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Mary's Law -- prelude

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posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 02:55 PM
Thomas Hunter sat in his office at Washington Place, the town house he and Madeline kept in South London, and relaxed. His shoulders lowered, he exhaled heavily, and slid forward in his chair. The room was dimly lit, the desk huge and plush. It was Georgian, or Edwardian, or some other kind of ‘ian’. Hunter had never had much time for history. Or much interest in furniture. He leaned forward and poured himself a scotch, single malt and almost as old as he was. Its fiery tang hit his nostrils as he put the bottle down.
He stood, began sauntering around the small room. Just a few short years ago he’d had next to nothing, and now this: Prime Minister. He’d never get tired of being called that. He walked to the window, looked out over the empty road, desolate in the glow of the streetlights, and pondered his success. Mary’s Law – that had been the coup de grace in his battle for the country.
Hunter recalled that Mary Staton had been the first they found, but the last to die. Winston Igwe, a West African immigrant, had befriended her on some social networking site under an assumed identity.
He’d acted the part perfectly, pretended to be everything she was: young, middle-class and lonely. Poor, poor Mary; Hunter could only imagine the look on her face; the realisation that must have dawned when she saw who baited the trap. No doubt she’d expected to lose some innocence on that trip; she’d lost so much more than that.
Hunter poured himself another whisky then went back to the window. He wouldn’t sleep tonight, he realised. He had gloating to do.
When they’d found poor Mary’s broken little body, the outcry had been overwhelming. Her limbs had been twisted into an unnatural geometry, fractured and broken so they propped her up, spider-like. Naked, she was covered in burns, bites and bruises, and eventually she bled to death. The forensic examiners claimed she sustained this torture over a three day period. He remembered the pictures they’d shown him. In his mind, he could still recall the open doorway; still see her balanced in the corner. She was staring dead eyed at the ceiling, and her knees were locked out like a broken crab. Her womanhood gazed mournfully at the door like a bloodied eye, ungainly and undignified.
As shocking as the manner of her death had been, it was what Igwe did to her next that caused the greatest upset.
A video taken on a mobile phone had surfaced a few days after the discovery of Mary’s body. It showed the last few minutes of her life, and the two hours directly after it. Her tortured soul flew into the nameless aether with barely a whimper, and Igwe had hurried from the room.
When he returned, he was carrying a small bag, from which he produced four candles and a knife. He took the knife and drew a circle around Mary’s broken corpse, about a meter in diameter. Then he drew a cross within it, placing the body that had been Mary over the centre point. In each quarter of the circle, he placed a candle while he chanted in some unknown tongue. At first, various commentators claimed it was a West Indian dialect, but linguistic experts later denied this.
Still chanting his nonsense hymns, surrounded by the candles in the murky warehouse, blood and # on the floor and the walls, Winston Igwe began to make love to the broken cadaver that had been Mary Staton. It was a strange sight. After such abuse, literally deforming her and leaving her corpse broken and inhuman, Igwe touched the cadaver gently, even reverently, moving softly inside her like some neo-tantric new age guru.
This continued for the best part of an hour, then Igwe’s chanting reached a crescendo, along with his passion. He spent his seed inside the broken child and withdrew. He muttered a few words, picked up his belongings, smudged out the circle in the filth, and was gone. Mary’s corpse remained in her crab pose, displaying her broken maidenhead, until it was found two days later by a group of teenagers looking for a quiet place to smoke a joint.
Hunter guessed it would be the last abandoned warehouse they entered, after being greeted by that abomination; carved, as it was, from supple young flesh like their own.
Nobody could explain the video. Nobody could trace it back to anyone. It just appeared on the net a few days after the body was found. By the time they’d managed to take it down, hundreds of thousands of people all across Britain had seen it. And their reaction was predictable.
The tabloids had exploded with vitriolic accusations: where had the police been? How could a crime of this nature be orchestrated so quietly and effectively? Why was Igwe (who turned out to have a history of mental health problems and minor criminal offenses) allowed into the country in the first place?
Good questions, Hunter reflected. Certainly, his predecessor’s government had been unable to answer any of them effectively. The public erupted. More bodies were discovered. Dozens of little girls, all between seven and thirteen years old, lay dead around the country: the brutal craftsmanship of Winston Igwe. They were all left in the same gruesome way. The shock and despair was palpable. Over the course of a few months, Igwe had worked in the shadows to bring Britain to its knees, and it was finding out too late to stop him. Runaways, homeless children, missing girls; none of them had been safe. The crab shaped corpses of abused adolescents littered the country.

The above is the opening for a novella I'm writing, the first of four linked books that will eventually be published as a novel. If anyone is interested, I'm hoping to send out some free copies (either formatted for Kindle or as a pdf file) for review... so, if you're interested, please inbox me the email you'd like it sent to.

Thanks for reading!


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