Welcome to another Fiction Friday. This time it's the first chapter of my new on-going project - Soul Judge. The basic premise? Combine as many genres of fiction as I can into one gloriously Detective Noir masterpiece. Will it work? I guess you'll have to read on to find out!
If you were expecting to see Bungo again today, I've been side-tracked by the monstrous heat here in the UK. Rest assured his adventures will resume soon!
Soul Judge 1 – Genesis
Los Angeles 2007, a series of mysterious and seemingly unnatural crimes sweep across the deluded and oblivious city. In the night a singly cry for help calls out to the Soul Judge, an enigmatic maverick entity of unknown origin.
It was the beginning of another long day and all I wanted to do was sit back, relax and enjoy another delightful chocolate milkshake. I knew the dame was trouble the minute she answered the door.
“What the F&*# are you doing drinking a milkshake in the middle of the corridor” the surly landlady drawled through a slack jowly face that spoke volumes about a life of unfulfilled dreams.
“Detective Brannigan McSteel” I flashed the fake ID badge I’d made from an old driving licence and some double sided sticky tape, luckily judging from the woman’s expression she wouldn’t be able to tell a fake if the poorly applied laminate peeled off and stuck to her gormless face. After holding up the ID for a split second I put it back in the pocket of my trench coat and took another sip of milkshake.
“I’m here to investigate the homicide last night in apartment 204” I paused to let the words sink in, luckily I’ve seen enough detective dramas on TV to know how the line should be delivered, or at least how people will expect it to be delivered.
“What murders? there ain’t been no murders in apartment 204, or any other apartment here s’far as I know” the woman veritably barked. I tried to keep my cool, it was happening again.
The fickle powers of a Soul Judge didn’t make many allowances for the ineptitude of law enforcement. This is what I get for letting the kid take care of the surveillance. In the vision last night the soul that called to me from the either showed me the scene of the murder and where to go, I had wrongly assumed that the police would have been alerted to such a grizzly crime.
“I said possible homicide mam; you mean you didn’t hear anything last night?” I lied, using the most authoritative tone I could muster so as to pre-emptively quash any argument she might have. Before she could even answer I spoke again.
“I’m going to need to see the interior of that apartment. We’ve had some fairly disturbing reports from the neighbouring domiciles”
The surly woman let out a sigh of resignation and turned to fumble about in a key box behind the door. As she searched for the spare I took another sip of milkshake and surveyed my surroundings. The apartment building was a dive in every sense of the word, peeling wallpaper hung in strips from the ceiling; curled and brown with a mixture of a decade of cigarette smoke and sweat. It was the kind of place that made you want to get down on your knees and thank god you never had to come back. That said, no sane man would want to be on his knees in this place either, judging by the state of the linoleum floor.
Before long she had the key in hand and had begun to make her way down the corridor. I followed behind her trying to keep my eyes off of the hideously misshapen swell of her enlarged buttocks. As we passed a hole in the wall that looked like it had been made by a fist 20 years ago, I silently stashed my milkshake in it on the exposed interior beam of the wall. No sense ruining a perfectly good drink by exposing it to the stink of the crime scene.
“This is the third time this week we’ve ‘ad reports about one apartment or another around ‘ere, but it ain’t never been nuffin’ ” the woman moaned as we climbed the stairway that led to the second floor. Despite her protestation I could tell that the prospect of a gory crime scene actually excited her. One of the gifts of the Soul Judge was the ability to look straight into a person and see their inner hidden soul. As we neared the apartment door, I could tell her excitement by the way her soul had become increasingly enflamed. In fact her level of interest seemed to be almost too high. I dismissed the thought with the rationale that it was probably the only interesting thing that had happened in her gin-soaked reality TV life for a long time.
Invariably, we reached the apartment door. I took the keys from her and silently motioned that she should wait at the top of the stairs, before slipping the key into the corroded lock and slowly turning it. As I turned the key, the door opened with a squeal. It wasn’t even locked, another rooky mistake. Almost inadvertently I stole a look back at the woman to see if she had noticed the blunder, but luckily she was feigning disinterest in the whole affair.
As the door swung open I was greeted with the acidic tang of fresh blood.
I hate it when I’m right.