Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Friday, March 7, 2008

Through The Godless Hours (37)

Not without trepidation, Adi drove the thirty minutes it took to reach the vicinity of the old masjid, where he turned off Pura Street into a side road and parked. Being unfamiliar with the area, he took some mental notes as he walked the last few hundred metres in what he imagined was the direction of the hotel. The minor landmarks he stored in his head would later help guide him back to his car – in a hurry, if necessary. Adi was acutely aware that what was happening now was no longer being read from his script. He sensed instinctively that he should not be taking the Captain’s bait – that he should ignore the lure and go home to rest… and think. Over and again, he reminded himself of the nature of his adversary – of the terrible fury that was cooking away inside him, bubbling just under the surface. Adi thought of the examples of the terrifying, unnatural menace the Captain had, on occasion, revealed. But despite his misgivings, the young Detective could not resist the temptation offered by the note in his pocket. 2-8-3-9… 6-6-4-4… room 414.

After a few minutes’ walk he spotted the Veza Hotel, to his left. It was a large detached building, laid back off the street with what appeared good access around both sides to the rear. So far, so good. Adi did not want to take the risk of going through the lobby, perhaps inviting the challenge of the desk staff, or security. The last thing he needed was any further complication. Instead, he slipped around to the rear of the building, quickly finding a fire escape, which was conveniently wedged open with a brick. Moving cautiously into the dimly lit interior, he began slowly to climb the stairs. On the assumption that room 414 was on the fourth floor, he paused for a few moments upon arriving at the appropriate landing. Then, after a few deep breaths, he slid around the half-opened fire door, entering the corridor to creep stealthily along, in the direction of room 414. Punctuating the stillness, the muffled moans of a couple could be heard, from behind a door. 410. He moved further down the corridor, the carpet sticking in patches to the soles of his shoes. 412. And then, finally, he arrived at his destination. Removing his pistol from inside his jacket, Detective Adi knocked firmly on the door. Nothing. He knocked again. Still nothing. Nervously, he took the risk of pressing an ear against the flimsy door panel, but still heard only the sound of the lovers from along the corridor. For a third time he rapped on the thin wood – a loud staccato this time, conveying urgency. But there was still no response; no shuffling of feet from within, no sound. His mind racing with all the possibilities of what might lie in wait inside the room, Adi knew that he had come too far to simply turn back. Panic was now beginning to rise up inside him, compelling him to act on instinct. Moving back a step, he made a sudden lunge at the door, throwing all his weight against it. The weak structure gave way easily, Adi bursting with a crash into the dank stillness within. Where is he? Standing just inside the doorway, his pistol raised, Adi’s eyes darted furtively around the room, trying to capture movement from within the shadows. Where is he? The young Detective was panting now – short breaths that came and went too quickly; failed to quench his thirst for air. Confused. It’s a trap. A fucking trap. Think! He wanted to run across the room and kick in the bathroom door; fire wildly at whatever – whoever – was inside. But his feet were rooted to the ground, as heavy as lead. Then slowly, emerging as if from another world, entering his peripheral vision from within the shroud of the dim light, the shapes on top of the bed began to assert their presence. There was no movement to be detected, and he could hear no sound – not even the purring breaths of slumber. Half expecting the Captain to jump him at any moment, unleashing all his terrifying fury, he took a few faltering steps forward, to make a closer inspection. Glancing around furtively, Adi crept across the darkened room with extreme caution, making warily for the bed.

What greeted the Detective as he neared the humps resting above it was a sight for which he was not prepared. Abruptly, he stopped: stock still now. Oh, fuck. In the ethereal calm, illuminated by the dim bulb of a single bedside lamp, were two figures. Bodies. Dead. One male, one female, draped across the bed in some macabre, otherworldly coupling. Adi studied the scene, calling upon his instincts to make some sense of what he now realised he had been summoned to witness. He lowered his pistol and took a deep breath. Regaining some of his composure, he now saw that the man’s body was twisted so that his head and chest were pressed into the side of the woman, obscuring his face completely. His clarity of purpose restored, Detective Adi walked back across the room and flicked on the light switch near the door, before returning to the bed. He observed that the woman was lying on her back, eyes open, staring vacantly at the ceiling. There was no blood, apart from a slight caking around her nostrils, and judging by the colour of her face – flushed pink – it appeared that she was probably the victim of a drug overdose. Except that there are never two bodies in an overdose scene – only one. No. Wait a minute. There can be two, Adi corrected himself, but only when it’s a double murder.

All thought of the Captain and the terrible threat he represented had been banished, there in the room of this tawdry motel, as Adi’s mind began instead to focus on what he knew had been deliberately laid out before him – a presentation, almost: a gruesome still life. And while the dead woman’s face registered nothing within his memory banks, correlated not with any of the images they stored, there was something vaguely familiar about the man… Suddenly, Adi felt himself reaching down to place a hand on the shoulder of the dead male, prising him apart from the woman, his body flopping grotesquely away from her, on the bed. Now also lying on his back, his eyes wide open in peaceful release, and with a half-smile detectable around his lips, the dead body of Captain Farid’s driver stared vacantly into space. “Aah, fuck! No! No!” Adi screamed, jumping back, away from the nearness of death. Of someone he knew. No way! No fucking way, man! he gasped, struggling for breath. For the driver would be providing Detective Adi with no more inside information and the Captain, who had signed off his work with a droll




scrawled in the woman’s red lipstick on the driver’s torso, from his chest down to his navel, was back in control of the situation. Knew everything. Would, in all likelihood, come after him and try to kill him. Soon.

Running his hands through the spikes of his jet-black hair, the young Detective despaired. No, no, no… Not like this… Fuck it… Fuck!

It was his first big fall, the first true test of Adi the man.

posted by Kirk at 11:26 pm  

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