Cole awoke after a restless night he checked his mobile which he had put on the silent setting as soon as he arrived home the previous night. He quickly listened and skipped through the messages mostly from the chief wondering where the hell he had gone and why he wasn’t answering his calls.
Just as he was about to delete the last message a voice caught his attention, he played the message again. This wasn’t the booming voice of the chief it was much more subtle.
“Hello Cole its Harry Phillips here I’m down at the crime lab I’m the pathologist in charge of the post mortems on your victims. I think you might want to pay me a visit today I have something you might find helpful to your case.”
Cole redialled the number immediately and put the phone on loud speaker while he got to the task of finding some clothes for the day. After several rings Dr Philips answered.
“Well hello sleeping beauty you finally got my message, I only called you at six this morning.”
Cole checked his watch it was just after eight pm.
“Sorry.” He replied now annoyed he had turned the phone to silent.
“Don’t be sorry Cole I know you had a rough day yesterday everyone needs to sleep.”
Cole let out a laugh he was grateful of Harry’s reassurance
“That will be everyone but you that needs to sleep then is it Harry?” Cole replied.
“Well Cole you know me I’m special, anyway this isn’t a social call I’m about to start on the second victim when you coming in?”
Cole rearranged the clothes he had gathered on his bed and glanced towards the shower. He toyed with the idea of throwing the clothes on and leaving, before deciding he really should shower.
“Not long Harry I’m just going to shower and head straight over. What you got for me anyway?”
“Not a problem I’ll see you soon then, your first victim Cole he wasn’t murdered.”
Cole was confused he had been at the scene; he had seen the wounds on the victim’s body. He had seen the blood and he had followed the killer’s clues. The killer had even confessed to having murdered Mr Finley.
“I don’t understand Harry how do you mean he wasn’t murdered?”
Harry knew it would be hard to understand without some explaining.
“He was dead before the wounds were inflicted Cole, someone came to murder Mr Finley and he was already dead.”
“Tell me more?” replied Cole eager to learn more of Mr Finley’s last moments.
Dr Philips was fond of Cole, he always seemed eager to learn new things, which was a trait Harry found admirable.
“Have you ever heard of the term CYANOSIS Cole?”
Cole let the word filter through his mind but nothing came jumping out.
“No idea Harry, please enlighten me?”
“Once Mr Finley arrived on my table it seemed rather obvious he was the victim of a violent Murder Cole. However I noticed a blue discoloration of his lips which was also apparent in the victim’s fingertips.”
“This is what we call cyanosis Cole the blue discoloration of the lips and fingertips.”
Cole still didn’t recognise the term and urged Harry to continue, he needed no encouragement to carry on.
“Cyanosis is a common form of identifying asphyxiation victims Cole. There was no evidence of trauma around the neck so I ruled strangulation out almost immediately.”
Cole loved listening to Harry it reminded him of his childhood. He had the same poetic voice of his high school science teacher, however time was of the essence and he really needed to push Harry along.
“Listen Harry I don’t mean to be rude but can you skip the stuff I won’t understand and hit me with the hard facts.”
Harry understood Cole’s rush and he would be seeing him soon anyway.
“Not a problem Cole we can talk more once you’re here.”
After a slight pause so Harry could clear his throat, he continued.
“He died from a severe asthma attack Cole. Brought on through sudden asphyxiation, insufficient amounts of oxygen reaching the brain or other essential organs.”
Cole new what asphyxiation was but was impressed with Harry regardless.
“Ok Harry I don’t know what this means but you’re a star none the less, I’ll see you shortly.”
Harry was still in the middle of saying his goodbyes when Cole pressed the end call button on his phone. He tried to wrap his head around everything and build a scenario of the events which took place in Mr Finley’s flat.
He pictured Mr Finley sat in his chair dead, he imagined the murderer turning up finding his victim already in the clutches of the grim ripper. His plan spoiled and his thrill ruined.
“Why though?” Cole asked himself “Why would he still make it look like a murder?”
Cole gave up trying to make sense of the situation and concentrated on getting himself ready, he showered in record time no more than five minutes. After throwing his clothes on, he pocketed his phone and made his way out his bedroom and downstairs towards the kitchen.
He looked out the window to take in the beauty of the frost covered garden. Icicles hung from the birdhouse in the middle of the small lawn. He noticed the feeder was empty and ordered himself to come home and refill it with feed, for the hardy birds that were braving the winter weather.
Cole’s stomach soon gave him a reminder it wasn’t just the birds going hungry. He pulled some slices of bread from a basket and headed for the fridge which was almost as empty as the bird feeder. He found some out of date jam at the back and decided it would be better than nothing.
Whilst brushing the crumbs from his jacket after devouring the sandwich he had made, Cole now headed out the kitchen and through the hall. His car keys still lay on the floor where he had dropped them the night before.
As he passed the large wedding photo on the wall his body felt heavy like it had just absorbed the sadness. The pure love and happiness which glowed from both his and Sarah’s face seemed a distant memory.
He tried to encourage himself insisting it was a good way to start the day, a reminder that there was love there and it was worth fighting for.
A strange feeling in his leg soon had Cole’s attention it was a few seconds before he became aware it was his phone vibrating, he forgot it was still on silent.
He pressed the phone to his ear and left the house banging into the postwoman who handed him an envelope.
“Cole it’s me.”
Cole was still annoyed at Cameron for his actions the night before but he wasn’t going to let that get in the way of the investigation. There had been too many little hiccups already and from now on he was going to be one hundred per cent focused.
“Hi Kecky where you at? I’m on my way to see Dr Philips.”
Cameron was pleased there didn’t seem to be any animosity in Cole’s voice.
“Ok Cole I’ll get you there, I’ve been busy this morning the Chief wanted filled in on last night’s events and no one could get hold of you.”
Cole was grateful of Cameron for helping him out, he wondered if the chief had gave him a hard time and if Cameron had even had any sleep.
“Ok Cameron I appreciate it I’m sorry for leaving last night, see you soon ok.”
Cole done his customary move hanging up before the person has even said goodbye, before jumping into his car and laying the mail on the passenger seat. He then headed off along the slippery roads, just able to see out his frost covered windscreen.