Just to put it somewhere
I have written the prologue of this novel for at least fifteen times and deleted completely all of them. I'm just going to leave it here where I can't take it back and see if I can go -- finally -- to the first chapter.
It had been a long time ever since the old Detective Ferioli had been interrupted in a weekend because of his job. But apparently it was serious – or else no one would bother to call him, anyway. He couldn’t keep up with his routine of being awaken up every time someone got shot and there was no killer and worked way less than before. Ferioli was in his seventies, and he knew that the day of his retirement was the day of his funeral.
And, oddly enough, the crime happened in a church. As he got closer of the piazza in front on the Santa Maria della Pace church, the breezy air of the day felt really ominous. That feeling often happened when there was a chase of a criminal, not in the ride for the crime scene. The piazza had some cars of the policy and the team from the Scientific Police, responsible for the collection of fibers, DNA or any evidence that might help into finding the identity of the criminal. Apparently, they were still working on the crime scene. Ferioli parked his car in front of the church and looked around.
Several nuns were talking with an officer. One of them, not much older than twenty years old, was crying copiously. Another officer approached Ferioli: “The scene will be ready for you shortly, Detective.”
“What happened?” Ferioli questioned. “Why all those nuns?”
“One of them found the body.” The officer spoke with certain grief. “There’s a convent eight minutes away from here, and right after the end of the Mass, Sister Tea went looking for Father Abramio. And… She found him, in the confessional. That’s all I know.”
Ferioli couldn’t say he believed in God, but he knew very well priests were respected. And what kind of maniac would kill a priest on the confessional, right after the Dominical Mass? That’s why he had been called, then. Of course that the Police would want someone with experience to deal with a murderer as reckless as this one seemed to be. The officer walked away to comfort the nuns as well, and another person joined Ferioli:
“So, have you heard the news?” Detective Campanario asked. She was a blonde woman on her forties, with her clothes all ragged and undone hair. Most likely she was playing with her children before being called… Times change. Ferioli had been a detective from a decade were very little women were allowed. Now his partner was a much honored detective with two children and a husband. And his old pathologist, with whom Ferioli identified, passed away a couple of years ago.
For a new pathologist, a young male doctor starting his career was expected. Instead, Ferioli got a scrawny short woman that could’ve been mistaken with a girl. Dr. Devika Badesha was not very relatable, but at least Ferioli was pleased to know that she was as effective, if not better, than his old companion. And Dr. Badesha was the last one to appear, already wearing the white uniform of the Scientific Police.
The two detectives and Dr. Badesha just nodded slightly as a greeting. Detective Campanario seemed rather anxious of what she would find in the church, as Ferioli was, even if he wouldn’t admit. Badesha was calm, though. The fact that a priest was killed in the confessional of a church during the day didn’t seem to bother her in the slightest. Not even the sound of sobs and crying the nuns released seemed to get to her ears.
A few minutes later, the same officer Ferioli spoke briefly with appeared again and told them the scene was ready. They put on their gloves and paper protection for their shoes in silence and Dr. Badesha took the lead to the confessional, in a corner behind the altar. Ferioli didn’t took time to notice how magnificent the church was from inside – he was focusing on preparing himself to see the body. He passed the many professional dressed like Badesha as if they were not there. But he would never be prepared to what he was going to see.
The priest, with his hair already majorly grey, had his chin falling on his chest as if he was taking a sinister nap: his pants and underpants were on his knees. And his genitals were missing, in their place existed only exposed flesh. Campanario gasped slightly, when Badesha merely looked at the blood on the floor.
“I don’t think he lost enough blood to die.” She observed calmly and placed her kit on the nearest bench to grab a large syringe. She stepped over the blood as if it was only mud and turned on her heels to face Ferioli and Campanario: “Could any of you help with getting the vitreous humor?”
“Uh… I’m not sure…” Ferioli mumbled and Campanario interrupted:
“Well, I will help you.” She said. “I want to get out of here as soon as I can.” Then she, too, walked over the puddle of blood on the stone floor, taking the care Badesha didn’t take. Campanario hesitated to touch the body, but she took some courage and lifted the priest’s head by the chin. With her free hand, she opened the right eye. Badesha inserted the needle of the syringe in the middle of the pupil and Ferioli looked away. He had seen many things, but that was especially painful to watch.
“You can look now.” Campanario said after a few moments, and the body was like it was found before.
“I’d say the priest was drugged or at least unconscious by the time of amputation. I can’t see much, but I think the cut is clean, which means he was willing or at least didn’t struggle as much. But I can only say after the autopsy.” Badesha spoke and put the syringe back in her kit.
Some people were just cold-blooded.
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