Waking The Dead//Frankie/Boyd//For 30kisses
When I'm here with you
I say the world could be burning, burning down
Till its nothing but dark blue
//Dark Blue//Jacks Mannequin//
The warehouse is completely gutted. Only half the walls still stand and those that do are stained charcoal; the shadows of the flames still flickering away, years after the fire died.
'I don't know what you expect me to find.' Frankie pushes past you to fit through one of the few remaining door frames. You don't really expect anything; it's so long after the fire and the SOCO's at the time couldn't find anything. But arson doesn't fit like murders, evidence is harder to relocate and store so this is your only chance of piecing together the puzzle.
'With your outstanding talents Frankie I expect an entire catalogue of evidence.' You grin at her and she casts you a withering glance before lowering herself down to examine a particularly large pile of rubble. 'So this is – was – the room they found him in?' She asks as she begins raking through the broken concrete.
You scan the notes until you find the picture of the original crime scene. 'Yes. The far left corner, he was slumped against the bricks, and she was about…5 feet in front of him.'
'God this is going to take forever.'
'Lucky for us then, Frankie, that you have nothing else to work on' you smile down at her. She replies with a withering glare, and you can almost see her itching with the desire to throw one of the larger pieces of rubble at your head.
'I don't see why you can't spare Mel and Spence to help me gather this; they're hardly rushed off their feet either now are they? And if you think you're just going to stand there and watch…' She trails off but her intention is clear.
You have no choice but to admit defeat and crouch to join her, rooting through the piles – looking for marks on the concrete floor or blood spattered bricks – and you both work in silence.
+ + +
You don't how long you are at work, but when your back aches unbearably and your knees are sore from pressing against the hard floor, you look up to see the sky beginning to darken. 'Frankie, we're going to have to…' A suggestion that she should start to pack away is cut off by a cry of triumph.
'Look at this, Boyd!' She waves you over excitedly, and with much creaking and groaning you get up and walk over to her. 'I'm getting to old for this hands and knees stuff.' You bend over her shoulder and scrutinise the small square of concrete she has cleared.
'Look, that’s the blood from her I'm guessing – I've got a sample to be sure – but look at that dent in the concrete. I'm not sure – in a warehouse like this it could just be from machinery – but it looks too sharp, too small and too deep; something with an incredibly small surface area.'
'Like a pick axe?'
'Like a pick axe. It's going to get to get too dark too soon to do much more now, but I am going to make a cast of this hole before we go. Kit's in the car.'
An arc of her eyebrow tells you this is an instruction and with a heavy sigh, you follow it.
The tool box Frankie uses to house all her instruments is hidden in the boot, but you find it quickly. As you turn to head back into the warehouse you are struck by the picturesque desolation that greets you. The sun is setting behind the shell of the building, a dusky blue rises above its jagged lines, whilst golden steaks filter through every crack, every hole.
As you stand and admire it, just for a moment, a small voice approaches. 'And can you get…' Frankie finds you standing by the car, and with a tone of bemusement she asks 'What are you doing?'
She pauses in the gaping hole where the entrance once was; directly in front of a hole in the roof that lets great shafts of the burning sunset through and for a moment you can see the fire as it swept through the building – hungrily devouring the clothes and boxes and bodies. And silhouetted against the flaming wreck stands Frankie, hands on hips, defiant before the flames as they reach out to her; kissing and tickling her outline.
And the sun sinks just a bit further, lost behind even the crags of the building and you shake yourself out of it. 'Sorry, what else did you want?'
'My torch.' She shakes her head and moves towards you, past you to the car, 'Strange man.'