A Matter of Faith: Chapter 1-1

Dead Santa

The first Chapter of “A Matter of Faith” has 48 pages. They’re to many to post them at once.

So, I thought it could be easier if I just post just a piece of it every friday, so you may see what to expect.

And because today it’s friday, here you are the first part of the first chpater.Así que como es viernes, aquí tenéis la primera parte del primer capítulo:

Chapter 1

“Happy Halloween”

Far from New Orleans, in Los Angeles, young Faith ran as fast as she could. She was half an hour late to the hospital and she had to work the double shift on Halloween. Just on her birthday.

She ran into the crowd of vampires, zombies, toilet paper mummies and other anonymous costumes. But without a doubt, that year “Warrick, the teenage wizard” was the sensation. Faith had counted at least twenty on the last two blocks. And Faith hated Warrick almost as much as she hated Halloween. At least, she could wear her nurse uniform without getting much attention.

However, what often happens when you are in a hurry, something stopped her. When she passed by one of the alleys near the hospital she thought she saw something strange. Surely it would be nothing and it wasn’t worth stopping to find out. But she was already late, so, what the hell! She stopped, slowly walked back down to rear her head in the corner of the alley and automatically… she regretted.

Santa Claus was lying in the alley, his life slowly slipping away; blood flowing out of three knife wounds inflicted in his left side.

Faith arrived just in time to see the shadow of three strangers from around the corner of the end of the passage. Santa Claus clung to his fat stomach weakly. The blood stood out strongly in his attire, because it was green instead of the Christmas classic red. She hesitated for a moment whether to go out of her way to help him. But whom was she kidding? She didn’t become a nurse to run away from people dying in the streets. She put aside her bag and knelt beside the old man. His face was pale like a ghost. She could see his strong chest rise and fall in a slow and mournful sway. Faith took her jersey and pressed it tightly on the wound. In that moment, the eyes of the dying Santa flew open. Faith fell on her ass, but a strong hand held her and forced her to keep pushing.

“Are you ok?” she asked. “Who did this to you?”

Fat Santa tried to speak but a spasm interrupted him. He coughed loudly and blood appeared at the corner of his mouth. Faith reached for her mobile phone inside the bag with her free hand. He was breathing with difficulty, and if an ambulance was not coming quickly he would die.

“The Kings,” she heard.

Faith looked at the old man. His eyes were glassy. Blood fell from his lips to the wool that decorated the collar of his green suit. His breathing was becoming more difficult and the sway of his chest slower.

 

 

“What did you say?” she asked.

“The Kings did it,” Santa whispered with his last breath.

His chest went down one last time. Faith waited for a couple of minutes to see if it went back up. It did not.

Santa Claus was dead.

 

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She couldn’t have done anything. The wounds had cut veins and vital organs. They seemed like they had been made ​​by someone whom was used to killing. When ambulance technicians arrived they tried to revive him without success. At least the old man’s death could be an excuse for Faith’s delay at work. However, a wise man once said, “no good deed goes unpunished”. And as the only witness, she had to wait for the police and go to the police station to testify.

Undoubtedly, she will be late for work.

That’s how she ended up in a wooden chair at a desk full of coffee stains, testifying to a fat police officer, who had bald and greasy fingers that hit the keys on the computer in pairs that forced him to erase and correct incessantly every word. Man’s madness comes from situations like this. The real motive for committing a crime, a real crime, like killing a person, does not begin with a disease or sudden impulses but simple things, everyday things that surround people every day: the incompetence of an officer to simply type correctly, the feeling of wasted time, cold coffee, answering the same question three times, queues in banks, lack of taxis during rainy days … small drops that filled a glass.

The police officer looked at her with wide grey lustful eyes. But he could not be blamed. Faith was an attractive woman wearing her nurse’s uniform, which aroused the agent’s imagination more than he would have used it to investigate a crime. Considering it was Halloween, the difference between going dressed or disguised as a nurse would confuse anyone.

Faith tried to take control of her hair, but there was a lock that always tried to escape in a free fall from her forehead. She liked to use eye shadow and lipstick in bright colours. Today she had chosen cherry red. Her right ear was completely decorated with three ring-shaped piercings in the upper cartilage and a golden crucifix hanging from the lobe. The other, the left one, enjoyed some freedom and just a silver ankh hung there.

She wore her white shirt open. Unfortunately for her, she was not a woman of large volumes, but that did not mean she could not show what she had. She had cut her shirt to shorten it at the level of the skirt to slightly show the belly. Only if she buttoned her blue jacket up would it be all covered. That is what she did usually in the hospital due to air conditioning and in order not to show the tattoo on her left hip. The ink drawing showed the typical pyramid with an eye at its apex that represents God and that appears on one dollar bills, and was followed by a question(Something like this: ?).

The eyes of the officer focused on the short skirt, which cascaded from the inside, while her crossed legs hung in the chair. She was not very tall, just five and a half feet. Nervously, she moved her feet making a silver bracelet with the zodiac symbols around her left ankle sound.

She herself would also bet that she was disguised that night.

“What was your relationship with the victim?” the cop asked deleting the last word he had written.

“I already told you,” answered Faith, “I didn’t know the damn Santa Claus. I was on my way to work when I just saw him in the alley.”

“…The…a…lley” the cop repeated trying not to press more than one key at the same time. “What were you doing when you found the victim?”

“Are you deaf?” she complained, “I was in my way to work. Woooork, do you know what that is?”

“…Way…to…work,” he typed calmly. “So you say the Latin Kings did it, Didn’t you?”

“No!” she shouted. “You are not listening. I said ‘Kings’. What he whispered before he died was ‘Kings’ just kings.”

“…Just…’Kings’” the policeman continued. “Did you see the attackers?”

“Yes,” she said upsettingly. “They were Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge.”

“Please, stay in the facts” the officer said.

“But…”

“…The… facts miss.” The officer interrupted her.

“I did not see the attackers’ faces” she surrendered. “I only saw the shadows of three men who ran and escaped.”

“Three” the policeman typed.

“Yes, three.”

“Then…” the policeman announced looking at Faith for the first time since he began to type. “So, you didn’t know the victim; you didn’t see the assault, or know who the aggressors were.”

“Hey, you were actually listening!”

“I’ll take that as a yes. Something else you wanna add?”

For a moment she thought she would say yes, but at second thought she imagined that for what she would have added could be accompanied by a stint in jail for assaulting a law enforcement officer, so she just shook her head to say no.

“You may go” the agent told her looking back to his computer screen. “Do not leave the city in case we have to get in touch with you again.”

She got up ruefully and realised that she had been there longer than she thought. The light of dawn peeked over the horizon. And she had still to go to work.

Happy Halloween.

Happy Birthday Faith.

—————————-

If you liked it, you know what to do next:

 

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