Immoral Immortal – PART FIVE (Jessica Rabbit Flash Fiction)

Read Parts 1-4 here

Summary: The last time we saw Ric and Irving, they had just been shot at by unknown gunman after learning more about the Jessica Rabbit Killer. Now, they are fighting for their lives.

Chapter Five

‘Down!’ Ric barked, but he wasn’t quick enough. A rhythmic succession of bullets was screeching through the windows and obliterating every surface. The decanter turned to glittering specs across the table. Wooden walls now splintered and gaping. Papers and books shot to bits and flying around the room like a possessed madman was waving a wand.

Ric could just make out Irving through the whirl of papers. Downed, but moving.

‘At least he’s still alive.’ He thought as he tried to figure out a path to Irving without getting holes blown through his own flesh. Ric took his chance when they paused to reload or switch gunmen – he couldn’t see the shooters to confirm either way – and army-crawled across the floor. He swept books and exploded chairs alike out of his way until he reached the professor. Even in the mere seconds since he had been downed, Irving looked like he was closer to the doors of hell than the land of the living.

Ric prayed to any rotten deity that would listen, and then grabbed Irving’s good arm and dragged him back towards the lift. ‘If I could just summon the lift’, he thought, ‘I’ve got a chance of getting us out alive’. He shuffled backwards, dragging the moaning professor inch after agonising inch. A quick glance up told him there was no apartment left as the bullets still soared through the air. Once he finally reached the doors, Ric blindly shoved his hand in the air and groped for the call button, a rogue shot narrowly missing his elbow. He threw himself back down to the hardwood floors and waited for death. And then hope came in the sound of the lift arriving.

The professor was waning fast, so Ric had to keep dragging himself and Irving inch by bloody inch until all limbs were clear of the lift doors. He pushed himself as far into the corner as his broad shoulders would allow and shuffled up the wall, pushing up from his knees. He scrambled for any floor numbers he could reach and hit the ‘Close Doors’ button. The lift seamlessly drew itself closed and started to smoothly glide down dozens of floors. Ric didn’t have a plan, but as a stray bullet dinged the very top of the door, he knew he needed one – and fast.

Irving’s blood was drenching them both. The lift looked like a murder scene, and at any moment the lift doors might expose them to an unsuspecting room of strangers. Most lift entrances opened directly into the apartments, with very few hitting service floors or exits. Ric had no idea what floor he was sending them to. His prayers were answered when they came out at the Fifth Floor – Janitorial. He dragged the almost unconscious professor out onto the concrete floor and let the lift soar back down to the lobby. By now, the shooters were probably searching every inch of Irving’s apartment. Ric slumped against the wall, bleeding professor in his lap. He looked down to see the whites of Irving’s eyes, glistening in the dank light of Fifth Floor.

‘They think you know.’ Irving creaked, closing his eyes again.

‘Hey old man, come on. Stay with me’ he said, shaking Irving by the shoulders. ‘We need to get you help. Where’s your i-dent card?’ Ric searched through the professor’s pockets until he found his wallet. He didn’t want to involve anyone else, but Irving wouldn’t survive a patch up from some quickie street doctor. He needed real help. Ric pulled the i-dent card out of the front slit and pressed Irving’s bloody index finger onto the bottom right-hand corner of the card. The fingerprint glowed a neon green and started to flash.

‘Irv – help is on the way, okay? You just need to stay with it a little longer and then the medics will be here.’

‘You can’t be here. Upstairs. They’ve got everything-.’ the professor coughed, his skin growing paler.

‘I’ll take care of it, professor. I’ll burn whatever’s left.’

‘No, not the girl. They’ve got your papers.’ Irving kept trying to sit up, but the sound of approaching sirens gave him the OK to lay back down. ‘We need to talk.’

‘OK, I’ll come with you to the hospi-.’ Irving cut him off by gripping his arm.

‘No – it’s too dangerous. Wait for me to contact you.’

Ric looked at the old man, lifeline slipping slowly from view, and wondered if the professor knew he was dying. He wasn’t making any sense. Why would Irving have papers on him?

‘Kid, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve seen more bullets than movies, and one day I’ll tell you all about it. But for now, get out of here.’

The sirens screeched closer and louder, and Ric was out of time. His only hope of evading questions was to hide. He examined the floor for the first time since they arrived, and swore gracefully at the sight of a supply cupboard. He squeezed Irving’s hand, told him not to die, and ran to the cupboard door. He had yanked it open and gently pulled it closed just in time. The medics came rushing out of the lift, stretcher in tow. Ric watched through a crack in the door as his closest friend – who was really only a stranger – was carted off to the Capita Hospital in an ambulance. He prayed once more to his unloving gods that Irving would make it out alive, and once the coast was clear, headed out of his cupboard and down a fire escape staircase.

As daylight hit his face – so did someone’s fist. The last thing he saw was a flash of scarlet before his face met with the ground.

Immoral Immortal (Part 3) | FLASH FICTION

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here. 

Ric stepped into Irving’s apartment and the lift doors slid quietly closed behind him. On the coffee table in front of the professor were piles of paperwork scattered all over the place, and a screen projection hovering a metre above the table with images flickering across it.

As he walked towards the living room, he glanced at the standing bar with a glass of whisky already poured and waiting. Irving had an identical one a hand’s stretch away from him on the table, but he was more concerned about the paperwork than the drink. Ric picked up the glass and swilled the dark liquid in the crystal glass and took a sip. He welcomed its rough heat. Ric took another sip before placing the glass down in a gap on the table and picking up the closest file to him. Each file seemed to be old police reports – all the pages had faded and yellowed with time. He could taste the dust in the air as he flicked through the papers.

 

WITNESS TESTIMONY

NAME: SIMON TIMOTHY ST. JAMES

DOB: 21ST JUNE 2055

OFFICER MCNALLY: Can you describe the assailant?

ST. JAMES: She was wearing a bright red dress and purple heels. And she had really red hair – like orange-red. I only saw her quick – so I didn’t see her face or nothing.

OFFICER MCNALLY: What did you see happen?

ST. JAMES: She walked down the alley where I’d seen a bloke in a suit go ‘bout five minutes before. Then there were loads of noise and she came out and he didn’.

OFFICER MCNALLY: Did you witness the crime?

ST. JAMES: Love, I jus’ told you – they went in the alley an’ only the lass came back out.

OFFICER MCNALLY: So, if you didn’t see a crime being committed, why did you call the police?

ST. JAMES: Saw the body though, didn’ I? Big ol’ hole right in his chest. I tell you what – I recons it was them heels the devil ‘ad on. Stabbed him through the heart, she did.

OFFICER MCNALLY: Did you see any other evidence that the woman in question was the one to commit the murder?

ST. JAMES: Well, I didn’t need any did I? She’s that Jessica Rabbit killer, aint she?

END OF INTERVIEW

 

Ric looked over to Irving, who had is head in his hand and was watching him closely.

‘They’re all the same. No one ever saw her close up, they never witnessed her actually committing the murders. There’s no proof it’s even the same woman – just the same clothes. Not that they would have been easy to get hold of. Even back then – they weren’t making items like that anymore, the uniform structure was already in place unless you were an elite or a Ward.’ Irving looked defeatedly at the mess of paperwork on his table and started scraping it together to make what vaguely resembled a pile.

‘No, she’s not dressed like a Ward. She’s… different. People try not to look at Wards – but her, well you just sort of can’t help it. She doesn’t belong somehow.’

‘What exactly did she look like?’

‘Like this.’ Ric said, waving the witness interview around. ‘Red hair, red dress, purple heels.’

‘But did you see her face?’

‘She looked right at me, Professor. The face of an angel. Except-.’ Ric stopped halfway through his thought.

‘What?’

‘Eyes. Her eyes! Fuck sake – I knew she looked different!’ Ric touched his index finger gently to his left eye and as he pulled it away, an artificial lens came with it. ‘She’s not wearing lenses.’ He stared at the glint of the lens. If he looked close enough, he could see the coding scrawling across the top. They recorded everything, they showed you everything. You could even link them with ear pieces and use them as an entertainment system. But Ric could never afford that. He put the lens carefully back in his eye and blinked a few times.

‘But everyone wears them – even the Wards. Even the President of the World wears fucking lenses. It’s the law. If you’re caught not wearing them, you’re arrested.’ Irving searched through the papers and pulled out the only sketch of the woman. But there was no face depicted in the image, just her signature outfit.

‘I know, but I’m telling you she wasn’t wearing them.’

‘You can’t get anywhere without them. One of the murders was committed in a Public Library – they do retinal scans to check your Clearance.’

‘So how did she get in?’ Ric asked, picking up his drink and taking a swig.

‘Someone’s helping her.’

– End of Part Three –

Immoral Immortal: A Fantasy Crime Flash Fiction (Part One)

What would you do if you met a serial killer from the past that looked just like Jessica Rabbit?

Here is Part One of my new Flash Fiction – let me know what you think in the comments, and if you would like a Part Two. 


Immoral Immortal – Part One

As Ric looked up from the floor, a flash of deep crimson caught his gaze. He no longer found his shoes satisfying enough to ponder, and instead set to task trying to work out what he had glimpsed. A longer look intrigued him even more. He had seen pictures in the info stamps of old of the image before him. A woman in a svelte red crushed velvet dress, long auburn waves tumbling over her shoulders and black heels that would pierce even a giant’s skin. Ric often thought the shuttles in his hive were some of the cleanest, but she was out of place, making it seem dingy and dark compared to her.

Ric tried not to gawk as he attempted to remember the tale. Back in the 20th century, there was a film with a cartoon woman called Jessica Rabbit – who was apparently rather pretty and illustrious – and decades later a serial killer emerged, dazzling her victims dressed as this character. She was never caught in the twenty-five years she was active – she just disappeared one day and was never heard from again. Ric knew it couldn’t be the same woman, nearly 300 years later, but it made him wonder what would compel a woman to dress like that these days. It was hardly inconspicuous – only Wards wore red in public, and they were never left unaccompanied.

A Ward or Wardling was a member of an elite group of women, said to be the most beautiful and alluring women from all over the world. They would be chosen from their hometown as a young girl and trained and transformed into Wards. Men would pay a whole year’s wages just for an hour with a Ward. They were said to be multi-lingual, excellent dancers and able to charm men into abandoning their wives and children with just a whispered sentence in the ear of a willing man. But even Wards didn’t wear dresses like that.

Ric’s brain noticed before the rest of him had time to catch up, but the woman was slowly slinking towards him, and before he could close his mouth, she was sat on the seat next to him, her legs daintily crossed over one another. He attempted a casual nod but felt he probably looked like a seal pup begging for fish. Ric looked at his shoes again.

They were standard issue black shoes, leading to the plain black trousers and a black polo shirt. Some people chose to buy clothes themselves, but Ric had never much minded the government-issued wardrobe. He had seven of each item of clothing – in case they needed to be washed or mended. And every year he received a new pack in that year’s chosen colour. This year was black in tribute to the cenotaph of the Fallen Founders – the legendary warriors that had overthrown the monarchy and tragically lost their lives in the battles that followed.

Most people on the shuttle were wearing the same thing or had the additional black jacket for warmth. Ric was glad he hadn’t grabbed his before work that morning, as he could feel the heat swelling through his body as the woman glanced sidewards at him with a slight smile on her red lips. Several minutes passed before the shuttle began to slow and the conductor announced the next stop. Ric snuck glimpses to his left every now and then, pondering her clothes. She truly looked the part of the Jessica Rabbit killer, although he couldn’t remember the real woman’s name.

She stood up as the shuttle came to a stop and the doors slid open. Just as she reached the doors, the woman turned to face him, smiled and said, ‘Her name was Ruby Bennett’, and stepped off onto the platform.

Dear Me: The World Has Changed

Dear Me,

You grew up thinking the world was a certain way. That intellect and creativity were flaws and things to be hidden. You grew up knowing how to stretch money. You grew up thinking girls were wrong.

You were wrong. The world doesn’t just exist of your past.  It’s fragile, and constantly changing: but it’s beautiful.

A crazy-amazing world built for people who want to change. People who want to progress. People who have learned from their mistakes.

Because, guess what?

You’re alive in the 21st century, where Girl Power isn’t the Spice Girls. Where we have better paid jobs and where intellectual role models are aspired to almost as much as glamour models. Where girls can be just as strong as boys. And where creativity is encouraged.

Dear Me… The world grew up too. Enjoy it.

He doesn’t know you (Poem)

Calm down

don’t react

he doesn’t know

all the facts. 

He doesn’t know

about your past

about your pain

about the loss

about the gain.

He doesn’t know

what you’re going through

he doesn’t know

what to say 

what to do.

He didn’t know you then

but he does now.

So leave it behind

and make a new vow.

Move on with your life

it’s easier said

than done,

but remember

he doesn’t know you

and he doesn’t know

what you did wrong.