Lawrence got into his car. He sighed. This case was getting more complicated every minute. At first he had thought it would be a routine job; the victims had been dead for 700 years for God's sake! Now, just two days later, he had another, much younger victim, and half his team dismissing it all as a curse. He had never seen such a lack of professional attitude. But he had to get back to his original charges. After all, Richards was well capable of carrying a routine post-mortem examination, wasn't he? When Lawrence reached the path to the monastery, he parked his car and walked across the large field. He could see why Dr Hudson, though slightly insane, was so passionate about this place. The ruins reminded him of a picture postcard; everything was so perfect. The bulldozers that had been so keen to demolish this magnificent place were long gone, and Lawrence could now see St Sebastian's clearly from a distance. No wonder the monastery had no shortage of monks in its heyday. A sight like this would be enough to turn almost any person to God. But not Lawrence. He was rather sad at the fact, but he had lost his faith a while back. It was a gradual change; from not going to church as often as usual, to stopping confession, and finally losing what was left of his belief in God. Being a member of the serious crime squad did that to you. Many of the officers took early retirement, and most had some degree of depression. It was a job that just wore you down. The change was small, but it was there. The older officers were normally cynical about so-called 'morality' and were Atheists, or at the very least, Agnostic. In fact, now he thought about it, Lawrence supposed the only senior officer who openly declared his religion was Superintendent Donnelly. However, although he was a Catholic, Lawrence knew Donnelly would not stand for any of this supernatural nonsense. Donnelly lived for The Force. He had no wife or children, and as far as Lawrence knew, no siblings. It was all rather sad. Then, as he reached the monastery, Lawrence made a realisation that shocked him to his very core. He was exactly like Donnelly. Of course he had O'Connor to keep him company, but could he really call him a friend? He was really no more than a colleague who happened to keep the job more interesting by being extraordinarily stupid. His only serious relationship in the last ten years had failed, the main cause being his dedication to his work. And now Beth had gone and gotten married, of all things. Lawrence wondered what her husband was like. Fair? Dark? Funny? Serious? He realised he knew nothing of Beth's tastes. Well, she had obviously been mad enough to go out with him in the first place. This case would be one of self discovery, he thought. Lawrence had a habit of making up summaries for cases he was involved in. He had one for this one all right:


It's not just the skeletons being dug up. It's the past, present and future.


About a hundred metres from the tent holding the monks, O'Connor appeared from behind a tree and jogged up to Lawrence's side.

'You shouldn't do that Timothy,' said Lawrence, not surprised at his colleague's childish nature, 'People will start to think you're a bit neurologically damaged. Or is that what they think already?'

O'Connor made a face, 'I'll ignore that remark, thank you very much. Hudson said you'd be coming down here soon. He's got a real sense of knowing about him, you know...' he trailed off, and wistfully looked at the sky, as if he expected to find something up there.

'His so-called 'sense of knowing' could be to do with the fact that he was the one who called me here in the first place. What does the old man want anyway? Is he still banging on about his medieval mystery?' Lawrence tutted, 'I mean, who gives a damn about these monks? Honestly, who does he think he is?'

'Well, I for one find the case very interesting. I want to know who would do this type of thing to someone so innocent in the first place...'

'From what I've heard from her parents, Abigail was far from innocent, by any standards.' said Lawrence.

'Abigail? Who's Abigail? You finally got a woman in your life?'

'Well if 'having a woman in my life' is investigating a 14-year-old girl's gruesome death, then I suppose I have.' Lawrence grinned cheekily at O'Connor's shocked face.

' do you have another case? This isn't even our patch!'

'Oh, my dear dimwitted friend, you have a lot to learn yet. You see, I have reason to believe her death was no accident and- wait a minute, how could you not know about this? Donnelly explained it all breakfast. Hang on, you weren't there, were you? Where were you?'

'I happened to be down here, taking an interest in this case. The one we're supposed to be investigating. Anyway, tell me about your Abigail, then. How did she die? And how can you be sure these cases are linked?' asked O'Connor eagerly.

They were at the tent, but Lawrence was in no hurry. After all, he was far more interested in Abigail's murder than he was in an archaeologist explaining how some monks ended up in a wall. He told O'Connor the extent of her injuries, and before his colleague could get a word in edgeways, clarified that this murder had absolutely nothing to do with the 'curse' of the monks. He hastened to make that fact clear to everybody. But if they were all like Timothy, the chances were they had no knowledge of the murder anyway. But, he supposed, Timothy really was a special case. No being could ever be around to annoy him so much, but never take anything in. Hmm...

Lawrence knew he couldn't avoid it for much longer; he had to go inside that tent and brave the overzealous archaeologists. He could never understand why some people set about troubling themselves with what happened hundreds of years ago. The arguments they must have! Lawrence had a hard enough time figuring out events that had taken place only a few days before. Everyone had different theories about every single detail. What would it be like to argue over hundred-year-old evidence? Lawrence didn't think about this for long though. As far as he was concerned, all archaeologists were mad anyway.

Hudson spotted him from the other side of the tent, 'Ah, Lawrence! Come and see this. It's absolutely fascinating! We've discovered one of the monks still has some hair on his skull!'

'Wow! Amazing!' said Lawrence through gritted teeth. Yes, archaeologists were definitely, unmistakably, positively mad.


The End

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