Book: The First - Part: One - Chapter: 1 - Installment: ii

Detective Scott Edmond parked in the False Creek Boat Club parking lot where the uniformed officer had directed him.  He collected a flashlight and a pair of latex gloves from his trunk and followed the path Eastwards under the bridge.
Another uniformed VPD officer stood roughly halfway under the bridge.
“Good evening, Detective.” He said as Edmond approached.  He was tall and dark skinned.  Indian or Eastern Mediterranean, Edmond judged in the light of his flashlight.  He looked at the officer’s name tag – ‘Singh.’
Indian, Edmond confirmed to himself.
“Where are we, Singh?”
“Just up this rise.”  Officer Singh pointed towards the South end of the bridge.
“And the girl?”
“Taken to St. Paul’s for medical.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
“It’s a mess, Sir.”  The tall officer led Edmond up the bank.
“What’s her story?”
“She says he was chasing her and he fell.  She said she picked up a rock and in her rage, threw it at his head.  Killed him.”
“That’s easy enough.”
“Wait ‘til you see it.”
Three generator powered lights were set up in a wide triangle, illuminating a wide swath around the body.  Two more uniformed officers stood within the lights, still fifty meters away.  The telltale sight of a covered body marked the center of the pooled light.
“Honestly, I think she stumbled upon a collapsed homeless man.  Maybe, if she’s lucky, he was already dead.  God knows what possessed her but she decided to see what would happen if she put a rock to his skull.”
“That’s pretty perverse Sergeant.  What makes you say so?” asked Edmond.
“He was in no condition to chase a healthy woman in good shape.  She says she was out jogging when it happened.”
“Then why’d she call it in?”
“That I can’t explain.”
“Well tell you what.  Let’s say you leave the deductive reasoning to Homicide.”
“Yes sir.”
As they approached the victim, Edmond couldn’t help but notice the shallow profile of the covering. 
A small man, then.  A half-starved heroine junkie perhaps? 
He knew that sight all too well.
There might be some credence to the Singh’s theory.
“Okay gentlemen, let’s see what we have.”  He ordered the two other officers.
“Yes, Detective.” answered the police officer closest to the body as he reached down to the opaque plastic sheet. “I’m warning you, it’s pretty grim.”
“Just do it.  I’ve seen pretty much the worst one can by now.”
“I don’t know about that.”  Said the officer as he yanked the sheet up and away.  “Holy shit.”
Ho-ly shit.
The body beneath was a dripping, bubbled mass of blood.  Oozing foamy pus, the flesh slouched around the skeleton, practically falling away from the bone in places.  The head was only identifiable by reference to its position on the body.  A blood stained rock sat half a foot past where what must have been the face had been caved in. 
Hot on the heels of the first glance was the smell.  The pungent odor of concentrated sulphur wafted up from the sopping corpse.  Stinging the noses of all four police officers, triggering a reflex from all as they turned their faces away to fresher air behind them.  The wind swept the worst of the smell – built up under the sheet for twenty minutes – away after a moment.
Edmond could tell there was no chance the deceased had been alive any time recently.  In fact it struck him as utterly foolish of Sergeant Singh to have suggested that perhaps the poor S.O.B. had simply collapsed.  This was clearly an advanced stage of death, although not in any way a typical state of decomposition.
Some form of acid possibly?  That might help explain the smell.
Jesus Christ, sir.”
“What?”  Asked Edmond.
“It wasn’t like this when we arrived.”  Said the first officer as he let the sheet sink to the gravel.
“No.” confirmed Singh.
“Not even close.  I mean it – He - was… whole.”
“Don’t fuck with me, Constable.”
“Don’t fuck with me.  I’ve been sober three years straight.  Even so, I’m not an idiot.”
Singh stepped in “I saw it to.  He’s not yanking your chain.”
“I swear to God, Detective.” Offered the young Constable sincerely.
“Okay.”  Edmond acquiesced, “Cover it back up.  Where’s forensics?”
The two uniforms stretched the plastic sheet back across what was left of the body.  Their eyes watering from the rising fumes.
“They should be here any moment.”
“Was there any ID?”
Singh presented a clear plastic bag from his pocket. “Just this.”
Edmond shone his flashlight on the bag.  An aluminum bracelet sat inside.  It too was covered in gelatinous bloody goo.  Edmond took the bag and rolled it over in his fingers.  Through the blood he could see the stamped pharmaceutical insignia of a medic-alert bracelet.  Flipping it over, he could see the engraved ID numbers.  The blood and the poor light made it impossible to make out the digits, not that it would have meant anything without checking the Health Services data-base.
“Okay, I’ll run this.  You guys wait and assist forensics.  What’d you say the girl’s name is?”


Detective Lieutenant Edmond approached the information desk in the East corridor of St. Paul’s hospital.
Moira Chan?  She would have arrived in the past forty five minutes, with police escort.”
“Cubical seven.” answered the nurse at reception. “She’s fine.  She can go.”
“Thank you.  I’ll let her know.”
The officer attending the woman was familiar to Edmond.
“Hey, Scott.”
Clare.  How is she?”
“Par for the course.  Shook up.  She’ll be okay.”
Clarence pulled back the curtain for Lieutenant Edmond.  She was sitting up-right in bed, staring at her hands.
She spoke before Edmond could introduce himself.  “I’ll be the arbitrator of whether or not I’ll be okay or not thank you.”
“Sorry, Ma’am.  No disrespect intended.”
“Take a break, Clare.  We’ll be fine.”
Clarence didn’t need further prompting.  He was late for a meal and headed for the cafeteria in pursuit of chow.
“You’ve had an exciting evening.” Offered Edmond.
“And everyone seems bent upon patronizing me.”
“Sorry, Miss Chan.
“So what do you want?”
“Well, I’m getting a lot of conflicting information.  I thought I’d come and see what you have to say.”
She stared him coldly in the eye, matching his with her dark Asian, nearly all black eyes.
“I killed a man tonight.  He had it coming, but I’m ready to face what’s in store for me.”
“I don’t think you did.  I can let you go; relax your observation.  Just tell me the truth.”
“I’ve already told the truth.”
“Miss Chan, there’s a dead body sitting under Burrard Street bridge for – I don’t know how many hours – probably doused in some sort of acid by the state of its disintegration, and I’m telling you, who ever it was has been dead for longer than it’s been there.”
“Well then, you’re looking at the wrong body.”
“You know that if you were telling the truth, a defense lawyer would be very disappointed in your candor.”
“Why should you care?” she snapped.
“Because it just doesn’t add up and it’s my job to work that kind of algebra.”
“Move on to calculus if you have to, ‘cause I’m telling you he chased me up from the path, he tripped and I put a rock through his skull.  It was self-defense.”
“Motive is irrelevant – “
Edmond was interrupted by the bleating of his cellular phone.  “Yeah?”  He asked, in answer.
“Lieutenant, this is Sergeant Singh.”
“Carry on, Singh.”
“The forensic team has traced two fresh sets of foot-prints up from the walk-way.”
“One is most likely a woman from the gait – we assume they’re the Chan woman’s, but we’ll confirm.  The other, match the shoes and stride of our deceased.  They were both running, and followed the exact same course.”
“For certain?”
“Ninety-nine percent on the match, the rest holds up too.”
“Thank you, Sergeant.”  Edmond flipped shut his phone.
“Looks like your story plays out.”
“So, I’m a murderess.”
“You really are a cake and eat it too sort, aren’t you?  It’s clear you were being pursued.  You’ll be released under your own surveillance, I’m sure.”
“Seriously?” she asked.
“I’m not a judge.  But I know how these things work.”
“Thank-you.” She whispered.
As he left the cubical he heard her gasp as she caught her breath on the front end of tears.

Chapter 2

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Necropolis by Kennedy Goodkey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at necropolisnovels.blogspot.com.