyt sighed. He liked the kid, really he did, but Wozinski was as useless at a crime scene as he was three years ago when he first transferred into the Detective division. There had been some hope of eventual improvement then; now, Hoyt was not so sure.

“Do you think it’s possible,” he said, with what felt to him like infinite patience, although it was feeling pretty limited this week, “that the missing fingers might have, what, found their way into the coffee maker somehow?”

Wozinski looked both alarmed and skeptical about this theory, so Hoyt waved a tech over. “Grbacek. You wanna have a look at this?”

Sure enough: five minutes later seven pale human digits lay in a row, sealed in separate evidence baggies, looking thoroughly bloodless for their recent cycle through the drip machine.

“See, Wozinski?” Hoyt clapped the sergeant on the shoulder. “You just never know.”

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