Image by Ray Wilkins ©2009 of Time and Space Shop
White Bones and Red Dust
Ray Wilkins ©2009
He could feel himself slipping away. Richard closed his eyes. Going inside, he searched for that part of his inner self that he had decided to trust, even if he sometimes did not quite understand what it was trying to say. Some people called it intuition. Rich called it Yalamba, the aboriginal name for teacher.
He could hear the voices of the doctor and Yolanda drifting into the mist. He could soon see the yellow and red dust swirling around the huge round stones where he knew he would once again meet Him.
Wootara stepped out from behind one of the boulders and walked slowly up to where Richard was standing. He reached out his hand and pressed it onto Richards’s forehead. “Seek the path of the hunter and know the signs of your body’s senses, your mind’s eye and the courage of your heart.”
He looked into Wootara’s eyes and was amazed at the wisdom and oldness that he saw behind the jet-black orbs of light. “What you sometimes see disturbs your heart and this in turn dulls your senses. At these moments of experience it is important for you to distance yourself from your heart feelings. Imagine that you step out of your body and this mirror self contains all your feelings, emotions and compassion. It leaves behind a mind and an intuition that can work without being clouded and misdirected, a mind that like the spear flies straight to the truth and the woomera, the spear thrower, is once again your intuition.”
“Richard! Richard! We have to go, the doctor wants to take the body to the morgue.” He opened his eyes to see Yolanda frowning and looking a little bit annoyed.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s okay. Let’s go and get a cup of coffee.” He ripped off his disposable gloves, glanced once again at the lonely corpse lying in the mud and followed his collegue to the car.
“What happened back there, Rich? You were like all of a sudden turned off like a light bulb.”
“I hate this bastard. When I see something like this I just go blind, call it blind rage if you want.” He didn’t feel good talking to his partner in riddles but somehow he felt he wasn’t yet able to explain to her what happened when he slipped into that other world and started talking to an Aborigine called Wootara who gave him advice on how to solve his cases.
“I just talked with Ray Brown, the profiler. He’s going to meet us when we get into headquarters. He says he has some ideas and that we won’t like them at all,” she answered, trying not to think that her collegue was starting to go round the bend as well as up the hill.
“Yeah, Ray is good. He has the courage to really go deep into the personality structure but we haven’t got much information for him, have we? I mean, all we know is that the killer is probably male, at least one ninety in height, well-built and may have some connection to medical facilities. Big deal, mate!”
“What’s wrong with you, Rich?” Yolanda said, a little louder than she really wanted to. “The last few months you’re always in a bad mood and so negative. Everything I say you react with a question. My God, sometimes I even feel like the perp. Jesus mate, I know, since you divorced Lucy you’ve had a rough time getting used to a single life again and all those legal hassles with money, the car and the house. But, partner, I can’t even talk to you straight any more. It’s almost like you’re shut up in a little box.”
Rich felt like letting go of the tears that were fighting behind his eyes but instead of that he took a deep breath.
“We’ve been working together now for almost five years. We’ve been through a lot and what I really like about you is that you don’t put any pressure on me about not talking enough, not showing my feelings and all that crap that Lucy used to bombard me with. Please, Yolanda, don’t start doing that too.”
For the next twenty minutes there was nothing but two angry people and an icy silence in the car until they reached police headquarters in the old Civic Centre.
“He’s a monster without any signs of motivation and that’s one of the worst kinds.” Ray was talking to the task team in the operations room that had been set up for this case.
The official label for the case was The Lake Slayer.
Not very imaginative, Rich thought as he was listening to the somewhat mesmerising voice of the profiler. He was thinking about the argument with Yolanda in the car. He knew that he had hurt her with his heartless comparison to Lucy. And what she was saying was right: since the divorce he had changed. He felt less protected and sensitive to everything she said. As well as this he had been falling into the dream world more often than usual. Even though Wootara and the other spirits always had some kind of knowledge to help him find the perpetrators, he somehow felt they were also leading him onto a path, a path that he was not quite sure he wanted to follow.
Ray’s voice cut into his thoughts. “No, we don’t have much information at all. There is no DNA, no fingerprints and, as far as I understood what you have already said, no other clues as to who he is. But, anyway, let’s go through everything again. According to the autopsy report the murderer was left-handed, strong and between one ninety and two metres tall. You all agree that he might have some medical experience; he certainly knows how to use a scalpel. He has no apparent sexual motives, at least not physical. At this early stage all I can say is that he is an extremely disassociated person and has a disturbed sexual relationship to women. This could mean that he experienced a severely traumatic relationship to his mother – he either hated her intensely or had sexual encounters with her. He does some kind of fitness exercises, probably bodybuilding. Judging by the cut he must have crept up very close to her, meaning that he knows how to hunt or stalk. Lastly he has some kind of fixation on the lake. I´m afraid that there is not much more I can tell you all except that this man has no heart and no conscience and that makes him very, very dangerous.”
Nobody said a word but everybody was thinking the same thought.
“We will do everything we bloody well can to catch this bastard,” said Sarah, the chief of the forensics department. Her cheeks burnt a deep red as they often did when she had enough courage to open up her mouth.
Rich walked down to the water where the crime site was taped off; a constable was standing on the rocks looking out at the fountain in the middle of the lake that gave off a light mist and a rainbow.
“Rainbows are a sign of hope, constable, did you know that?”
“Ah, sorry, Detective Jones, I didn’t hear you coming. The ground is so soft and muddy here you can’t hear any footsteps at all.”
“Yeah, I guess that’s why the victim didn’t hear anything either.” Rich looked toward the depression in the ground where the corpse had been found.
“I am just going to be looking around to see if I can find anything, so just ignore me, okay?”
He turned towards the memory of blood and sadness that was burned into his brain and, jumping over the red and white tape, he walked slowly up to where the ground was marked with small pegs, each peg with a number. He went down on to his knees, closed his eyes and called Wootara.
“Every time a man injures or kills, driven by hate he leaves a sign. This sign is sometimes hard to see but a good hunter can always find it if he opens his Yibidi, his intuition. Search the ground with your eyes closed using your right hand to lightly brush over the grass. The spirits of your fathers will do the rest. Trust yourself and you will find the answer.” Wootara’s voice blew away on the wind and Rich started searching the immediate area. He could feel the sun shining down on the back of his neck and the tips of the grass brushing against his hand. He heard only the deep stillness of silence and his mind was a void of light standing still in time. The first sound that he heard reminded him of bees buzzing around pollen-filled flowers in spring. It became louder and louder and all of a sudden it stopped, leaving a faint echo in the air. Richard opened his eyes and looked closely at the ground beneath his right hand. He could see something shining red, faintly sticking to the still wet grass. It looked like red dust. Very carefully he reached into his jacket pocket and pulling out a cellophane sample bag he carefully put the blades of grass with the trace of redness into it and closed it tight. He knew without a shadow of doubt that lying in his hand was the answer and a small tear tried to squeeze out of his eye. He ran back up the bank to his car, slammed the car door and drove out onto the road, leaving the constable still staring out at the rainbow, contemplating hope.
“Sarah, warm up the spectrometer. I have what looks like red dust we need to analyse now. And get Yolanda into your office and tell her to bring the Rhyme software archive for earth, dust and stones. I think we’ve got him!”
“Here it is, Rich, the only place where this type of dust is found is that old iron mine out at Yarra Crossing, and there’s nothing out there except for a few abandoned huts and rusted up trucks and tractors – a perfect place for somebody to hide.”
They ran out to the car, followed by a team of special agents armed with rifles and Kevlar vests.
“You know what, Yolanda? You know what really pisses me off is that if we do apprehend him and he’s proven guilty his lawyer will with certainty plead insanity and he will live the rest of his life sucking milkshakes out on the lawn at the Royal Psychiatric Hospital in Geelong. People like that should be taken out of circulation permanently.”
“Yeah, I agree, Rich, but what interests me more is how did you know where to find that small trace of red dust? Our people went over the area with a fine toothcomb and then did it again! And then you go out there on your own, do some kind of magic trick and, abracadabra, dust particles materialise clinging to slender stalks of grass. It reminds me of other cases in the past where you had some kind of idea or intuition that led to us breaking the case. How do you do it?”
Rich turned to look at her, noticing her concentrating on the road, a frown hidden within her smile. He thought how beautiful she looked in the evening light.
“Let me explain all that to you some time over a glass or two of beer. I owe it to you. Now, keep your eyes on the road!”
They soon turned onto a track leading to the abandoned mine. They could see the red dust swirling up around the cars and transport vans. At the end of the track there stood an old house surrounded by a porch. Inside they could see light burning.
Everybody stood rooted to the spot. Inside the house they had found one large room, walls plastered with photos of the two young women who had been murdered. On a table there was a metal tray full of scalpels in different sizes. In one corner stood a nautilus exercise machine, on the floor next to it lay a dead man, blood flowing out of his mouth and nose. There was no apparent cause of death, no bullet holes, no knife slashes.
Yolanda knelt down and opened up his clenched fist. She saw a very small white bone broken in two. Lying beside his head she saw a small flat stone. It was painted with two circles. The circles were painted in blood.
Ray Wilkins is an artist and writer who participates in The Artist Challenge on a regular basis. You can find more of Ray’s work at Time and Space Shop. The artwork is wonderfully inspired and has amazing detail. You can now get prints, calendars, posters, canvas prints, t-shirts etc of most of Ray’s works at fantastically
reasonable prices, at Ray’s Redbubble shop! Ray Wilkins is an accomplished author of “The Girl With Nine Toes”, available in English and German, and “Emotio” available only is German, but soon to be released in English. You can find “The girl with nine toes. A story about personal growth” on Amazon.Com, Barns and Noble.com, as well as other online, and brick and mortar book stores worldwide!
Today is the final day for submissions to The Writers Challenge. If you haven’t finished your “Curiosity Killed The Cat” theme, you have until 10:00 PM tonight, Saturday September 19, 2009. All the stories we have received, will be published in succession Sunday morning, starting at 12:01 AM Central Mountain time. One every minute until all are posted. They will be grouped by a unique tag, and I’ll post a link to that tag on a greetings page for visitors. Comments will be open to any who chose to share their thoughts. Each story will have it’s own comment section. I know I’ve enjoyed all the creative and fabulous good stories submitted. I’m sure you will also.
Don't forget, tomorrow is also the debut of The Artists Challenge gallery “The Gift”. We’re not only getting great visual art, but also inspired fiction. Between the two sites, we should have a truly grand day.