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Allura's Daughter

By Melanie Lambert All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Fantasy

Chapter 1

It looked like a normal suburban house, ordinary and non distinct with no warning of anything supernatural. The sofa in the lounge room even had saggy cushions from the popularity of its comfort. The young woman sitting on the edge of the couch was dazzling to look at, with crossed ankles and a spine held so perfectly her spine's natural arch was pronounced. She had artificially vivid red hair with lips and eye lashes that were luscious even without make-up. She needed no adornment to be noticed. Though her killer heels often begged the question, how can she even walk in those things? In this case, one of her shoes she held in her hand about to put back on her foot. Without any dishevelment, even minus a shoe, she is nevertheless the type to do anything with easy confidence and with the grace of a dancer who has trained for years to make the slightest movement say a hundred silent words that describe beauty. She even pulled off a somewhat dubious and very colourful dress sense, a fashion of her own making; classy punk with a dash of pixie.

There she was sitting with the aura of a star performer whom all eyes are upon whilst she appears oblivious and unconscious of all the furore of adoration, jealousy and the insatiable curiousity of fans and critics alike, with enough external poise to cover all sense of shock or nervousness. Quite a marvel really, considering there was a man's dead body at her feet.

His body was still warm, yet definitely to be pronounced life extinct, with his blood increasingly pooling on the floor. She was not looking at him, but staring into space reflecting on a rhetorical question, Why are these foul specimens even given life?  Somewhat satisfied, she looked at her response to this perceived error still lying on the floor. 

He was killed in a righteous rage she never knew she had so tightly contained within her. Well, nothing like being the answer you want to see in the world, she mused to herself. Slipping her shoe back on and standing up tall she felt it was an awesome power to meet in herself. 

Reflecting on her name being Athena she thought perhaps her unleashed gift from the goddess she was named for is her ability to pursue injustice, hunt it down and stab her stiletto through the eye balls of the one most deserving of her wrath. In her case it could be true that there is a purpose for everything, even shockingly tall high-heels.

Athena took one last look around the scene of her crime and in a mysterious shroud provided by the stillness of a silent street, she vanished. There were no witnesses and no evidence of her existence left behind, except a dead body of course. The silence and stillness in the house revealed nothing of the man's demise to the world.

The empty street had leaves stirring from a warm breeze that an elderly male wandered through oblivious to the dance. Picking up rubbish some thoughtless person had thrown on his immaculate lawn and rose garden he took great pride in, he clucked whilst shaking his head. The younger generation really need to learn some manners, he surmised in disapproval. 

Opening his front door, putting his hat and jacket on the stand by the door he walked into the lounge room and nearly stumbled over the body. Exclaiming loud in startlement and shock, emergency services were not long to follow bringing traffic and chaos shattering the previous quietness.

Among those arriving was Detective Mark Swain. He had been in the force for 15 years and seen everything there was to see of human corruption, vice and evil. He could not be shocked by a thing. His colleagues made fun of his stoic manner, secretly wishing they could be appear as dauntless. 

Any disappointment in him was more likely to spring from his good looking countenance and muscular build belying an intelligent mind more concerned with fighting crime than getting into frivolous workplace affairs. They could easily be his by the number of women at work who tried to offer their goods and services. He always shut them down cold, making him even more desirable. He was just too fastidious to mix work and pleasure, yet he had the same commitment and dedication to both. It just so happened work was one of his biggest pleasures. Hence, competency and results were taken for granted by his superiors and he was often given assignments others did not want to touch. This did not phase him. 

So with no visible reluctance he had prior accepted the case to investigate a grisly murder, where some unknown killer could explain the situation quite easily. Alas the clues in this case would not be so easy to read, but he was a great investigator. Detective Swain enjoyed putting the pieces together like an avid fan of jigsaw puzzles. This case would be no different, he was certain of that.

After receiving the call to notify him of his recall to duty he checked his tie was straight and brushed his spotless suit like he was preparing for meeting the head of state. He drove his unmarked sedan alone to the house surrounded by crime scene tape and busy with all manner of police and forensic civilians. He frowned at the gathering media and spectators. Ghouls, all of them, he thought with cynical contempt. Anything for a bit of drama and entertainment in their menial lives, he supposed. Mark was greeted at the scene by the uniformed officer holding post to prevent others entering the crime scene. Merely nodding as he was well known by sight for many senior as well as junior police he walked straight up to the door.

In the same lounge room Athena was sitting in so recently, Mark assessed the body, immediately noticing the brutal wound to the face, the hole through the head and left eye. The amount of blood was understandable, so was the shock and look of pain on the face.

"Who found the body?", Detective Swain asked.

"The resident coming home. He is in the kitchen being assessed by Ambulance for shock." said the other detective nearby. "I suppose you have been assigned this case too? I'm Melissa Troy. Nice to meet you." She offered her hand to shake his.

"Mark Swain." He merely gave her a glance as he shook hands but did not fail to notice her eyes widening as she unconsciously licked her lips as if seeing the most delicious candy. He almost rolled his eyes at the standard response to his (through no fault of his own) gorgeous face and went back to looking at the crime scene. "Is he someone famous or something? I'm guessing you are a specialist of some sort?"

"Good guess, but I'm not yet stating which one. I am here confidentially until the matter is cleared up a little more. We will work together on this, I hope you don't mind?" she looked at him with a haughty expression putting as much authority in her voice she could summon. She hoped it would disguise her feeling of rejection by his obvious lack of interest in her. Perhaps he is gay, she thought like a teen girl swooning over Ricky Martin but devastated her sex would not be his choice. Whether the detective was married or not did not matter of course. There were so many affairs going on in this insular profession therefore it did not often cross her mind to consider the promises of matrimony.

"Doesn't bother me, knock yourself out." He shrugged, knowing full well the credit would go to her and he would be doing all the work. Turning away from her without another glance he went to make a start by interviewing the resident who had been supposedly surprised by a dead body on his lounge room floor. The old man looked more excited than scared, having nothing as remarkable as treading on a corpse in his lounge room happen to him before. Mark's suspicion of the resident somewhat eased at this point, though he was determined to establish proof of his non-involvement nevertheless. This was only established for him by facts of a tangible nature, never by gut feeling, guesses or so called intuition. Yet what made him so great at his job was his latent talent for extrasensory perception, but he would have scoffed if he was told of such a notion. He did not believe in that kind of nonsense, believing common sense and practicality was the only way to assess the truth in this world. His world was about to be shattered.

His as yet undiscovered protagonist was smiling to herself as she walked among humans scurrying to and fro in their busy work day. She stood out in the crowd, but none suspected she was only half human.

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