The night is cold winter is at the throat of darkness and the little lamp lighted street is silent other than the patter of heavy rain upon the roof tops of terraced city property. A young man is with raincoat over his head at the door of a guest house. it is the only door painted red in this street. We take our tale inside as viewers.
“Come in sir.Your wet in this rain. I am happy to serve you with food. ”
“I thank you fair Iilania.”
“You know my name. How?” she took two steps back and looked at his youthful face. Fire brimmed in those dark eyes.
“Come now child .I was directed here ,yes, by -,someone ,He told me who to ask for.No more than that. Have you wine and a meal, I can pay you well.”
She nodded and left to see the kitchen. He took off the great coat from around his shoulders and stood in the black suit watching the fire glow around the room. An electric lamp shone over the table and as he was about to seat himself the return of the landlady bringing a tray of ware to him. He settled down to drink the wine and pick at the meat.
“It was fresh from the market first thing this morning .Is it alright sir,you look vexed.”
He looked up at her with brighter face than she had seen at the door. He smiled and raised his glass in way of thanks. She wanted to sit and watch this most strange man but that she knew was rude and so made her self a way back into the back room. About an hour went by she could hear no sound in the next room. Thinking him asleep she edged her way to that door . The room was empty the fire dead and the wine bottle missing. The hot meat lay untouched save for teeth bites in one end that shocked her much. She lifted the plate to find his card and twenty pound note folded next to it. As the wine cost 5 and the meal 4 pounds and he had clearly left her home his long gray coat too had gone she considered it profit and bolted the main door for the night.
Over the next few nights she dreamed of this man which terrified her.His gentle bearded face she could not get out of her mind. She lived on her own since her mother had died in the March last. She could tell no one.She had taken down the sign for bed and breakfast long ago as winter was her rest time. This man who was he that came to her at night. The card fell from the table as she dusted the room next morning. She decided to make a call on him as insider her pounding heart she truly desired to know. So it was that this poor lady went the way of others.Her body found sat in a church pew by vicar and the sidesman. Dead was she drained of blood and whiter than snow, dead was she.
Over the police case Inspector James had come to interview this man at 12 Corner Parade. A flat over a tobacconist shop. The stairs leading steeply up to a brown faded door that when opened led into a nicely laid out lounge. James was not alone at his side his able constable Briggs pencil and pad in hand. Not a soul was in that room save they.
On a walk around certain observations did they observe. Photographs of Rome and a girl very pretty looked out from the print with sad countenance. A silver coffee pot steamed on a silver tray set on the highly polished marble table near the fire ,set but not lit.
It was then that they looked up to see this fellow stood between them.He looked into their faces with a certain mischief in his eyes.
“How did you do that trick .You are Valentine De Mortica I take it.?”
“I am, police officer, that same man. Come I have set coffee for you. I have cake and some fine rare cheese if it takes your interest wine too. ”
” You are expecting someone sir?”
‘Not now Inspector. You see you are here already. Please take a seat, how rude of me not to suggest that you must relax. ”
” I have come here to interview you over the death of Miss Jones of 45 lavender lane. You are known to have visited her on that exact evening of her death. ”
“Yes that is true.I did. ”
‘ Who are you and where are you from?”
” I am a native of Rome .My name you have, what more can I say on what you demand.”
” I want the truth sir. Did you kill her?”
” Direct. inspector .I see.But do you?”
“How do you mean. Look I am loosing my temper with this circus act of movement .Sit down here and tell us all you know. ”
“Then I will , of course. I must start at the beginning. It must be said before hand that you will need proof .I am not so sure that you will want the proof but I freely will give it if that is what you desire.Then you must tell me that is what you both desire. The whole truth I mean”.
‘But of course man you must tell us all .You killed her I know now. ‘
“No she is not dead to me sir. But onward from the start.
It was the year 1723 I was but a young man looking for a woman in the built up area behind the Opera House in Milan. Her hair was so fine and like an angel her countenance .Her scent filled me with excitement and her soft breasts against me ,full passion arose. Then she leaned her head on my shoulder; like that of a child at play .She sunk into my neck, – painfully . For only a tick of the clock ,painfully, then rapture and joy, passion as I had never known. It was my rebirth at that moment, you see. Green her eyes hooded her head and pale her lovely face. She made me who I am.”
1723 .You are say maybe 23 now maybe 26 but no more .What tale is this sir. I came to take you in and gave you the chance to come clean. Not this fantasy.”
” The darkness I call it inspector. So, and now for your proof. ”
The flat above the tobacconist shop filled with doctors pathologist and police crowded into that room. The dead inspected had been killed by dagger by the flat tenant now vanished. The pathologist left .The policeman filed out one by one and the doctor closed his leather case. The Inspector and his Constable both dead .Bodies only and now being taking on to the morgue.
From that day to this the case has gone on with dead ends . No Valentine De Mortica existed and three murders but one vanished corpse out of city morgue was never accounted for. The lady owner of the guest house was never found. It was a sad end indeed to a story .Then the teller know it all. We may meet in time and place and Ill ask what you really desire then. Go carefully my dear. For joy as you have never know and life ETERNAL is what I offer.
One hopes my loyal readers will sigh at this short tale of immortality.
Yours as always and forever .Sir Kevin.
copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2020.