A murderous game of chess

A veteran detective and an infamous criminal meet unknowingly in a coffee shop.

I liked Ben’s coffee and chess. You never knew who you were going to meet. Take this night for instance. I was just sitting there, sipping on some decaf, mulling over a case, when an unsuspecting stranger walks in and sits down.

“Evening friend.” I say to him. He’s sitting behind the black pieces, so I make my opener. “Your move, I’m Tom by the way.”

“I’m Jim.” He says, countering my move. “Rainy day isn’t it.” It’s been pouring since noon, and the sun has long since set.

“Yeah.” I say. “Perfect day to hide a body.” I like freaking people out. I work with death so much that it’s occasionally fun to just get a rise out of people.

“Not really.” The man counters, as he castles to protect his king. “Rain makes backroads slick, and digging holes a lot more difficult.” Only my interrogation experience kept me from swallowing my tongue. Then again, I had started this conversation, so it was only fair I continue it.

“True, but the decrease in visibility is worth the extra toil.” My foe shook his head as he moved a pawn forward.

“Any serial killer who is going to get caught in the rain deserves to be brought in.” I supposed this was true. These conversations never went this far, and I couldn’t think of anything else witty to say. After a few silent moves my compatriot broke the silence.

“Anyway, disposal isn’t the hard part. It’s isolation and clean up. If you don’t leave any evidence with a body, they can’t tag it back to you.” That was an angle I hadn’t considered before.

“Oh yeah? You mean bring bleach and stuff?” He shook his head.

“No.” We were getting some funny looks by now, but most of the people here knew me so it as okay.

“I mean don’t connect yourself to the victim, use weapons on the scene, and don’t leave any fragments of yourself behind. Make it random. If they can’t connect you to the victim then they can’t make a case.” It was true, and this man’s knowledge of crime was beginning to disturb me.

“Do I know you?” I asked. He looked me dead in they eye.

“No.” The game concluded in a few more moves. Don’t connect yourself to the victim eh? Check, this guy didn’t know me at all.

“How do you know so much about murder anyway?” I asked him as he stood up and started to walk away. It was a quick game, but the conversation had been riveting.

“It’s my trade.” He said. “Been working homicide for 20 years now, about set to retire.” I smiled.

“Good for you.” I tell him. He nods to me, says thanks, and heads out the back door. I grab a bottle from my case of beer, and follow him out the back.

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