A Bad Case of Forgetfulness - Part 3

There are times in life when we know we are alone. It's a feeling, and can happen anywhere. And no matter how many others are around it changes nothing, because this absolute loneliness always arrives at the height of our most personal inner moments; be it death, or serving for match in a tie-breaker for the US open. When Inspector Ransack dropped anchor and stopped in forward motion, he knew he was alone. He had been having one of his inner moments since he'd puffed up and decided on taking the lead. With a slight wince across his face he held still and concentrated, hoping to sense the company of his colleague behind him, but it was useless – Detective Davies was just not following. Ransack turned slowly around.

“Well come on Davies, move it along... you're with me on this one!” he said, though lacking any real authority. Even so, Davies squirmed in his shoes, desperately struggling not to surrender and obey the command. He looked up at the taller Jenkins for help. Jenkins gave him a subtle nod and then stepped forward. He had a weird, almost embarrassed smirk on his face. He started off hesitantly. “Sir, erhm, shouldn't we speak to the securing officer first? Maybe take his statement? Find out how he came to be upon the scene? Enquire about witnesses, etc? I mean, really, at the moment we don't know Jack Shit, Sir... for all we know the murderer could be sitting cuffed in the kitchen after having called the law on himself! We need to know such things... they change the way we even look at the scene, nevermind process it. Even by your standard this is strange, Sir... more than strange!”

From the looks on both his colleagues faces Ransack knew he had fucked up, overlooked a huge lump of basic protocol which it seemed wasn't for the missing. He had been preoccupied about making such a balls-up from the very start, and now it had happened and barely four footsteps into the investigation. Fortunately for Ransack there just wasn't the time to panic, he could only react.

“Are you seriously telling me that neither one of you two cones had the initiative to take care of that? Jesus Christ!! These are the basics, Boys... the absolute fucking basics!”

At that Jenkins let out an astonished sound. Whether it came from his mouth, nose or ears wasn't quite sure. “Sir, have you lost your mind?” he gasped, “If we worked like that it'd be a complete mess before we've even began. We'd not be able to cross reference... back up each others statements... nothing! And have you forgotten our roles? We take notes because you do... that's how it works. You're the lead... it's your case.. we back it up. What was you imagining, that afterwards we'd all huddle together round back and confer???”

“Well, I wouldn't have called it 'confering',” Ransack shot back, “more a case of a friendly exchange of notes. But, no, you're quite right Jenkins... that's not the way of things. Surely the crime, the time, it's all got to me. Forty five minutes isn't long in such circumstances, and maybe it'd be smarter to use them correctly rather than wisely? Won't give us a headstart in solving the crime but at least the stars will all be nicely fucking aligned! Now where is this “securing' officer” Jenkins? … You've permission to lead the way!”

Jenkins felt baffled. It was as if a very simple joke had gone straight over his head. He had forced the issue, was absolutely correct in all he'd said, yet still, had somehow been completely outwitted. And Ransack knew it too – lingering behind, smarting at his own cleverness, and thinking that Jenkins may just think twice before opening his mouth again.

As Jenkins led the small group back down the hallway and out to find the securing officer, Davies dragged his feet until he was alongside Ransack. Ransack shot him a suspicious glare. “What d'you want, Davies?” he asked. “Why are you loitering alongside me at ear height?” Davies gave a smile that would have had him found guilty in any court outside of Nigeria, “It's nothing fantastic, Sir... only, am I really with you on this one? And walking the primary scene?”

Ransack didn't quite know what to make of such a question. All he could conclude from it for sure was that Davies, for whatever reason, wasn't his usual choice of partner. In that light Ransack gave a strategical response, one that even if wrong would serve firstly as a compliment, and secondly to encourage some loose talk from Davies mouth.
“Yes, you heard correctly... you're with me on this one,” said Ransack, “so I hope you've got your full wits about you, coz you'll be needing them. Anyway, what's so surprising about it? You're a great detective, Davies, why shouldn't you be going over the primary scene with me?”

“It's not about me in the primary scene, Sir... The surprise is that you'll be in there! You always take the secondary scenes... and alone. Well, you and a photographer. You put your success down to it, lecture on the under-investigated side of the secondary scene.... how it's the first trail leading to the 'physical criminal' and not to chasing or hunting down a 'psychological ghost'. We've all read your book, and it's really about that, how conventional police investigating focusses too much on “the drama of the reason” rather than trying to apprehend the suspect... that nowadays detectives can climb the ranks through 'brilliant profiling' regardless as to whether they actually catch that 'profile' or not. This'll be the first primary scene you've covered in nine years, Sir.... So it's a little surprising to hear... that's all.”

Inspector Ransack took in Davies' words with intent. Although he hadn't the slightest idea of what 'book' he had written, 'lectures' he had spoken, or 'theories' he held, it all seemed quite genius and left him salivating over his own brilliance. From what was said of him he also deduced he was quite a maverick, and as he was also in an obvious position of authority he also concluded that his unorthodox techniques must have yielded great results. Still, it was hard enough to figure out what the logical steps through a crime scene would be, let alone some oddball mavericks weird manoeuvrings and theories. He may just have a chance of busking and wriggling his way through normal, boring procedure but there was no way he'd be able to pull himself off (certainly not in public) and he knew it. Ransack lowered his eyes and looked off knowingly somewhere just left of Davies' right bollock.

“Well, maybe in all my years I've never seen anything quite like this,” he said sombrely, “.... maybe my thoughts/theories were based on more conventional crimes, things that become predictable and finally circumstantial. But what lays in that room, Davies... that mountain of flesh and shit and whatever else, well, that's not normal... to treat it as such would be a serious breach of duty. For all my fancy ideas I'm no different from any man in this house: I've never seen nor contemplated such a despicable mess before. So I think with this one, especially as the media will be involved, it'll be in all our interests to proceed along recommended codes of practice... it's back to basics. We're gonna play this one straight down the line, following the book to the letter.”

Jenkins must have been earwigging in, as it was his mouth which opened next, and once again one too many words fell out. “If we're following the book should we even be here, Sir?” he called back. “Making deals with the fucking collectors... ready to sidestep even the most basic aspects of protocol... ha, the book, don't make me laugh!”

On receiving his words Inspector Ransack boiled up. He had a feeling that even outside of amnesia he and Jenkins weren't the greatest of toilet buddies. He eyed the back of Jenkins' head, wondering what the hell he must do when someone undermines his charge? The answer was: he just didn't know. And so he called Jenkins, and when Jenkins turned around, Ransack shot him a stare like he was trying to melt meat.

(to be cont'd....)

A Bad Case of Forgetfulness - Part 2

With his tall, slightly stooped back to his colleagues Ransack tried desperately to think. His head was filling up with a building pressure. He could feel it everywhere, a pounding of confusion which let him know that time was moving on and he was expected to do something about it. Even from behind he looked bemused. .

"...SIR... sir... SIR... Sir...” The words floated in and around his consciousness like dreamsmoke, finally registering in some far recess and leading him out into reality.

“Er... Yes.... What is it...What?... Who called me?” asked Ransack, turning around looking physically disorientated. He steadied himself on the bedroom dresser. His legs seemed quite unsure of their function.

“Sir, it's just Davies has spoken with forensics and they're waiting on us.... we need to get cracking.”

"Yes... Cracking... ? … W'eve got to crack on with it!" said Ransack to The Man Who Wasn't Davies. "God! It's just sometimes these things cease you up, makes you forget such banalities  for a moment - no matter who you are! It's a sick world and it's getting sicker... What in the hell kind of monster would do something like this?!"

For a moment all three men slid their eyes back across to the atrocity laying in the far corner of the room. Ransack was right, it was a sick world, though not that he cared  for any of that right now. All that interested him was seconds worth of wriggling space, and he would make a play for them using whatever means it took.

Cutting short his meditation on the despicable scum of modern life Ransack quietly slipped out the room, his head lowered but his eyes struck forward looking at hands and feet and badges; his ears open to catch names or other snippets of information which would maybe help him piece together just what his next move should be. As he drifted about the crime scene he felt dizzy and non-existent, like he wasn't really there – rather trapped in some nightmarish drunken state, where things not only looked unfamiliar but  bizarre too. Seeing nothing but scary looking forensic collectors, pottering about measuring things or sealing off  passages, ransack returned to the safety of power, making his way back over towards his team  who were now waiting for him outside the bedroom. Ransack's head started pounding again. It felt like his airways were  being constricted. He clawed two fingers down over his tie and tugged it loose a couple of drops.

"Er, Davies,” asked ransack, “ you say those men, the foreign six, are waiting on me? Us?"
"You mean the 'forensics', Sir. Yes,” said a young fair haired detective with a pigbutton nose, “we've haggled forty five minutes outta them and then must give the place over. Because of the mess they don't want anymore than two of us and a flasher entering either of the primary scenes. The secondary scene, which encompasses the rest of the house, the back yard, and of course the main exit and front yard, same story: 45 minutes."

Ransack let out a long puff of air and tried to make it look like he was thinking. He was, kinda, but not on the crime rather on what were primary and secondary scenes, was 45 minutes long or short for such things, where does he get a photographer from? Is one of his team the photographer? Who will record anything else? How and where should it be recorded? Can he take things? Move things? Bag things? Where are bags? In short: what the fuck was he supposed to do? One thing he did know is that he was not a seemingly successful detective for no reason. Already he could feel his mind  processing his current predicament in a detective-kinda way, taking in and analysing all that was going on... calculating sly ways to extract information, and using a system of logical subtraction to conclude the unknown. That gave him a reassuring self-confidence. He at least felt he was a man of ability, and  not one who had sucked, fisted or stabbed his way to the top.

As such thoughts went through Ransack's mind he started to believe that this was far from a hopeless situation, that he was smart enough to get through it. Already, just through words and acts, he had sussed out so much.  He even knew the name of one of his subordinates and was pretty sure he'd soon discover who the other  was. And even if he didn't, so what!? There was no doubting that he had enough authority to get away with forgetting a name. And it was that authority, that privilege of power, which would  maybe save his bacon.

With a sudden loud clap of the hands Inspector Ransack got everyones attention: “Ok boys, forty five minutes... let's be 'aving yous then! Davies you grab a photographer and follow me, and you , er... er....”
“Jenkins, sir?”
“Yes, exactly! Jenkins, you'll work through the secondary scene alone until the photographer can join you. If you've any questions, save them for over coffee and biscuits... now's not the time! We need to get moving, get prooving, get what we Got and Get the fuck out!”

Ransack was impassioned. It was a great speech. Only not a speech that should ever come from the mouth of a renowned Detective Inspector heading up a murder investigation. It was b-movie talk, or even worse, dialogue like you'll only ever read in fifth rate internet fiction. Luckily for Ransack he remained blissfully unaware, moving off at a pace that he hoped would drag Davies into action with him...

A Bad Case of Forgetfulness

It was a grisly murder, maybe the worst there has ever been. Outside No.34 the cordons were up and the sky was depressed above it. There was no rain, just dark metallic clouds and off in the distance a weird pewter light that spoke of storm and said the world is a wild and dangerous place. Down along the street the trees were dressed for autumn, and amongst rustic yellows and faded greens there were leaves the colour of fire and leaves the colour of blood. From the north a wind blew in which whipped up dust and made dogs whine. And with the wind there came three men, and one was dressed in black.

It was a tall, slightly stooped figure who ducked in under the police tape first and made his way over towards the small crowd of uniformed officers and forensics who were gathered outside the house. A cigarette end hit the pavement and sparked, then a shiny patent leather shoe closed in over it and scrunched it into the ground. “Detective Inspector Mike Ransack, South Thames Police,” he said, shaking a hand here and there. "Where's the body?”
A man in a white forensic suit pulled his hood back and dropped his mask, "What's left of it's in the bedroom 'round back, “he said. “Though be warned, it's not a pretty sight."
“It never is,” replied Ransack, “but I'm not here for a hard-on!”

Ransack didn't hang about. He continued up to the house, tensed his face into a serious shape, and entered waving his small team in behind him. As they followed the general buzz of activity along the unlit hallway Ransack poked his head into various rooms trying to pick up a general feel of who may be shot or battered to pieces in the end room. Over the years crime scenes had become second nature to him and he had acquired a bored, almost cynical regard towards them. He knew only too well that even if the locations are different, or the murder executed in some ever more stupendous way, his job (and everyone's around him) was intrinsically the same each time: they would come, do their thing and then leave. It is slow, formulated work, a matter of capturing every single detail as it was left, and bagging the trail of clues which lead to and away from the body. As a little indicator of his experience in such matters, Ransack would often be seen showing a nonchalant disregard for certain objects of evidence -  handling photographs...  using ashtrays... lifting up pots, etc, classing them as “pieces of shit!” and knowing that they were not evidence at all and would more than likely finish up in  police auction rooms up and down the country. Today however there was nothing to touch, not yet anyway. The hallway was completely bare of any furnishings, the only thing vaguely ornamental being a young uniformed officer who stood guard outside a dark room at the bottom.

Ransack approached the uniformed constable. “Was it you who called the scene?” he asked. 
The young officer pulled his mask down, “No sir, it was PC Barnes. He's in the kitchen still quite shook up. I arrived as backup to his initial alert.”
“And have you entered the room?” asked Ransack.
“No Sir.. not really. I put a foot in and peered around the door, but I never entered. God, seeing it was enough... more than enough!”
Ransack nodded like he understood, but really he didn't. He only understood cold indifference to such sights and viewed any other emotion as being potentially damaging to the investigative procedure. “Has anyone entered the room?” he asked.
“Yes, Sir. Three forensic collectors and a doctor.  But they didn't stay... had a brief look and then left almost immediately.”
“OK, that's fine,” concluded the inspector. “At least this time those arseholes haven't fucked up my investigation before its even got off the ground!”

Ransack then stood silent, kinda looking off into nowhere. He had fussed around enough, asking quite useless questions as a way to build the tension and savour the suspense of the moment. As a final little delaying tactic he moved his eyes over to the bedroom. The door was pushed wide open and a dull depressing light sat low inside. Even from where he stood blood was visible, splatterred up the far wall and also huge smears across the visible stretch of carpet to the right. Ransack moved forward and stopped at the doorway. He looked intently at the uniformed officer who averted his gaze and started up with a slow shaking of his head. Ransack cast a puzzled look back towards his two colleagues then entered the room and froze.

A body. God! More a mash of flesh. Is that even human? Jesus! Blood! An arm. Maybe? Stabbed and torn and stamped and ripped open. Bare bone. Oh no! Jesus, no! Shouldn't a head be there? Is that a head?! Fuck! What the hell smashed that in? And who did the smashing? Oh, Mother of Christ! Slithers of 'stuff'. WTF! A huge grey damaged sack leading from what was maybe once the belly. Intestines? Whale blubber? Haggis? God, no! Skin turned inside out. Yellow fish eggs. Exposed and  ripped flesh. Red fish eggs. No, no, NO! A large room with atrocious carnage slumped in the left corner, where a million things could or could not have happened! Jesus H Christ! What the fuck !

“Oh My...!!!”
“what in the hell???”
“...holy mother of fuck!!!”
“Sir... sir.. sir........”

Ransack was rooted to the spot. He felt that weird feeling he had felt once before on the night he had entered the bridal suite and seen his angelic wife splayed and ready on the bed wearing the crooked smile of a street whore. That weird feeling that had made him panic, feel nauseous and desperate to escape. Which had left him incapable of flapping even a semi hard-on into his disobedient  penis . Indeed, he was suddenly so confused that he was quite unsure as to whether it was he who had even gotten married, and if not, wondering what the hell he was doing in a bridal suite in such a predicament?
“Wedding night nerves!” his doctor friend explained,  after Ransack had closed himself in the bathroom and made a frantic call to the sound of running water. But Ransack knew better. It was more than nerves or panic he was suffering from. There was nothing of him there, just an empty feeling down below and an even emptier feeling in his head, which had froze him to the spot and made all actions seem alien and tricky. Well, now it had happened again... only worse: for the second time in his life, Detective Inspector Mike Ransack had not quite forgotten who he was, but how to do the things he was charged to do. And so, as he did on his wedding night, trying to insert a scrunched up, limp and useless penis into his wife (going as far as pushing his balls in to give more of a pack ) so now it was time for him to improvise again – to rely on skills that go further back than anyone can ever remember...

(to be cont'd....)

Love Letters from the Gutter

The Pink Collection #6 - An Ode to France

It is gone! Was it you Button? Did you take it? Have your beautiful and tragic and deep eyes read my words? Seen a part of my soul I so stupidly hid during our two months together in London? If it was you then you've not replied, but it's only the second day and my hopes are alive and the world is buzzing again. Thinking sensibly I know it surely can't have been you... I mean, what kind of freak chance would that be? There's just something in the air which tells me there's magic blowing about and that maybe life is not quite ready to hang, draw and quarter me just yet. I hope you reply soon... It'd be awful if you didn't.

OH La France, Je t'aime!!! And I especially love this city. And I will tell you, Button,  I must, the things I observed this morning while taking a coffee at the Cactus Café in the Old City - the café you used to visit most days when you first arrived  and where the server remembers you and refers to you as 'the charming anglaise'. Well, sitting outside there this morning, three espressos down and a fourth balancing out the final effects of last nights whiskey, I suddenly realised I am in France... I mean real France. I am here and the streets look french, and the smells are french and the air is french. I sat there and watched as tables were laid out, as waiters dressed in classic black & white and sporting long pointed shoes arrived for work on rickety old bikes of strange colours, as the doors of an apartment building opened and a bucket of dirty mop water was slung out across the road, as the young street performers turned up and tuned up with pillow marks still across their faces and french sleep in their eyes. I understood that romance can really blossom here, that obsession can come by on the tail-end of a perfume and lead a man right from his table, down the road and off a bridge... just like that. And that same idiotic gesture of love can then turn a beautiful girl crazy, who chops here hair off and splits her top lip so she never has another life wasted over her again. And that's true Button, when a woman shaves her head it's usually because of some abuse she has suffered through love. Oh, this is the place alright... there's nowhere more perfect to be broken-hearted.

And in the people, Button, as I watched, I saw the tragedy that the french have, that longing for something which is ages old and sits on the face like a forgotten memory. You can be depressed and healthy in France... this is the great thing! You can be love-sick and suicidal and still be regarded as normal. Jean-Marc, one of the drunks who sings and pisses outside my hotel, he told me that even the doctors here take at least one day 'suicidal tendency' leave a year. He told me of his doctor who crawled out his surgery window and balanced on the ledge four storeys up, scribbling love notes across his prescription pad before ripping them to pieces and floating them down into the street below. Finally the police turned up with some decrepit looking transsexual prostitute who lured him back inside with the promise of taking him back. Everyone here is depressed by the complications of love: either what they've got and are terrified to lose, or what they had and couldn't keep, or what they need and cannot find. That's what I realized.  My sadness is healthy. I am chasing something because it means so goddamn much. And that's how I left the Cactus Café... feeling high on hope. Then I arrive here and my letter is gone! And I know, I knew, that today my life is going to change...

And so My Elusive Button, I leave you yet another letter, and I know I should be more patient and wait more days for a reply but I cannot help it. I am too excited and I want your eyes to read more of my words because thinking of that I feel like I am in your gaze.

Je t'embrasse,

An ode to the French...

     Enola Gray. XxxxX

Love Letters from the Gutter

The Pink Collection #5 - L'hôtel Dieu

Dear Button,

if this is the hotel of God then I pray I never have to book in. All I've seen here are people with busted or missing body parts; or those wired to machines; or emaciated, bristled old men shuffling around with saline drips; or bodies parked up in wheelchairs with their brains on pause, and their only vaguely communicable thought coming by way of a long string of spittle hanging out their gobs... and they're the healthy ones. Even now, someone with the complexion of a litre of piss has just stumbled out the hepto-gastro unit and is giving off more light than the moon. It's scary. Death and disease are scary. 

Well already that's another romantic letter fucked! Instead of showing you some wonderful hidden part of me which you missed I've gone and highlighted a selfish, cynical part of me that you saw and didn't like. And I know there were many things in me like that. I even started noticing them myself... hating the parts of me I understood were pushing you away. Things which I'd maybe 
once even prided myself on then became a drowning weight that I wanted rid off. So sure, I could change these letters, rip this one up and start again, edit myself good, but what's the point? The truth will always come out eventually. I could spend every waking minute of every day regulating my actions and giving you what I think you want, but I can do nothing about scratching my arse and sniffing my fingers in my sleep. Human nature cannot be hidden, so why even try? Do that and you'll only end up living in fear of yourself – I know it. Still, if I seriously thought it'd change the course of water I'd probably do it. I'm as selfish as most when it comes to my own happiness. These letters probably prove that, that I want something even if it doesn't want me... Even if it gives itself to me out of pity.  Fuck, Button, did I really come all the way here to tell you this? If so I must be seriously out my mind, or intent on pushing you off towards Australia! Instead of leaving you expensive pieces of lace and words which should only be whispered into ears, I write about the sick and dying, piss and arseholes... What a fucked-up way to try and woo the dove.

Note to Strangers #1: The wind can change. Never be afraid to start again.

My Dearest Button, something incredible has happened: the wind has changed and I'm starting again. Oh I miss you! I miss you so fucking 'insanelyonly'!!!


I don't know if you ever visited this place (God's hotel) or not, though you may have as it is on the tourist trail and a hospital unlike anything you'd ever find in London. But just incase you've never passed through I will tell you that certain parts of this place are over 500 years old, that the main facade of the building runs along the west bank of the river Rhone, and at night (when all lit up) it kinda resembles something between Harrods, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament. Where I am now, in the dark of the cloisters which surround the huge inner court, I am suddenly overwhelmed by the beauty of silence. What only twenty minutes ago had looked and smelled like some unhealthy place of the damned now smells of cool marble stairs and chiseled and engraved stone. It smells of history and solitude and peace. It smells of old forest and woodlice. It smells of a place your heels may clip along any day soon. It smells of tomorrow. Button, in this monastic recluse, alone in the low hours of the night, I can smell the future – and it doesn't smell too bad. I don't know what that future will hold, or if you will be a part of it, but I hope you are and I hope we can share the beauty in my eyes together. Those are the things I can give you, the invisible things,  the things that perfect 20/20 vision is blind to. Ican give you that, and in exchange you can give me all the things which you have that I am missing - and I'm missing a lot. I'm missing a person like You.

Button, I think that life is about being complete, that we start off as nothing much and must somehow fill our void with enough understanding and wholeness so as to make death acceptable and welcome. I think we lose our fear of unknown things when we are completely satisfied with the known... that we must only hang on desperately to life when we have not fulfilled all there is to fulfill. But if we manage to do that, have it all and find some kind of inner peace, then death becomes welcoming, a place to rest eternal with everything we have. It's not without reason why death from a broken heart is a real phenomenon. It's because these great things in life complete us as people. They allow us the greatest spoil of all: peace in our time. Button, you gave me that peace. Your arms made me scared of death but not fear it. So I hope this smell of tomorrow is You... That you're finally coming to get me back.

My Darling. I had a universe of words to tell you – a million great things in a thousand different ways – but with just a few I think I've said what I wanted to say and so will leave it at that. It is strange though, not even an hour ago I was so sure that you'd never read these words, and now here I am, writing away with a furious passion, convinced that you'll find them... that somehow you just must.

The night is down and my soul is laid bare again. Button, when you find this note please please PLEASE leave me a reply in the cloisters. You should write it on yellow paper, neatly fold it, and place it in the angle of one of the low arches. I will not try to catch you at the game but will return as ever each day in the hope of finding that you've been and gone. If you're gone and want me to follow leave details for a rendez-vous, but if you're gone, never to return again, leave me nothing but a kiss.

X marks the spot...

Yours until forever may,


       Enola Gray. X