Haydn’s Creation echoed around the quiet apartment as Isabella Westwood reviewed the case notes she had recently acquired. “Great”, she thought. This would be her third weekend in the chemical ridden morgue.
Isabella Westwood was slightly built with eyes like emeralds and hair the colour of flames. She stood out in the community around her because these weren’t typical features of many Mexicans.
Isabella was the Chief Medical Examiner in the Monterrey area, but she was not always specific to her title. She’d been known to do almost anything; crime solving, forensic anthropology and even criminal profiling. That was her main reason for taking this job. She had plenty of opportunity to expand her horizons.
She looked down at the crime scene photos and felt that familiar feeling of dread, sadness and deep disgust. She couldn’t ever imagine how people could do something so utterly evil. Shaking her head, she started listing observations onto a foolscap pad.
1. Severed Carotid artery and Jugular vein
2. Multiple stab wounds to upper chest
3. Strange linear abrasions on calves
4. Cross shaped lacerations on lower back
Although the victim was clearly a young white female, it was a mystery who Isabella was supposed to be looking at. The once fair face was contorted with pain and unrecognisable in its decay.
Suddenly, the phone trilled. Isabella sighed angrily and snatched up the receiver
“ï¿½Si?” she barked
“Izzy, calm down, it’s only me,” sounded a deep Hispanic voice. Detective Inspector Juan Carlos was perhaps Isabella’s closest colleague. He was calling to ask about the investigation.
“I wish you wouldn’t do this to me, Juan. I was looking forward to some time off” Isabella said gravely
“I’m sorry, but this is really important. We can’t afford to let this maniac get away. This is the fourth case like this in as many months.”
” I’ll post this lady in the morning, but right now I’m looking over the notes.”
“Ok Izzy” said Carlos, “I have to go. See you tomorrow. Adios”
“Adios”, Isabella whispered. She hung up the receiver and leaned back. It was time to hit the pillows. Tomorrow would be a long day.
The medical examiner awoke with a start. She’d been dreaming again. It was always the same when she started a new case. Headless corpses wandered around in her subconscious. She climbed out of bed and toasted a bagel. Then she looked at her watch. Maybe she’d have to eat breakfast in the car.
When she arrived at the morgue, she checked her intray then poured herself some coffee. Soon afterwards, she changed into the bottle green medical scrubs and pulled on a mask, a pair of plastic booties and two pairs or latex surgical gloves. She made her way to the fridge and checked the morbidly hanging toe tags for her case’s identification number. She pulled out a stainless steel gurney with a black body bag on top of it and wheeled it into the examination room. With the help of her morgue assistant, the transferred the bag onto a steel tabletop and unzipped it. The smell of putrid flesh greeted her nostrils and she stepped back to switch on the fan.
After the external observations, Isabella picked up a scalpel and opened up the body with a Y incision, starting from below each side of the collarbone, meeting at the sternum then continuing down to the top of the pelvis. She reflected back the tissue and sawed off the front of the ribcage. She examined all the organs before taking them out and weighing them. She found a lung tumour in its early stages when she inspected the lungs but she didn’t need to know whether it was cancerous.
It took Isabella nearly all day to find and record everything, including the original injuries. She finished up around 5pm and changed back into her regular clothes. No sign of Carlos yet. She furrowed her brow and muttered. “Typical!”
With a crash the door burst open and in he staggered, blood blossoming across his shirt. He gave a sharp gasp and fell to the floor in an tangled heap. Isabella ran over to him but she knew it was too late. She also noticed a familiar cross mark on his chest, visible through the open collar of his shirt. Running out of the foyer, she glanced around and saw a dark figure filling the doorway. The figure dropped its coat to the floor and strode inward. Isabella screamed and turned to run, but it had already got hold of her. Struggling, she turned to see the killers face. A man she did not recognise smiled at her, his thin lips taut and pale.
“You can’t run Isabella”, whispered a light American voice. “I’ll just find you again won’t I?”
Tears of pure fear rushed down Isabella’s cheeks and the man wiped them away with narrow gloved fingers.
“Steady now,” he smiled again and Isabella froze inside. “I’ll make this quick.”
A long, thin blade came out of his sleeve and sparkled evilly in the light. Isabella screamed but her voice was cut short as it sliced across her throat. Darkness engulfed her and she felt as if she were falling down for miles. Her pale body softly crumpled to the floor and crimson waves of blood pooled out beneath her. In her head, she could see a grey fog behind her eyelids and she could hear faint wailing noises that grew louder as the seconds dragged her life away. She felt her body being moved and she tried to open her eyes but found that she couldn’t. A hand linked into hers as she drifted into unconsciousness.