Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Greek Princess - Set 4: The Real Folk Blues - City of Mist





Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

The sound isn’t my watch. My watch is expensive, just like the suit I’ve been wearing for three days now. It’s the clock on the government-approved pastel green concrete wall, the cheapest piece of shit clock money can buy. Imperfect mechanisms clamouring away in the silence of the tiny interview room. I feel like the two-way mirror dominating the wall on my left is watching me. No, not anyone behind the mirror, the mirror itself is staring. Or maybe I’m scared of my own reflection, after all every time I go to look I catch it watching me.

I can’t help but chuckle at myself.

The room is so still, I notice the tiny LED light on the security camera in the corner of the room above the security door winking out. Strange but expected. I grin to myself.

The door opens and Detective Kendrick steps into the room, deliberately closing the door behind him without turning his back for even a moment. I keep the grin that wasn’t meant for him on my face. No need to disabuse him of the assumption I’m happy to see him. “Detective, any word on the Ripper?” I ask, knowing the answer.

Kendrick sits opposite me, laying a notepad and a fountain pen in front of him. “Sorry, Mr. Eldred, we’re still working the case. I would just like to go over your statement with you again, see if any new information shakes loose…”

“Then I probably should have my lawyer present,” I interrupt, showing teeth in my smile. “I’m sure you’ll agree that I’ve been overly generous in cooperating with your investigation already.”

He struggles to keep a scowl off his face. I can see the corner of his lip twitching. The façade is breaking. “Your lawyer won’t be necessary…”

“Shouldn’t you be recording this session?” I ask, interrupting him deliberately yet again. “And shouldn’t the cameras be on? Is anyone even observing from the next room?”

I see the answer in his eyes a moment before he tries to stand. I don’t know what his intentions are but I’m guessing they involve beating the shit out of me. It’s not going to come to that, this poor bastard doesn’t know I already know. Everything. Snatching up the fountain pen, popping the lid off and stabbing it downwards into the back of his right hand. He screams, unable to wrench himself away from me or stand up unless he wants to chance ripping several very useful tendons.

“No gun, detective? Of course not. Why would you need a gun to deal with the weak little writer boy? You’re the big, strong man that sneaks up on whores to cut their throats…”

He takes a clumsy swing. All I have to do is pull my head back out of the way and twist the pen to take the fight out of him again. He’s sweating bullets. “How the fuck did you know?” he asks through gritted teeth. “And if you knew, why the fuck did you stay?”

“Yeah, everyone thinks I’m crazy,” I answer. “My lawyer could have got me out of this rap if you’d caught me holding the knife covered head to toe in blood. He told me I was crazy to co-operate. Bobby, my agent, is apoplectic. My wife is probably going to make me sleep on the couch for a few years. Truth is, brother, I knew it was only a matter of time before the knife would need to hunt again. It can’t help it. Our little bitch of a sister’s going to make you go after the one that got away. That’s why you’re so pissed off I’m still here, right? Why you’re ready to kick the shit out of me right now. I mean, the concrete in here’s a dead giveaway, you know. Easy to wash the blood off, right? Can’t frame your patsy if they’re in jail.”

“How the fuck do you know that?” He spits through clenched teeth, eyes wild. “What the fuck are you?”

I feel dizzy but my grasp on the pen stays firm. He’s looking up at me in horror but I feel like I’m just watching a television screen as the scene plays out before me. Words spill from my mouth in a language I don’t understand. “…I am the first whore, Ripper,” I say, my voice suddenly segueing into English. “We came before you and your bitch, we will continue long after. I cannot see how this story will end but I need not the Sight to know your demise!”

Pulling the pen out in a splash of blood, I cast it aside and step around the table towards the door, leaving him whimpering and clutching his hand as I knock. A moment after the lock clicks, a young, uniformed, officer looks up at me, looks over to his superior and gulps. “Mr. Eldred?” he greets, looking a little pale as he steps aside.

Walking out, I adjust my tie and close the door behind me. “Thank you, officer. Give the detective a few moments to compose himself then be a good lad and get him a first aid kit, would you?”

He nods. “Y-yessir, um, should I escort you back to your cell?”

“No, that’s all right, I know the way. Please let the desk sergeant know that I’ll need the phone to call my lawyer. I’ll be leaving soon.”

Turning, I walk away from him, wondering what the hell I’ve become.

Kelsey's Final Interrogation

by Branwen Gillen

Gamemaster

------

I was talking to you out loud again. That's something I need to work at a bit better. When you let your inner monologue go a bit external, you tend to let on that something is going on. This is what got me kicked out of the military you know. I started talking outloud without realizing it.

Anyway, apparently when I caught up with Evan and Ophelia I looked like "the world's prettiest Meth addict". The blood had burned itself out of me and the only thing that remained were fragment's of my Contact's encouraging whispers to try another taste and I was acting just the littlest bit jittery and aggressive as a result. Seeing Virginia Wolfe sitting down with my friends probably wasn't the best thing to see in that state of mind.

She shouldn't have referred to Hayley as "sloppy seconds". I was starting to lunge forward at those words and if Ophelia hadn't put her song to the test and calmed me down, I might just have started a fight in that club right there. Still, the woman and her guard left without any sort of apology for their words against Hayley.

It's a bit strange maybe that I already feel so strongly about her. I suppose Dr Wen would say that I'm projecting my desire for someone to protect me onto her and that by saving her I am really saving myself from my teen years. I don't suppose she deserves a broken and conflicted person like myself but she does deserve protection and I shall give it to her.

Regardless, the case. We had gotten a little bit side-tracked by my father's attempt to kill Evan. While Evan and Ophelia bandaged each other up, I started to go for the phone, but Evan didn't want me making calls from inside his apartment. So I went down to a payphone to call around asking about the reporter who did the Jack story, Vera Masters. There were several things I learned, but the most important was that she was on her way to an interview at a church. 

I knew what that meant, and I almost just ran off on my own, but I called up to Evan's apartment before heading for Liza's church. The doors were open when I got there and I worried that Liza's spells might also have been broken. I was worrying and talking over my shoulder at you when the bullet went through my leg. 

That wasn't an unfamiliar sensation but there's nothing that quite prepares you for it. At least that used to be the case. I think my brain has started to adapt to how fast I have started to heal because a lot of pain has started to be muffled. This was the case here. The pain was a serious irritant when it should have been just about incapacitating.

Behind me was Vera Masters with an antique doctor's bag and a gun in her hand and a masked man in a top hat chasing after Hayley as she screamed for help. My first thought was to pursue but it was hard to move with the injured leg and Vera decided to taunt me about listening to what he was going to do to Hayley. Which is when I turned on her and sank my fangs into her arm. The taste of blood pushed away the pain in my leg and gave me another charge of power, though not as much as I had had from that hitman earlier.

That probably would have left me open to a counter attack if Evan hadn't showed up then and slashed through, that miracle blade of his passing harmlessly through both me and Vera before slicing through the handle of the bag. It collapsed to the ground releasing a flood of blood and viscera and disgorging a flurry of screaming and vengeful spirits.

I worried that they would go wild until the song started. Ophelia was there and she was taking the ghosts in hand so that their rage became channeled and focused. It gave me the opening I needed to break off and run in pursuit of the monster with the knife. I moved faster than should have been possible without tearing muscles and bones apart but even accounting for that I leaped farther than I should, billowed up by the spirits and carried onward, marked as an instrument of their vengeance. 

The spirits deposited me in the clock tower beside Hayley and seeing the spirits that had already moved to interfere with our mystery man. A mask fell away revealing Detective Arthur Kendrick. I had wondered about why he had never come after me, turns out later that Kelsey implied he was another half-sibling and the reason the crazy war-vet wasn't on the suspect list was because they wanted Kelsey accused. Truth be told, however, I had almost forgotten about him. I had not thought about the idea that the Ripper might have been two people.

I said touched on Hayley's hand and gave a pithy comment of some sort. It was along the lines of "I guess we're both creatures of blood, but one of us is on the wrong side of Providence." It's an odd turn of phrase like something out of an old book. That thirst for blood in me was there but muffled deep down as the soft and reasoned tone of a man's whispering voice suggested what I should do. 

The Ripper leaped at me...and I stepped aside, letting him go tumbling out into the air and crashing down to earth in a crumpled heap. I bent down to hold Hayley and comfort her, but still had a line of sight for when Evan destroyed both the Ripper and the man he had ruined with his whispers.

There was a gunshot in the church but I didn't see the circumstances. When Hayley and I got down to the ground, Vera was sobbing and rocking in a corner, her empty gun discarded aside. I'm sure Ophelia's music was part of why the gun had missed and the woman was still alive. 

The brother's of the church had called the police, and Evan had left before they arrived. It seems rather odd that the EMT would leave while the lounge singer, lunatic vigilante, and illegal immigrant stayed back, but I had history with the church, I needed to make sure Hayley wasn't pressed about certain subjects. I'll be looking into solving that problem a bit more permanently later. I have contacts in the military still and I don't precisely have much more money than what can pay my tuition and my rent, or my mandated psychiatrist when the VA check is late, but Kelsey will help.

Still, the Ripper makes me think. What exactly do my Contacts have planned for me and will they make a waste of me the way the Ripper made of Arthur and Vera. It's a chilling premise and I'll have to police myself and my behavior just that little bit more. Make sure they don't take too much from me.

The Corkboard End State for this Case

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