Sunday, November 21, 2010


Staring almost insanely at pictures. Looking for something that will jump out. Some detail that will just enter her unconscious and explode the truth into her brain. This is not a technique they teach at the academy or Quantico. This is not really a technique that anyone can teach to anyone. It’s more art than science. More a feeling than something that can be pinpointed. She’s not even sure how she developed it. Just instinct. Not even sure if it might work. Just a hunch.

She stays at it for over an hour. Maybe two but eventually, the mind burns out. Things enter but nothing is processed. The images lose their distinctiveness. Possible significance crumbles. A kind of emptiness comes to replace all the intensity but some of the emotion remains as frustration. She wants to fling the pictures across the room in a frenzy. Feel the release of some of that frustration. She puts them on the table and keeps them in order.

She leans back in the comfortable armchair in her room. Weariness and anger, frustration, helplessness, racing thoughts. She is besieged and she has no outlet. Instinctively, her hand moves under her panties. She is almost surprised by it herself. For a second she wonders what effect those pictures really had on her. She dismisses any lurid possibilities, but her hand remains and her fingers begin to slowly explore.

Her body responds. Her tiredness has opened her up a little bit. Put her into some kind of zone. The bad thoughts and emotions have not disappeared but they seem willing to drift a little way off for just a while as she continues to touch herself in the accustomed fashion. This woman does not spend much time in the company of men and sex with women holds no interest. Still, the desires well up and they have to satisfied. Just an animal fact. The desires arise and they have to be satisfied to keep any kind of hold on sanity and so she goes on. Her fingers move and move. She uses all the wiles she has learned to excite herself and sometimes, for a few seconds or even minutes, it’s working. She’s getting there. She’s getting close. But time and again she can’t make it happen. Nothing works. No particular torturous image or obvious distraction, but her mind just can’t make the leap and her body just can’t escape her mind and after trying and trying for as long as she can, she just grunts and ends it and leans back angry and begins to bathe in the glow of the stupid neon lights of the sign across the street. What a great night this is going to be.


PAUL. What do you think those incisions on the back could mean?
VERONICA. First guess? Something to do with angel wings. I mean, the scars are right where wings would be.
PAUL. (smiling) Good guess. It’s not much, but it’s a place to start.
Paul was impressed. She hadn’t hesitated. She was confident and her mind made the connection right away. In school, he would have expected as much but in the field, that kind of quick thinking was pretty hard sometimes for a beginner.

Did he already have the same idea? He didn’t give away very much to her. She wanted to believe that he didn’t have anything to prove, but she hadn’t seen that quality in many people. Everybody wants to show off.

PAUL. Why don’t you explore that idea? See where it leads you. See how it fits with the evidence we have so far.

VERONICA. Great. Should I write something up? Or do you just want to talk about it?

PAUL. No writing. I think that’s too formal. Too much like school. What’s best for you?

VERONICA. I’d like to go for a swim in the motel pool.

PAUL. Really?

VERONICA. Helps me think.

PAUL. All right. Sounds good. Mind if I join you?

VERONICA. Not at all.

She wasn’t really so sure about that. She really wanted to be alone right now. Thoughts racing. Angel wings. Cut into the backs of two girls. Eyes gouged out. He didn’t want to be seen. Angel wings. What’s the connection? Could it really be the obvious? He didn’t want to be seen by angels? Wow. How trite. But what difference would it make to “break the code”. None of it mattered if it didn’t lead to finding the killer.