If great photographers can make the camera lie, then the primitive, heavy-footed beast who sloped onto the scene next, with his knuckles nearer to the ground than his knees, would have been one of the best. In the past, when occasion had called for it, this man-thing had made swollen black eyes look like shotgun wounds, and brutal police beatings look nothing more serious than restraining marks. Though not a corrupt man in himself, he was corruptible. His historical fault was doing what he was told, just because he was told to do it. Mackintosh, the Crime Scene Photographer, was going to hell on someone else's command.
Davies waved the photographer over towards Ransack who was sucking the entrails out of his cigarette. He introduced the two men, and failing dismally to keep his smile an internal one, said “Well, you did ask for a smoker, Sir.”
Now at a stop, standing there slouching in his white elasticated forensic suit, Photographer Mackintosh cut out an even sorrier sight than what he appeared at a distance. Here was a man who lived vicariously through his camera... pointed it towards any number of perverse scenes and felt innocent because he was looking at it indirectly. His instrument of work was his access to forbidden and secret pleasures; the lens and viewer his own personal little glory holes.
Ransack may not have known quite what to do with a photographer but he somehow knew that men who get to forty-five and have greasy, livery skin, a nose full of blackheads, and who are hunched over through years of mischievous wanking are often not the most sterile of souls. And even if others could support them, Ransack couldn't, and for some reason he detested such squalid, living low-life with a passion.
Ransack looked at Mackintosh like he was a cockroach. “I hope your abdominal muscles are stronger than they look,” he sneered, “beause if not, what lays to the left of this door... what you're about to get down and dirty with, will make you shit and vomit at the same time. Now don't say you've not been warned!”
Mackintosh's eyes crunched into a squint and a sick leer rode upon his lips. He brought his wrist towards his mouth and spat a dollop of foamy gob onto its underside. With it he began cleaning and buffing up the lens of his camera. “Well I hope that's not all boast, Inspector,” he said, never once raising his eyes to his subject, “the last time I saw anything worthy of a few personal frames was over five years ago during my time with the traffic police. That was some gig! Though after you've done road kill there's nothing left. Anyway, if we're all set shall we get on? With a bit of luck maybe I can still make use of the little light that's left.”
Ransack gave the faintest of nods, and together the three men entered the room...