Melodies in Blood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Set in modern australia, two detectives face absurd and occult murders...finally resulting in their most fearful experiance yet

Submitted: November 25, 2007

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Submitted: November 25, 2007

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Melodies In Blood
By Michael Sherlock
Copyright 2007 Michael Sherlock all rights reserved
The stifling heat of Coolangatta had not followed the Australian sun below the horizon; instead it decided to remain in its rightful place, stalking the innocent humans who tried to cower from it. The streets surrounding the Kirra Cafwere unusually quiet this night, seemingly resting now that tourists no longer trampled their tough skin.
Low crime rate meant only one thing for detective Scott Shane, lots of breaks. Once again, Shane had spent another week lounging around the Kirra, his favourite location. Unlike the usual attire of a stuffy detective, Shane favoured Hawaiian shirts and shorts above suits and trench coats. The only thing that distinguished Scott from every other beach bum in the area was the belt he wore, carrying with it the usual gear for law enforcement…including his gun.
Rather than the kind of detective that answers phones and sends letters…detective Shane was more…physical. He preferred the lifestyle of detectives seen in fiction and TV…plenty of action and alcohol to boot.
This day was different from any other, far different in fact. Scott stared in fearful awe at the sight that was draped before him. The droplets of sweat did not tell stories of unending heat this time…they resembled a building sense of panic. Shane was used to death, but not like this…never like this.
The body that lay before Shane prominently displayed what appeared to be a flute protruding from a woman’s skull. Soon, flashing lights lit the dark beach around Scott, it had been a slow week therefore every department was eager to be put on a case.
“Murder, or terrible musical accident?” smiled an attractive young woman approaching Scott.
“This is hardly a time for jokes, Kate” Scott responded coldly.
“No worries Scott, they should be done soon” Kate reassured him, brushing a brown curl of hair from her face.
Kate Rose, Scott’s partner and source of intellectual reasoning. She had arrived shortly after Scott reported the murder. They had worked together for over five years now…coincidently they were renowned as the best team in the local police force.
“We are done here, lets go home…meet me here tomorrow so we can begin the investigation.” Scott mumbled to Kate.
“Yeah, don’t let it get to you mate, its just the same as any other murder.
Scott nodded and parted with his partner, heading for home. The falling temperature was a salve to his fatigue. He knew that tomorrow he would have to start his search around the musical industry…flutes to be precise.
That next morning, Scott and Kate cruised around Surfers Paradise like vultures waiting to feed.
“Okay” said Kate, her finger scanning a small map “There is hall around here which houses a popular orchestra. I say we go check it out”
Scott nodded and began to drive towards the hall. He had to shield his eyes from the powerful morning sun that glared through the windscreen into his eyes. Every time he blinked he saw the image of the flute-mangled body etched onto the backs of his eyelids, taunting him and his lacking information.
Finally, they reached the hall and they parked the car outside of the front door. They both left the car and entered the hall with increasing caution. They were greeted by great carved stone archways for incredible majesty. These elaborate halls were haunted by the sound of orchestral melodies floating majestically in and around the patterns on the pillars lining the walls.
As Scott and his partner walked past the orchestra, their eyes scanned each and every one of the musicians. Before the reached the other end of the hall, a tall and gaunt man with stern, grey hair, approached them.
“Why do you disturb us? It is for a good reason I hope” he snapped.
“G’day mate” Scott began informally “we are from the Coolangatta police department.”
“Really?” Said the man, a twinge of concern passing over his stern face “where are my manners? My name is Steven Berry; I’m the owner of this hall, and the orchestra. So what brings you here?”
“We had a murder last night” began Kate “the murder weapon was, a flute. This murder is strangely artistic and we hoped we could find some information here”
The man shuffled uncomfortably on his feet but gave a self-satisfied smile.
“I’m not sure if it is any help…but young Higashima has been acting strangely today…she is there,” the man pointed to a young Japanese girl.
The two detectives approached the girl, who was already suspicious by the fact that she was playing the flute. Scott frowned slightly and opened his mouth to speak…but stopped, seemingly questioning himself.
Kate cast him a confused and looked and turned to Higashima herself.
“We found the body of a woman last night, she had been killed by a flute.” Kate recounted in a soft tone.
“A flute? I had better watch myself with this then” Higashima laughed in a strong Australian accent, pointing at her flute. “My name is Miki Higashima, pleased to meet you. Sadly I cannot give you any information on this murder…I’ve certainly never heard of someone being killed by a flute before” Miki said, shaking her head and smiling.
Scott growled quietly under his breath and walked away from Miki with Kate in tow.
“I don’t trust her,” Scott whispered to Kate as the music started again.
“How so?” his partner replied
“She seems at terribly at ease for someone being questioned about a murder…psychotically at ease, almost.” He said, wiping a hand over his face.
Kate simply shrugged as they walked out of the building and back towards their car. The two of them drove around Surfers paradise for the remainder of the day. The city was beautiful in the evening, lights ands and music surrounded even the most depressing alleyways. This city kept Scott’s spirits high even in his darkest hours; however, this time it housed the most shocking murder he had ever seen.
Finally, the two returned to the station to piece together the snippets of precious information they had found. Scott’s desk was lit with the faint glow of a computer screen. Exhausted, Scott slumped into his chair and raised his hand to the keyboard. Drawing a breath of anticipation, Scott checked his emails to see if the forensics department had given him the verdict on the body.
There it was, the email starting at him…Scott stared at the words for what seemed like hours, how could it have been so obvious?
To: Detective Shane
This afternoon, the body of last night’s victim was identified as Mizohou Higashima, confirmed by her daughter, Miki. We hope this is of some use to your investigation.
“Miki…” Scott mumbled under his breath.
Frantically, he searched through a police database and found a man named Shiro Higashima. The database confirmed that he was Miki’s father; it also detailed their location.
Detective Shane looked around the empty offices and grunted, Kate was nowhere to be seen. Alone, Scott proceeded to his car…determined to prevent this inevitable murder.
As he sped through down the Pacific Highway, he gave the hand of his gun a reassuring rub, he knew that there was no way a flute could hold up against a firearm.
“Higashima…” he growled darkly to himself “you are one damn sick excuse for a human being.”
The car screeched to a half outside the Higashima household, the car’s door swinging wide before it had even stopped moving. The door was open, its gaping mouth ready to bring Scott to the after life, or salvation from his dark thoughts.
Slowly, Scott took a step into the house and was instantly greeted by a scene of unimaginable horror. The body of Shiro Higashima lay motionless on the floor, a flute protruding from his chest. Beside him knelt Miki, playing her flute solemnly. Tears poured from her eyes as she played the sad music with great enthusiasm.
“A parting song, for the second loss to my family” Miki said, looking up to Scott. “Why did they have to die?”
Scott gritted his teeth and drew his gun, pointing it directly at Miki.
“Why did you kill them?” He barked.
Miki’s face turned beetroot red and scrunched up tight.
“How dare you enter my house” she said in a shaking voice while standing up
“Come no closer, Higashima”
“How dare you disturb this solemn occasion”
“Don’t take another step!”
“…and then throw your accusations upon me!”
“Damn!”
Crack.
The dark hallway was briefly lit by the flash from Scott’s gun, the smoke trailing through the open door. Miki’s lifeless body fell with a crash to the floor, the gaping hole in her face filling with red hatred.
Miki Higashima had given her last piece of artwork to this unforgiving world, a blood red mural on the wall, painted with her very own life. Scott holstered his gun and tried to settle his frantic breathing. He did not want to have to kill her, if only she had listened, instead she kept walking towards him…with that Macabre instrument of evil clutched in her hands.
Scott had to be to driven home that night, his raging mind driving him to insanity. He began to tear his house to pieces on arrival, forcing it to resemble his state of mind. He only stopped when his Partner, Kate knocked on his door.
“Scott…” he said soft, observing his heavy breathing and the ruined room behind him.
She walked inside with an arm around the broken man. They sat down together and she looked directly into his eyes, seemingly weaving her way around the maze of Scott’s confusion.
“I could have stopped her, handcuffed her…but no, I pulled the trigger. Her father, dead on the floor…and then Miki as well. Why me, why tonight!” Scott spoke, neglecting all attempts to steady his speech.
“You did what you felt was right…that is all that matters.” She said reassuringly.
“But it wasn’t right…I’m going to hand in my resignation tomorrow”
Kate opened her mouth to speak, wanting to beg him to reconsider. However, this time Kate knew Scott was right, he could never continue now.
* * *
The sun had set by the time Scott mustered the courage to resign, he walked through the offices just like her did every day for years…however this was to be the last. Each time his shoes touched the carpeted surface; another voice could be heard muttering behind his back.
Before Scott could reach his destination, the whole office had broken out in chatter about the events of the previous night. He couldn’t take it; he threw the resignation paper to the floor and stormed out of the police station.
Even the streets resented him, to Scott; the world was falling away from him. It was then he realised he was holding a gun in his hand. Until his resignation was official…he was allowed to use this gun. Slowly he raised the gun to the side of his head, seeking relief from his pain.
However, before he pulled the trigger, the sound of a flute could he heard. His fists clenched and he leapt to his feet, returning the gun to its belt. On a nearby bench…a young woman played her flute with absolute perfection.
Enchanted, Scott walked over to the girl, curious to speak with what disturbed his appointment with the reaper.
“Your music is beautiful,” Scott said with a grim smile.
“Thank you…my father owns an orchestra nearby, he had me playing the flute as soon as I could breathe” the woman gave a small laugh and a wink.
“Mr Berry?”
“The very same”
“So, you are part of the orchestra?” Scott asked.
“No, my father owed a debt to a Japanese family...to pay that debt, the last spot in the orchestra was given to the daughter of the family.” The girl answered.
“Miki Higashima…”
“Yes, that’s the one…sadly she was killed by the police last night after they discovered she killed her parents…very disturbing.”
Scott was already sprinting to his car. It all made sense now, Mr Berry framed Miki for the murders so that he daughter could join the orchestra, and so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the Higashima family again.
Miki was innocent, she didn’t deserve to die, and Scott was determined to make Berry pay. Street lights screamed past his windows as he drove full throttle towards the orchestra hall. Before he got there, his phone rang.
“Shane speaking” he said as he answered the phone.
“Its Detective Rose, The Orchestra house is ablaze. We received information from Higashima’s grandmother. Mr Berry is responsible for the killings. He has set the orchestra house on fire, shots were heard and the death toll is said to be high. Two patrol cars arrived but were gunned down on entry to the building.”
“I already know about Berry, and I’m on my way now” Scott called down the phone.
“I’m going in after him!” Kate said quickly, hanging up before Scott could tell her to stop.
Before he even reached his location, a huge plume of smoke could be seen rising from above the skyline. He pulled up outside the blazing building. The twilight streets burned with a rage that mirrored the look in Scott’s eyes.
This was it…the hour that would determine everything, whether he lived or died. This. He could not run from this, nor would he want to. Confidently, Scott ran for the burning entrance, the fire brigade or police reinforcements had not arrived yet.
He raised his hand to shield his face from the inferno he was now braving to gain entry to the main hall beyond. Sinister shadows danced in a strangely occult fashion, as the fire got hotter and hotter.
Inside, Kate and Mr Berry stood with their guns pointed directly at each other’s heads, only metres apart. Scott ran besides Kate stared Berry hard in the face.
“Kate...escape before the building collapses” Scott shouted over the roaring flames.
“Don’t be stupid, I’m staying here.” Kate said.
It was then that Scott noticed the bloodies bodies strewn across the entire hall, the expressions on their faces depicting moments of extreme terror.
“Kate…you have to leave, I am the one that owes this madman his death, not you!”
“This is no time to be a hero, Scott”
“Heroism is when I turned away from suicide and faced my greatest fear rather than run away. I’ve had my moment as hero, now it’s time for yours…don’t throw your life away.” Scott said with a sincere face.
Kate nodded slowly “Scott…I love you” she said, her newly formed tears almost evaporating in the heat.
Kate turned and ran from the building while Scott pointed his gun at Kate.
“So it comes down to this…how inconvenient,” Berry said calmly.
“This trigger…it only has to swing back and then you must answer for your crimes to the heavens”
“It takes great confidence to kill, confidence which you my friend…lack” Mr berry smirked.
“I’ve already killed once in your little game, this time I’m going for checkmate.”
On those words Scott’s gun fired this time, except now a smile was illuminated in the flash. As Scott blinked, he saw Mr. Berry standing firmly, a newly made hole in the wall behind him screamed defeat at Scott.
Before another round could be fired, Mr berry shot Scott’s hand. The bullet tore through flesh and bone and his gun was blown from his grasp.
“All my life I have controlled the music that is heard here…it is no different now. The screams…the roaring fire, it is all just my melody, written in the blood of those that defy me.” Berry said with his eyes crackling with fury.
Scott was on his knees, cradling his bleeding hand. Before he could do anything else, Mr Berry’s boot swung through the air and caught him firmly on the chin, sending him on his back.
“Your daughter…is she part of your melody in blood?”Scott taunted. “Do not forget that she was the reason this all started, or have you neglected her place once again.”
The man now standing above Scott was lost for words, his hand shaking furiously. Another gunshot flared, this time it slammed into Scott’s chest, shearing his lung to pieces in a second. His breath shortened and became filled with blood and regret.
Mr Berry laughed as he watched Scott Shane dying before him. Seeing him choking on his own blood while writing in pain brought him an otherworldly pleasure. Scott’s vision became blurry and his head pulsated in low, painful beats. As his head fell to one side, he caught eye of his gun, lying blood spattered next to him.
“When my wife died…I never thought I would find joy again…but then I found the music! Oh how the music enlightened my life.” Mr Berry shouted in joy with his arms aloft. “I should write a song for this great occasion. A song for those who brought me hear. A song for my resolve and virtue. A song for my courage and willpower. And finally…a great symphony for my dear wife.”
Scott raised his retrieved gun and aimed it directly at the madman’s head.
“A song for the girl I’m about to orphan” Scott said, firing his gun.
The man’s body fell like a sack of bricks to the wooden floor. The gun fell along with Scott’s arms as the detective could feel his life slipping away. He was satisfied his job was done, though he had no strength or will left in him to stand up.
Each breath took little more memory away, a little more motion…a little less pain. Surround by an entire orchestra full of corpses…Scott realised that this past few nights weren’t a murder investigation…merely the beginning of a massacre. So many People dying for the sake of one person.
Is that why she wanted to stay?
* * *
Kate released great, heaving sobs as the body of Scott Shane was carried out from the smouldering wreckage. The morning sunlight beamed a new day on Surfers Paradise, a day that Scott would never see. As Kate looked at her phone a few minutes later, she noticed a text from Scott…it has been sent while he was dying in the building.
Everyone who stayed in the building died.
I realise now why you wanted to stay.
Thank you.


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