Monday, May 23, 2011
The sun was an oppressive sort of friend. It offered up its light, only if a person was willing to sweat for it. It offered up its heat but only if a man was willing to burn a little for it. Most of the people in the city of New Constantinople were smart enough to keep their time in the morning sun short, but some were forced into it by their callings in life. Or at the very least, by the thing that paid that month’s bills. It was well known that the city had grown dangerous. The night was filled with deadly threats but it was the daytime that revealed the gruesome remains of those treacherous nights.
Two uniformed policemen, Gurrero and Jimenez, stood in the city’s central plaza. A large fountain depicting a trio of angels holding up a replica of the earth offered a little relief for the men. A cool mist floated through the air as water poured from the angel’s eyes into the pool below. The earth upon their hands blocked the sun for the cops. At the feet of the cops laid the rotund body of a well known police captain. No immediate signs of foul play, in fact, if it hadn’t been for a letter delivered to the police station before anyone arrived claiming responsibility for the death, there was nothing about the body that suggested murder. But as it stood, the once well respected captain of police would join the nineteen other bodies, each with their own letter, in the morgue.
The body faced the sky. The sun poured into its blank and lifeless stare. The mist from the fountain had fallen on the body for hours it looked. The grey uniform that was standard for high ranking police officers was nearing a shade of black. Water streamed slowly down the well earned wrinkles on the captain’s face. His lips were slightly parted as if they were frozen in an attempt to say something important.
“My God, it’s the captain all right.” Gurrero said, wiping sweat from his brow.
“I guess we better call it in to headquarters. I’m sure they’ll want a detective on this.” Jimenez said.
“Don’t bother. Just call the coroner, those second floor pencil pushers aren’t even bothering with this anymore.”
“What? Why not?”
“Orders straight from the top I heard.”
“The top? You mean Patricio?”
“That’s Father Patricio, but yeah, the word is he has some guy, an American, coming in sometime soon and he’s supposed to get all this squared away with.”
“You don’t say.”
“That’s right, I don’t say, keep your trap shut. Trust me on this one friend. Just do your paperwork, walk your beat and hopefully soon we won’t be having to deal with this shit anymore.”
The policemen nodded in agreement and began the formalities involved with dealing with a murder victim that would never see an investigation.
The night is a dangerous time in New Constantinople, full of hidden threats, sensationalized villains, and paranoia. But it’s the day that reveals the deeds of devils and angels.