I wanted to kind of play around with Blaze Tuesday in his younger days, back when he was a cop. I’ve been thinking about novellas and stuff and just really exploring the backstory and the world of Blaze Tuesday and Jackson Early. So, with that in mind, I have written this flash piece for you.
Warning: Incoming shameless plug!
Don’t forget that you can go to the Blaze Tuesday Cover Contest, enter and read the first chapter of The Case of the Knight Surgeon and then pick up Blaze’s debut novel from Lemorn Literary Works on Tuesday, March 19!
Only Girl in the World, Tuesday
It was a shock when the Seventeenth’s mortician decided that it was time to retire. The guy was young, barely older than fifty, and that’s sayin’ something in a world like mine where technological upgrades to your body could mean that you’re livin’ upwards of a hundred years before your organs start to fail or senility kicks in. No one argued with the doctor, though. He was a good guy, and the job was just startin’ to get to be too much.
I was just impressed that he hadn’t been hittin’ anything harder than the bottle. Crime rates were up again, for the fifth consecutive year, and the murders we’d been seein’ were getting more brutal by the day. No one knew why, exactly, we’d been seeing an influx of young kids showing up in the morgue with bits of them chopped off or mutilated. God knew what the hell was happening. I’d been assigned to a few of the dead kids’ cases, but so far, nothing was clicking.
It was pretty obvious that the doctor couldn’t deal with the dead kids rollin’ through his doors every day. He needed to be with his family, and that was more than fine by us. No one could hold it against him. I don’t have kids, hell, I don’t even have a family to speak of, so I couldn’t relate, but I understood. And that was enough.
We had a party and we all dressed in our formal blues. The precinct was somber for days after the doctor left. His replacement was coming in from out of town and wouldn’t be here for a week, we were sendin’ our forensics off to neighbouring precincts until the replacement got here. We couldn’t be without autopsies, and the hospitals weren’t in the habit of doing freelance. So we had to make special trips to the next available morgue and work with whoever was willing to take on the cases.
I ended up all over the city with my partner and the work wasn’t quite as good as what we were used to.
I swear, it was the longest week in history.
The new coroner arrived on a Monday, actually two days early, and I wasted to time in heading down the rickety old elevator to stop in and say hello.
I hated the morgue. It was all chrome and white. Blindingly bright and overly cold and mildly smelling of disinfectant.
“Hello?” I called as I stepped into the familiar morgue and tried desperately to not let myself be too creeped out. “Doctor Mason?”
I wasn’t expecting what the new doctor looked like.
“Hi,” Doctor Mason replied, coming out of the back room. She was cute, pale, with short, messy, dark hair and big blue doe eyes. She was dressed in simple dark clothes and the white lab coat over top made her skin even paler. “I’m Kali Mason, who are you?”
“Detective Blaze Tuesday,” I choked, taking her proffered hand to shake.
She smiled brightly and it lit up her entire face. I felt suddenly very out of my league.
“Well, Detective Tuesday,” Kali cooed, “I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”