Tweeprose: ‘After the Storm’ by A. N. Gretly (For @sajyahassan)

The blood dried, eventually. There on the tiled floor, a man’s body lay as cold as death itself amidst what looked like roughly drawn angel wings of crimson blood outstretched four or five feet from his shoulders. The body belonged to a middle aged man named Smithers, who used to be a  psychiatrist at the Creekwell Asylum for the Criminally Insane before he got that hole at the side of his neck right under the edge of his jawbone. Somehow, the dead body in the laboratory at the basement of the asylum did not look out of place, at least not to those who worked at the lab. Even the security guard just outside, with his throat slit clean, sitting on the ground, his back resting on the wall, and of course, bloody angel wings drawn behind each shoulder did not bother anyone. Both men were killed by the same dark haired, snow white girl; a patient of the asylum. People weren’t surprised because the place had a relatively dark history, even the walls themselves had witnessed more deaths than one could care or even bother to count.

Flash, flash, the cameras went with everyone pushing and shoving and howling and pleading, trying to get a good shot of that macabre crime scene. They loved it, they absolutely adored every single aspect of these murders. The location alone was enough to make any reporter’s pants get a wee bit tighter around the crotch, but the way the bodies were presented; that was something else. Smithers with his white coat covered in dried blood, the security guard with his thyroid cartilage exposed for all to see,  just beautiful. The bloody wings, however, looked simply mesmerizing on their own. Not only that, but the fact that both bodies had their hands tied under their chins in the same manner made things slightly more interesting.

A couple of coppers, Creekwell’s finest, walked  here and there doing their job, or at least tried their best to appear as if they’re doing their jobs for the cameras. Some trying to prevent the reporters from getting into the crime scene, but not so secretly negotiating which reporter would pay the highest to be allowed in, and take a couple of pictures and maybe a few notes. Others just stood around striving to look important, their uniforms clean from lack of use, and their guns shining bright.

“So, what’s it gon’ be then?” One copper said.

“Three hundred.” One reporter replied.

“Four-fifty.” Another yelled.

“Alrighty,” Said the cop “Any more?”

“One thousand.” Someone said from behind the crowd.

Everyone looked. A tall man in a brown suite, brown hat, and brown leather shoes stood there at the end of the short hallway leading to the lab, with a cigarette dangling lazily between his thin lips. Another man holding a camera stood by him, young faced and short, with eagerness jumping out of his eyes like sparks. The man in brown put his hand in his pocket, and produced a small leather bound notebook, and a pen.

“What’s it gonna be, boys?” The man in brown said looking around at the reporters “What’s it gonna be?”

Nobody said anything. For a moment, there was no sound but the heavy breathing of the envious. After that, all cameras went down, and all notebooks went back to their worn out resting place inside each reporter’s pocket. The man in brown stepped forward, followed by  the youngster with the camera. The crowd parted to allow the man through, they eyed him and his companion, even mumbled a few words as they passed by.

“Johnny Sinclair,” The copper said “The man with the big money!”

“Hello there, Officer Andrew.” Johnny said with a grin.

Officer Andrew, an old cop a little thick around the waist turned to the crowed and laughed his jolly laugh.

“Alright, boys,” He said “You know the gig, it’s all over when Mis’er Big Money comes along.”

The crowd turned, and began their march of disappear towards the other side of the hallway. Officer Andrew lifted the yellow tape that was blocking the way, and allowed Johnny Sinclair and his companion to pass through. They walked a little bit, then stood before the security guard’s body.

“Snap us a good one, Mike.” Johnny said.

The youngster took a few pictures. Every flash lit up the dim hallway, and made the entire scene more horrific. Not horrific enough for Sinclair though, he was used to this kind of business. Being the best crime reporter in Creekwell made him immune to petty emotions like fear. He crouched in front of the body, and opened up his notebook.

“Look at those wings, Mike,” He said “We’ve got a proper nutcase on our hands.”

“Aren’t they all, Mr. Sinclair?” Mike replied.

“Indeed they are,” Johnny began to take a few notes, his hazel eyes scanning the body “But this one is special.”

“How come, boss?”

“This here’s the work of Emma-Jane Hartnell,” Johnny said “I remember her very well. She killed four people a few years ago, said they didn’t believe her when she told them about her dreams. Oh, I remember seeing her being transported to this very asylum; she had this pretty smile on her face, and all she said was ‘Emma is always right, for Emma sees all, and knows all’. A proper psycho indeed.”

“What’s with the wings then?”

“Ah, the wings, the holy of holies, I am surprised you are asking.”

“I’m new here, boss.” Young Mike said “I haven’t even heard of this chick before.”

“Hmm,” Johnny said, still taking his notes “You have to do your research, boy. These four murders happened not so long ago, two years ago, really, in a little town called Engenton. That’s why all these other reporters looked very fascinated when they saw the wings on this poor fool over here. That’s how she displayed the bodies of those she sliced or stabbed.”

“What is it then, some kind of sick serial killer deal?” Mike said crouching next to Johnny to  take another picture from a low angle “As if they’re praying for her?”

Johnny Sinclair stood up, and flicked his cigarette. He placed his notebook back in the inside pocket of his brown blazer. The body did look like it was praying, with its hands tied up by the wrists, and its palms facing each other under its chin. It looked like she used part of her asylum gown to tie up the guard’s hands. Johnny smiled, thinking he’d bet good money that the other body looked the same.

“Not praying for her, Mike,” Johnny Sinclair said as he began to walk through the lab’s doorway “Praying to her.”

And on and on and on it went.


About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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