Tuesday, January 11, 2005

For a long while, Kleinmann just stood and examined the statue. The Cult of Masael had decided on this as the central material icon of their religion, and it showed. The titanic figure was no less than 25 stories tall, and surrounded by strategically placed spotlights which kept the statue permanently illuminated. Masael was designed to be androgynous, with a narrow, supple physique, but thoroughly muscled. One great golden hand raised above its shoulders, a clenched fist of victory. The other hand was pressed against the heart, the head with its effeminate face bowed, chin to chest. A wave of platinum cords swept over its shoulders, stirring when strong enough winds blew.

It was, Kleinmann thought, a very acceptable image for the general population of Broadgate. He only let the thought bother him for a minute - that Masael's well-designed body had not one of his features.

He lifted his short-furred hand to check his watch, and caught a faint reflection of his face. The long muzzle, decisively marked with black and brown. The tall, pointed, listening ears at the top of his head. And the eyes, which, though they were round and yellow, looked nothing at all like a dog's.

Kleinmann began the walk back to his flat, making his way through the thick crowd around the base of the Masael monument. Children and adults alike stared at his passage, looking away even from the glory of the statue at the center of the square. Dogmen were not uncommon, but a dogman in a Court Officer's uniform was unique. As he politely navigated the crowd, he tipped his cap every so often and allowed himself a smile. He was proud of his rank, and rightfully so. There had only been a few sergeants of his race in the Broadgate police force before him, and before them, only civilians. It was rare indeed for anyone, let alone the courts, to rely on the analysis of a dogman.

Again, Kleinmann considered the Cult of Masael. The crowds had only grown since the statue had gone up, and he had seen more and more people in the Halls of Order wearing he sign of the Cult. The small, golden dagger, pinned to the lapel. A strange symbol, for which he had heard various explanations.

A dagger. Why a dagger?

His thoughts were interrupted by a chime from his pocket. He removed the small silver phone from his pocket and answered. "Officer Kleinmann."

"Walter, there's been another homicide. Down at the fifth residential bloc."

"I will be there momentarily. I'm... curious as to why I'm hearing this from you, Councilor."

"Oh, I was in the Hall and I heard it come down the line. Besides, does a man need an excuse to call a friend?"

"Apparently yes, tonight," Kleinmann said wistfully. So strange to hear a good friend's voice with such ill tidings. "I'll take care of it, Donovan. Thank you."

Councilor Donovan sighed audibly. "No, thank you, Walter." A click.

Kleinmann folded his phone and slid it back into his coat pocket. Another long night lay ahead of him, and he knew it. Already, there were questions.

* * *

And so we have a very first draft of the beginning of my latest short story, set in an alternate modern Earth, in the city of Broadgate. More to come.

1 comment:

Third said...

Oh how i want this to be the story i think it is...