The Roger de Courcelles Affair.
The Kate Winslow books are a story of good and evil, and how a faithful 93-year-old woman and a strong Christian, uses her agile mind and faith to aid her nephew Inspector Simon Culvate in solving crimes.
The Mid Martin Henge is amid hosting a film company, and there was great excitement, especially by the younger generations and those employed as extras, Zombies. However, one of the leading actors suffers a strange death, and within days a second body is found, only the bodies are strangely mutilated, and fear grips the residence of The Mid Martin Henge that there is a mysterious beast lurking nearby.
Kate innocently becomes involved and is almost forced to fight to save her life, and sets out to solve this strange case, only will this be her last stand against the forces of evil, or will she once more, overcome all odds stacked against her, and live to face, yet another day.
The blood was covering their clothing, and the smell of copper was laying heavily in the air, it was a total blood bath and never had so many died in one such act of brutal murder. There were the occasional screams as selected individuals could no longer cope with the site before them, some felt utterly sick, while two men upon seeing so many dismembered bodies, even fainted.
Yet no matter how they responded, the dead just kept rising and coming towards the few remaining survivors. “Cut...,’ shouted the director, “that was better this time..., ok we shall rest for the day, and tomorrow we shoot scene two again, sorry, but changes needed to be made,”
The various extras, rose from the ground, some had been victims been fed upon, while the clear majority were zombies, and only nine individuals were the main casting, and with two of them been the hero’s, and in love, during a Zombie invasion.
Christine Alectof was the main female character and she was tired, wet and covered in fake blood. According to the script, she had to fight to save the love of her life and risk her own life, so others could escape, only it had taken seven retakes that morning, and now Christine was tired.
As she entered her mobile unit, she stripped off and went to have a shower, and she was thankful that the fake blood washed off, and not like the zombies, they all had to undergo hours of makeup each morning, and almost as long for its removal.
The water was hot, music was playing, and Christine watched as the blood washed away and into the drainage, the next morning her early wakeup call entered the mobile unit.
At first, he thought Christine had fallen asleep without showering, and then he went still in fright, as he realised the blood was not fake, but real and Christine’s naked and mutilated body laid upon her bed, she was dead, and it looked as if her flesh had been partly fed upon, and eaten by an unknown creature.
Stephen the young apprentice vomited, incredibly he saw such fake scenes almost every day while filming, but when confronted by the real thing, he could just not handle the emotion, and the thought, that something had genuinely partly eaten a person, and a person he knew, liked and had spoken to daily, well the reality just hit him like a forty-ton truck, and his response was to be sick and run from the crime scene to get help.
“Well that’s going to put a stop to their filming sir, as amusing as some of the younger residence thought this was, there are going to be an even greater percentage rejoicing that they have their village back..., well at least for a time,” commented WPC Murphy Evans.
The first reaction to the film been shot in the historical village of The Mid Martin Henge in Somerset had been exciting, especially when many of the town’s folk were employed as extras to become the living dead, hordes of zombies. For a time, the teenage population could be seen walking through the streets covered in blood, and with torn clothing and makeup, and looking as if they just rose from the grave. But after four months of disruptions, continuous retakes and delays, the excitement had worn thin, and the local business people realised it was not as lucrative financially as they had hoped, as outside caterers were brought in, and almost all the main cast and film crew were living in huge mobile units, which took up space and restricted movement in the area.
Inspector Simon Culvate looked at WPC Murphy Evans and sighed, “Yes in part I can see from where you are coming from, but don’t forget the residence agreed to allow the film shoot to take place here, and a very large sum of money was paid upfront, especially those extras, they received all be it, temporary employment and had fun in the process. But more importantly for now we need to concentrate upon the victim.”
Christine Alectof, the unfortunate victim was a well-known B movie actress, and was usually seen in The Space Shark and the Giant Octopus type films, real low budget movies who usually had a sensual slant to help sell the movie.
However, this had been a considerable step up for Christine as the director and cast were respectable and successful, and had been in quite a few block busting movies, ok not up to Spielberg standards, but none the less good.
The car parking area of the Shire horse housed the main character units, and where sadly Christine Alectof’s body had been found. The All Saints Church and their grave yard had become the central focus point for the dead rising from their graves, and this extended into Pound Lane and along church street, past the White Hart, tourist office and one of the old glove factories.
Hence the continued traffic problems as these were important entrance and exit points into and out of The Mid Martin Henge, especially by the bend of the road as it passes Pound Lane, and alongside All Saints Church, it was narrow and an almost blind bend, and to have film crew, their equipment and extras in the road, caused considerable anger among many of the residence.
Jessie on of the local residence of Pound Lane, found the whole thing amusing, mind you she was one of the few residences who was benefiting financially for the use of her Two-bedroom cottage, and having her home and gardens included in the script.
The director and his assistant preferred the homelier touch and rented Jessie’s cottage, while she simply slept within a summer house to the rear of her beautiful large garden, and with views overlooking the wild flower meadow. Simon Wilcox the director and Justin Harris his executive assistant, occupied the cottage and had paid Jessie a thousand UK pounds a day for the exclusive use of her home.
Considering they had been there for four months and three weeks already and needed at least a further two months of shooting to finish the movie, subject to no further delays, and that was before the body of Christine had been discovered, Jessie was doing rather well from the financial arrangement.
At least that was until three days after the death of Christine and the stopping of the filming, Justin Harris was found dead, well what was left of him anyway, his remains were discovered at the base of a tree, to the far end of the wild flower meadow, and amidst a small cop of trees.
Something had eaten him and left very little for the forensic team to work with, identification was made by clothing fragments, documentation from a discovered wallet, and DNA extracted from teeth and tissue and bone fragments.
“Dear Lord sir this is by far the worst we have ever had to deal with, and the pathologist, from her preliminary results, states that we are dealing with more than one creature, possibly..., and in her words sir, not mine. A cross between a big cat, a wolf or large dog, and..., well this is the strange bit sir, it states here in her report, in addition a human, as teeth marks consistent to that of a human were found on both victims.”
Inspector Culvate had already warned the residence that there was possibly a pack of ravenous dogs lose, and possibly a large wild cat, presumably one which escaped from a zoo or private collector, either way, people had been warned not to go out alone, and for children to be kept home or supervised.