The corpse stared back at him, its cold dead eyes like a shark; only this was a dead shark. Shot through the teeth with a bow and arrow. And this wasn’t a dead shark, it was a corpse. Of a dead person. With a bow and arrow through its chops.
Vic Malone could smell death in his nostrils. Death and nicotine. The tall, handsome detective sucked deeply on his shrinking cigarette and exhaled a plume of smoke as if to say, “I don’t like being dragged out of bed for any old murder you know!”
“Hey Vic,” it was Harry Bower, his gritty no-nonsense Lieutenant Detective boss, “I know you don’t like being dragged out of bed for any old murder, but this one smelt like one of yours.”
“Smells like death you mean?” growled Vic, his voice so sexy and deep from years of sucking on Camels.
“You should goddam cut back on those things, they’ll kill ya.”
“So will my ex-wife.” Vic smiled, knowing that Harry knew his wife was a primo A one bitch. What Harry didn’t know was that Vic knew Harry was banging her every which way these days. To hell with it he (Vic) thought. He (Harry) can have her, that lady (Vic’s ex-wife) is damaged goods.
“That lady is damaged goods, Vic,” Harry said to Vic, “You’re better off without her.”
“What have we got?” Vic sucked back the urge to pound his giant fist into his boss’s glass jaw. He wasn’t going down that road again. His last boss was still in hospital after Vic had found him in an alleyway behind a bar, jiggling his sister’s wooberries.
“Vic is mid forties,” began Harry.
“Vic is not. Vic is only 36.”
“Insightful,” continued Harry. “Vic is an asian female.”
“Fuck you Bower,” Vic growled, grabbing Harry by the collar and forcing him into a wall, “Vic is a white anglo saxon MALE.”
“No Vic,” choked Harry, “The Vic, as in The Victim.”
Vic dropped him, not apologising. Vic never apologised, not even when he meant it. Apologies were for the weak. And the weak never made arrests. Or macramé. Damn right. Only real men like Vic made macramé. He had a sensitive side too, and only the right woman with the right body would ever see that side of him. Talking of bodies …
“Looks like she’s been shot in the teeth with a bow and arrow.”
“Well spotted Vic. Took our CSI guys two hours to figure that out. You’re not the best cop on the force for nothing.”
“No, they pay me.” Vic sparked up another Camel. Sucking the deep cool, warm, thick, wispy smoky air all the way down into the top of his lungs, then feeling the nicotine rush hit him, before exhaling with a thoughtful sigh.
“What’s the matter Vic?”
“Seems to me we’ve seen the MO before.”
“MO means Modus Operandi.”
“Yes it does, which is a latin word for signature.”
“Not following you Vic,” admitted Harry, who was not following Vic.
“Who else do we know who shoots his victims through the teeth with a bow and arrow?”
“Can’t say I’ve ever seen such a hideous and gruesome thing Vic.”
“The Bay Area Bow And Arrow Beast.”
“You’re out of your fucking mind.”
“Am I?” Vic sneered, a sneer so piercing it made Harry gulp.
“Well, I uh …” gulped Harry, “Look, Vic, The Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast uses only bows and arrows from medieval London.”
“Check the engraving on the arrow head,” Vic stubbed his Camel out on Harry’s face, “You’ll see I’m right.”
And with that, Vic turned on his heels and sauntered back to his 1957 Cherry Red Ford Chevy GM, leaving Harry to bend over the corpse.
“Christ,” he gasped. Engraved on the arrow head, plain as day were the words ‘Medieval London’, “The Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast is back stalking the streets of New York. And he’s no longer sticking to Long Beach. Well, that sick bastard motherfucker hasn’t met Vic Malone yet. I almost feel sorry for him. The Bay Area Bow and Arrow Beast I mean.”