Topic: Judith 1
Joined Tue 09/06/11
As the crowds gathered in Vatican Square on that Sunday morning, the woman stood amongst them quietly. A tall fair skinned beauty who turned many an eye. Her long black hair and intelligent green eyes nearly matched the dark outfit that stood in sharp contrast to those around her.
As she listened to the Pope’s sermon politely, her anger grew. When he had finished, she wandered out of earshot of the crowd and muttered, “He’s as daft as an old brush.”
She walked into a side street and entered a quaint religious bookstore that dotted this part of old Rome. She purchased the book before returning to her abode once more.
The Via Copelon was within a run down street. The walls were cracked and blistering paint festered upon the old walls. She was glad her
apartment stood on the ground floor.
A terribly small room it was but Judith did not mind. As she lay upon her bed, she opened the book and read carefully. After a few hours, she tossed it away in contempt.
“They have really no idea this lot. Even the church has got it
wrong. How dare they malign me!”
She calmed herself before entering the squalid sitting room and making a meal out of yesterday’s soup.
As she ate, at last she grinned to herself.
“You know Judith, it’s time to teach these morons a lesson they will never forget.”
She smiled at the thought whilst outside, the Romans went about their petty lives, unaware of who lived amongst them.
Father Antonio was an elderly kind gent who had spent his entire life within the embrace of the mother church. He sorely wished his church had been taken care of though.
As he placed prayer sheets upon the old, dark pews, he noted the woman entering quietly.
“Looks like a lost lamb to me.”
He smiled as she closed the door calmly.
“Morning Father. Preparing for service are we?”
“I am indeed. Will you be attending?”
The woman shook her head.
“May I have a private word?”
The old priest smiled.
“There is the confessional.”
She turned and saw the panelled box and nodded.
“I think that will do nicely father.”
When she sat within the darkness, the shutter opened and the priest
waited for the usual things to come out. However, today he was in for a surprise.
“Out of interest father, have you heard of the Neo Clasico?”
He thought for a moment, his mind drifting back some twenty years.
“My teacher mentioned it once before admonishing me never to mention it again.”
“I understand that it’s located in the Vatican vaults under lock and key.”
“So I understand sister. As far as I am aware, not even Our Father has seen it.”
“You do realise its significance of course?”
“That is a matter of conjecture,” he replied. “Only the Holy Order of the Inquisition knows the truth for certain. They are its guardian if you like.”
“The last pope used to head that organisation father.”
“He did indeed. Though the days of torture and ritual burnings have long gone.”
“I am glad to hear it father. You have been of valuable help.”
She left quickly, pushing her way beside the helpful priest.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“A little lesson in faith father.”
She tore the Velcro fastenings open, exposing a silken body to his shocked gaze. She sat upon his knees and ripped his trousers open.
“Ever had it here father?”
“You sister of Satan! Be gone from my sight.”
As she impaled herself she whispered, “Who’s he?”
Detective Salini approached the doors of the chapel and saluted the police guard. A tall but overweight man, he enjoyed his pizza and wine far more than was prudent.
“What have we got?” he asked adjusting his grey trench coat.
“A rather strange one sir. It appears the old priest was murdered
whilst engaging in coitus.”
“That will do the church no favours. Where is he?”
He was led to the confessional and peered inside. The body had been propped up against the corner but his lower region was fully exposed.
“Who found him?”
“One of the altar boys sir.”
“No need to speak to him then. I want a list of his friends though. Especially female ones.”
The sergeant smiled.
“Playing one of your famous hunches sir?”
“Naturally. Try and keep the press of my back eh? One more thing, leave out any reference to sex. The Holy Father has enough trouble over that subject.”
As the forensic team arrived he said, “I want a full report by sunset. There must be DNA on that old bugger. I have a feeling that this case will solve itself somehow.”
As the sun went down at last, the sergeant entered the modern office of his boss carrying the faxed report.
“I’ll see that.”
As the detective read it, his face promptly fell.
“What does it mean no matches?”
“We ran the DNA through the system sir. It failed to link to any known villain.”
“What about female friends?”
“We spoke to those who knew him sir. He was married to his faith.
The only women in his background was his late mother.”
“Damn peculiar,” the detective muttered.
Then he had an idea.
“Check out the local prostitutes then. A woman certainly screwed him. Though at his age I’m surprised that he managed it!”
“I’ll do that sir. Anything else?”
“The report says no witnesses. What does that say to you?”
“That she slipped in unnoticed sir. He obviously knew the killer.”
“I tend to agree sergeant. No one can hide in Rome you know.
Everyone sees something. Especially on a Sunday. Someone out there is keeping their mouth shut.”
“You want a door to door sir?”
“That is one ploy sergeant. Have posters made up too. We’ll plaster them over the whole city if need be. What’s the press saying?”
The sergeant sighed.
“They just say he was killed in a random fashion sir. Police continuing enquiries. That sort of thing.”
The detective cheered up.
“As long as they are kept in the dark I’ll be quite happy. Go off home now. We start early you know.”
As the sergeant left, the detective stared out of the open window.
“Wherever you hide my dear, I will find you and hang you out to dry.”
Elsewhere in Rome that warm, balmy night, Nigella was sitting at the nightclub bar letting his hair down. This tall forty year old was head of Vatican security and loved his job.
After swallowing his fourth wine, he decided that it was really time to go home.
Stepping outside, he was startled by a tall, darkly clad woman who actually bumped into him.
“Sorry lad, I was rather clumsy.”
He eyed the attractive lady and smiled.
“The fault was all mine, I assure you.”
“I’m rather lost,” she said.
“Where are you trying to get too?”
“The Via Tablo I think.”
“I know it well. I’ll show you if you like.”
The woman smiled.
“I think that would be a lovely idea.”
As they entered one of the many alleyways, the woman stopped and
leant suggestively against the cracked wall.
Nigella was a little far-gone but not too far to read the signal. He
smiled and leant against her.
“Not far to go now.”
“I hope not. I need a really big favour.”
“What might that be?”
“Do you know the whereabouts of the Neo Clasico?”
Nigella gave her the best blank look that he could conjure up.
The woman gripped his shoulders tightly.
“You are the head of the Vatican security. You must know where in the vaults it is hidden.”
He shook his head lazily.
“I’ve never actually heard of it.”
The woman smiled and gripped his balls tightly.
“Are you really sure of that?”
“Oh that is a pity.”
Detective Salini drew up in his squad car and saw the officers waiting for him at the entrance to the now sealed off alleyway.
“What’s the story sergeant?”
The victim had his testicles crushed sir. The poor bugger died almost at once.”
He was soon peering down at the corpse.
“Any sign of robbery?”
The sergeant shook his head.
“His wallet was still intact sir. That was not the motive.”
“The injury points to a strong bloke then?”
“It seems to sir.”
“I’ll need to speak to witnesses.”
“We don’t have any. He left the bar alone sir.”
The detective turned.
“That is two murders without any leads sergeant. This won’t do you know. Getting those posters out?”
“We are indeed sir. I spoke to the girls and none of them visited the late priest.”
The detective nodded.
“I think you know that the deaths are connected.”
“They both are linked by the church sergeant. Believe me, this is no coincidence.”
He paused for a moment.
“Where did he stay by the way?”
The sergeant’s face fell.”
“He had a room at the Vatican sir.”
“Suppose we will have to search that.”
“You’ll never get permission.”
The detective looked at him sharply.
“When it comes to murder, I’m in charge.”
“I’ll do my best sir but don’t expect a miracle.”
The detective smiled.
“Miracles are the least of our worries.”
When darkness fell, the detective reached a momentous decision. Ten years before, he had been a member of the Italian Special Forces and despite the additional weight; he was still in tiptop condition.
Within his room, he was scheming something drastic.
“Even the commissioner refused. I need to check his place. There
could well be a clue that will crack this case wide open.”
He wandered to the wardrobe and removed the old black uniform.
“I hope it still fits.”
An hour later, a dark figure shinned up the drainpipe on the west side of the Vatican building. When he reached the third floor, he removed the glasscutter and set to work.
When the circular section had been removed, he leant in and opened it from the inside.
Climbing through silently he looked around.
“Damn untidy place this.”
He checked the drawers carefully before sifting through his clothes. A sudden sound drew his attention.
A grey head appeared through the door and he lashed out expertly. As the body fell, he dashed to the window and made his escape.
As he entered his flat once more, he cursed.
“Before being interrupted I didn’t find a thing. I just hope that the old codger is okay.”
The black car drew up outside the simple, stone built home. The tall and darkly clad woman stepped out and gently knocked upon the stained green door.
The middle-aged mom answered and seemed quite shocked when she was shown the Police warrant card.
“He's not in any trouble is he?”
The woman shook her head and smiled.
“I only need to ask a few questions mam. I understand his trauma by the way, but he may hold an important clue.”
“Franconia?” the mom shouted.
The woman watched as a fifteen-year-old youth wearing glasses, ran down the long stairs.
“This officer wants a word.”
He stepped out and the woman escorted him to the waiting car. As they drove off, the mom was rather worried.
The Roman roads are a normally busy affair, and tonight was no different. The woman negotiated the busy streets like an expert as she headed for the nearby quiet hills.
“This is not the way to the station,” the lad pointed out.
The woman smiled.
“I don’t want to expose you to that environment son. How long have you been an alter boy?”
“Since I was eight.”
“You have known the priest since then?”
“Of course. I almost fainted when I saw the body.”
“It must have given you a shock then.”
“A shock I’d rather avoid thanks.”
The woman smiled as they drew up at the edge of a dirt track.
“I think this is far enough.”
The youth patted down his shorts rather nervously as the driver leaned over.
“How much do you know about the priest?”
“A lot I suppose mam.”
“Did he ever mention a book?”
“He mentioned many books mam.”
“How about the Neo Clasico?”
“Oh that one mam.”
The green eyes sparkled in the flood of moonlight.
“You see Franconia;we think his murder is connected to it.”
“How come,” the youth asked out of curiosity.
“Probably it contains something that the killer needed.”
“If he told you about it, we really need to know.”
The innocent youth thought back to a distant conversation.
“He did mention that it was ancient mam and written entirely in Latin.”
“Had it been translated from Aramaic by any chance?”
“The priest thought so mam.”
“So the letters may be contained within it. Hopefully uncorrupted.”
This statement confused the youth.
She smiled sweetly.
“Peter wrote three letters that went missing my boy. They were last
heard of at Patmos.”
The reference did not escape this youth.
“You mean St John saw them too?”
“More than likely. You see the book was written by him.”
“I agree my boy. Now, we know that it is located in the Vatican vaults but of course, nobody is saying where. I was hoping the priest may have told you.”
The youth shook his head.
“I did ask but he admonished me mam. You see, he told me about the book in confidence.”
“You my lad have been terribly helpful in our investigation.”
“There is one more thing that he did say mam.”
“What is that Franconia?”
“He said that it must remain out of the sight of man.”
The woman smiled.
“Oh did he indeed.”
She gazed at the youth and said, “Thanks. I have a special reward.”
“A reward mam?”
“Yes my boy. Me.”
The detective arrived at the mountain chapel the following morning just as the ambulance took the body away. The sergeant took him to one side and said, “It’s Franconia sir, the altar boy.”
The connection took a moment to click.
“He found the priest’s body.”
“He was nailed through the wrists to the chapel door after his neck was snapped like a twig.”
The detective rubbed his hair and pointed to the bloodstained door.
“I want that washed off eh. Does his mother know?”
“We sent an officer to break the bad news.”
“We have another problem sir?
The sergeant shook his head.
“There was a break in at the Vatican overnight. Guess which room?”
The detective smiled and said, “You tell me.”
“The thief broke through the window of the head of security.”
The detective just stared.
“We had better go there next with forensics. At least they won’t keep us out this time.”
When they arrived, the old priest was waiting for them.
“I was clobbered you know.”
“Did you see who did it?” Salini asked.
“It was far too dark sir.”
As they gazed around the room, the detective asked, “Do we know if
anything was taken?”
“Nothing seems to have been disturbed,” the priest said.
Salini noted the wall safe.
“I don’t suppose that you have the combination for that do you?”
“Oh no sir. May I go?”
The detective nodded.
“How did the suspect get in by the way?”
The sergeant pointed to the circular cut.
“Climbed up the drainpipe and got in through there.”
“So we are looking for a cat burglar then. Most likely a female.”
“A female sir?”
“Could you shin up that drainpipe?”
As the sergeant shook his head, the detective thought for a moment.
“I’ll need this room brushed for prints first. Now that we are here, look for any clues to his murder eh?”
This time the detective searched slowly, but despite this nothing of significance was found.
Salini sat down upon the sofa and asked,”Now we have three linked cases sergeant. So why kill the alter boy?”
“Perhaps the killer is after information sir.”
“That would certainly fit. So, our suspect fails to get it and kills the priest. He tracks down the head of security and kills him. As a last resort perhaps, he turns on the alter boy. That does beg one question though.”
“What’s so important to warrant the killings?”
“Exactly. This is no ordinary case sergeant. There is something deeper going on here.”
The sergeant agreed.
Joined Thu 02/24/11
just found these...like it so far, :)
Joined Tue 09/06/11
Glad you did...Keep an eye out...Salini of Rome is really where it starts you know...
Joined Thu 02/24/11
just found those and read them last nite, :) Your are becoming my Saturday nite reading date!!, :)
Joined Tue 09/06/11
I feel terribly honoured my dear..Deep Space is back again..Now working on no 8. This short series approaching its climax...