The Unfortunate Gentleman – A Flash Fiction Story

There was a body in the open field. Tanya hated dead bodies.

For one thing, they smelled. Then there was the blood and the birds. It was always the birds. Tanya watched as a black crow plucked the eye from the face of the dead man and made away with it, letting out a loud shriek even with an eye in its craw.

“Fucking vultures.” She said.

“Won’t we be needing that sir?” Lucy asked.

She looked at the younger woman and tried not to give her a withering glare. She also tried not to roll her eyes and wasn’t entirely successful. “For what?”

“For…evidence?” Lucy sounded unsure.

Tanya reminded herself it was rude to snort. “Well, unless we could read the grey matter of his brain to see what he saw, then his eyes are no use to us. He certainly won’t be needing them, will he?”

“No, sir.” She shrugged her shoulders.

Sighing, Tanya turned and looked at the younger woman. She was of average height and had curling red hair that reached past her shoulders, pale skin and green eyes. Where the girl should have looked frumpy in a brown potato sack of a dress, she instead looked ready for a romance novel cover. Tanya allowed herself to hate her a little bit. “Out with it.” Tanya said.

“It’s just, well, isn’t that disrespectful? Why did you let the bird get away with the eye? What will his family say?”

Tanya tried to hold back the words she wanted to say. Again, she wasn’t entirely successful. She really must work on this. “Do you really think the family will be concerned with a missing eye? Personally, I’d be concerned with his missing genitalia. Someone has done away with that member already. I’m surprised you didn’t notice that already.”

Looking towards the area where the genitalia would normally be Lucy squinted and then blushed. “I did examine the body as you told me to do, but all I saw was a lot of…hair, sir.”

“Did you not think that odd?”

“There are some men who prefer to keep things natural down there, sir.”

“Yes, well I don’t fancy going on an expedition every time I want some rumple foreskin, Lucy. Did you think the amount of hair to be normal?”

Lucy’s blush deepened. “I haven’t slept with…very many people…um, sir.”

Trying not to take pleasure in the younger woman’s apparent discomfort, Tanya pointed at the area. “That is an abnormal amount of hair, don’t you think? It rather looks like someone has made a bouffant out of his pubic region. Now why would they style the hair that way?”

 “I do wonder where they got all the hair from. He’s quite bald, you see.” Lucy pointed at his bald head.

“Well, if you would look to the left of the unfortunate gentleman, you’ll see something there. Shall we move closer to see what it is?”

“Dead bodies make me nervous, sir.”

“Then you should have chosen a different line of work then, shouldn’t you.” Tracy sighed and tried to make her tone of voice softer. “Come, you can take my arm for strength, but try not to leak tears on me, I abhor whimpering around a murder scene.” She sighed inwardly. She must try again.

Before offering Lucy her arm, Tanya took out two pairs of latex gloves. “Put these on.”

“Shouldn’t we wait for the constable sir?” Lucy said timidly.

“We could, but how many body parts will be remaining when he sees fit to hurry his ass over here?” Tanya motioned at the body. “In case you didn’t notice dear lady, there is a naked body lying in a field. It is our duty to find out everything we can. That is what good detectives do.”

“Yes, sir.”

Lucy took Tanya’s arm and the carefully made their way closer to the body. Looking at the body from this angle showed Tanya a few different things. “Tell me what that is, lying next to the body.”

Luc looked down while trying to keep her eyes away from the bodies gonial area. “I believe it’s been a beard trimmer, sir.”

“Quite so.” Tanya pointed at the body. “You see all the red marks on his body? On his arms and that redness in the mans armpits? The scratches along the man’s scalp?”

“Those might have been made by the crow, sir.”

Maybe there is hope for her yet. “A good observation, but an incorrect one.” Then again, maybe not. She smiled inwardly and patted Lucy’s hand. “A crow wouldn’t have made the same marks all over the body. No, these marks were made by the beard trimmer. They shaved off all of the man’s hair.”

“Why would they do that, sir? To what purpose?”

“Is there ever a purpose behind murder?” Tanya said. She bent over to grab a small branch that was lying in the grass nearby. “Now I want you to get the camera ready. Will you do that?”

“Yes sir.” Lucy said, taking hold of the camera that hung around her neck.

Tanya bent down and began to prod the nest of hair. She dug the stick into it and hit something solid. Catching it on the stick, Tanya held it up higher so that she could get a better look. It was a gold ring with a diamond centre piece.

“I think this was a crime of passion.” Tanya said. “Why take the man’s genitals and leave a ring?”

“So, we are looking for a scorned mistress or a wronged fiancé!” Lucy said with some excitement.

“Close, but you’re wrong. You must learn to look at everything, Lucy.”

“Why would I be wrong?”

“Well, this ring is far too big to be a woman’s ring!” She smiled. “I think we are looking for a man who has been scorned by his lover, not a woman.”

In the silence that followed, they heard a crow cawing in the distance.

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