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Murder in the cathedral

robert43041
robert43041
Viking
Tyrant of Words
Canada
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Joined 30th July 2020
Forum Posts: 276

Poetry Contest

Must be either a poem of no less than 40 lines or a short story to 3,000 words max.
Your way, your own style, the sky is the limit.

robert43041
robert43041
Viking
Tyrant of Words
Canada
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Joined 30th July 2020
Forum Posts: 276

I love you so much

  It was a quiet week-day morning. People were finding it hard to get back on their feet after all the festivities of the past weeks, all the caroling, the crazy impulse buying, all the eating and drinking to excess.    
   And love making.    
   Of this he tought as he entered the cathedral.  The place was almost deserted, nobody at the back, some old ladies way up at the front near the main altar.  He walked to the left aisle, slowly past the confessional and towards  side  where the statue of the Virgin Mary was.  In front and protected by a wrought iron fence were rows of votive candles, most already lit, thanking the Virgin for favors rendered or asking for help.    
   And Julia,  there,  kneeling  on the Prie-Dieu in front.    
   Beautiful Julia.  Her face hidden by her long, flowing, shoulder length curly auburn hair.    
   Almost full secrecy as they  were hidden from view by one of the huge marble columns.  Checking again to make sure, he saw nobody around.  He took out his knife, approached her stealthily and barely whispered  "I love you, I love you so much'' as he grabbed her head,  pulled  it back and slit her throat before she could even utter a word, then left the way  he came.    
   
       She was  one of the rare tourists in town at this time of the year.  As  a catholic, she also made it a point of visiting a cathedral whenever she could.   As she entered, she crossed herself, kneeled, and proceeded to the left aisle.    
   When she saw the pool of blood around the figure kneeling on the Prie-Dieu, she did not puke, scream or faint.   She happened to be a medical doctor.  As she drew nearer, it became obvious to her that the  woman was dead.  She took her phone, dialed emergency, then also took pictures, as they were always most hopeful for the police.    
   Inspector Cole and his team arrived on the scene within minutes.  
   Once they were allowed to thouch the victim, they were able to check her coat pockets, where they found her wallet.    
   ''Victim's name is Julia Crawford, age 32.  With  an address nearby'' said  sargent Payne.  They walked out of the cathedral and walked the few blocks over to the address in question.  An upscale area.  Her building was comprised  of thirty floors of most modern condos..  hers was on the  fifteenth floor with a great view on the Royal  Gardens.  
   While Coal took an overview, sargent Payne checked her office. A frame showing  her law degree form a prestigious university.  Also by the  looks of the computers and other equipment, she did a lot of her work at home.  The victim's phone was also on her desk.  Probably left behind so that it would not  buzz in her pocket  while she was praying in the cathedral.  
   ''Sargent, would you come here please".  
   ''Yes sir'', she said as she walked over.  
   The inspector had taken a look in the bedroom, and more precisely in the walk-in closet, pushed aside some fancy designer clothes from high priced boutiques and, at the very back saw  ornate curtains. Opening them,  he saw all the paraphernalia used by the perfect Dominatrix.  
   ''Doesn't seem to fit in with the way we found her at the cathedral, does it?''  
   ''No sir, indeed, So where do we start?''  
   ''If we're lucky we'll find a list of clients somewhere''.  
   ''I found her phone on her desk.  She has probably more on her computer, but we'll have to ask Jimmy back at the office.  He'll be able to  get her password.  
      Over the next week inspector Cole and sargent Payne met with many men who were rather ashamed that their secrets were now out in the open.  More so, it seems, than shocked by the brutality inflicted on their Dominatrix.
   ''I'll tell you whatever you want, inspector, just make sure my wife hears none of this'' was the usual refrain from the married CEO, the  professional accountant, the college professor...
    But they were  running around in circles until  Jimmy finally found Sylvia's  password and, upon viewing a few of the  sites,  spotted one where she kept the names of clients she feared and no longer wanted to see.  He couldn't see why she had not transmitted this list directly to the police.
   ''Women will tolerate a lot in the name of love, even forgive and take back the husband who constantly beats them up. They tend to  hit themselves on doorframes a lot, so I am not totally surprised by this'' said Payne.
   Just then Cole's phone buzzed  with a message from the M.E.   Traces of blood not belonging to the victim were found on her coat and sent to the lab.  He could expect results on his desk ''soonest''  as usual.
   It was a few weeks later that Cole and Payne approached mark Davis at the construction site he was supervising
   ''Ha, I wondered how long it would take for you to get here''.
   ''You are not surprised?''
   ''No.  I read aboutr Julia's death in the taboids.  I 'm sure you know I was one of her clients''.
   ''Worse, sir, we found traces of your blood on her coat''.
   ''Oh, mye,  That police record from the bar brawl years ago?  hey, I admit. I went to her two days before she got killed.  I brought her roses.  Nasty thorns, you know'', said as he looked at Payne with tender eyes.
   ''So back to square, are we?'' Cole said as they were leaving the construction site.
   ''Not quite.  We got the phone transcripts in.  The one from Jonathan Frisk interests me especially.''
   ''Why?''
   ''Instinct, sir.  Really.  So, he texts her a lot. Even more than the usual client.  Like  a lovelorn puppy.''
   ''But his alibi is ironclad.''
   ''It looks like it.  But his office is just  around  the corner from the cathedral, he would have had enough time to commit the deed and run back to his office in no time flat''
   So with the help of a few constables they retraced the steps from the cathedral through the back alleys and were almost done when  a constable shouted  ''I got it'', holding the tip of the bloody knife with his gloved hand.  Found at the bottom of a trash can.
   Frisk was taken in, unable to stop saying that he just loved her so much.
   So much.
  
  
Written by robert43041 (Viking)
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Casted_Runes
Casted_Runes
Turpin
Twisted Dreamer
United Kingdom
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Joined 4th Oct 2021
Forum Posts: 92

The Case of the Lascivious Lord

Homer Featherstonhaugh (pronounced Fan-shaw) stood in the cathedral praying to God that his lunch wouldn’t repeat on him. A minor royal had been beaten to death with a bust of St Thomas Becket. There was blood everywhere, and any chance of the fellow lying in state so mourners could see him at rest had been dashed across the cobblestones, alongside his coltish good looks.
 
‘He’d just come down from Ascot’ said Chief Inspector Worthing of Scotland Yard. ‘Not a particularly religious chap, either, so what he was doing here is a mystery in itself.’
 
‘I only left him a few minutes!’ declared Sally O’Connor, the dead man’s PA, a good Irish girl who’d just about stubbed out her accent, though it still snuck through when she was excited. ‘I can’t think why he wanted to come to this place. Normally, Lord Wallace has to be bullied by his mother to attend church on Christmas Day. But we were heading home in a Hackney carriage when he saw the spire over the rooftops and said that he needed to go there at once.’ She played with a cross around her neck. ‘Maybe the spirit of the Lord just... overwhelmed him.’
 
‘The lad was certainly overwhelmed’ said Worthing to Homer when they were alone, in the bishop’s office. Homer had arranged for the girl, who still seemed unstable from the shock of having found half her employer's head sprayed across the altar, to be taken to his townhouse in a private car. He now ensconced his enormous bulk in a chair that groaned beneath him like a sherpa asked to carry too much luggage. He seemed distracted, rolling a cigar between his fingers and gazing at a portrait of the Madonna and child. ‘Pretty little thing, isn’t she?’
 
‘Who?’
 
‘The PA.’
 
Worthing grinned. ‘Thought you were above noticing such things, old man. Besides, what would your poor Protestant mother say if you eloped with an Irish girl.’
 
Homer ignored this. He'd have liked to smoke the cigar whose plastic still crinkled between his fingers. He reminded himself that he wasn’t at his club now. For a start, no one was playing cards and there were no canapés.
 
‘Do I remember correctly that Lord Wallace was exempted from service in the War?’
 
‘Not exactly. He was out there briefly, in France, but a shot to the hip sent him home. When it was time to go back the army had him examined and decided that the permanent limp he’d been left with made him pretty useless. Didn’t stop the young cur sewing seeds in every willing furrow. Mother twisted someone’s ear, you ask me.’
 
The steps of the cathedral gave an excellent view of bustling London. Women hawked flowers and market stalls lined the streets. The air was filled with shouting and the clatter of carts going past, and on it all shone a bright British sun. Homer finally unrolled his cigar, lit, and popped it in his mouth. It was a cheerful 1922, all things considered.
 
Worthing’s driver picked them up. ‘No reporters about’ said Homer on the way.
 
‘Of course not’ said Worthing. ‘My lads are better at suppressing a scandal than you might think. And you’ll keep quiet as well, Mr Gentleman Detective, unless you want to end up in the Tower of London, without your cigars and fancy dinners.’ Worthing took the still smoking stub from his friend’s mouth and flicked it out the window, where it landed in a carnation seller’s wicker basket. She screamed something most unladylike at them as they sped away.
 
‘So who are our suspects?’ said Homer. ‘Unless you’ve already chalked up the girl as having crushed Lord Wally’s head?’
 
Worthing burst out laughing. ‘That frail thing? You saw the bust that did it. It took two strapping lads from Lambeth just to move the sodding thing. No. The way I figure it, our young gadabout had been at games of cards and dice. He owed some thug money, and whoever it was did him in at the cathedral.’
 
The car took a turn into a seedy-looking street with an Oriental tea room, a bookmaker’s, and a pub outside which were men in flat-caps playing cards. Anyone dressed well in a place like this was either a pleasure-seeker or a copper, and if Homer seemed like a rather jaded instance of the former, Worthing was definitely the latter.
 
The pair of them went into the pub, which was dimly lit as if inhabited by dwellers of the underworld seeking respite from the sun. A crusty old landlord in frayed suspenders and a filthy apron looked at them. 'Anything you've got to say, you can say out here.' he said without inflection.
 
'Good to know' said Worthing. 'We both know that gambling goes on here, so let's get that out of the way. I just need to know whether a well-dressed, blonde, curly-haired young chap ever frequented the games.  
 
'He'll be easy to remember if he did' he added, looking around at the sooty and ratty-clothed regulars. 'Reckon I know him' said the landlord with a slight smile. 'Last time I saw him, though, he was visiting Ma Drake, down the alley.'
 
Worthing went pale. 'Was he now?' On their way back to the car, Worthing explained to Homer that Ma Drake was a suspected abortionist.
 
They drove to Homer's townhouse, where Sally O'Connor lay resting on a chaise-longue. In her long black skirt and white blouse that terminated at her elbows, she was dressed a little scandalously for London society. 'Wally said that if a girl has good arms, she should show them off' she said, smiling in a faraway manner. 'He said that about ankles too, but I have my modesty.' She started to tear up a little. Homer handed her a card for his doctor. She looked at it, gazed at him for a moment, and smiled. 'Thank you...'
 
Home and Worthing sat in the latter's office at Scotland Yard. Homer went to light a cigar, saw his friend's stern face, sighed, and put it away. 'I just wonder how much the O'Connor girl knew?' Worthing continued.
 
'Quite a bit more than you might think' said Homer.
 
'What are you getting at?'
 
'I suspected what had happened from the start. But our visit to Ma Drake's domain sealed it. When I was with The Times and covering the War, in France, I stayed with some officers at a woman's farmhouse. One day her ten-year-old daughter was crushed by a gun carriage when its wheel collapsed.

'The girl screamed and her mother, barely any taller than the child, managed to lift the carriage at least half an inch, which two five-a-side teams of men would struggle to do. The girl still died, but can you imagine the superhuman level of strength, all generated by a mother's desperation to save her child's life?
 
'While you're at it, also consider this: Lord Wallace has a reputation as a gadabout, a user and discarder of women. Sally O'Connor is a handsome Irish girl with a cross hung from her neck. What if he was to... take advantage of her, and due to his arrogance not consider the ramifications?  
 
'Suddenly he's saddled with a bastard child, which might break his mother's heart. More importantly, it might cause her to revoke his allowance so that he can no longer gamble the family fortune away. So, what does he do?'
 
Worthing narrowed his eyes. 'He takes a trip to Ma Drake.'
 
'He takes a trip to Ma Drake' Homer repeated. 'And arranges for a certain Irish assistant to have an appointment. He takes her to the cathedral to break the news, knowing that as a Catholic she'll find it abominable. Perhaps he was hoping to convince her that a bastard child would be the greater sin.  
 
'He might even have told her that should she die on the table in that godforsaken back-alley, God would consider her punished enough. She realises the bind she's in, and like the farmer's wife her concern for her child manifests in a burst of strength that, in a last desperate act, causes her to break the fifth commandment.'
 
Worthing leaned back in his chair and took this in. 'I suppose we'll have to do something about her.'
 
Homer grinned, a trifle sheepishly. 'I've already taken care of that.'
 
Worthing narrowed his eyes at him. 'Homer Featherstonhaugh, what have you done?'
 
'That card I gave the girl. The address on it belongs to a chap who owes me a favour. Our belle is on her way back to Belfast City, and unless you want to risk a scandal, I'd leave her be.' Homer unwrapped a cigar, lit, and started smoking it. 'You ought to let me have this one' he said, popping it between his fingers. 'I won't be getting any more in the Tower.'
Written by Casted_Runes (Turpin)
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robert43041
robert43041
Viking
Tyrant of Words
Canada
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Joined 30th July 2020
Forum Posts: 276

Nicely done.  Thanks for submitting.

MrDunnePoetry
MrDunnePoetry
Mr_Dunne_Poetry
Lost Thinker
United Kingdom
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Joined 4th Jan 2022
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Stay Down

"Stay Down"

Dear God, it's been a while, I don't know what to say/
I need to open up my heart, but if I do, they'll lock me away
But how can they lock me away, for spitting the misery I feel in my heart/
When the ones that made me betrayed me, when I was just a baby in the dark
Fiending for a father figure, and crying for his mother/
Wishing they'd love him, but they wished they had another
So it hurts me to say this, I've been a cursed seed since day one/
I guess I weren't a product of love, I was just what come after a night of fun
With nowhere for me to run to lord, no place for me to hide/
I'm coming to you asking for help, in the hope I can confide
All of my tears, all of my fears, and all the years that I'm facing/
All the tears and years I wasted, now it's prison or probation
Got me pacing, constantly hating, on the system that we live in/
Cause it's hard playing these cards, when their the wrong cards that they giving
But still I'm never giving up, because I know there's better ways/
Still I stay two fingers up, until I see them better days.

Copyright 2011 The Elusive Mr Dunne (All rights reserved)
Written by MrDunnePoetry (Mr_Dunne_Poetry)
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