Sunday, June 15, 2008

Snow, chapters 4 - 6

Chapter 4
Merky always wondered why he liked murder cases. Hopefully it wasn’t a perverse pleasure. He liked solving them, and, indirectly, it may have been the reason he was promoted.
When it’s just random shootings and stabbings for three months, Merky thinks its because the world is just stupid and violent. Last night, two young men were killed in shootouts, and eleven homeless people had frozen to death. He received death toll reports throughout the city because he was in charge of writing the monthly report to the mayor.
The two young men were gang members, of course, and they were just... shot. Unceremonious, without preparation. The culprits would be difficult to find. Two hoodlums killed in the dead of night, and police asking if anyone had seen anything? The locals would laugh them off their front doorsteps.
Most murders in this town were just random acts of violence. Crimes of passion, or just crimes of not seeing a therapist in time. In 98% of cases, the culprit was someone the victim knew. The interesting cases, the ones Merky had read about, are a fraction of that 2%. Someone having a complex delusion that marked their killing.
Merky had the homicide squad on the case of the two hoodlums, and by the afternoon, they turned up a few leads. It would take a few weeks to get the case together, but that was not a problem. There was very little pressure to find out why two random gang bangers were killed.
Merky looked out the window.

Chapter 5
The man was reading the instruction booklet that came with his equipment. In one day, he had finished what his superiors had given him two weeks to do.
He remembered how he put the machine together, in case he had to quickly dismember it if he was inspected by the landlord. He didn’t ask for privacy, fearing that that would make the owner suspicious. Instead, he said very little out of the ordinary.
When he meets people, the man feels okay. He never enjoyed killing. He did it because he was ordered to, and he was good at it. “Fog” was his nickname during the revolution, and it stuck with him. He was impenetrable, mysterious, and deep. Clustered, but not solitary. Closed, but not out of control.
Fog flipped through the manual, and understood the basics within an hour. He put the book down, next to the little silver box and antennae, and decided he would look around town.
Fog had to interact with others to make sure that he kept things in perspective. Things seemed their darkest for him when he didn’t interact with people. A coffee shop nearby seemed appropriate.
He ordered coffee, black, and lay down on an atrocious red couch at the far end of the cafe. What position is best to get others to talk to you, he wondered. He put a weak smile on his face, and looked up at the ceiling, in order to induce someone to conversation.
He heard someone plop down on the couch opposite him. He looked over at him.
The man was in a brown coat. That was irritating, for some reason. Was the entire world brown, he asked himself. Fog himself was in a blue, collared shirt with blue jeans. He liked the color blue, it made him feel innocent.
Fog looked back at the man and greeted him with a quick “hey”. He looked him in the eyes, but was really focusing on the man’s bland brown coat. The man responded in the same way. Fog felt like he had seen enough, and left after a slight hesitation.

Chapter 6
A week later, Merky got a fresh list of deaths from the previous night. At least he didn’t have to go and look at them. He sent one of his deputies out to the field, with the excuse of writing up the mayor’s report.
One death in particular caught Merky’s attention. Gang violence again, one young man killed. Drive by shootings were, in Merky’s opinion, the most brutal type of killings. Suicides were full of meaning and relevance. Drive by’s were without any meaning at all, aside from “life is worthless.”
Life was interesting, to say the least, thought Merky. He could feel himself wanting to talk to the murderers and ask their opinion on life and death. He could hear them saying “who cares about life?” as though they were the only people in the world with problems.
Merky looked out the window. Again, the sun was illuminating his brown office, the light bouncing off the white papers strewn all over the place. Merky had always wondered why he was so messy, and so did his secretary.
Madeline briskly walked in the door with a few folders for her boss. She stepped over the mounds of papers lying on the floor over to her boss’s desk. She liked Merky, more than just a superior. He always looked her in the eyes.
“Thank you very much, Mads.” Merky said, half smiling, “Don’t let them give you any trouble, today, okay?”
Madeline was a young, blond, sexually attractive secretary: The kind the other officers drooled over. Merky noticed that she was dressed somewhat inappropriately for a government office.
“Thank you, Dennis.” she said. “Is there anything I can get you? Coffee, donuts?”
Merky noticed that the new secretary was calling him Dennis more and more. Also, in the past few weeks, she had offered to get him basic breakfast items. He enjoyed her youth.
“Heh, yes, get me some donuts. I’m sorry about the mess here; when I get it organized slightly, I’ll let you take over. That okay?”
“Yes, detective.”
Merky was thinking about drive-by’s again as Madeline left the office. A sudden thought entered his mind that disturbed him. Merky wrote it down and quickly threw it to the floor.

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