He contemplated waiting in his squad car for the paramedics to arrive, knowing what was probably waiting for him inside. For the first time he was sorry he’d put in for the overtime; he was a homicide detective. But these days the department was running short of officers and until the new man hired the week before was up to speed, volunteers had been called on to take extra shifts. If he hadn’t just returned from a two-week vacation with Melissa he probably would have passed. But let no one in the department throw it in his face later that he wasn’t a team player when the need arose.
The feeling in his stomach intensified and Mike began to wonder that maybe it was the result of the high cholesterol breakfast he’d gobbled down an hour before. Somehow he doubted that was the case; he’d eaten the same breakfast many times without any complications. Taking a deep breath, he decided he’d better go inside. From where he sat he could see the front door was already open.
He slipped out from behind the wheel and strode to the screen door. Just as he was about to ring the doorbell a noise from inside made him hesitate. He listened, trying to determine what it could be. Was the TV on? Maybe it was the radio. He couldn’t tell. He punched the doorbell and called out at the same time, “Hello, anyone there?”
Someone should be home. The call had come from somebody inside the house less then half an hour ago. However, Mike’s vast experience over the years prepared him for anything. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to phone in a death and then leave the scene for whatever reason, especially if it involved a loved one. There were no set rules to what kind of reactions to expect.
There was no response. Next time he rapped his knuckles against the metal door frame, which somehow seemed louder than the doorbell. “Hello!” he hollered, testing the doorknob and finding it unlocked. “Is anyone home?” Against his better judgment he opened the screen door. Walking cautiously inside, he let his eyes scan the area as he made his way through the front foyer. Self- preservation and too many times of walking in on a bad situation prompted him to keep his hand on the butt of his revolver.