Photo prompt kills!

The rain was falling in rivulets down the windows by the time the car pulled up outside the police station.
Redundantly Jacobs intoned "We have arrived madam".

The family's faithful retainer opened and held the car door for me. The rain was pouring off the peak of his black chauffeur's hat. The drab pavements were flooding like a levee had broken.

I gathered my mackintosh around me and pulled its hood down while Jacobs unfurled a large black umbrella and raised it over our bowed heads. I heard the doors locking as we made an unsteady journey to the opened door of the precinct building.

"Miss Lois, please come in," said Inspector Henderson. His grizzled hair was wholly in keeping with the tone of the afternoon.

I felt myself shake my arms and coat Like an Alsatian freshly in from the lake.

"Very bad weather we're having in Metropolis today, Miss Lois."

"Please, just Lois." I said.

"Yes, Miss Lois" he said in his soft Irish brogue "Here, let me take your coat."

I unwrapped myself from the soaking raincoat, and drew some fingers through my hair, by way of making myself feel more presentable. But he didn't care. We were only here for one reason.

"This is Mr Harper" he inclined a nod towards a short dumpy little man with a few remaining strands of hair glistening on his head. The little man had sharp blue eyes similar to those of a mynah bird we once had caged in the kitchen at home. Gordon continued, "He's my most trusted forensic man. He'll take you through to the morgue and help you with the identification. I should warn you that it will harrowing for you Miss Lois."

I swallowed heavily and felt heat waves running through my scalp "I'm prepared" I lied through my clenched teeth.
A sharp astringent smell irritated my nostrils when Harper opened the door of the morgue. I coughed slightly and felt for a tissue in the pocket of my skirt.

"I'm going to lift this sheet, and all you have to do is nod if you recognise the face. Do you understand Miss Lois?"

"I do."

He lifted the sheet and I saw Clark's closed eyes in his waxy lifeless face...


Dialogue

Here's a conversation between two people in completely different worlds...

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Writer's Block

Writer's block I call it. It’s my block of flats I’m talking about though. Where I live. Get it? I’m full of stuff like that y’know. Should have been a writer myself but well I can’t always perform. Not enough lead in my pencil, she says. She’s the wife. Live in lover. Whatever you wanna call her.

Anyway this place we live in has a writer living there. He’s old now. Well I’m 20 so you know what I mean. 45 if he’s a day I guess. Sad git. Funny looking geezer he is, with loads of hair, dreadlocks she says. Well it’s all that wacky baccy innit. Send your hair like that she says. The things she comes out with. Sometimes I’m just embarrassed.

But I keep my head down. Well I’m used to livin' with nutters. Mind you, I have my moments.

Well there was that time when I moved in with my ex. She came home from work, knew I was there, she did. Well I didn’t just walk in, we had an arrangement for me to go inside. Well she told me where the keys were. Hers I mean. Funny that, that was the issue really, keys. The thing that started it off. She came in and went mental. I’d left mine on the mantlepiece that’s all it took. I think she thought that well figuratively, metaphorically speaking, I’d sat down and put my feet on the mantelpiece, or got my feet under the table or something. So there we were making the tea.

Listen I’ll get back to the writing geezer in a minute John, just hold your horses.

Yeah, there we were making the tea, yeah I know first night there making the tea. Under her thumb, yeah?

Actually come to think about it, must have been a little while later. Because as I said she went ape. Time of the month? Maybe. So there we were making the tea, and can’t remember what happened, no really. She’d thrown the strawberries at me I think. Yeah. I was so mad I kicked the kitchen cupboard and nearly broke my toe. Think I threw a jug full of cream back at her after that. Well deserved didn’t she?

Then there was another time I was cutting an avocado, and the knife slipped on the stone in the middle, the ‘hull’ do they call it? See? Hull, eh? Slipped off there sharpish and stuck in my hand. Definite hospital job that. Still got the scar. Oh yeah, loved our food we did though. The fights we had. It was a nightmare really. I mean who wants attacking? Eh? I remember when I left her the 1st time, well you would, wouldn’t you? We were together for years. I was still sad about it, back then. I mean you lose that sense of companionship don’t ya? No one to punch ya is there. Well no one you care about anyway.

I did try to sort it out, but like I say she was a nutcase. So now I’m with her. You know. That one. The blonde one? Been married a couple of years now, yeah. You was only at the bloody weddin!

Anyway I was tellin' you about this geezer. Supposed to have done a lot he has.  A lotta writin’ not a lotta wacky baccy! Does a lot of soul searchin’ too I expect. Staring out the window, I mean. Often see him, looking down at me I do. Why me I’ve no idea. I’m not exactly inspiring...

Feel sorry for him actually. They say he’s gone blank. Can’t string one word in front of another on a sheet of paper. He had a few books out once. Did well apparently. SF or something weird. Fantasy? I dunno. Back page of the Mirror’s enough for me. Find that a bit bafflin nowadays as well. Apparently he wrote about goblins and kings, like that Tolkien fella did. Mind you he made a bit after he died didn’t he? That’s the thing with writing though isn’t it? You can keep earning long after you’re pushing up the daisies can’t you? Well as long as you get started before you die that is, know what I mean?

Anyway this is me, been down the shops for the missus - well, keeps her off my back doesn’t it? She does my washing and ironing, always game for a bit of the other isn’t she, least I can do isn’t it? Give 'em just a little something and it repays you in the long term. That’s what I cal her when I’m with my mates. Hedge fund. She’s my little hedge fund I’ll say.

Look you’re diverting my attention aren’t you? Never gonna finish this, am I?

As I say I’ve been down the shops, picked up a few beers at the Offie on the corner - well the lads are coming round for some cards tonight - and there’s a big crowd round the back - you know, the park side of the block. Usually just a few stray dogs and some kids sneaking a fag, and doing gawd knows what else behind the trees. Sometimes when I’m taking my little boy out for a game of football on the grass, it’s difficult to make out if it’s dog piss or human I can smell out there. Well toughens them up doesn’t it? The kids not the dogs. Mind you, messes up his red D and G boots, something terrible it does.

Big crowd looking up. Strange thing. Everyone looking up, but that guy, you know the one with the dreadlocks he’s lookin down at them. I get his point though. They’re like monkeys at the zoo ain’t they? Only bars here are the bars on the balconies.

Funny that. Well we ain’t got one but the folks next door have. Who decides that? I guess we was just unlucky to get one without a balcony when the folks next door well they can sit out in the sun and we’re inside just like prisoners. That’s why we’re white I guess, and that feller - the - he’s dark. He’s got a balcony you see.

And he’s standing on his balcony. Looking down, waving his arms, well... one of them anyway because he’s got something in his other hand. Long way up there, and I can’t see what it is. Hope it ain’t heavy. Make a nasty mess of someone at the front it would. Well once he’d let go they couldn’t get away in time. Fall pretty fast something heavy - up there. He’s shouting as well but it’s windy and no one knows what it is he’s saying. I ask Alfie. I know him from the office - yeah work in an office now I do. Ain’t seen you in ages though, and you don’t phone. Alfie’s got less idea than me though.

Wouldn’t know I work in an office would you? Well that’s you all over isn’t it. A snob. I’ve always said it. Think you’re better than us don’t you? Just because you work in the City. Call yourself my brother but well we’re not the same are we. Not now. Me working at a bookie’s. Victor Chandler. Big bookie he is. Part of the London team I am. Still it’s not KPMG is it, you say. Suppose not, say I.

Suddenly he’s lets go of this thing. Blimey it’s got legs and arms and they’re all waving around. Then blam! It’s hit someone - well they had their arms out. It’s a baby girl. Dreadlocks and everything. What a noise! Can’t see it now, but I can hear it. Wailing it is. Yeah, nearly had an Exodus it did. Still amazed nothing’s broken - well it might be. Who knows?

Next thing this ’s standing on the balcony. Yeah, on the metal. It’s bendin a bit bowing (you know like a bow - der!) - when he moves. He’s sort of doing some acrobatics, just trying to stay pedal to the metal. The crowd at the front’s moved back, so they can see better or so when he falls they can’t catch him. Alfie says, it’s so they don’t get squashed. He’s well heavy isn’t he?

I’m sure he’s got a snake on that balcony.. Something trailing after him. Probably keeps a boa constrictor or a python. Those West Indian guys! Funny that, one of the IT guys was telling me they use Python at work. Bet there’s no Boa Constrictor programming language yet. It’ll come. See? Surprise ya sometimes, don’t I bro’? You didn’t get all the brains you know.

Oh my gawd. That bloke’s jumped! Only gone and jumped off the bloody balcony hasn’t he? But he’s not gone far. Suddenly stopped like a statue. Well just jerkin about a bit. Only hanged himself off of a bloody rope he has. Alfie thought it proper funny. Now the balcony’s started coming away from its fixings.

Everyone moves away pretty fast. But me and John we go really quiet. A few people are screaming. Women I think, kids. Really bad news. Last thing this place needs. Wonder why he did it. Some people round here are going to be having nightmares about this. Me and our kid might find it hard to sleep tonight.

A fire engine’s here and a few police cars. A van full of rozzers. They’re inside now. Sorting it out. Wonder why he did it though? ’s block? Well he’s gone and done it proper this time hasn’t he?

adewils © 2011

Image: Writer's Block by Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8489595


Francisco y Cayetano

I recently read and enjoyed for a second time, Death and the Sun, A Matador's Season in the Heart of Spain.

As the book's description says:-
"Is it an immoral spectacle or a metaphor of life? Bullfighting never fails to provoke a reaction. In this unusual travel memoir, Edward Lewine embarks on an eye-opening journey around Spain, to track a typical season for the country's biggest bullfighter, Francisco Rivera Ordonez.

Fighting bulls while fleeing celebrity, Spain's most infamous matador lives both his public and his private life on the edge. The last in a distinguished bloodline, he is plagued by the legacies of his great-grandfather, the greatest matador of his day and revered by Hemingway, and by his late father, who was gored to death in the arena. With sixty-two fights and a hundred and twenty bulls to confront in the coming season, Francisco must also endure the aggressive attention of the paparazzi, who pursue him for news of his colourful private life and breakdown of his marriage to a Spanish duchess.

Lewine witnesses at first hand, the thrilling routine of a top bullfighter - the rituals, the risks, and the stage fright - and assesses the significance of bullfighting in the context of Spanish identity. This national obsession encapsulates the uniqueness of Spanish culture." Also see this press release about the book and read my poem En Ronda inspired by the dynasty and their spiritual home, Ronda.

This CBS video spends a little time with Francisco and his kid brother Cayetano.