by Mike Day
A grim start to a possible book, something that keeps calling from the shelf.
|The quiet of the forest was broken by the sound of a pair of work boots that crunched through last years leaves. Up above, the limbs of the trees stretched like pale fingers grasping at the dark canopy.
Tommy Bertram was a big man, his padded jacket added to the impression of mass and menace that he carried wrapped around himself. Over his shoulder he carried a shovel and in one gloved hand, wrapped tightly into a thick sausage, was a plastic sheet.
On the ground, just where he had left her, the girl stared up at him through swollen eye lids. ‘Please!’ She croaked around the edges of the maroon coloured cloth that served as a gag.
He ignored her; she was less than nothing to him. Only his purpose mattered, his grand design. He prodded around with the spade until he found a soft area and began to dig; the thick, dark humus came out in great clumps until he had created a wide trench a foot deep and six feet long.
She struggled spasmodically against her bonds, crying as the rough twine bit deeper into her skin.
‘Not long now.’ He said in a calm, unemotional voice.
The young woman, who lay with her legs pulled up behind her, so that only a few inches of cord separated her feet from her scratched and bleeding hands, began to mew in fear.
He smiled to himself as he unrolled the thick polythene onto the ground next to her. From out of his back pocket he pulled a folding knife, its blade, as he thumbed it open, caught the light along its scalloped, serrated edge.
Tony Crest, a scene of crime technician, sat at his computer and clicked on the mail icon. He had three new messages, one offering discounts on wine, a second from his boss confirming arrangements for his flight to the US and a third. The third was an email from a chat room; it was a private passion of his, ever since he had become knowledgeable in his field he had been irritated by the preposterous plot details in books and films involving murders. This particular group was a collection of Doctors, Cops, Pathologists and Technicians. If a writer posed a question or posted a piece of work they would do their utmost to give technically correct answers. Several famous authors were members; they used pseudonyms but would occasionally admit their real identities in emails of thanks to individuals.