Pillow Walker

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream…


Science Fiction

More scibbles of police…

I’ve managed to do a bit more scribbling on the story I’m working on… here is a bit of a taste of what I’ve done recently…

Fresh snow had recently covered the ground as he made his walk across the council estate towards a tower block which was the address he was sent to look at, when he finally made his way up to the correct floor level after trudging up several flights of sleet covered stairs he came upon a scene of total carnage…

A male and female police officer stood watch outside the flat, a shorter female with dark curly hair sticking out from underneath her police hat glanced about, looking somewhat bored and embarrassed while her taller colleague in his florescent jacket laughed and smiled at his own jokes… He’s  probably a transfer from a traffic unit thought Ashford taller than Mark but with a red nose from the winter conditions.

He silently noddled to them both, flashed his ID badge and ducked under the crime scene tape and walked into the entrance.

Blood on the walls and blood on the ceilings. That was the scene that greeted D.I Mark Ashford as he entered the one bedroom flat.

He stood on the welcoming mat and glanced about the lounge.

The forensic team had already been in during the early part of the morning to douse the surfaces with luminol, but apart from their recent activity and the yellow crime scene tape that they’d tied up outside the flat there wasn’t any trace of them right now.

On one side of the lounge room presumably where the crime had taken place a wall now sported a stain of blackened carbon which had ran up a length of wall where once pictures and a mirror had hung  which now was splintered into hundreds of shards and half way across the lounge carpet.

An electrical appliance, possibly a hi fi or computer terminal had melted at the foot of the hot spot which was most probably the source of the fire.

Close to the ignition source, metal components and what appeared to be lumps of organic remains had coalesced  in globs of solder and circuitry which had meshed together. The smell of burning carbon was still present mixed with a pungent smell of faeces and death.

Ashford scanned the room…

Remnants of shredded clothing were matted with blood and other bodily tissues to the surfaces of what was left of the remaining upholstery.

On closer inspection he’d notice  fragments which were embedded into the walls and the kitchen door on the lounge side opposite the blackened scorch marks.

A partial skull cranium with matted hair which had coagulated with arterial blood and brain tissue was found next to a splintered coffee table near the center of the room, in close proximity to a charred foot with purple nail varnish most likely from a female victim.

Ashford held a hanky from his pocket to his nose, he could never quite get used to that smell of dead things… it always made him want to gag. There were times when a putrid waft would sometimes trigger a memory he thought he’d once buried in his subconscious. Memories of old cases the ones he’d help solve or the times when they sometimes went cold.

He’d been in the force with the Avon and Somerset Police for over twenty years and was called in to investigate crimes such as this one, as was sometimes customary when the situation was at a standstill or or when manpower dictated.

He’d been witness to the aftermath of murder and unexplained death for almost all of his career and he’d seen just about everything you’d expect to see within the homicide division, such as the violent crimes perpetrated by thugs and low lifes out on the rob, or the gang land style executions by the powerful elite and their unscrupulous no marks, to the unlucky criminals on the receiving end of deals gone wrong.

There were crimes of passion metted out by jealous husbands and wives…and of course there was those people who were suicidal, those poor bastards who’d jump in front of a train, or off themselves by leaping from a bridge or high vantage point.

They all had to be investigated, especially the suspicious ones.

Most of the time a case would have a logical explanation, a natural cause of death for an individual or cicumstances that might appear to lean towards non suspicion, and then other times they’d call in Ashford.

Mark Ashford sent in to make sure a systematic approach was being applied to the behind scenes forensic activities and to sometimes think outside the box if all avenues of an investigation had been exhausted, which meant it had to be seen to be done by the book albiet sometimes obliquely.

He thought of himself as some kind of super plumber, shoring up blockages in the system and circumventing the flow of water in order to deliver a honest result, although never at the expense of other colleagues he’d like to think.

Rarely was he called in to the actual crime scene itself, most of his regular duties involved organising other detectives back at the office.

‘I see you have made a quick glance of the crime scene Mark’

It was Chris Porter from homicide division one of the leading detectives on the case. He’d walked in on Mark who had been surveying the scene from the doorstep.

‘Its OK detective stay there I’ll walk over to you’

Chris was donned in the usual forensics garb to prevent contamination of the scene. He walked over towards Ashford.

‘Good morning Chris, Yes I have… whats your take on things?’ replied Ashford who turned to face his colleague.

‘They got you down here then, sorry to pull you away from that nice warm office of yours hows things Mark’,  joked Porter.

They shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, and spoke of the football scores and about drinking establishments and changes to work related business, the usual stuff.

‘Well for all intents and purposes we have what appears to be a fire of some sort and some kind of explosion that occurred within the flat.’, started Porter.

‘Thats quite unusual in of itself unless it was terrorism related, which we don’t think it is at this early stage’

‘What is remarkable is that the windows in the property are not shattered and yet the damge to the vics and I say vics because there is more than one person who died here tonight, sorry I meant yesterday… is quite substantial’

‘Coupled to that we have no reports from any of the neighbours over loud noises’

‘So who rang it in then’, replied Ashford.

‘A delivery agent dropping a parcel off to next doors and happened to notice a burning smell from outside the property  he looked through the letter box apparently he noticed the general chaos inside’

‘Any details on the vics’, Ashford pointed to what was left of them on the interior carpet.

‘Yeah the first victim was an young Caucasian female by the name of Emily Prior, 26 works as a hairdresser, self employed… no partner or relatives to speak of according to a neighbour, although we’re still looking into her life’

‘The second victim again a Caucasian, male, similar age… name unkown so far…maybe a boyfriend or acquaintance of hers, we’re not really sure at this stage, but we’ve got a copy of the flats surveillance camera that was taken from outside her flat the night before the delivery agent noticed the smell … IT have already extracted the video file so we know what he looks like… we’re running prints off the walls and fixtures as we speak’

‘OK thats good, its a bit strange as you mention the explosion or lackof… have you got any of the forensics to get a sample of the carbon for anaysis yet’, queried Ashford.

‘Yes, that’s just been done and is winging its way back to the lab, along with the prints’, replied Porter.

‘It’ll be good to know what caused it’

‘We’ve also got bobbies out door to door and I took the liberty of sending out a couple of PCs to obtain surveillance footage in case it reveals anything suspicious in the neighbourhood or to do with the male that visited Emily… it looks like he could be the last one to see her alive and may possibly be a victim himself, who knows’, Porter gestured towards the broken table and skull fragment littered on the floor.

‘Good work Chris’ remarked Ashford with a smile.

‘I see you’ve locked down the area and are working quickly enough out from the scene itself… standard stuff, but obviously you’ll need futher forensics over the next day or two, I’ll look into granting you the necessary resources when I speak with management, but what you have so far is a jolly good start’

Porter nodded in token agreement.

‘Its puzzling..’, Ashford continued…

‘An explosion and yet no explosion at the same time, no sounds heard of a domestic incident or some violent event, its almost as if they both died some place else and were transferred here.’

‘And yet we have the bone fragments buried into the verticals which definitely suggests otherwise’, mused Ashford.

‘See if you can work out if the fire was separate to or the cause of the explosion will you Chris’, Ashford pointed towards the source of where the fire had started.

‘You’ll obviously need to look at the bone fragments buried in the walls and whatnot and get someone to take detailed pictures of the scene and measurements, you’ll have to fine tooth comb this one OK Chris. Fibres the works’

‘Aye Sir, I’ll do that right away’, replied Porter in a more formal tone.

Ashford left the scene of crime, and headed back down towards his car which was waiting for him at the road opposite the block of flats. It was his pride and joy his old racing green Aston Martin DB4 Zigato. Thankfully it still had its wheels left on it when he returned and he was glad to be heading away from this neighbourhood.

He took out his phone to make a recording of what he would have to write in his report when he got back to the office. 

He was glad to getting  out of the chill but unsure of what management would say about granting Chris Porter more bodies on the ground… All the talk in the office these days was of cuts to the service and at his level of policing it was not something Ashford agreed with.

Although for now he returned to more mundane thoughts of the present, of escaping the winters bitterness, exiting  the shitty housing estate and getting back to that warm office of his.


The Box

Digging around in some of my scribbles I had performed last year, I noticed something I had started work on, which I may pick up again… The idea in mind was for a sci-fi oriented story about a mysterious metallic box.  I did some quick edits on it this morning,  I’m still not entirely satisfied.

I present what I have so far…

The box was his find.

He wanted to show Emily his neighbour, perhaps she could shed some light on its origin and it’s inner workings.

That was one of the main reasons he wanted to show her, but another reason to show her first before anyone else was because he fancied her like mad and somewhere in the back of his mind he thought that if he showed her the box she would be impressed with him, perhaps thought Desmond that somewhere in the not too distant future perhaps she would fall head over heels in love with him, or at least invite him around hers for synthetics and maybe even a complimentary shag. 

Of course that was stupid, especially the shag part and he knew it, one part of him thinking why would she be interested in a guy like me and my hobbies, especially a woman like her, like Emily Sanchez.

The outgoing and vivacious neighbour at number 32, the pretty girl he was desperate to win over. The other part of him just wanting someone, anyone to find him interesting.

‘What do you want Desmond?’, she said as she opened her flat door to him.

She stood in the open doorway and he noticed she was wearing that t-shirt he’d seen her in before, the one which was a deep purple and had that white lettering on with the word FAME written on it.
It was that t-shirt several sizes too small, the one Desmond noticed that accentuated her ample breasts.

Desmond noticed that today she wasn’t wearing a bra underneath the t-shirt and quickly glanced back up to meet her bored gaze.

She was wearing thick eye shadow the colour of fresh tarmac and glossy red lipstick, a pair of hatched blue skinny jeans and nothing on her feet, save for the black toe nail varnish she was sporting.

She had raised her eyebrows somewhat, fully aware that he was staring at her tits and gave out a disgruntled sigh in mild annoyance.

‘You best come in’, she said.

Emily knew the quickest way of getting rid of Desmond was to appease him somewhat, although she knew in her heart he wasn’t datable material,  let alone someone she could fancy for anything else.  She did however feel sorry for him, but the quicker she could talk with him, the quicker he’d go away.

She swore blind he had some kind of mental condition like mild autism, although she wasn’t quite sure quite what spectrum.

She gestured for him to come inside.

‘You’re never going to believe what I’ve found’, Desmond said excitedly as he nervously entered her flat.

The thick polymer front door slid back on its casters,  into its closed position automatically, locking itself shut using various deadbolts and finishing off with a faint metal on metal sound as the magnetic locking mechanism seeled the door off from the hallway.

Muffled sounds could be heard from the hallway recyclers kicking in from inside the flat. 

The security panel on the lounge wall let out a notification chime to let Emily know that the system was armed. Desmond took a spot on the leather sofa.

‘Coffee?’, Emily said.

The dystopia of 1984 is no longer relevant

Star Wars is Disney

As a fan of science fiction I’ve never put the Star Wars films up on a pedestal. For me it’s the same as putting ET up on a science fiction pedestal, while Star Wars has made ‘good entertainment’, and so did ET it doesn’t in my opinion make for great science fiction. ET followed the tradition of early science fiction films, of alien visitors to our planet but that’s not to say ET was great science fiction either, at the end of the day it was just entertainment too. 🙂

Great science fiction films are few and far between (even the trashy B-movies of the 40’s and 50’s made sense for the time period and could be considered great science fiction films or not at least they followed the literature that was out at the time) but Star Wars has never been great science fiction – I’ll site Blade Runner and 2001 a Space Odyssey as great science fiction films of more recent times. Even new films like Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (with all the shine and pretty) didn’t do it for me, I thought it was just a rehash of the Alien films but with less ‘Alien’. Same story, nothing new / move along.

My point is more to do with the social sphere and their reaction to this selling of a ‘great science fiction’ franchise.

LucusFilm was sold to Disney for a cool £2.5 billion. As soon as this story broke, the social internet lit up like a Christmas tree, mainly with negative comments along the lines of WTF how can you (Lucas) do this to our beloved franchise.

It would be a mistake to judge something now with adult eyes when growing up with Star Wars, I was a child myself in the 70’s so for me the franchise got worse with each iteration, or perhaps as I got older I appreciated them less and less.

I used to like Star Wars as a kid, (emphasis on kid here) I watched the films and played with the figures, but I was never really a hardcore fan. I was just a kid. As I got older my tastes changed and my appreciation for science fiction increased. I read more, and I watched less, mainly in part because Hollywood didn’t and still doesn’t (to a large degree) know how to make great science fiction films.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that Lucas has recently sold the company to Disney. It makes perfect sense to me. Lucas has a point in that he feels he wants to hand Star Wars to a new generation of film makers, and by selling off LucasFilms he has achieved that, but I suppose the financial side of it must have been tempting too, I think Lucas is just realistic he’s not even putting Star Wars on a pedestal because it was never on (a science fiction) one – Besides selling it off will make Lucas a nice little nest egg.

Sure it has a loyal fan base and why not, it was an iconic set of films for the 1970’s and 80’s, I think there is a certain level of care needed when making a ‘Star Wars’ film sure, and I believe Disney are the ones to do it, it’s a family entertainment kind of deal.


Google Play presents: Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Peter F. Hamilton

Three of my favourite British Science Fiction authors share their views on the genre, which they recently shared via the medium of Google+ hangouts.

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