"The Preterite Files"Mature

A detective is up for committing crimes that, apparently, didn't commit, but... Do you know something? If we typecast this story in a gender, well, it would be multi-gender. You'll recognize the detective gender, the thriller and horror at first sight. However, later on, eroticism and philosophy will converge giving birth to a totally insane work. I'm not sure you be used to this sort of experiments, but I can bet that you will fascinate with this as time goes by. I hope so. Just read, and comme

February 26, from some years ago…


Morning: 8 o’clock / Los Angeles city

Despite the husband’s facial expressions, the boy would stay in care of Estelle. A momentary calmness for the detective’s nerves in front of what is about to come at night.

“Where will you go?” He asked in the doorstep of the door.

The woman took and pressed his hands.

“Easy. You’ll be on time, Alex”.

It would be an unforeseen and very long night for all them. Berti took her hands off. Estelle felt Oscar over the back.

“We’ll come out to dine,” she raised voice. “Some friends have invited us. We’ll be many. So, I’ll be sheltered”.

“That’s right, detective,” the husband added. “You don’t have to what getting worried”.

Time to leave for Berti. The farewell with her was brief: smiles and hopeful looks. Not the same with Elvis, the kid, who appeared behind the legs to jump over him shouting between sobs: “Be careful, Uncle Alex! I love you.”


Morning: 9 o’clock / Robbery and Homicide Division. Los Angeles Police Department / Flint’s Office.

Berti still thought about the boy when Art O’Sullivan opened a door and introduced a man who never he has seen before.

“Raphael Flint, the new psychoanalyst of the department,” the captain said. “Mr. Flint, Alex Berti, private detective at present but former lieutenant of LAPD. Precisely, Gans and Narcotics Division.”

“Pleased to meet you,” said Flint. “Yesterday I read about you and that mythical roundup. Incredible.”

Berti and the psychoanalyst narrowed their hands. Flint was a tall and very thin man with thick beard and darkish, somewhat mannered of manners. Art O’Sullivan cleared his throat and started an introduction:

“We’ve been working side by side with the coroner. We know it has been rough and hard for everybody. The case has eaten up our lifetime. But we’re in the sight of Government and the media; they press us all the time, by all sides. The thing is we’ve to make good use of this cooling-off period; this temporary interval where these maniacs fall in depression and allow us to take vantage to hunt him. Alex, we cannot stick at this dumb show about the Chupacabras anymore; has led up to an ailing state of mind rarely seen in Kern’s community. There’s national worry in order that this department does what it has to do, and finally chases something as…

“A substance of flesh and bones,” Berti extended.

“We’re taking you far from the eye of the snake. I hope you visualize it,” O’Sullivan said.

“How can I do it? Until now I don’t know what you plot.”

“A test, Alex.”

“Best known as the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised,” Flint added.

“PCL-R…” Berti murmured initials.

“Position of several is at stake, also your Freedom,” O’Sullivan continued. “Think about it. Statistics say that a serious Organization doesn’t allow that psychopaths reach beyond a fourth victim.”

Berti laughed briefly.

“They already are four, Art.”

“I know it. We go wrong. But we already work under the suspicions that the butcher has an issue with you”.

“Cheers, captain. It was time.”

“Summonses will come to each one who has crossed on your way. I’d like to ask your old mates from that bar where you drink your life, for example.”

“Without being offensive, captain, but is where you should’ve started. Many of them work here.”

“I know. And they’ll certainly want to kill me.”

Alex Berti scratched his head, looked for a place in which sitting and did it in a withdrawn sofa in a corner. Flint and O’Sullivan did the same thing; psychiatrist behind his desk and O’Sullivan in a confronted chair.

“Well, as I see,” Berti retook. “This test will be the excuse to take me out of the road without damaging your reputation. That way, we avoid lawsuits and counterattacks in front of the media.”

“It’s a somewhat rigorous way to see it”, the captain said. “But, yes.”

“And as you’ve accused me to the point of the popular exaltation of a monster which has perturbed the collective thinking of the city, I can guess it’s not easy for you to point your darts toward another creature overnight.”


“Please! Let me finish the idea.” Berti stopped him with a hand up. “Therefore, this mister will vouch for my exhortation from your stingy blacklist -reduced to an only suspect until now- through diagnosis that you’ll publicize anyway. To my luck, I’ll be free from schizoid profiles but not from my vices. And besides, if I don’t think in a bad way, I’ll join to the case with you we’ll see if the detective of the past collaborates, taking advantage the fact I’m the only one who can guess the loop of the tuxedo clue.”

Flint and O’Sullivan enforced a silence while Berti faced them without batting eyes.

“You won’t be able to come out in credits,” the captain finally said. “You’re stained and people will distrust. It would be a job behind closed doors. But yes, we need you”.

“You flatter me, captain,” Berti said. “And when everything finishes, surely the Governor, the super-agent Art O’Sullivan and that skinny one from the FBI will take the photos for the headlines, hugged like big friends.”

O’Sullivan left the chair; closed some buttons of his jacket and walked toward the door.

“It’s the best I can offer you,” he said already under the doorstep. “Remember you’re broken, lost in the alcohol and we can find you some goof anyway. You haven’t immaculate records either, Alex”.

Berti stood up and removed the last cigarette which emerged from the pocket in the dickey. There was no longer need to keep on talking. Raphael Flint got up and tried to say something but Alex also shut him up raising an Apache hand.

“What are you fuckin’ doing?” O’Sullivan said, returning on his steps.

“I’ll say something you both,” Berti proposed. “You can make a reed with the test and introduce it by your ass. I shall be a fool to do this, but I’ve my pride and this shakedown sucks.”

“Alex! You won’t be able to do it by yourself!”

Berti was leaving but O’Sullivan blocked him the way. Berti crossed him like a ghost.

“What was all that sorry fairy tale in the Jul Meyer’s crime scene?” The detective asked. “Guilt feelings? You fucked that woman! And ruined lieutenant Goldrich in passing. You’re a coward, Art! And also a sad pack. I thank the dinner last night but I won’t help you catch anybody. If I try to elucidate this case, it’s for me and those women. You cook well, Art. You can put a restaurant when you retire.”

Art O’Sullivan held it one-arm. Of this time, Alex broke loose from a hefty shake.

“What do you want, pig-headed?” The old man pressed teeth. “Petty hero… Do you think you’ll be able to come out unharmed without giving something in exchange? They will leave you alone, man. Think, for God sake!” Once this was said, O’Sullivan stung Berti’s chest with the index finger. The detective did not give it importance, he about-turned anyway. “Until now, what for pride has been useful for you? Only to be alone, Alex! Anything more! You’ve deported yourself! You wander around adrift, corrupted and anguished!”

Berti opened the door from the Flint’s office. The psychoanalyst kept on watching each motion without saying anything.

“I should leave”, the detective said without shouting. “There’s a lady who expects I avoid for her the unavoidable.” And it was all: Alex Berti went away, without goodbyes.

O’Sullivan and Flint looked at themselves: Nick McCoy’s plan had gone off to hell. What would the FBI agent say now? How would they obtain the Arrest Warrant from the Judge now?

“I’m dead, Flint,” the captain said among sighs. “As you don’t have idea.”


Noon / An outré den from an ordinary bistro / Los Angeles downtown

They had chosen Tom Waits, and what they listened was Hold on.”

Music comes from a door half-opened beyond restrooms; is a den not bigger than a jail room. The four walls are confronted in candy apple red and pineapple yellow colors; there are no windows there, and tall angles display fungi constellations and humidity lagoons. Midway, many spiders’ bodies that sought crossing the desert in yellow, balance the superior corners filth; the door is grass green, but the painting chips away in its edges, showing humid and rotten cedar. The golden crank is discolored and loose and hang by a single screw; the ceiling is white and has rashes of painting swollen due to the humidity which leaks from that bathroom in the second floor. There are a single bed; one cover with a bedsheets kits in pale rose and light blue and which falls opening in the shape of Rococo skirts.

At the bed’s feet; an old 14-inch television set with chromed borders and the bloated screen, plus two antennas that grant some futuristic insect aspect, does not get to tune in the soap opera that accompanies Varla to put makeup on in front of a little and surrounded mirror of theatrical lights. He has chosen an intense red for the cheeks, as exaggerated as the kit of artificial eyelashes he has put in his eyes. He thinks that rather looks like a wooden jumping jack than to a woman. The rouge of the lip makes her see as clown and, the outré shine in the eyes, a bodily hurt woman. He stopped the task to be seen an instant in the mirror; to see what he had made with his emaciated face. He knew he wasn’t for the Jimmy’s hunger; being the Czech or American, with long or short hair, brunette or blonde; for Jimmy, that beauty in the mirror didn’t be pleased. Like all morning, he had wasted tears, removing the mascara, thinking what dress to wear, what wig, what shoes…, because “I look ill-favored that way, because I look fat anyway, because I am a disgusting woman”. His bony hand reached a towel to erase the damage which falling thru the cheeks; it would have to start all again. He was trying to make himself an Annie Lennox in that video in front of the mirror, full of feathers, proud of what she is and how she is looking. Everything so vintage. By chance Jimmy had gotten to advance a lot: he made the call, their friends already were invited for dinner, and bought candles and finished the salad. All set. Still there was things to load up the Van T1 and move all the picnic toward the emblematic restaurant. The place was elegant, it would be a good place to eat; Jimmy’s guests would be keen on, although Varla be more worried to be pleasing him.

A bit blue, Varla looked up at the bar through the half-open door: Jimmy still was cleaning what had left the night before. They had worked until four o’clock and closed to balance out the till machine, as they explained to Barnes; the good old cook who always was taken lightly everything, without asking too much; he loved incidentals and unexpected holidays, most of all if Jimmy advanced some cash to him.

“Poor Jimmy, he leaves the soul in this job”, Varla thought while seeing him scrub the bar.

He stood up, turned round and looked his body in the big mirror gotten inside in the cupboard, next to the disposed dresses. He was thin, with a sucked face, but Jimmy liked his ass uprisen naturally. “No, it isn’t true. You’re fat!” On the other hand, brassieres with stuffing made him look better. “No way! You are a dwarf!” He tried several positions ahead of the mirror. He gets his arms up and, adopting a serious position, he made the petit battmente and next the fondú. When he left the ballet interrupted long ago, introduced a finger into the mouth, lifted up his buttocks and smiled flirting at the mirror. Suddenly, the fantasy which had raised in his head was behind him: finally, to be her for him.

“How does he do it to be so silent?” Varla thought.

Jimmy kissed Varla on the neck and surrounded with the arms her waist in order to pull it toward its belly. Then, his coarse hands climbed up her ribs until they steamrollered his stuffings. Varla opened her mouth, arched a smile and gave off a moo.

“My love…,” her lips replied the caress. Jimmy’s stumpy fingers were passing underneath the cloth drawing long journeys on the nipples. Varla felt burning cock and towering to feel suffocated with the shorts.

Varla became crazy and extended the arms to the backyards, holding to Jimmy’s nape, to pressing his neck, to nailing down her fingers, and mixing up the few locks that he had. There they were again on the colored slope of that lurid den; full of suits and dresses, with the aim of the forgotten Stinker’s dramatization. Jimmy rubbing dick in her ass while one of his hands falls away to Varla’s privates and touches them in a perverse onanism; perverted friction; secret irritation… Varla didn’t refrain more and gave forth a wailing loose mouth. Jimmy turned Varla, stuck out the tongue and finally kissed her. Varla insured Jimmy’s amplified glans and jerk off it softly. But Jimmy would quit early the battle for that love he repudiated, and he took her off: Varla would not enjoy her way. He pushed her against the crockery from the cosmetic table and smashed her against the mirror of the bulbs. Varla shouted because the pain. Her back fractured the crystal and pieces of broken glass drilled the meat damaging her dignity one more time. Two snappy slaps ended up domesticating her, and better she was quiet or the punch would come. Jimmy pulled out her shorts, opened her legs and lifted them until matching prominent knees in her sucked cheeks. That way Jimmy had disgraceful Stinker; that way he impaled him without souse. Jimmy got disfigured on the verge of showy Chupacabras and abused Varla as usual; without consideration neither affection. The woman, or the man behind the woman, clenched her teeth, closed the eyes and held on with the blue Tom Waits. It was convenient to pretend that everything was tender for her, part of love, and Jimmy was the most marvelous man on earth.


14.00 / Robbery and Homicide Division / Art O’Sullivan’s Office / Los Angeles Police Department

“There’s no time for more!” McCoy exclaimed once heeded bad news. Flint and O’Sullivan were looking the agent wandering around the office with the hands in the pockets, burning a cigarette between the lips. For the first time, Nick McCoy taught also it could lose his head and that he was so pressurized like everybody. He stopped suddenly over against the psychoanalyst. “You will prepare a report with a credible diagnosis,” he ordered. “You’ve had enough with his reaction. You’ve to be in a position to materialize it in a paper and draft a profile. Take advantage of his track record with abuses of power and those things. He’s one rebel, an alcoholic and, as far as I know, also a misogynist.”

“It will be ready this night, agent.”

While Flint said goodbye without handheld squeezes, Art was absorbed looking through the window. Afternoon fell down and the red of the crepuscular sky started to become violet. McCoy was right: there’s no more time. It came alive the fifth victim’s hour and they was unable to act. Also he doubted Berti be on time, saw it decentered. “He’ll be swallowing’s Jack Daniel’s bottle in Mandy’s Bar,” Art was thinking. “Poor devil.”

“Captain O’Sullivan!” McCoy awakened him.

McCoy woke him up.

“Still watch over Berti?”

“Two men back of him. Why?”

McCoy absorbed some dry snots and continued:

“Arrest him and take it with my men.”

“How did you say? I don’t understand.”

“Of course you understand, captain.”

Art left the window and confronted the agent.

“Explain me, please.”

“Well, part of the new plan. Alex Berti won’t be close to refuting our report.”

“What happened to television programs and contracts to interview him?

“That mess is only for victims’ relatives and us, the heroes. He doesn’t have any options.”

“What about if he’s not the guilty one?”

“No time for this. You already heard the Governor yesterday: that detail no longer will be your own business. We’ve been late to save the woman, but we bring down the criminal. That’s all.”

“I can’t believe it.”

“Come on, captain! Don’t get thoughtful. Just give the order to your men.”

Art felt squeezing the brain with coming images from a surrealistic hell. He conceived orgies between Rodriguez, McCoy, the Governor and Kern County’s mutilated ones, everything in favor of a television show. Everybody laughing and enjoying; as parts from a masked buffoons’ party; elements from a great joke of which he didn’t take part. No doubt about it: he was old for many things and, in spite all things, he was a conservative, a moralist; a man of bureaucratic principles and medieval corruption. With head between ups and downs, he got close to the water filter and caught one of those adhered plastic glasses.

“My men won’t pull of the trigger,” he said after giving a sip. “I hope you are clear on.”

“Don’t be worried, O’Sullivan. It will be enough they lift him to the car and deliver it to our car. We’ll make a vehicles crossing and all set. LAPD no longer has matter to look after in the Mutilated case, you’ll say to your boys. They just should surrender the suspect to the federal agents who’ll wait out where the flags ripple. Tell them also they all will be decorated. That’s a fact.”

“My boys aren’t silly. They’ll ask why you haven’t gone personally.”

McCoy seated in the desk border. He breathed out, Art O’Sullivan was annoying him.

“Alex Berti should be used to your men’s vigilance, sure knows one of them. It wouldn’t be good he feels the lowest need of escaping or defending itself.

O’Sullivan passed through McCoy’s front. He would have liked to have the toothpick to throw it to his face.

“Your Superior knows about this, agent McCoy, or do you always make the things to your own way?”

McCoy crossed his arms, fled the Art’s vigilance and took position behind the desk.

“Everything is foreseen, captain,” the agent said. “We’ve even a plan C, but you won’t wish learning about it; you’ll be carried between the horse legs.”

Art O’Sullivan felt the goose bumps. Nick McCoy placed a sadistic expression in its face supposing he had frightened the old Irishman.

“Your practices are bullshit, McCoy,” O’Sullivan said, “I just want you know it. And one more thing: don’t think about I’ll keep on in harmony and in peace. Something doesn’t settle in all this diplomatic mess.”

“You’re in your right, Art.”

The captain hit the table, getting angry.

“My right? Shit! Why is Alex Berti so important in order that you don’t allow him the legal right in this country to defend itself?”

“Only our citizens’ well-being, captain,” McCoy answered without shouting. “And the splendor of our Governor. Politics! Captain. You know it better than nobody, you’re an expert on it. Now, please, make the call (McCoy unhung the wireless telephone on the table and stretched it to O’Sullivan), before I lose my patience and comment it Heissenbauer your insubordination.

See you again on Wednesday!

The End

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