I got sloppy. Partially bored. My last meal, as cheap and tattered as it was, remained fresh and exquisite. He was a strong and brutish sort of a man so I had to take extra precautions to subdue him. His type always seems to succumb swiftly to the offering of alcohol. I had met him once or twice before. His brother once needed work from my establishment a few years back though he is no longer with us now. Alas, it was not I who killed him.
I dare say I miss his brother. He was quite the opposite of Kyle Revel (the man whom I had recently devoured). Kyle was a big, harsh, hunk of a man who cared little for those around him. His brother however, was small, kind and charming. Slightly handsome too. His lips seemed tender and if he were but slightly older than the ripe age of 21, I might have taken him under my wing.
Kyle came to me one night asking me to give his brother a job. Now, Kyle only wanted a job for the money to go whoring on a Saturday night but his brother was passionate about feeding his family. I gave his brother a job and he died a short while after coming down with pneumonia. It was a sad time for his family and it was at that moment Kyle became a thorn in my side.
Kyle was convinced it was my fault. Said it was my line of work that gave him the disease.
Did I compensate his family for his death? Of course not. I might of liked the kid but his family were of no concern to me. This, obviously, angered his brother to greater amounts.
For years he would harass my workers, shout threats at me from the street. He drank himself into a haze and soon became a constant problem for the police too.
That’s why I thought I was also doing them a favour. It was midnight and Kyle was commencing his daily run of throwing stones at my window. I say stones, more like pebbles. I simply left my office and approached him with some whiskey. It didn’t take long until the bottle was mostly consumed. I then offered to walk him home. As we were walking down his street I impaled a knife into his top aorta and then into his right lung. I wanted to send a message to his family but I also wanted to satisfy my hunger. I made the decision to take what I wanted, both his legs, an arm and his head, then drag his body to an ally way.
It was there I left his body to rot but I knew it wouldn’t be long until it was discovered.
It clings to my mind like a Venus fly trap clutches its prey; the feeling of eating man flesh. The taste never really fades and one soon can distinguish social classes from the texture of their skin and the amount of rich salts in their blood. My heart yearns for another and I may admit I am addicted.
Nonetheless…I like to choose my next meal carefully.
It was only one crime scene and I spent hours pouring over my notes and fiddling with my pen. Despite my superior intellect and eagerness to learn more, I constantly doubted myself. I felt as though there was always a small and irritating voice in the back of my mind pledging me to look over what I had already inspected. There were 3 locations the man could have worked at and that was the only clue I had to go on.
It then struck me. It was peculiar where the man had died. There were no pubs nearby. He was clearly drunk but even a drunk man would have had some clear intension on where he was headed. Like a fox following a faint scent to its mother.
I called in an officer who was stood outside my office chatting away.
“If it doesn’t displease you so, mind doing a task for me?” I asked as I leaned forward on my desk to assert dominance and eye him down closely. He did nought but shook his head and attempt at standing up straight as if in a military establishment.
He was young, clean shaven, uniform well kept but his shoes not very well bulled. His left arm was trembling very gently; obviously nervous. I do believe he was new on the force. Though what I needed him to do was of the upmost importance. I needed him to be calm so I took precautions to ensure that this was so. I stood up from my desk and offered a gentle smile and asked him politely to close the door.
“What is your name, son?” I asked as I now sat on the edge of my desk in front of him.
“Officer Blake, sir” he replied.
“Well officer Blake, I need you to do a job for me.”
Off he ran and at a quick pace too. I had tasked him with a simple yet fatiguing job that would take him a few hours or so. I deduced that he must have been on his way home, the victim. He was alone at the time of his death and was quite some distance away from the nearest pub or brothel. It would have been late so, despite his lack of senses and ability to walk, the man would have been on his journey home. Home to which he never arrived. Officer Blake was now making his way back to Abbotts Way, to inquire at every household if a male figure of their family had not returned.
Meanwhile, I was heading downstairs. Under the station was the autopsy.
Post-mortem examinations always itched at my skin and made me shiver like a child who suspects a monster under their bed.
I made my descent down the staircase and entered through the two green metallic doors that had slight rust at the hinges, and circular windows on either side.
There was a tall and lean man who had a bushy moustache under his triangular-shaped nose. He had a dozen wrinkles decorating his forehead and drowsy brown eyes accompanied by darkened bags under them due to, what I suspected, as little sleep. He wore a white lab coat with blood stains surrounding the sleeves and underneath I could see a woollen brown Westcott. He wore classes but what was rather quite amusing was that they bore only one lens.
I shook his hand and he introduced me in the most entertaining way I could imagine.
“One lens, I know. ‘Why not purchase a monocle Dr Ibravitch?’ Well detective they are rather expensive are they not? ‘Maybe overseas but definitely not from England.’ Ah but detective, I am only limited at sight with one eye and, why a monocle was designed for this exact purpose, my hands are often busy doing digging. By digging of course, I mean examining!”
I hesitated to speak back at first. My mouth twitched but my mind was too fixated on his accent. His accent and the way he had just had a conversation…with himself.
“You must be the new pathologist. A pleasure to meet you Dr Ibravitch. Am I correct in assuming you are Russian?” He chuckled to himself as he removed his glasses and placed them on the table beside him.
“I am indeed and correct you are!”
“Splendid! Well you’ve had all day, what can you tell me about the torso and arm?”
He offered an expression of confusion.
“I may be new. But I could have just started now. Right this second?”
It was my turn to chuckle.
“Don’t play with me doctor. There are blood stains on the bottom of your sleeves already. Either you’ve been doing your job or another case is right in front of me. Now that you have taken off your glasses, I can see slight indents to your skin on the sides of your temples. You’ve had them on for a while. You could say you’ve had them on all day and I’d be inclined to believe you. That’s if you didn’t say but a moment ago ‘I am only limited at sight with one eye’ and ‘my hands are often busy doing the digging’ meaning you only wear your glasses when you are working. You’ve therefor been working for a long period of time and, pardon my saying, you look incredibly tired from the bags under your eyes. You have been here all day. So, Dr Ibravitch I ask you again, what can you tell me about the torso and the arm?”
He rocked back and forth from his heels to his toes and clapped swiftly as if antagonising a circus animal.
“My, they told me you were good. Though not this good! You are quite the character, detective?”
“Morgan. Detective William Percy Morgan” I said as I bowed my head.
Dr Ibravitch then hurried me over to the table which the torso and arm lay upon. Thankfully the stench had exited the area and I was able to get closer without having to squint and hold my breath. As I continued to look at what was left of the man, the doctor began to speak.
“Well unfortunately as I am sure you have already detected, there is only one arm. I cannot therefor identify if he was left or right-handed. His left arm seems to be fairly proportionate to what is left however. The skin on his hand is torn gently, manual work of course. The skin is a lighter shade around the tares and a faded red beneath that. These marks were definitely from a rope. We now look at the torso. Inside the jacket there is a faint stab wound leading directly into his lung. Another between his shoulders in his aorta. Whoever killed this man knew what he was doing and is more than adequate with a knife.”
I thanked the doctor and headed straight back to my office.
Looking at my notes on my desk, I began to be more drawn to the fishery on Priory Rd. Ropes were widely used at fisheries on and off the boats. Nets too. I waited for Blake to return and when he did, he told me exactly what I wanted to hear.
“Sir, there is a family on Abbotts way. A mother and younger brother. The mother had 2 other sons. A 21-year-old man who died of pneumonia a short while back. Arnold his name was, sir. The other son, a Mr Kyle Revel, never returned home after working late one night. The fellow worked at a fishery sir.” He seemed pleased with his level of intuition and truth be told, so was I.
“Was it the fishery on Priory Rd?” I asked and of course, it was. Though I shan’t rule out the other two locations just yet, the case was looking very promising.
I had a name, a cause of death, where the victim lived and where he worked. The pieces were all coming together.