The shot down

25 05 1990

24 hours later he was walking alone down a dark alleyway, the shadows at his back as the sun set in front of him. His shape slunk past dustcarts and homeless people sheltering inside them.

Ignoring the pains of hunger he felt in his belly he reached inside his coat pocket for a chewing gum.

Thoughtfully chewing in it, his jaw lifting up and down occupied his brain which allowed him brainstorm ideas.

“What if she was alone” he wondered, “then she wouldn’t have been able to cross to the window…and if she couldn’t cross to the window, what was she doing lying there?”.

The sound of screeching tyres distracted him for a moment and his eyes watched a black saloon speed past the alley entrance, followed swiftly by a police car, it’s siren preceeding it.

It was tiring, the work he did. Never getting much sleep, always thinking about the job. Who did this, what did that. It frustrated him and fulfilled him at the same time. His friends knew it didn’t suit him but he never complained about it.


24 hours ago he had been at the murder scene. A disabled girl in a 4th floor flat lying sprawled, fully clothed, underneath her open window. Looked like she had broken her neck on the radiator underneath the opening.

Her head was halfway up the radiator still, clinging on to what little life she had left in her as she died, her chin still wedged between the pipes, the green paint speckled her teeth, broken in the fall.

He left the flashes of the forensic assistant’s camera behind and walked out of the appartment. Seen enough..his subordinates would handle the details.

The apppartments kitchen was just by front door and it was out of here a uniformed officer had appeared stopping the lieutenant before he had chance to leave.

“Sir, i think you ought to see this”

“Guys”. Two officers crowding the corner of the cramped kitchen seperated which let him see what they were staring at.

They had put something down on the work surface with a clunk, before moving aside and one of them now picked it back up. It was a round, squat, silver kettle. Cordless with a base. The kettle was put aside and the base was lifted for him. Something was taped underneath. It was mangled and bloody but he went closer and could make it out. A human hand.

He moved closer not quite believing what he was seeing. It was female, slender with long nails, severed at the wrist, splattered in blood. Taped with a cross of white tape, it was fastened to the underside of the kettle’s base unit. Not seen in the first sweep, the kettle was flush to the work surface when replaced.

A hole was cut into the sideboard, rectangular in shape, which allowed the hand to sit inside, the kettle flat on top.

Archie – draft

25 05 1990

When Archie jumped off the roof, he took his entire life with him. His friends and family’s distress too followed him.

They wondered what made him do it? Secretly some knew but would never tell. Too precious a truth to let go.

The truth was sordid, dirty and shameful. But it defined him, made him who he was. Those who saw his last moments, the look on his face would’ve had pity in their eyes, no matter what their opinions of him.

So what was it? The truth was kept locked up, hidden and secret.

His sister, knew, but by the time they found out, people had forgotten why they cared. Their hearts were on some other poor victim of societies grudges.

So it was a secret still because no one wanted to know.

“Play that guitar Archie, sing your little heart out. Play for all the people like you , feel what you feel, as outcast as you. Hold the emotions in your heart and let it out through your voice”. The last words his manager said to him, that day. Over a bacon sandwich he felt archies pain. Read it in his lyrics, saw it in his eyes. Never thought he would do what he did though.

“Archie was always a broken man” he told the officers who came to see him. “Issues on top of issues” his pop-psychology major had told him.

The policeman nodded like he’d heard this before, like he knew the poor boy. Whilst they looked around the office Archie followed them with his eyes, like pictures do. His stood on the filiing cabinet in the corner of the room. The office opened drawers like they belonged to him and found nothing. Archie had hidden it all.

Some hours later they found the next legacy of Archies death. His manager, dying at the hilt of someone’s knife.