Blood in the Water
Posted 15 October 2012 - 10:13 PM
I didn't have time to get a cup of coffee in me, so I was pretty tired when I got to the scene. I met Sgt. Herald in the hotel lobby. He was sitting alone with his trademark pen and paper in an armchair near a window. He smiled when he saw me.
"It's good to see you!" he stood up to shake my hand vigorously as he always did.
"It's good to see you too, Christopher. It's a bit early to be up, but, y'know." I let the sentence trail off.
"Crime never sleeps -"
"And neither, apparently, do we." I finished. We both chuckled, which was important. A job like police work doesn't often allow for much laughter; we get it when we can. The sergeant cleared his throat. I knew it was coming, the run down of the scene.
"I - I can't even begin to explain this one. It's pretty chaotic up there."
"What, a vampire? I've seen vamps before, I can handle it."
"This is more than your standard vampire attack," the sergeant said. "You had better just come upstairs with me to check this one out."
I nodded and followed him up the stairs. There was a maze of police tape between the door to 4A and the one adjacent. I stepped through with the ease of practice and looked where there should have been a door to apartment 4B. Instead the door was across the room, lying in pieces on the floor. The shiny brass doorknob sat amid the pile of splintered wood. I looked up at the sergeant, mouth hung open. I had to admit, I'd never seen a vampire slam a door off its hinges and all the way across the room. The sergeant motioned for me to continue into the room. Slowly, eyes peeled, I did.
There were two beds in the room. Both frames had been snapped in half and the body lay on the one farthest from the door. Blood splattered the room, all over the floors and walls and some on the ceiling. They had mentioned that there was none in the body, but they hadn't mentioned new decorative layer all around the room. Also on the floor, were scattered assorted papers. The lamp that had been on the nightstand was smashed in the center of the room directly under a still spinning ceiling fan. The topmost drawer of the nightstand between the beds had been pulled out and lay on the floor.
I walked farther inside to inspect the body. The neck was broken, turning the head at an odd and scary angle. Her skin was without blemish, and I found myself thinking 'it's always the pretty ones'.
I picked up a piece of paper from the ground to read the text on it. I could barely see it through the blood, but at the top, it said Leviticus. That word chilled me to the bone. I stood clutching the paper, eyes wide, trying to rationalize what I was seeing. It takes a lot to scare an old cop like me, but that sure did it.
"What you got there?" called the sergeant.
"These papers all over the floor are from the bible." I answered. "And they're scattered all over like, something ripped the bible up. Whatever this thing is, it isn't afraid of the holy."
"Like I said, not your ordinary vampire. Look, we're going to go downstairs to get some eye-witness testimony. Why don't you come with us? I'd like your opinion on what we here."
"Sure," I answered breathlessly. None of it was adding up. It made no goddamn sense. Something was wrong about this situation. I followed the sergeant out, because I really needed another opinion. Some other heads to help me get this situation straight. As I left the room, I walked backwards keeping my eye on the corpse. I knew I was missing something.
Minutes later, accompanied by a very reluctant man, Violet had finished climbing up four floors. She wrapped her right arm in the silk of the Imperial Blue Butterfly and punched the window in before nimbly climbing in. Damselfly blundered in behind her. He looked around at the carnage of the room: The dead girl, the scattered paper, the bloodstains everywhere.
Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:07 PM
She nodded, slowly sweeping her gaze back and forth, taking in every detail. All of the furniture was smashed to bits. What she needed was a lead, some hint of information that would lead her to Jennifer. Maybe she left some clue as to where she was going in the carnage. Violet bent down and picked up a piece of paper off the floor. After inspecting it, she handed it to her sidekick.
"Do you think it means something?" Damselfly asked.
Violet spat on the floor. "What it means is, something ain't right in here. What kind of serial killer desecrates a bible and scatters it around the room?"
Damselfly didn't have an answer. Instead he started to gather up the pages. Violet stared into a cracked mirror on the wall above a broken television sitting on an askew chest of drawers that had been smashed in half. Damselfly picked a tiny splinter from the bed frame out of his hand. The floor was littered with them.
"Whoever did this was probably really strong." Damselfly remarked.
Violet was trying to concentrate on looking for clues. Damselfly's prattling wasn't helping. "Yup."
"Do we really have to fight her?"
Violet sighed, exasperated. "Yup." Damselfly didn't have the gumption to be a bounty hunter, she thought. Violet figured she was in the market for a different, better sidekick."
As Violet stared into the fractured mirror, dozens of her own reflections staring back at her, ideas smashed together in her head about the heretical villain. She caught sight of Peter moving around in the reflection and whipped around.
"What are you doing?" she hissed.
"I'm collecting clues. Maybe there's something in here that could lead us to her."
"We're not supposed to be here." Violet walked over and slapped the papers out of his hand. "You can't just contaminate the crime scene. They'll know someone was here."
"Well, you broke the window." Peter pointed out. "I just figured..."
"Well, you figured wrong. Now look around and try not to touch anything."
The sound of voices approaching down the hall startled Violet. She vaulted over one of the beds and climbed out the window and up toward the roof. Damselfly followed slowly, arms shaking as he pulled himself up over the ledge of the building. They sat next to each other on an AC unit.
"What do you think?" Damselfly asked.
He hadn't even formed his own opinion. Violet's hands balled into fists. "I don't know what I think. I didn't have time to come up with nothin' because somebody distracted me by tampering with the evidence."
Damselfly tired to think of something to say. There was an icy silence. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah, I reckon I would be too if I had messed up that bad."
Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:19 AM
Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:25 AM
Posted 28 October 2012 - 08:36 AM
I was in my office, feet on the desk. Merci was lounging in the couch off to the other side of my office. Above her, set into the wall, was a big rectangular fish tank. She'd picked it out when we moved to the office. I thought it looked kinda silly but, eh.
"I'm so glad to be back." She said over the pages of her newest book. I had to admit, it was nice to have time to relax. After a couple hard months becoming one of the most famous detectives in Khazan and then a couple more harder months being the one of the most famous detectives in Khazan, this lull in business was pretty nice.
I was just counting my blessings when I heard the knock at the door. Stronzo.
I looked at Merci. She was begging me, pleading with her eyes for us to be closed or out to lunch. Sighing, I got up and went to answer the door. It's simple business principle. Laziness gets you a bad reputation and we hadn't worked this hard, for this long to get a bad reputation.
The guy on the other end of the door was huge. He hit every marker my brain had for enforcer. I almost pulled my shotgun and blew the cacabrazo away, but then I took notice of his posture. His hands were balled into fists and his shoulders all tensed up like he had been dipped in ice water. Tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes. Occasionally he reached up to wipe them away. He was trying to speak, but could barely get the words out through the sobs. I turned back to Merci and silently apologized with a glance. If looks could kill, the glare she gave me would've done me in.
I turned back to the crying customer. "Boiling Point Incorporated, what can I do for you?"
"My wife," He stopped to collect himself and stop his blubbering. I could pretty much finish the sentence for myself. "was murdered," he finally finished. I figured as much. I invited the jabroni in, sat him across from me, and asked him for the details.
"In her hotel room-"
"Which hotel." I interrupted.
"Uh, it was just a shitty one-night hotel. Just some hole in the wall."
"I need a name." Some assholes think they can just walk in and tell their whole life story; they expect me to care about all of it. What a load of stronzo.
"It was called the Klein House."
I stood up and threw on a jacket. Merci was already standing by the door. The customer was flustered.
"Don't you need the address?"
I pushed the door open. "I'm a detective. I'll figure it out. Now, I need you to leave my office. Customers are not allowed in when I'm not in here."
Almost in a daze, the customer stood up, confused as to how the interaction had taken place. I guess he expected more from me, but I'm a Private Eye, not a therapist. We rode the elevator down to the first floor together and separated when we got to the bottom floor.
Once we were out of earshot, Merci grabbed me by the shoulders and rammed me into the side of a building. "I can't fucking believe you. You promised me we'd have time off and the first opportunity, you take a job."
I couldn't tell her why I did it. "I'm sorry, look, after this job, our schedule is clear. I promise. I swear on my shotgun."
She relented. Her hands came off my shoulders and I stood up straight. How could I tell her I was saving up for our vacation? I just needed one more job, one more bundle of money to afford a five star hotel out in Paris. But it had to be a surprise.
I sighed and we kept walking . It was gonna be a long day.
Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:07 PM
"Look, there's broken glass on the floor. The murderer must have come in through the window."
Tony turned and looked. Merci was pointing excitedly at the floor. Tony wished desperately that she would leave the detective work up to him, but he couldn't very well ask her not to speak. He gave up his mental calculations of exactly how much force it would take to break the bed in half and walked over to the window. After glancing at the glass on the floor for a second he sighed.
"The glass is on top of the blood, that means the blood was already here. Someone broke in after-" he trailed off lost in thought. Who would break in afterwards? Why? He jumped onto the bed, on his hands and knees to take a closer look at the body. It looked untouched other than the murder. The corpse still had its earrings in and a ring on her finger. Tony looked around the room. It didn't appear that anything was stolen.
Tony sat on the bed in deep thought. Who could it have been? Who would have broken in? Merci continued to walk around the room playing detective. That was all right with Tony, as long as she didn't get herself in trouble. As Tony thought, he heard a distinctive noise from outside the window. There were grunts of exertion and whispered conversation.
Tony snapped to get Merci's attention and then hissed,"Hide".
They both hunkered down on the other side of the bed. Merci drew a pistol from her holster. Tony whipped out his favorite shotgun. They waited with bated breath.
"Do you think its the killer?" Merci asked.
"I don't know." Tony peeked over the edge of the bed. The tips of some fingers were wrapped around the frame at the bottom of the window. Tony noticed chipped nail polish on the fingers. He ducked back under the bed, got Merci's, attention, and mouthed the words On Three. She nodded.
Tony held out one extended finger and mouthed one. As he did so he heard the intruder say, "Come on, we don't have all day." Another person climbed into the room. "Good, now what did you want to show me."
"I think I saw something while we were in here last.
Tony flipped to two fingers. The intruders took a couple steps into the room. Tony could feel the anticipation, rolling from his shoulders into his hands. He gripped the shotgun extra tight with his off hand. He nodded and Merci. She nodded back.
Tony flipped to three fingers and then pushed up off the floor. He found his shotgun pointed at the face of a young woman with a cowboy hat. "WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!?"
Violet smirked. "Well, pardner, I think I might just wanna ask you the exact same question."
Merci had Damselfly at gunpoint. He looked bored with the whole ordeal. That wasn't right, it made Tony nervous. He shifted his attention back to the girl with the cowboy hat.
"You don't get to ask questions, darling. I'm the guy with the gun, pointed at your head. Now I'm gonna ask you one more time. Who are you?"
Violet spat on the floor. "I'm a bounty hunter. I'm trying to find the person who did this." Violet gestured openly to the room. "Standing to my left here is Damselfly. He's my sidekick."
"I thought we said we weren't going to use the word sidekick anymore." Damselfly complained.
Violet rolled her eyes pointedly at Damselfly before turning back to Tony. "You don't look like you did this. Hell, I reckon if'n you was strong enough to tear this room up this bad, I wouldn't even be alive having this conversation."
"You're probably right." Tony responded. He turned his shotgun away from Violet's face and pointed it at the floor. Merci stowed her pistol in its hidden holster. "I'm a private eye, the name's Tony. I'm here to find out who did this."
"It looks like our goals line up in a direction that might point to a collaboration, of sorts."
Damselfly tapped Violet on the shoulder. "You know, I really have reservations when it comes to the idea of working with these people."
Merci chuckled. "I actually agree with the twerp, Tony. I don't know about working together."
"Why not. Half the work for each of us." Tony extended a hand. "A temporary partnership could be good.
Violet accepted the handshake. She was about to explain everything she knew about the scene when the door burst open. A police officer holding a badge in one hand stepped through. The other hand had a pistol which he pointed at Tony. Everyone in the room froze until the police officer broke the silence. "WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?"
Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:25 AM
Damselfly immediately fell to his knees. Blood in the carpet soaked into his jeans. Tears streamed down his face. Next to him Violet's hand moved to her hip. She was about half sure she could get the gun out of the cop's hand without him shooting anyone, bubt she wasn't willing to take that risk. She wanted to wait until he was distracted. She nudged Damselfly with her foot and whispered for him to get up. Damselfly slowly got to his feet, hands in the air.
Tony had raised his hands the second he saw the cop, but Merci drew her pistol and aimed right for his face. The police officer turned to focus mainly on her, but he knew he was outnumbered. One gunshot would turn the whole room into a shooting frenzy and he wasn't likely to get out alive.
"Who are you people?" The officer shouted.
Tony answered. "We're just here to investigate the crime scene. We're just curious as to what happened here. Now, if everyone could put their guns down, we could have ourselves a nice chat."
The cop held fast, gun pointed at Merci. "She puts her gun down first."
Tony turned to Merci and raised an expectant eyebrow. With an exasperated sigh, she lowered her gun. Tony thanked her. The officer holstered and stepped into the room, kicking the door closed behind him.
"Now: introductions." Tony said.
All five people in the room got to explaining who they were and why they were at the crime scene.
"I have some details about the person who did it." Violet said.
"And I know how to find him." The officer said.
Tony interrupted. "Her."
"He's right," Violet said, "Jennifer Blood. She's a woman."
The officer turned to De Luca. "How did you know?"
Tony chuckled. "Let's just say I have some experience with the wrath of an angry woman and this room," he gestured to the broken furniture and the bloody mess all around, "looks like the kind of thing she would do." He could feel Merci glowering at him, but he didn't turn to meet her gaze.
Damselfly tried to inject himself into the conversation. "Mister officer, sir, what did you say about knowing how we can find her?"
The cop chuckled."There's a guy who works at a bar down by the Docks. He's got this power, this ability to sniff things out."
"Joey Valentine?" Merci spoke the name as though she'd never expected to hear it again.
"Yeah, how do you know him?"
Joey had done some work with the Syndicate back when Tony and Merci both worked with them. His powers were surely extraordinary. Once they had tracked a man all the way to France just using his sense of smell. Still, Merci knew he wouldn't be happy to see her and Tony around.
"I've just heard the name before." Merci said quietly.
The cop continued, "Well, I know him. We've got a deal where he stays out of jail as long as he agrees not to commit any more egregious crimes and he continues to be a valuable asset to the KPD."
"So you just let him get away with his crimes?" Damselfly asked.
"Not get away with," the cop responded, "He's paying for his crimes through service to the city."
Damselfly rolled his eyes and looked at Violet. She looked at him and nodded, placing a finger on her lips. "We'll talk later," she said.
Violet started to walk toward the door. "So I reckon we should go pay this Tony a visit, see if'n he can pick up Jennifer's scent."
"But we don't have a sample." Merci said. She looked around the room. Tony hadn't mentioned anything when he had checked the corpse on the bed. He hadn't mentioned any evidence of the killer.
"Well," Violet said. "She's a vampire so she probably drank some blood." She looked at the officer who had caught on and pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket. "How good did you say Joey Valentine was again?"
"He'll probably be able to pick up the smell of blood out of her gut." The cop said. "If we can get him to work with us."
Tony chuckled. "Fat chance that'll happen."
Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:32 PM
Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:38 PM
As for Merci, she's is a tough chick who's got Tony wrapped around her little finger. Right now, that seems like its the other way around. In addition she seems to be a lot of expositional stating of the obvious rather than saying things which are relevant to the discussion.
Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:14 PM
Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:05 PM
Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:02 PM
Posted 13 March 2013 - 09:36 PM
“I have a bike,” Violet protested.
“I’ll ride with you,” volunteered Damselfly. Violet glared at her sidekick and he smirked back.
The group all walked outside to the cop’s beat up vehicle on the side of the street. The officer swung his way into the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition. The car sputtered to life slowly and maintained the slow, coughing rhythm of a five year old government-owned vehicle. Damselfly pulled open the passenger side door.
“Uh, no. You sit in the back” The officer ordered.
“I’m not having an armed person sitting behind me in my car. I’ve known better for far too long. Get in the back.”
The officer was cut off by the loud roar of a motorbike. Violet knocked on the driver’s side window. With a sigh, the cop pushed his window down.
“Are y’all just gonna keep standin’ ‘round, admiring this beat up buggy or are we actually going to get somewhere?”
“Yes,” agreed the officer. “Everyone get in the car.”
While Violet’s bike idled nearby, Tony pulled open the passenger side door and climbed in. Merci and Damselfly got in the backseat. The cop from lowtown sat in the driver’s seat, window open, drumming on his steering wheel, trying to keep his patience. Once everyone was safely in the car, the officer began speaking.
“As of now, I am declaring myself the commanding officer of this group of people -” The dissenting voices of the other four interrupted until he reasserted himself by shouting over the rabble, “Because I’m the only one here who has any idea where we’re going.”
There was silence which he took as a tacit agreement.
“Now, I have to make a quick stop before we go to Joey’s bar.” Damselfly whined. Merci dropped her head in her hands. She turned around to Tony to shoot him a glare, he was busy messing with the contacts list in his blackberry.
The officer pushed the car into park and drove away. Violet followed close behind.
“Guys,” Damselfly started, “I need your advice.”
The officer sighed, “legal trouble?”
“No, it’s nothing like that. It’s Violet. I think she’s mad at me.”
Tony laughed. “Ey, jabroni, I know what that’s like all right. I’ve had a woman mad at me many a time before.”
“I don’t think you entirely understand what I mean,” replied Damselfly.
“Flowers always worked for me. Women can’t resist it.”
Merci’s fingers squeaked against the leather of the chair. She was doing her best to restrain herself. She whipped her head around and stared at Damselfly. “Have you tried apologizing?”
“I don’t think I did anything wrong.” Damselfly responded in a small voice.
“Well you did. Women don’t just get mad at people for no reason.”
“Yeah they do.” Tony answered. The car swung a hard right and bashed Tony’s head against the glass. “Watch it, stronzo!”
“No, we don’t,” Merci hissed. “We get mad when people don’t keep their promises.”
“She’s mad about the bike? I brought it back eventually.” Damselfly protested
“Well, maybe the boy didn’t keep his promise for a good reason,” Tony responded.
“I got kidnapped.”
“There’s no good reason to break a promise.”
“I got kidnapped!” Damselfly shouted indignantly.
“Maybe you don’t know so much about what’s going on.” Tony fired back.
“I know enough,” Merci’s hand moved quickly to her holster. The officer noticed out the corner of his eye and jerked the steering wheel hard to the left. The car tires screeched against the asphalt of a parking lot. Merci’s shoulder rammed into the passenger side window, cracking the glass. Tony shouted at the officer in the front seat but was silenced when Damselfly fell into his lap.
After the car came to a stop, the officer opened his door and said, “We’re here.” He stepped out of the car to see Violet sliding to a stop right behind him.
“Y’all all right?”
“Damselfly asked a question.”
“I shoulda known. That boy ain’t worth any more’n a cow’s philosophy.” The officer chuckled. “What are we doing here anyway?”
Violet looked up at the massive neon sign that hung over the parking lot. “At a burger joint?” She looked to the cop for an answer, but he was already halfway between his car and the doors. She couldn’t blame him for wanting to get away from the group as fast as he could.
A door of the car opened and Damselfly crawled out, rubbing his cheek. “Um, Violet”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah?”
Damselfly searched for the right thing to say. In his reflections on the eventful ride he’d had over to Schrodingburder, the greatest chain beef vendor in Khazan, he could only come up with one sentence. “How do you feel about flowers?”
Violet shook her head and stormed off. Damselfly leaned against the cop car, head in his hands, wondering just what the hell he should do.
Inside the car, Merci clutched her shoulder where a bruise was already starting to show on her pale skin.
“You okay?” Tony asked. He grabbed her by the elbow and tried to turn her so he could look at her shoulder. She ripped herself away from him and pushed the sleeve of her shirt down.
“Yeah, I’m fine. No thanks to you.”
“Look,tesorina, I’m not the one who messed up your shoulder.”
“No, but you are the one who got me in a cop car in the parking lot of a stupid burger joint when I should be on a beach somewhere with a screwdriver in one hand and a cigar in the other.” Merci seethed silently, staring Tony in the eyes, daring him to come up with a response. He met her gaze for a while, mouth quivering while he tried to explain himself. Eventually he averted his gaze in shame. “I need to get out of here.” Merci said, pushing open the door. She walked off into the night.
Tony pulled himself out of the car and sat next to Damselfly on the hood. Damselfly was still cradling his head and rubbing his eyes with the meat of his palms. Tony couldn’t think of anything comforting to say, so he went with, “Women, right?”
“Yeah.” Damselfly sobbed in response. “I guess so.”
Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:40 PM
Hope to see this and other fics to the end !
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