Monday, December 15, 2014

12-15-14 Writing Warm-up
7:25 AM

12-15-14 Writing Warm-up


12-15-14 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Phuoc Quan, All Rights Reserved - http://nkabuto.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © R. R. Hunsinger, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

London, Fall 1904

London had a different feel than Boston, or even New York. It was more than topography, country, or nuance of language. Even the architecture, while different in age and styles, did not set the city apart as much as the very air. The fog and coal smoke were ubiquitous, but the ancient feeling of the atmosphere here in this metropolis that had existed since the Romans was what set it apart from its sisters across the Pond.

Reese contemplated this absently as he smoked his cigar. The rhythmic click of the tip of his cane upon the wet cobbles of the street. He had left is cousin that had summoned him across from the family’s home in America. A twelve day crossing on the Arabic saw him in Liverpool and then his cousin’s home outside London. Now, after a companionable meal, which they had discussed their business at length, and then a performance in Piccadilly, he was making his way to rooms he had taken for an indefinite time.

He exhaled smoke with a hint of leather and earth, to mingle with the ever-present mists that swirled about the city on such nights as this. It was nights such as this that seemed to attract the predators, those that prey on stragglers, solitary sorts, or the unwary. Just as well, for he too was solitary, but he was not prey, he was one of the predators. This is why dear cousin Maynard Reese had sent him a cable to come to London, one that implored him to make haste as his skills were needed. Skills as a hunter of men and monsters; sometimes they were one and the same. In his fifty years of life he had handled cattle, mined, and soldiered. However, all had ultimately been in the pursuit of the family occupation of facing down and destroying those things that would prey on humanity.

He had retired to the family home in Boston when Maynard had contacted him about the disappearance of numerous children in White Chapel. Like Five Points and Boston’s West End, this was no great thing of note. Though even fifteen years later, the London neighborhood was synonymous with the Ripper. Two of the missing children had been found, it was the state in which they had been discovered that had prompted the cable.

The flesh had been bleached, the eyes and organs removed. The first, a boy of twelve, had been discovered in the basement of a tenement. It was believed the killer had been interrupted in disposing of the body and disappeared. That was when Maynard sent the cable. The second, in a similar state was discovered while Reese was on the train from Liverpool.

Maynard, a detective himself, had set up an appointment in the morning to examine the body. They would investigate the site where the body was discovered after. Now he walked the streets of White Chapel, not in any belief that he would run up on some clue or the villains themselves. That was the stuff of Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls. Rather he was exploring the battlefield, the neighborhoods, the alleys, and the corners. He did not know this place, he wanted to feel where his foe hunted, to possibly understand the mind or how it might turn.

Suddenly, Reese saw shadows shift, scuffling steps, and cries muffled by a hand...or perhaps something else.......?????????????

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