Aphelion Issue 224, Volume 21
December 2017 / January 2018
 
Editorial    
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Poetry
Features
Series
Archives
Submission Guidelines
Contact Us
Flash Writing Challenge
Forum
   

Ripper

by C.E. Gee




Detective Rick Reall and his partner Diana heard the clopping footsteps of Lieutenant Cochran.

The two detectives grimaced at one another after Rick said, “Prepare for the coming festivities.”

The Lieutenant entered the office.

Cochran’s fat face sported his usual smirk. He said, “Gotta an interesting case for you two. Some hooker bought the farm last night at that big hotel over on Portland Road. I got Wright on the case, but seein’ as how you folks are in Vice and the victim was a known prostitute, I figure you should work with Wright on this one.”

Rick replied, “If only her mattress could talk. But we’ll get right on it Lieutenant.”

As soon as Lieutenant Cochran left Rick stood. He said to Diana, “I’m going to go talk to Jess. Please keep working on our last report. I’ll be back soon.”

Diana’s smile was warm, more so than a detective would normally deliver to a partner.

In Homicide’s office Rick said, “So what’s up? The Lieutenant ordered Vice to work with you on the Portland Road case.”

Jess had the cold, disinterested stare common to homicide detectives. He said, “Well, murdered hookers are nothing new. But this case has an unusual aspect.”

Rick raised his eyebrows as Jess continued, “During the autopsy Doc found the pro’s gut slashed open, her ovaries removed.”

“Sheesh,” replied Rick, “never heard of that before.”

Jess motioned to a chair behind his own. “Sit” he said. “I got a security vid from the motel’s parking lot –- something to see.”

Rick rose, went over to behind the desk, looked over Jess’ shoulder.

Jess said, “This is from last Saturday night.” He started the vid. Rick saw a couple walking toward the camera, coming from the parking lot and headed toward hotel’s entrance.

Rick recognized the female as a known prostitute. Her name was Kay. She was a joke in the Vice Squad. The phrase “If you see Kay” always brought a laugh.

The male, Rick didn’t recognize. The guy was short, face was pale. He was wearing a three-piece suit, which Rick figured was fancy dress for this day and age. The man had a moustache, wore a hat that was sloppy and had the brim pulled down.

The couple passed out of view.

*****


In the evening, at his apartment, sitting across the dinner table from his wife Cynthia-Ann, herself a former prostitute, Rick spoke of the new case.

“Honey,” said Cynthia-Ann in reply, “your naïveté is so endearing. You’ve never heard of Jack the Ripper?”

“Sorta,” replied Rick. “I was skipping thru channels one night and on the BBC channel I came across a promo for a documentary about the guy. I flipped to the next channel then.”

Cynthia-Ann leaned across the table, said, “Jack the Ripper musta been a real perv. Why else would some guy want a lady’s eggs? Especially the eggs of a pro.”

Rick shrugged.

*****


The next afternoon Rick drove west out of the city to a small town on the way to the coast. Lewis, an old friend from high-school who was very active in the Drama Club lived on the outskirts of the town.

On a Google search for information about Jack the Ripper, Rick discovered numerous movies and videos had been produced concerning the killer. Rick hoped Lewis, given his interest in drama, might be able to provide information about Jack the Ripper not disclosed by Rick’s Google search.

In Lewis’ living room, laid back in a bean bag chair, Rick said, “Look, I’m investigating a case similar to the Jack the Ripper cases. I’m hoping since you’re into drama and such you can fill me in about this case, given there’s been movies and TV shows about the guy. I know you watch alota this stuff because of your interest in drama.”

Lewis shrugged as he replied, “I’m afraid I’ve not any original theories on Jack the Ripper, but remember that kid I was friends with in school? You know, the nerdy guy with the glasses that hung out in the library much of the time?”

“Yeah,” said Rick, “I remember that guy. What about him?”

Lewis smiled, replied, “He had some pretty weird theories. One of them was he thought Jack the Ripper was an alien from outer space, visiting Earth to gather eggs in order to propagate a new species by injecting the eggs with alien DNA and then artificially bringing the eggs to term inside specialized incubators carried within robot mothers.”

“That is weird,” said Jack as he shook his head. “Anything else you can think of?”

Lewis sat back in his chair, folded his hands over his substantial paunch, said, “Nope. Other than my impression that the guy with the theory about Jack the Ripper had a ton of other weird theories. What’s really interesting is that so many of his theories came true over the years.”

*****


In the late evening Rick was on the couch, watching television with Cynthia-Ann. Between shows, during a long commercial break, Rick turned to his wife, said, “You know honey, you’ve been a great help to me with some of my cases. Remember the time you gave me a cover while I staked out that casino?” And remember the time you pulled a pistol on that Indian shaman holding us hostage?”

“Of course,” said Cynthia-Ann as she cuddled closer to Rick.

“Well,” said Rick, “your comment about Jack the Ripper may be just the clue I need on the current case.”

Cynthia-Ann kissed Rick on the cheek, exclaimed, “Good!”

*****


The next day Rick talked to Jess. “Listen up,” said Rick. “I think I gotta lead on our case.”

“Go on,” replied Jess.

Rick felt a misgiving about his idea, but typically pushed on anyway, saying, “This is gonna sound pretty strange, but has some logic to it.”

Jess smiled, said, “It’s okay. It’s all just talk at this point.”

Rick was in a chair at the front of Jess’s desk. Rick leaned forward. After a pause to consolidate his thoughts, Rick said, “Jack the Ripper is a being from another world. An alien, if you will.”

Jess sat back in his chair. He managed to suppress his laugh, kept his mouth closed, huffed repeatedly thru his nose.

Rick continued with, “How else could Jack the Ripper first come to the fore in the 1800’s, then show up in the 2000’s?”

Jess shrugged, said, “Maybe our Jack is a copycat.”

Rick replied, “It’s theorized that some aliens could live much longer than us humans. Some may even be immortal, or at least near so.”

Jess made no response as Rick said, “And why slaughter prostitutes? Because they’re easy to pick up and get alone within a secluded spot. Besides, who is gonna miss ‘em?”

Again, no reaction from Jess.

“Plus, there’s a good reason to harvest the eggs,” said Rick.

“Oh yeah?” asked Jess. “What might that be?” Jess had become noticeably interested.

Encouraged by the obvious interest, Rick prattled on. “Some aliens are making a new species. By taking human eggs, inserting alien DNA, starting gestation, they bring the new beings to term in robotic incubators. Some of the he new beings will have the high brain power of the aliens and the physical skills and toughness of us humans.”

“Now how in blue blazes did you come up with this crap?” asked Jess.

Around a smirk Rick replied, “I know some folks. They’re into this sort of thing, clued me in.”

“Okay,” said Jess. “So, you got any ideas on how we’re going to catch our perp?”

“We can use Diana as our lure,” was Rick’s reply. “She’s done this sort of thing before. Having busted so many hookers she knows how to look, how to act, the lingo, everything.”

Jess nodded as Rick continued, “She can turn away any prospective johns with excuses ‘til she encounters our perp. We’ll have a couple of uniformed offices with us, hiding out, ready to jump the guy when he shows up.”

“If he shows up,” interjected Jess.

“He’ll show,” said Rick. “I gotta feeling.

Again, Jess nodded. He said, “I learned a long time ago--your feelings are most likely right on base. Let’s do it.”

*****


Saturday night, in an alley near the hotel, some of the local neighborhood hookers hung out.

Diana entered the alley, leaned up against one wall. Another lady of the evening asked, “Ain’t seen you before. What’s your name, Honey?”

“Sharon,” came the reply. “I been in the pen for a few years. Just got out.”

Diana was nearest the entrance to the alley. Prime real estate for a hooker. Highly contested territory--in a normal situation. Maybe the “Working Girls” were spooked by the recent killings. Or maybe Diana just looked classy enough, or tough enough, for the shivs to stay sheathed—for tonight. Or maybe it was just self-preservation on the Girls’ part. “Let the New Girl take the risk,” sort of thing. Who could tell why none of the other girls challenged her spot. Could be anything.

As the evening progressed into night, a string of Johns came to the alley.

Since Diana was first in line, most Johns stopped at her, asked, “How much?”

“500 bucks” was always the answer. The Johns would then stroll down the line of pros until they found one to their liking.

During a quiet moment, the hooker next to Diana said, “You gots a mighty high opinion of yourself, Girl. You ain’t made a thin dime tonight, so far. Maybe this ain’t a High Class enough neighborhood for the likes of y’all. Either ya gonna havta lower ya standards or ya price, or go on uptown somewheres else. Word to the wise, Doll. Word to the wise…”

Diana’s reply? “Believe me, I’m worth every penny, and I’m exactly where I need to be. You’ll see.”

Near two hours later, Diana recognized the suspect walking into the alley.

Diana struck an alluring pose. The suspect stopped before Diana, looked her up and down. In a strange sounding accent the suspect said, “You’ll do. Let’s go.”

Diana walked with the suspect to the alley’s entrance.

From a nearby van, Rick and two uniformed officers had seen the suspect go into the alley. The three police officers quietly exited the van, took up a position behind the edge of the building at the alley’s entrance.

As soon as Diana and the suspect emerged the officers sprung into action.

The two uniformed officers grabbed the suspect, cuffed him as Rick declared, “You’re under arrest for criminal solicitation of a prostitute. Anything you say may be used in a court of law.”

The suspect said nothing.

The suspect said nothing.

The four officers went to the Sergeant on duty, reported the collar.

The Sergeant had been looking down and to his right at hard copy of some report. He looked up, gazed at the video monitor that was connected to a camera near the holding cell.

“So, where’s the perp?” Asked the Sergeant.

“In the cage,” replied Rick.

The Sergeant motioned for Rick to come around the desk to see the monitor.

“What the. . .?” said Rick. “Where’d he go?”

“We gotta DVD recorder hooked up to this rig.” Said the Sergeant. He typed at his computer’s keyboard. The monitor screen flickered briefly, then displayed Rick and the two other officers throwing the perp into the holding cell.

The officers then marched off to meet with the Sergeant.

The perp stood in the middle of the cell, folded his arms across his chest, nodded.

Then the perp disappeared.

Rick sniffed, said, “looks like I was right.”

THE END


© 2017 C.E. Gee

Bio: "Born near the peak of the post World War II baby boom (1947), C.E. "Chuck" Gee misspent his youth at various backwater locales within the states of Oregon and Alaska.

During adulthood Chuck answered many callings, including that of logger, factory worker, infantryman (Vietnam war draftee), telecommunications technician, volunteer fireman and EMT, light show roady, businessperson, sysop (commercial BBS), webmaster.

Retired from the telecommunications/electronics industries and also a disabled veteran, Chuck now writes Science Fiction.

E-mail: C.E. Gee

Blog: C.E. Gee

Comment on this story in the Aphelion Forum

Return to Aphelion's Index page.