"Hey, what's your damned problem?!" demanded Ray, staring at Fraser's back. "The guy was a criminal! Don't tell me the guy had some God-given right to kill the both of us!"
Fraser shook his head, "Ray, you just don't understand . . . "
Two local cops and the coroner had already wrapped up their preliminary investigation, and the detective assigned to the case nodded when told that they were visiting officers, and gave them a strong suggestion that they not leave town any time soon.
Now, Ray and Fraser stood alone in the parking lot.
"Then make me understand! Why don't you ever talk to me? I'm only a few feet away!"
Fraser only shook his head again.
//How can I make him understand? The world is such a simple place to him. I wish I could live in a world like his; cops are good, criminals are bad, and only a lunatic puts ketchup on a Chicago hot dog.//
He looked at his hands. "Let's just say that there's something on the edge of my mind, the way something might be on the tip of your tongue." //What's happened to me? What is it that's making me want to kill? Why do I feel like I've split up into two people? The observer . . . and the actor. What is it that's coming out?//
Something seemed to grab his attention from the side of his eye. He whirled his head around, and saw a smiling man from across the street, at the edge of the parking lot. The man might have even looked familiar, but Fraser wasn't sure; he was shadowed, on the other side of a street clogged with traffic, and moving away.
"HEY!" yelled Fraser, his voice unusually bass.
Ray was startled when Fraser yelled and suddenly sprinted away. "What the hell--?!"
There was no way he could keep up with Fraser, who not only reached the edge of the parking lot long before Ray did, but also didn't hesitate to run through the traffic. Fraser reached the other side in a heartbeat and vanished into the night, without making a single driver slow down, swerve or honk.
The cars seemed to know when Ray would arrive and made life hard for him almost immediately.
Ray did the smart thing and ran back to the car, where he made a quick call with the cellular phone. "Peter? It's Ray. We have a bit of a problem. Here's the situation . . . "
Dief, still locked in the car, was whimpering piteously, but Ray was too preoccupied to even notice it.
Peter didn't like the sound of that. "What did it? Was it someone you recognized?"
"He saw someone, but it all went too fast for me. I'll try to find him, and you'd think you could spot a Mountie here . . . but I don't see him . . . "
"Look for him and keep me posted. I'll order an APB on him -- you don't see too many walking walls of red around here."
"Will do. You might want to have a psychiatrist on reserve -- he's been acting strange all night, ever since he saw the corpse. We also got jumped by a biker outside the morgue, and by the way the guy was talking, he was sent to find us."
"That's just great! Did he have any distinguishing markings?"
"Come to think of it, why don't I check . . . " he rudely pushed an examiner out of the way of the corpse. "You know what? This guy's got some markings . . . " By the time Ray had described the man to Peter's satisfaction, the man had been silent for an uncomfortable length of time. "Detective? I know you're still there."
"Sorry. You've just described one of the Sing Wa. If Fraser held his own against the man for that long, I'll have to remember not to pick a fight with him."
* * *
Fraser ran down the dark street with his blinders on. All he cared about was finding the man who had seemed to vanish. He didn't even consider the fact that Ray was long behind him. Ray, in fact, wasn't even in his mind at all.
He reached an unlit alley entrance and stopped, looking down all the avenues of escape for his quarry. Not seeing him, he went down the alley. Fraser's breathing came in short, almost angry gasps, as he ran down the alley with narrowed eyes.
* * *
He stood at the last murder scene, hidden so that the approaching figures, his son and Sherlock Holmes, could not see him. Perhaps they were here to look into the past from the present.
Caine was here to read the present in the past.
From the shadows, he saw the place where the body had been found. Though the rain had long since washed even the coroner's chalk away, as well as the blood, it had not quite erased the . . . fear and pain that had existed here. The horror of death. The horror of dying. Of killing.
Yes. Those feelings hung here like a stench that would not go away.
Unresolved feelings that needed some sense of closure.
Caine whispered to the empty yard, "Show me."
"What is it that you wish to see?" asked a flippant voice behind him.
Caine spun around and was confronted with a well-dressed rogue. His clothing would have fit in 18th Century France or England. He appeared a flashy, flamboyant, and thoroughly wicked man. His body was thin and wiry, and his face thin and angular. A long moustache and styled goatee hung from his face, giving his eyes an almost sinister cast. From his belt hung a sword -- not the fencing foil one sees in a Three Musketeer movie, but rather a practical flat-blade with a look of age to it. It was also on the short side, rather than the long side, obviously worn for quick-drawing.
He certainly looked like he had the speed for it.
There was a certain aura about him that Caine immediately sensed. "Who are you?"
The rogue bowed, tipping his hat and pausing dramatically, staring off into the distance for a moment, "I have as many names as there are grains of sand or stars in the sky . . . but perhaps the name of Asmodeus would be meaningful to you."
It was meaningful to Caine. "Asmodeus . . . guardian of Solomon's Temple. Many would call you a demon. The Jews name you King of Demons."
"But you know better . . . ?"
"Perhaps, but that is not important as the message you carry."
Asmodeus smiled with a seeming non-sequitur. "What did Solomon possess that was worth guarding?"
"The treasures. The wisdom that was given to him by God."
" . . . And . . . ?"
Caine looked baffled. "I do not know."
Asmodeus was far from annoyed. If anything, he liked this role of teacher. "Not just wisdom, but proof of God. Wouldn't you say that seeing something given unto Moshe would be pretty definite proof that at least the God of the Hebrews was truly on this earth?"
"Why would this proof be needed? If one believes in the Hebrew or Christian God, then the Scriptures are enough proof."
"But only if you believe in the written word that was the recording of uncertain oral traditions!"
"There is a point to this?"
"Only you can answer that."
Asmodeus waited in patient silence while Caine pondered. Finally, he spoke. "What role do you have to play with these murders? Why are you here, now?"
The Angel smiled. "Let's just say that I'm here because I like you." He amended himself as he felt Caine's annoyed glare. "All right. I'm here now because you found me. You, at least, have some awareness. See those two detectives over there? I'll be the first to admit that they're better than average, but they wouldn't be able to see me if I was doing jumping jacks and singing badly." He amended himself, "I'm not as sure about the Englishman. I almost think his eyes are following me. It's creepy."
* * * *
|Previous Chapter||Sideways Main Page||Next Chapter|
|Main Page||My Fanfiction||Henry's Fanfiction||My Favorite Links||Webrings I'm On|