AWAY TREASURE ISLAND SHIPPING NEWS RED SKY THREE BELLS PRINCE OF TIDES
YOUR FRIENDLY HMO
By Rheana Rafferty
Cloudy piss, yellowish brown and threatening to spill over the top
of its receptacle, is lifted by its donor, a
Johnson, Mark, donor #12691 traces of marijuana,
The analyst passes his report with a wink and a smile to an overworked
nurse in a slightly see through uniform.
FLIRTING WITH DANGER
They were a young couple to make heads turn: tall, extrovert, with perfect teeth that glinted as they talked.
She sported a mink coatpossibly a good fake furwith a huge collar. The coat clung tenaciously to her body, conveying the disconcerting impression that she wore nothing underneath. It came to mid-calf, and below it shapely nylon-clad ankles accompanied classic, court shoes with heels so high one had to give her credit for not tottering. She certainly did not totter. She shimmied.
He wore a black cape with a deep blue silk lining, a waistcoat in vivid blues and greens, tailored pants, and Gucci shoes. They looked good and they knew it. At the hotels lobby desk they received immediate attention.
"Were looking for a double room. One with a view."
There was a hint of the aristocrat about the mans voice. He was clearly accustomed to getting what he wanted, and he was British.
"Certainly, sir. For how many nights?"
"Two. But we have to see the room."
A porter led the way to the second floor. The couple stood in the doorway, scanning the room, seemingly undecided. The man said, "Just leave us alone for a moment, so we can discuss it, would you?"
Ten minutes later one of the lobby clerks inquired, "So whats happened to the wannabe Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley?"
The porters mouth sagged, and he scurried back to the room. The door was locked, and rapping on it, at first gently and then loudly, elicited no response. He hammered on the door so that it rattled in its frame but without success. He had the niggling suspicion that he could hear muffled giggles.
He went down to reception for the master key, raising his eyes to the heavens in reply to a colleagues questioning look.
This time the door was open, with the man waiting to usher him in. The woman was lying face upwards on the bed, and she was showing a generous expanse of leg, including stocking tops and a hint of white thighs beyond.
The man was keen to explain, declaiming in a voice that brooked no contradiction: "Fainted. But shes coming round."
The porter tore his eyes away reluctantly from the shapely legs and suggested, "A glass of water perhaps?"
But the Elizabeth Hurley look-alike suddenly sat up, shaking her head and saying, "No, no. Im fine now, really."
She stood up, and the disheveled state of the bed became apparent. She had not fainted. She could just conceivably have had a violent, limb-threshing seizure, but there was a more likely explanation.
Did they want the room? No, it didn't seem to agree with her, and the hotel obviously had builders working there because she had heard dreadful hammering noises.
With sunny smiles for the porter, they left arm in arm. The porter stood at the hotel entrance, watching them go, and the sound of their laughter drifted back to him as they struttedalmost skippedup the street.
My interest in the murders later attributed to Jack the Ripper started months before the press named him the Ripper. Most accounts of the Ripper credit him with five victims between August 31, 1888 and November 9, 1888. There were several more victims beginning nearly a year earlier.
Murder in Whitechapel, that teeming poverty ridden slum, were all too common. Generally, they attracted little interest from the press. A cutpurse handy with a knife and discreet in his cups could escape capture for years. The Rippers early murders did escape notice.
On September 9, 1888, I met with Inspector Lestrade as intermediary and Inspector Chapman who was one of the detectives in charge of the Ripper killings. "Inspector Chapman, this is Mr. Jones, a sometimes associate of Sherlock Holmes." Lestrade knew my real name but Holmes always referred to me as Mr. Jones.
"I hope you may be of some help to us, Mr. Jones," Chapman said. "You have followed the Ripper murders, I presume?"
"All of London is following the murders," I replied.
"Yes, of course. Terrible things these murders. Inspector Lestrade tells me you have your own sources in Whitechapel and your own interest in keeping order there."
I smiled. "Order in Whitechapel is an unusual notion. But yes, the Rippers activities have become annoying to me."
Lestrade and Chapman looked at each other. Despite my association with Holmes, as policemen they must have been wondering if the Ripper or I was the greater danger to London. After several moments hesitation, we proceeded. Comparing notes, I discovered to my surprise that Chapman knew as much as I.
"Our concern is that this madman appears to have lost control. The murders are becoming more savage and more frequent," Chapman said.
"Yes, you are quite right. But why have you come to me? Holmes is making his own inquiries and will surely capture him."
Again both policemen looked pained. Lestrade spoke, "We dont want him captured. We want him killed. All evidence points to a titled killer. A minor member of the Royalty. Capture and trial would be an embarrassment to Her Majesty."
It was now my turn to be embarrassed. Two policemen were asking me to commit murder. Well, strange bedfellows and all that. I agreed of course. I turned down their money. This was to be pro bono. A favor among friends. We shook hands and each went our own way.
Royalty after all. Three more murders occurred before I found the Ripper.
But I bested the police and Holmes who were chasing their Royalty premise.
In the end, it wasnt Jack but Jackie, a lesbian procurer. While
covering up botched abortions of her whores, she developed a taste for
the knife and for blood and mayhem. I couldnt really blame her.
I, Dracula, had acquired the taste myself. But Whitechapel was my hunting
grounds, and Jackie was poaching. I have kept her identity a secret.
The world loves a mystery.
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