All good things must come to an end….

Sneaking in just before the deadline, my entry to the latest Dazzle competition. Make of it what you will.

When Colours Bleed

Does blood feel captive? As it flows through its prison of flesh, does it conceive of freedom, grow tired of constant motion? The smallest taste of escape, and it flows ferociously; but break the right wall, and its thirst for freedom can be explosive.

Roscoe wondered at the emancipation of his own blood. As it trickled and flowed and sputtered from various wounds, he felt sure that it must feel some regret. He most certainly did. And yet it seemed almost joyful to feel the night air, to cascade beneath the cold flicker of bloodless neon lights. Too much pain to feel anything, just a removed clarity birthing inane observations. Such as the business card clasped between the fingers of his right hand, the leering face on its surface blurring Cheshire-cat like, until the last thing he saw before the blackness seeped through him; a curved, quizzical eyebrow.

*  *  *  *

It may have been the plastic bag the tiny capsule was in, refracting the light in a way just so, but it really did look as if the pill shimmered a palette of greens and reds and blues. Detective Roscoe Scott held the bag up to the fluorescent lights, curious to divine an understanding of its secrets. The silvery surface seemed to promise answers, but only to those who could show faith. EAT ME. But Roscoe had tunnelled through enough rabbit holes to know that faith was perhaps the deadliest drug of all. Besides, even if he did slip the pill between his lips, the lab had emptied it hours ago. Which reminded him. ‘Chemical analysis match it to the bust at Tarrega’s?’ He replaced the bag on the counter and looked expectantly at the lab tech.

‘Exact. Which still leaves us with the same problem.’

‘No trace of any illegal substances…’ Roscoe’s voice trailed off. He didn’t have the energy to relive these conversations. Whispers, smoke and mirrors, dead bodies and then evidence that may as well have been sand. He made his way to interrogation, but knew this was to be yet another exercise in futility. The dead ones couldn’t talk, and the ones that could seemed only capable of preaching.

Roscoe stood before the glass for a moment, his sense’s primed for some clue that may make this one different to the others. The figure on the other side certainly held himself differently; expensively dressed, outwardly unflustered by his current predicament, yet the similarities were there too. One of which Roscoe now walked in to meet; a gaze that made him feel self-conscious, strangely unworthy.

‘Mr Witherfall. I don’t suppose I’m going to get a clear answer on how you came to have a considerable amount of Ishtar’s Necklace in your possession, am I?’

‘Ever woken up one morning, detective, and realised how grey everything is? Even when it isn’t raining, it always seems to be. You’re living the same day over and over again….oh sure, the details change, but none of the important ones….’

‘You do realise it’s only a chemically induced high, don’t you? You think this escape from reality that you ingest is more real than my so-called mundane existence?’

‘Did you know, detective, that the Ancient Greeks believed a rainbow was the pathway between Heaven and Earth? For the Chinese it was the slit in the sky sealed by Nuwa. Have you any idea what it feels like to have the sun shine on you? Not filtered through smog and the other sickness we fill our skies with, but a radiance that warms your very soul.’ The sick sincerity in his voice, the blind conceit were a push Roscoe felt he couldn’t back down from. He knew it was a mistake, but his fingers had gripped Witherfall’s collar quicker than thought. Yet he saw the hesitation in those arrogant eyes, knew he had to follow through.

‘You know I’ve got nothing to hold you on. So just keep selling this shit, because you’re going to sell it to someone it won’t agree with. And that dumb stiff will lead back to you. And when it does, I will send you to a place with no fucking rainbows and no fucking sunshine.’ Roscoe’s voice was an icy threat. ‘Give me a name, a location, or I will be your shadow.’

‘All you had to do was ask.’ Still the condescending tone, almost mocking. ‘Best keep your wits about you, detective. The problem with shadows is, you can never be sure of their allegiance.’

* * * *

Sirens flashed a red spectrum against walls, yellow tape fluttered. Roscoe watched the tip of his cigarette glow orange. Men in blue attempted to keep curious onlookers at bay while forensics combed every inch of the scene, scanners emitting a violet light. He’d played his part in the evening’s success, now to decipher whether the strange feeling in his gut was hope, or the fear that all of this would again lead to nothing. Still, there were enough minor charges to keep the warehouse closed indefinitely. Less supply, less income, and the major players were going to have to start taking law enforcement seriously. And perhaps they had saved a few lives tonight. Roscoe decided to walk the perimeter one last time, mostly for another smoke, but also on the off chance something small might turn up.

He barely felt the blade as it pierced the flesh behind his knees. The shock pinned his voice to the back of his throat, he pitched forward, punctured twice more before he hit the ground. A last cut to sever a major artery, and his assailant seemed satisfied. The figure knelt down to place something in his hand, then hovered close to his ear.

‘Don’t call us, Mr Scott.’ The lips were a curled whisper. ‘The guardians of the rainbow don’t like those who get in the way of the sun.’

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~ by tenmiles on August 31, 2008.

5 Responses to “All good things must come to an end….”

  1. Then again, the strange feeling in his gut could have been the radishes from the salad.
    Let’s hope they don’t call Michael Burrows in to investigate this one.

  2. […] Miles got his entry in at the ninth hour – do take a squiz.  The others are listed here and here and […]

  3. Perhaps cutters just think of themselves as freedom fighters.

    Enough silliness.

    An excellent work, Mr Miles. Even if you do have me worried about my captive corpusles.

  4. Dolce – brilliant!!

  5. […] bother to go and check for the winner yesterday because I knew I was out of the running after TenMile entered and the gushing began so I lost interest. However he did not win either. A late entry took […]

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