What are Ozlandish Writings?

From July 2010 to December 2014 we ran OZLAND PICTURE STORIES as described below. Sadly though the number of writers reduced over the years and we decided to call it a day. We leave these as a record of the good times we had.

Are "You" ready to challenge your writing skills? Then participate in our OZLAND Picture Stories writing series at The Ozland Art Gallery.

Each month a new picture will be picked, from our OZLAND Artist of the Month collection, with different themes. Your goal is to write a 500-1000 word... poem... essay... or story about the picture picked. This is a chance for you to challenge your writing skills each month. Story can be written in ANY genre... sci fi... romance... ghost... fantasy... fiction... non-fiction... biography... mystery... historical... whatever your writing genre... feel free to experiment. Send your writing inworld to Sven Pertelson as a notecard to have it included on the web site. We meet at the The Ozland Art Gallery each Wednesday at Noon and 6pm SLT to read the latest submissions on voice. More Information

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hot Afternoon - Part 1 by Sven Pertelson

The cool marble floors and minimalist furnishing of the apartment contrasted with the profusion of colourful planted tubs baking in the mediterranean heat of the balcony. The fine slatted blinds at the window kept out worst of the reflected afternoon sunlight and only partially illuminated the dead body lying on the crazed stone.

Detective Vasili Karalis shuddered as the forensic pathologist plunged a steel themometer probe into the liver of the pretty young girl. The doctor looked puzzled, withdrew the thermometer, found another in his case, tried again and spoke. "That is strange. The body temperature is a good degree cooler than the air temperature. Are you sure nobody has been messing with the air conditioning? Perhaps it is this cool marble floor." Vasili left the room and had words with the policeman who secured the scene and returned as the pathologist was zipping the corpse into a body bag. "No doc, nobody has touched the thermostat since the first officer arrived. Have you got an estimated time of death?". The pathologist pulled out a calculator, entered some figures and replied, "From the body temperature and lack of rigor mortis at least 24 hours ago, perhaps 36 at most. Before you ask I can see no obvious cause of death. That will have to wait until after the weekend when we get a post mortem carried out."

Vasili opened the door of his own un-air-conditioned flat, kicked off his shoes, turned on the fan and threw the windows open. At least there was a cool beer in the refrigerator. He pulled his chair closer to the window and sat down to review his notes. Miss Xenia Salis, 26, had been discovered deceased at about noon by her boyfriend Takis Xana. He had arrived back in Athens at 4am on the early flight from London having just returned from New York and had caught up on his sleep before calling on Xenia. Scratch one suspect, he was at least 8000 kilometers away when his girl friend died. Still, just in case, he should check up on that alibi on Monday when he had some definitive answers from the post mortem. Tonight he was going to concentrate on several cool cans and then tomorrow spend the day at the beach away from the heat of the city centre.

The early morning traffic in Athens was as hectic as usual. So many people starting in early to avoid the heat of the day. Vasili found a parking spot for his car only two blocks away from police headquarters, one more promotion and he would get a reserved place, and another promotion and it would be one out of the sun. Though not a place he enjoyed visiting at least the police mortuary was cool. The pathologist was working on another body when he arrived and he had to wait to talk to him. Xenia's death was proving to be puzzling. No signs of head injury, poisons, drugs, or existing medical problems. There was some odd damage to the skin of the face and hands, almost like sun burn. The conclusion was that the death was suspicious but with an unexplained cause.

Vasili waved down a passing yellow trolley bus to get to Syntagma. Xenia's boyfriend was a chef at one of the very expensive restuarants that surrounded the large public square next to parliament. It was getting hot again and even though there was air-conditioning on these new trolley buses it was struggling against the sun and the body heat of the passengers. Once at the square Vasili dived under the cover of the awnings of one of the pavement cafe's, found a seat and ordered a strong Greek coffee. Sipping alternately from the minute cup of black hot sweet coffee and the glass of iced water that came with it he reflected on the case and formulated the questions he had for the boyfriend, Takis.

As he was led through the restaurant kitchens to where Takis worked Vasili mopped his brow. Even after the sunbaked streets this was the hottest he had been all day. Boiling pans, glowing grills, blisteringly hot ovens and not a breath of fresh air. The head chef opened a door at the rear of the kitchen and waved Vasili inside to a chilly white walled room where Takis was putting the finishing touches to mouthwatering sorbets in bowls made of ice with embedded flower petals. Now Vasili wished he had brought a jacket with him....

No comments:

Post a Comment