Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Many Misadventures of Master Mystery: Murderous Mohrgs from the Moors, Part Five

Reginald sighed as he cut along the sternum of the first victim, the delightfully charming Mary Ann Nichols. Well, she had been delightfully charming.
Now she was just a ragged corpse with holes sliced into it.
“What are you doing?” She asked from Reginald’s shoulder, hovering over him by a few inches to watch as he cut into her physical form.
Reginald sighed again, choosing to focus on his task at hand rather than look up into the silvery face of the dead woman who had yet to pry herself away from him! “I’m going to search your body for physical evidence before I search it for nonphysical evidence.”
“Nonphysical evidence?” Another ghost piped up, this one a portly male with a savaged stomach and three neat symmetrical incisions along his throat. His voice was as raspy as someone with a lungful of opium smoke, and his pallor was dreadful, as if he’d been drug from the bottom of a lake.
“Ghosts are a rarity good sir, a rarity that only occurs when there is a sudden and very violent death. The fact that I am speaking to three such beings at one time suggests something supernatural is killing people here in jolly good England, and I for one would like to discover what it is.”
“Well what could do something like this?” The spirit asks after a moment, glassy eyes reflecting nothing but sadness and confusion.
Smiling grimly as he folded back the outer layer of skin on the young corpse, exposing muscle and bone for all the world to see. Along with the maggots crawling about inside the dead flesh, wriggling between the sinewy cords and along the pink bones.
“That’s odd.” Reginald muses before looking up to Mary Ann for a moment. “And you said that you never saw what killed you, right?”
“That’s right,” Mary Ann said evenly, folding her arms over her translucent form. “It all happened so fast, all I remember is a flash of pain then darkness. And now just this endless cold.”
“Yeah well, the endless cold will have to do for the time being. You’re going to be like this until I get to the root of the problem, the problem being what exactly killed you.” Reginald replied with a somewhat genial tone before splitting the sternum with a pair of calipers. “Sorry you have to see this.”
“Not at all, it’s actually quite interesting.” Mary Ann said almost cheerfully, peering into her own ribcage. “I’ve always wondered what exactly makes us all tick.”
“Well this isn’t a very good representation of what keeps a normal person alive, just so you know.” Reginald moved a leather-clad hand into the slimy recesses of the chest cavity. “Besides the maggots, which shouldn’t even be here this quickly, you’re missing a few vital organs.”
“Like what?” Mary Ann asked, clearly interested.
“Like a heart. And judging from the arteries leading to it, the whole thing was torn out through those nasty little incisions along your stomach.” Reginald pointed out, pulling his hand free from the slimy interior of the body, flicking off a few maggots for good measure.
“That is just preposterous!” The third ghost sputtered, his silvery form horrendously mauled from head to gut, as if attacked by a wild beast. With one good eye and the majority of his face in leathery strips exposing bare skull, the ghost glared balefully down from the upper corner of the room, the otherworldly chains coiled tightly around his legs. “You cannot get a heart by cutting through the stomach!”
“While this is true, how would you know good sir?” Reginald turned to ask the disgruntled spirit.
“In life I was one of the leading surgeons in all of London, you cur!” The spirit sniffed indignantly. “I did what you are so boorishly attempting to do seven times a day!”
“And so you think you know more than I do, eh?” Reginald drawled, looking at the spirit with a tired expression. “Well, normally I would have to agree with you, but with all the maggots in our fresh little corpse here, along with the location and precision of the incisions, I think I’ll have to pass on your expert analysis and look into a more… esoteric explanation for what this could be.”
“I can tell you what killed me, if you’d bother asking.” The surgeon replied, his clipped tones grating ion the ears.
“Really? You can tell me what attacked you?” Reginald asked with a slight smirk.
The ghost had the dignity to blush, a strange effect on his translucent form, before sputtering out an answer. “Well, not what per se, but I can tell you what it looked like! It was a tall man in a trench coat, with a hood pulled high over his head.”
“How helpful. Anything else?” Reginald sarcastically replied.
“Yes, in fact there is. The man was no man at all, but a beast. He had great talons of bone extending from his wrists, and serpents hissing beneath his clothes. He was an agent of Lucifer himself.” The surgeon gravely answered, the other two spirits nodding at this description.
“You know, I think I heard hissing as well before I died!” Mary Ann chimes in, looking frantically between the surgeon and Reginald.
“I as well, though I more remember the claws tearing into me than the hissing.” The portly ghost replied, one hand traveling to his grievous wounds, playing idly with the flaps of errant skin hanging loose around his stomach wound, a glinting bit of silvery intestine hanging out from the mauled region.
“Well, maybe there’s something to it then.” Reginald mused, pulling his gloves off as he pushed Mary Ann’s corpse away with disinterest. “I’ll be back to avenge you all when I can, but first I must retire for the evening. There’s research to be done.” 

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