Jan 8, 2013

Black as midnight on a moonless night (by Omar Kamal)...Part.1

Sitting behind his wooden desk and a pile of papers in his Paris office, Inspector Jacques Leveuf lit his early morning cigarette which he had the habit of smoking with his coffee to start his day. No food or nutrition was needed in this man’s morning; the sole rolled cigarette and the well prepared espresso were enough to put him back on track to crack the toughest mysteries and roughest cases the police would meet. But the past months had been a sequence of eternal boredom for Inspector Leveuf as no “juicy cases” as he described them had come to his office lately, but this winter Monday was like no other, for on this day, all would turn around.
As Inspector Leveuf sipped on his last drop of espresso and enjoyed the last puff of his cigarette, his assistant, Miss Valerie Carion came rushing into the office. Valerie was a young and beautiful girl from the small town of Aix-en-Provence. Small in size but strong in personality; her baby face and small blonde curls gave an innocent look that hid an imposing and determined character. A very ambitious girl, she had great success in her university and later her professional career which led her to rapidly reach the post of assistant inspector in Paris. But despite her high intelligence and ambitions, Inspector Leveuf still believed that she was an overly excited young girl who expected too much out of her job.
“Inspector; you must come quickly” cried the young girl with immense energy.
With his usual calm and serenity, Inspector Leveuf asked Valerie to calm down and sit to explain what is going on exactly. He did not expect her to surprise him or impress him with the case she had in hand as he had grown accustomed to her overreaction on every event and suspected that this time was no different than all the previous ones.
In her continued excitement, Valerie explained to the inspector that the body of a young man was found dead in the early morning in the area of Neuilly. She explained that no signs of any struggle or injuries were visible on the body and that no eye witness saw any events related to this death during the night. All the residents of the area claimed that it was a calm night and no noise was heard at any moment that would indicate any fight or accident had taken place.
“The young man may have died from natural causes. Possibly a heart attack from drugs or anything of the sort” answered the inspector in a calm and uninterested voice.
“That is true sir, but don’t you think we should check it, there might be more to it than it seems” replied Valerie in her continued enthusiasm for the case.
After discussion, Inspector Leveuf finally agreed to go down to the crime scene and take care of the investigation.

Rushing through the streets of Paris, the two finally arrived at the crime scene. Inspector Leveuf got a briefing of the information gathered until this point. The young man’s name was Jeremy Deschamps. A handsome young man of 31 years of age, he worked as a lawyer in a private practice with two colleagues, one of them identified the body to the police. Inspector Leveuf rolled a cigarette while he watched the ambulance carry the body to move it to the laboratory for examination. His mind continued to drift away, wondering until when he could keep the patience in this job where no new events take place, where excitement flies out the window like a young bird flying free of its nest. He continued to believe that the autopsy would reach the conclusion that the young man died of natural causes, and the case would be closed as hundreds others that have passed casually in front if the inspector’s eyes.
The hours of the day passed as if years, Inspector Leveuf felt he was getting older and older with every tick of the clock. Just as he prepared himself to leave his office and go back home, Valerie came rushing into his office with a look on her eyes he had never seen before. For the first time since she had started working with him, he saw in her eyes a mixture of fear and surprise. Her face looked as if she had seen the face of God himself. Unable to hold back his enthusiasm to such a look, Inspector Leveuf grabbed Valerie from the shoulders and shook her while asking her: “what is the matter Valerie? What happened?”
Out of breath, Valerie struggled to form her sentence: “autopsy result…must see…quickly!”

Inspector Leveuf and Valerie rushed down to the laboratory to see the autopsy result. As they entered the room and approached the doctor who was standing next to the body, Inspector Leveuf could not believe his eyes. On the body, carved on the chest of the young man, right at the heart, was the letter X. What did that mean? How did it get there? Why was it done? Hundreds of questions raced through the inspector’s head like a buffalo stampede. He could not make heads or tails out of it. As he listened to the doctor’s report, he could not take his eyes off the X mark.
The doctor explained; “the man, 31 years old, died sometime between 11PM and 1AM. The cause of death is arterial air embolism in quite large amount. We found traces of a sleeping substance, probably administered through a drink. We do not know at this point if the sleeping substance was self-administered or not, but there was traces of alcohol consumption as well, in relatively large amount, so he may have been with people drinking during the evening. The X mark was made with a very sharp and small knife, probably a kitchen knife. It was carefully done so as not to cut too deep, which is why there wasn’t much blood flow”
“Was his shirt torn?” asked the inspector.
“Excuse me sir?” replied the doctor.
The inspector turned and looked towards the doctor, repeating his question; “was the shirt torn at the area of the X mark or not?”
“No sir, the shirt was absolutely intact” explained the doctor.
Intrigued by what he just saw, Inspector Leveuf walked out of the laboratory, thoughtful and lost. He turned to Valerie, and with a determined voice he said; “Valerie, this case is now officially a murder case. I will see you early tomorrow morning. Go home and get some rest, we are going to have a lot of work in the morning. Goodnight.”


1 comment:

  1. Great! Cannot wait to read the rest :)