The Nosferatu Adventures
page 324, chapter 324
Out of Time
5 years ago...
Arthur trudged up the stairs, tired, sore, and feeling like he couldn't make it another day. Only he knew he would. He knew he'd get up in the morning, get ready for work, and sit at his desk pouring over the case files. Pouting. He knew he'd be pouting just as he knew he'd get a headache from eye strain from the paper work he had to do. Just as he knew he'd have a kink in his shoulders and upper back for two days straight from sitting at his desk, going over all the paper work. No time to grieve. In fact, better the soreness from the mountains of files in his office than thinking about how his ex fiancee was now married to someone else. Detective Holmwood had no one but himself to blame on that factor. He'd known when he'd taken that last case that he'd chosen his career over his relationship. Only, he'd thought he'd have more time. More time to try to fix it when it when south. Only, this time, she didn't let him. This time, was the one that broke the camel's back. And it wasn't like he hadn't seen the signs there in front of his nose. They were quite clear. She's stopped waiting up for him, stopped planning weekends together, stopped texting and calling just to see how his day was going. Then when she stopped talking about the wedding plans all together, he'd known she'd moved on already in her mind. It really shouldn't have been that much of a shock, of a leap to the conclusion that she'd been having an affair the last five months they had been together. And now, she was off living her life with someone who wasn't him. Slugging out of his jacket, the sandy-blonde blue eyed detective let out a sigh of defeat as he made his way to the kitchen.
This case was going to be the death of him, he was sure of it. The brutality of it left Arthur felling drained just from looking at the crime scene photos. He opened a beer taking a long gulp, not tasting it as it slid down his throat. Mindlessly he wiped the corners of his mouth, another sigh of exhaustion escaping his pale lips. Rubbing his thumbs over his eyes, he sniffed. Maybe he should have just moved back to London?
"I shacking hate that wallpaper." he mumbled to himself as he stared at the red panels in the kitchen. His ex had picked it out. She had gone on about how it reminded her of boldness and triumph. To the detective, it just reminded him of bad xmas wrapping paper. Leaning over the stove, he started to pick at a small seam in the wallpaper. He spent the next three hours removing it piece by piece, till all that was left was snatches of exposed wall. His fingertips sticky from the glue, and covered in tiny paper cuts. The phone rang, causing him to hang his chin to his chest, his hands on his hips. He knew without even having to answer it that it was the police station. No one else would dare call him at 1:30 am. Sniffing back a laugh, he entertained the idea of just not answering it. Of just letting it ring and ring and ring till they hung up. But he knew they'd only give him five minutes before calling again. "Yeah." he all but yelled into the receiver. Grabbing a pen, he jotted down an address on one of the larger pieces of ruined wallpaper. "I'll be there in fifteen." he hung up the phone, having to remove the receiver again untangling himself from the cord, before slamming it back down once more. He should never have come home. Arthur thought to himself as he headed back out of the apartment and down the hallway. He should have gone to the bar and gotten so hammered that he'd of been no use if anyone at the station had found him. But he hadn't. He'd gone back to his apartment after shift like always, made a box of cheese noodles and had eaten it while standing at the stove, destroying his walls.
The detective arrived at the crime scene, replacing his tie with one hand, while using his teeth to secure the rubber gloves on his free one.
"What we got?" he asked trying to suppress a yawn.
"Animal attack." the officer on duty said gesturing towards the area. Detective Holmwood side stepped the yellowy-orange tape marking off the edge of the alley. "Don't see why they called homicide in on this? We've already put a call out to the animal control." Arthur grunted as he hitched up his pants squatting down to get a closer look at the victim. There were two large claw like gouges running through the face and neck. The right eye missing, and the shoulder like hamburger.
"They called me in because no animals are missing from the zoo." he replied matter of factly as he carefully moved the victim's head to examine for any other marks. What he didn't say was that he'd already seen another victim mauled like this across town. That was nearly a month before, there was no way it could be a wild animal when it was spaced so far apart. Any animal that might have escaped from the zoo, or from a private owner would have moved on by now. This was more likely someone staging their victim afterwards to look like an animal attack, to throw them off the trail. He had to suppress yet another yawn. Getting back to a standing position, he asked who had called it in? The other officer pointed to a guy standing at the opposite end of the alley near the back doors of a club. Detective Holmwood walked over to where the witness was, wishing he hadn't had the second beer. "I understand you found the victim?"
"Yes. When I left the club." he gestured with his thumb over his shoulder. The guy was a little bit shorter than the detective, with brown eyes and dark hair. He was dressed like he belonged in an 80's hair band video; in tight jeans, a black silk shirt and leather jacket that was weighed down with studs and chains. There was a guitar case at his feet. "Just after 12:30 right after the band was done."
"And you didn't see anyone else?"
"No. No one." the witness remarked shaking his head. After another ten minutes of questions, Detective Holmwood let him go on his way; before he himself entered the club to question the few remaining customers and the bartender. If the detective had just waited a few more seconds, he would have not believed his own eyes and blamed it on the beers he'd had with dinner, or just the pure exhaustion he was feeling. But he'd gone safely into the overheated bar; missing the spectacle as the witness seemed to absorb the guitar case into himself, his hair becoming shorter spiked, his clothes morphing from the spikes and chains on the jacket to a smooth leather, the silk shirt dissolving into a grey t-shirt, the jeans becoming just a little better fitted as his thighs became more muscular. Would have seen the magick mist swarming around like a grey cloud of steam, just as it too absorbed back into the guy's very flesh, his jawline becoming a little squared. All before Loki shimmered into thin air.
But Detective Arthur Holmwood saw none of that. He was left completely unaware that his world had just been ripped apart, like the body of his victim had.
Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your heroine...me(straight up story. Everything and everyone is connected. Nothing is out of tune)