May 29, 2008
The smell of gasoline hung thickly in the dry air as Barlow entered the shadowy alley. On both sides it was fenced in by tall buildings with no windows. Debris, broken bottles and the occasional ramshackle homeless shelter was scattered around. About ten feet in he found the ignition point, evidenced by several charred and blackened cardboard boxes.
As Barlow sifted through the burnt boxes he looked over at the other side of the alley and noticed a large damp patch and a discarded needle. Maybe the stiff was a suicidal druggie? A likely explanation, but it didn’t explain the absence of a gasoline container.
May 28, 2008
People see crazy things when they see death for the first time, but in this case he was actually right, there clear as day amongst the soot were bite marks and a broken tooth on the fuel hose.
Taking out a pen Barlow pushed the point into one of the indentations. It sank deeply into the hardened rubber. Whatever thoughts had been going through the stiffs mind as he ran toward the gas station aflame, biting down hard on the hose seemed to have been his number one priority.
Barlow stood up, brushed the dirt off of his pants and started walking to the corner from where the suspect had first been sighted.
May 22, 2008
“I’ve never seen anything like it!” whispered the witness.
“I was standing there pumping gas, I heard a moan and this … guy, on fire .. comes around the corner from 4th street. I shouted to roll on the ground and threw the bucket of sand at him, he just ignored it and… and I know this sounds nuts, but I swear to god, he tried to eat one of the gas pumps.”
“Then the extinguishers fired from the ceiling. When it cleared the guy was lying there next to the pump.”
Detective Barlow sighed, this was going to be a long day.