A Study in Scarlet

Jan Lahney | January 5, 2018

A Study in Scarlet

Attention! Attention! Attention! Dead and still demanding attention.

Even after falling from such a high balcony you still manage to be arranged as though you are lounging seductively across a lover’s bed. Seduction with arrogance, you always defied your victims not to desire you. Kept them keen, didn’t it?

Nygai Munundi, two metres of chocolate brown skin with a strange golden sheen, draped in the scarlet, strapless sheath of silk you ‘acquired’ from the Bretton Paris Collection. I can still hear the gasps from the catwalk crowd when you modelled it. Did Bretton give it to you or did you lift it? The perfect model had to have the perfect cocktail dress. Sadly tonight you looked dressed-to-kill, but sadly you dressed to be killed.

Those long bare toes in the Italian sandals, draws one’s gaze towards the right angle turn at the ankle with its fine gold chain; then up the pleasurable ladder of the dark chocolate skin, as high as decency will allow, to your hip Only you, Nygai, could wear the blood pool from your fractured skull like a cartwheel hat to frame that famous face so elegantly. Your final photo shoot – and it is me who will be there to direct it, assess and report on your death. Ironically sadly sweet?

Watching you clawing the air as you fell, did prompt some feelings of guilt in me – momentarily. I hadn’t intended this, but you pushed one too many buttons tonight, and actions have consequences.

But well done you. Your look of surprise, then horror, was probably the only genuine emotion you have shown me, or anybody else on this planet, since you became fashion’s darling.

‘Darling of the Catwalk Dazzles Paris’. ‘Rome Worships the African Queen’. ‘New York Fashion Conquered by Golden Bronzed Masai.’

Oh please…

Your Chinese mother, Mai Lee, a Papuan hotel housemaid, dusted your skin with its golden glow. And you told the New York Times your father was a Masai chief? That’s garbage and as fake as your rhinestones on your golden slave-sandals. He was a wash-boi for that fat, banker’s wife in Lae, New Guinea. Well my heroin-chic chick, there’s bound to be ‘H’ in your system. That’ll help me sell ‘your accident’ to Scranton.

Oh, sorry Detective Scranton, didn’t quite catch what you said. I was concentrating on my job.

‘Is that… ?’

Yes, that’s Nygai Munundi. Has an apartment next to me. Well ‘had’. I actually saw her fall and

 called it in, just after 2.00a.m. Fate huh? Grabbed my kit and came down. She is lying on a champagne glass and her smashed mobile phone is over there. Drinking, and props on the balcony edge to take a selfie, leans back and falls. These high flyers mix drink and drugs and the world is surprised accidents happen.’

‘Anyone else in her apartment?’

No. Had lots of lovers, even women, but no one was in her apartment tonight.

(Not even her.)

You can get a key from Paul Jones, over there; skulking in the bushes, the creep. You’ll find prints everywhere in her apartment. Even mine, probably.

‘Women? Her? You’re bloody joking.’

Women can love beauty, Detective. She used sex as a weapon, a reward, a bribe or just to feed her ego. Believe me, was a charming piece of work and as cold as a mother-in-law’s kiss. I know Nygai Munundi inside and out. Called me, ‘Sister Sarah’. She had pet names for everyone she met. Said it made people ‘feel special’.’ Sneered about it. Nasty bitch.

‘Got under your skin Henderson, did she? Wouldn’t mind her under my skin. Bloody gorgeous! What a waste.

‘Men! You’re all the same. Hey Jones, can you let Detective Scranton into Nygai’s apartment. Jeff, she ended up more under my balcony than her own. Go figure. Must have seen me and was reaching for me. Cop-youlater, Scranton.’

‘O.K. Dr. Henderson. Very clever. I get it.’

‘Miller, all those shots are good. Quick get a shot of the mobile phone in situ before Jeff bags it. When we move the body, get a shot of the smashed, champagne glass underneath her. And let’s just finish the shots without referring to the victim’s body, the waste of beauty or your latent sexual desires.’

‘You’re the boss.’

‘1, 2, 3. Roll.’

‘Funny place to carry a glass. In ya back.’

Shut it, Miller. Just shoot the damn picture.

‘Boss, are you all right? ‘

These tears are not for you, lover. They’re for me. I cannot believe you could push me this far. Or that I could push you that hard. I am really a good, moral person. You have destroyed me too. I’ll never get over this. And I still love you. Effing Pathetic!

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