The Museum

Damien | 03/12/2011

"Standing in the rain
the chill, relentless rain
in a long pale dress
a girl without a name"

It was a rhyme that my mother used to sing to me when I was barely a few months old, and now, more years later than I liked to think about, it had suddenly come back to me into my head with a vengeance as I stood there playing watchdog, waiting to see whether six months of work was going to come to fruition or be wasted.

The hourglass was ticking away, and there wasn't much time left if we were going to get anything on the suspect that we could actually make stick this time.

We'd almost had this guy a few years ago, but at the last minute, just as the deal went down, I'd found myself being distracted by something shiny and had missed the actual exhange being made.

This mistake, of course, had prompted my sanctimonious boss to demote me, and I had spent a year and a half in a decrepit shithole of an office with a fat partner stuck in an uxorious relationship with his wife before another opportunity had come along to go after this guy.

Now I was here once more, standing in an alleyway, all tatterdemalion in appearance as I tried to blend in with the actual tramps and wino's that made this entryway their home, waiting for the chance to take down one of the biggest criminals in the country.

He'd been in the museum for too long though, so it was time for me to get closer and hope I could catch him in one of the nefarious acts that I just knew he was going to be up to at some point today.

It took me about twenty minutes to find him, standing by a mastodon with an older guy wearing a shirt with a vaguely familiar arcance symbol printed on it. The museum was busy with the usual mass of school children out for their yearly dose of culture, so remaining unseen by my target wasn't that difficult.

I watched in silence as my target and his acquaintance had what seemed to be a rather intense debate, growing more sure by the moment that this was where I would finally get what I needed to put this guy behind bars where he belonged.

There was a sudden commotion to my left, and I looked around to see someone who appeared to be dressed in a combination of a jesters and a pirates costumes, complete with parrot, just as he snatched a handbag from an unsuspecting woman.

The one-eyed fool skipped and turned as he made his way through the frantic horde, running straight towards me, and I had no choice other than to uphold my oath to serve and protect, and so brought the would be thief down with a smart rugby tackle and placed him in handcuffs.

This whole incident took perhaps a few seconds, and once it was over I looked back toward the mastodon, only to see the target had disappeared, leaving the man he had been arguing with standing there mutely as blood started to appear from what looked to be a gunshot wound in his chest.

The man fell to his knees, then face-first onto the floor, in a bizarre parody of a cheesy western scene minus the cowboys.

Once more, I had become distracted at the worst possible moment, and now a man lay dead in front of me, and I had seen nothing.

I dragged the miscreant I had tackled to his feet and started leading him from the museum. As I walked through the doors, I couldn't help wonder where I was going to end up being posted to this time....

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