I was early shift on Sunday, so I caught the call. My partner was AWOL, so I stopped by his apartment on the way to the scene, dragged his booze-reeking carcass out of bed. A lady patrolman was putting crime scene tape across the door when we got there.
“Hold on there, Darling,” said Bill. “We don’t know yet if it’s a crime.” Sunday was Bill’s drinking day, so he didn’t want a murder just now.
“She’s just securing the scene, ” I said. I could see the “darling” pissed her off.
We ducked under the tape and looked around the apartment. Bare walls, empty except for a futon on the floor with a cell phone charger and a desk lamp next to it. I got a whiff of that familiar smell of decomposing body. I went back to the bedroom.
He was slumped in a two-thousand dollar Aeron chair. The floor was littered with food wrappers and crushed Mountain Dew cans. The poor bastard must have weighed 400, but it was hard to tell. Five HD monitors showed some fantasy game still in progress. Brightly colored wizards and elves sparking wands and hitting each other with swords.
“Nobody checked on him,” said the lady patrolman. “Neighbor phoned it in. The smell.”
Bill gestured at the screens. “Looks like all his friends are in there, darling.”
Note: 10-54 is the common police radio code for “possible dead body.” The rest of the cop stuff owes a significant debt to David Simon, Michael Connelly, and Elmore Leonard. All those guys do cops way better than I ever could.