Part 5

The brightening world blanched before their narrow squints, and their brows clenched with unmendable, burdened lines that worried with curiosity underneath the prying sun. Off the Mississippi came an unbidden advance of that familiar, slithery breath of humid afternoon and it dragged with it the fetor of last nights piss stains blackening and emanating in the heat against ruined walls they’d passed with sidelong scowls. Where along the battered back-buildings revelers had prowled late like strange characters out of place, and out of sync with time, confetti was beaten down by slimy, light rain.

The empty buildings were now behind them, disjointed, leaning like tombs that had dug their heels into graveyard dirt. The old walls blemished with laborious graffiti of jazz funerals; dusky, puffed cheeks blowing into burnished gold making sad music, weeping women in lace blotting the corners of their invisible eyes. The pinching sound of shoes weighing down on sharp rocks had come to a stop, yet still seemed to echo in the silence shared between them with what they all peered down upon.

It’s the palms of her hands and her feet, but no body, the cop said. Lots of punctures, maybe bites, scratches, bruising, likely defensive.

Sounds familiar. Like its been in a story before, the female detective said. She’d kept her arms crossed as she’d approached the paled, shredded fragments bloating alone in their decaying nest. The pieces looked like clearance halloween props; inhuman objects, in some grotesque joke of being human.

The Bible, the cop said, it’s been in the Bible.

Never read it. What’s it say? She asked.

Jezebel was tossed out of a window, and when they’d gone to find her body and bury it they only found the palms of her hands and her feet. Wild dogs ate the rest of her, the cop said, looks like dogs ate this one, too.

Marks are too precise for dogs. How do we know this is her? Stunned by the interjection of the male detective who had heretofore been silent as he’d followed, the cop and the woman pause to stare back at him.

Tattoo she got at her wedding last night, the cop said.

Wedding? Both detectives asked in an unconnected harmony.

 

to be continued…