Be afraid: be very afraid.
The Greys, Part IV
"Jeez Doc, do you have to?" The antiseptic smell in the morgue fought to overpower the garlic in the pathologists meal, DCI Davies fought down another retch as he waited for him to finish chewing.
"Lunch and dinner," another large mouthful, more garlic fumes, "Busy day!" He waved a fork towards the four cadavers surrounding his picnic spot, "The floater and your three friends won't mind, trust me."
Davies casually uncovered the first corpse, middle aged woman, victim of accidental drowning, pretty face, shame really. The other three, in varying stages of autopsy, he didn't need to inspect. Their death masks burnt into his memory at three different crime scenes. Three in a week, the whack job that was doing this elusive, no clues, no witnesses, no forensics. Until now. He had been summonsed to the morgue as they'd found something interesting.
For the last ten minutes the only interesting thing he'd discovered was the pathologists apparent addiction to garlic. Finally, the plate scraped clean, and the computer keyboard replaced the cutlery.
"Three victims. No connections. Similar if not identical injuries. No weapons. No cross contamination. With me?"
"Tell me something I don't know?"
"Rabbits are the link! All three have been forensically examined for the killers' DNA. All three nada."
"Deep tissue lacerations. All three sets of wounds show trace particles of Oryctolagus cuniculus, blood, fur and bone."
"So someone butchered these people with a rabbit? How does that work then?"
"Not with a rabbit! But for that amount of forensic material to be transferred into the wounds this nut job has an awful lot of contact with bunnies! Also small traces of cat and dog, but mainly rabbit".
"So we're looking for what, a vet? A magician? Bugs Bunny?"
"Tha..tha..that's not all folks!" Big toothy grin. "These lacerations?"
Davies peered at the screen, not quite sure what the diagrams depicted but nodded sagely anyway. This conversation was getting weirder by the minute.
"If I didn't know these victims were city folk, I'd say they'd been shredded by a large animal, something with claws," his hand lifted , fingers curled, "Lions or tigers or bears, oh my!" Again the toothy grin.
"Bloody great, I'll call the press and tell them there's a were-rabbit roaming Liverpool, thanks, doc!"
Davies gathered up the reports and left the lab shaking his head. The morning briefing was certainly going to be a weird one!
Davies had no idea just how weird his day was about to become.
Joseph left the cottage and the woods, aware the crows seemed to be watching his departure with absolute quiet. Silence remained until he'd stepped back onto the cart track and neared his village, sounds suddenly reentering his world with a shock that made him feel slightly silly.
The old woman had certainly spooked him, no wonder people spread rumours, she was certainly an odd one.
The small cut in his palm itched annoyingly, blood already caked in his palm. Again he felt a little silly knowing he'd gone along with her madness, dripping blood onto a ha'penny , drowning the King (another George by chance or design?) in red, and burying it with the bone deep in the woods down by the Gill, wishing his wishes like a child at a well, stating earnestly he agreed to part with that which he loved most, paying his price for the future.
A twinge of panic as he recalled the future, his future would burn bright but only til his fortieth birthday. Still, if the old woman was true, he had twenty-four years of delights ahead of him. Twenty four years he was determined to wring dry.
He whistled as he entered the kitchen, the sound dead on his lips as he saw the looks on his mother and father's faces.
He looked around frantically, noticed the stew now burnt and cold in the hearth, saddened and sickened, already knowing that his brother was gone.
To be continued. . .