Prologue

Low tide.

The bloated body washed ashore was made of delicate porcelain bruised with streaks of vermilion and ochre. Greased flesh swollen with putrefaction.

The deceased was spotted by a runner, solo in the early morning as he freed his mind from the world and let it fly to the sea. The police were called and an officer attended quickly.

The runner gladly relinquished from responsibility, took the officer’s brusque dismissal appreciatively.

Inspector Rob Guest stood silently watching the speck dissolve into the morning light. Smiling peremptorily, he turned the corpse over. He already knew.

The face stared back silently.

 

 


See Emily Slay

In the unlit alcove she stood patiently.

The pale hand gripping the pommel of a dagger, concealed beneath a lumpy sackcloth robe; so slender and refined. The wait was serene; for if you are in haste, you are completing the task poorly. Words from her teacher all those years ago.

Remember Emily; in serenity one finds comfort, but do not mistake comfort for an opportunity to laze. Peace within creates a storm that you unleash at your behest, but without discipline resides the void.

As she plunged the knife into the back of the man, Emily thought of peaceful things.

 

Make a Dash

The night was dark; empty streets. The litter dormant, statuesque; asleep on hard concrete.

A wind blew, a low howl of agitation. Emily walked briskly in the shadows. Being seen meant being caught.

Street lamps flickered and failed, plunging the street into a screaming tenebrosity. Heavy footsteps, ragged breathing.

Emily turned and felt a knife clawing at her ribs. Sirens echoing in the distance.

A gruff demand; pressurised she passed over her belongings to the unknown assailant. Heavy night once more choked the street as the mugger retreated. The quiet whispers of a city street in a place far away.

 

Nile’s Song

Niles stumbled away.

I can’t breathe. The dark.

Around a corner, a dull hum of electricity surging comforted shot nerves. Niles walked into the light. Hands still clutching the possessions of a lady, some woman he robbed; he went up the stairs of a nearby tenement to score his fix.

The hiss. The plunge.

Oblivion.

Awoken in the night once more, bleary eyed into the streets. Cold pavement and impassive road. Into the river of tarmac he swam. A predator approached, headlights blinding. A screech, then-

The driver fumbled drunkenly at the door.

Vomiting.

Hazy memories; he drives quickly away.

 

Run Like Hell

Beads of sweat glistened on Arnie’s forehead as he drove away. Behind him on the road lay a dying man. The halo cast by the neon street lights bathed the body an ethereal glow, a saintliness in death. The purity made Arnie’s faith quake.

Red light.

Slam on brakes.

Damn.

Hunched forward in the car, Arnie prayed for salvation and sobriety. If he had stopped, bang goes his license.

Fingers ranted a military march at the door handle; the door-

‘Get out, NOW.’

More fingers grasping clothes, dumping him into the street. His car screeched away to a new destiny.

 

Careful With That Back Eugene

Eugene sped his stolen car into the scarred night. The city was his; eternally. A woman ahead slumped under a lamp fired recognition. His eyes mirrored sparks.

Pulling alongside;

‘Emily! Hey, Emily!’

Eugene!’

‘C’mon, get in baby.’

”Kay, take me to Rob’s will ya.’

Eugene opened the door. Emily sat beside her boyfriend quietly throughout the journey. Lights overhead hummed as they passed. Rob Guest opened the door; noted the pair and ushered them inside.

‘He knows about your gravy train?’ Rob quizzed Emily.

She nodded reluctantly. Downcast eyes.

An axe in the back silenced Eugene permanently.

‘Dispose of him.’


 ©DJA 2016

 

From The Rogues’ Gallery

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