The Old Coroner 04: Age 19 Red Haired Female – Rebornbycowboy109©
The old man pulled another news paper page onto his body. Garrit was tall. The long bones made him a bit clumsy. Only thin muscles wrapped around his frame. The scuffed slacks and stained shirt draped him. He lied on the ground with packed pebbles -- black, gray, and white once. The spread out newspaper provided a little cover from the soft win and warmth from the fresh air.
He looked at the stony ground, the bricks at the boundary, and the grass further away. Beyond the grass was a black painted railing to keep park visitors out of the Thames. His gaze drifted to the dark green and thick bushes that broke up the park into smaller spaces. There was the bench area beneath trees. There was the giant flat lawn for sunbathing in summer. A little platform was rarely used for concerts of amateur musicians.
The days had been drifting by since Garrit had moved into the park. He was a couple years shy of retirement. He had been fired from his hospital job for a mess that he created there. The following refreshment concierge job at a movie theatre had barely kept him paying rent. When his vindictive supervisor woman had seen him at the movie theater, she had thrown a tantrum with management until he was fired. Three months later, the police had moved his belongings onto the curb. A passing dog had promptly peed on his bed. The owner woman had instigated a verbal battle with him, because he had tried to shoo the dog away and the owner was strictly against negative reinforcement.
Garrit hadn't quite known what to do. So, he went to his favorite park, the cherished weekend activity. He had sat down on a bench until the sun went down. Still not knowing what to do, his body had told him to go to sleep with many yawns. Garrit obliged and slept on the bench. His body was stiff from the cold in the morning. Yet, Garrit was almost bliss-like relief had realized that life continues. Somehow, he had dreaded the first day in the streets fearing that everything would disintegrate. In truth, nobody cared. Things just continue.
The tight feeling in his stomach felt like his intestines had been glued together with superglue. That's what hunger felt like these days. He rustled himself out from under the newspaper pile. His knees moved like rusted after lying on the hard ground. A few minutes of walking would warm him up. Just always be careful to never sweat, because once wet, the chills are horrible.
Garrit shuffled toward the bush with the red berries behind lovers' lane. Lovers' lane were the benches facing the Thames. At the base of the bush was his hidden stash. He fished a can with a green and white label out. Peaches again! Canned peaches were very common at the food bank. It had something to do with agricultural overproduction due to government farm subsidies.
For a can opener, a screw driver found in a trash can had to do. Garrit carefully held the can away from him on the green park bench. He had learned that the force required to pierce the white metal container was so strong that it made his hits imprecise. The imprecision had caused him much harm and injury. So, here he went again -- tack, tack, tack. He hit the can often enough, until he could leverage the top off the can. He carefully zipped the sugary peach liquid off. The can edges were razor sharp.
Munching down on the slippery, jelly-like, yellow peach halves put a certain cheer into him and a smirk around his lips. Energy flowing into the belly will do that. He enjoyed watching the lazy, long cargo boats pass. They barely seemed to move through that dark, green water. He tried to chew the canned peaches as best as he could to draw out the time that he had something to eat. Yet, they were too soggy. They quickly liquefied and disappeared down his throat.
He kept the lid as a cutting tool and threw the can into a park trash can that was made with black metal to look a bit like a statue instead of a mere trash receptacle. Next, he meandered into the nearby streets. A walk was his form of exercise. He knew that exercise helped shave off depression. And, he needed to stay mentally sane, especially living in the street.
The nearby businesses were in quaint little stores. The store windows were more like residential windows than floor-to-ceiling commercial districts. Regular light bulbs lit up the mom and pop stores. One sold a red rocking horse. Another sold hand made crochet sweaters. All the store signs were lit up, because the afternoon with the thick clouds was already dark.
Occasionally, a pedestrian passed him. They had their coats fastened tight to almost cover their faces. Thick scarves closed out the world even more. Polished gold buttons of elder women signaled that they were above the street world. Seeing new and sharply pleated by a hot iron clothing always startled Garrit on the inside. It made him aware of his own raggedy appearance. The slow, reluctant acceptance that one little whole in his clothes wasn't too bad. Then, he'd accept two large holes. Yet, each time that he saw a prim dressed man with a felt coat, he felt shunned. He'd lower his gaze to avoid eye contact. He realized that he was dressed in rubble.
So, he made his route through the streets. Not so much the exercise tired him, but the emotional strain of fearing people, feeling embarrassed, and helpless about his situation. A block before the park, he opened a recycling bin to retrieve newspaper. Three thick pads of news paper would mean that he had extra warmth tonight -- a good catch.
After an hour or so, he returned to his park. The sun was gone a minute ago. With the daylight still in his eyes, the twilight was especially hard to see anything. The park was empty as usual. He strolled across the grass like it was his own. He rested on the bench, savoring the moment before having to crawl onto the ground for the night's rest.
A young woman walked down the path. The pebbles made a gnawing sound under her feet. She was red haired and perhaps 22 years old. With a casual swipe, she cleaned the bench seat next to Garrit and sat down. Her thick leather jacket with badges of anarchy symbols, British flag, and skull kept her comfortably warm. Her feet were clad in black combat boots. The shaft extended up her knee, where multiple wraparounds of laces held the boot in place.
They didn't acknowledge each other and looked straight ahead. Garrit's face was furrowed from age. The skin was sagging, because the connective tissue had loosened. Yet, the bone structure of his face marked his fine education as a coroner -- med school -- and his responsible care for diligence.
The young woman's face was slightly red, a little chubby just to give it heft and shape. A big nose piercing had a ring with a ball at the center of the ring. A rich red lip stick with black liner gave her a goth look. The eye shadow and eye liner were very dark making her eyes become intense black holes with piercing white parts of the eye.
"Are you homeless?"
"I brought you coffee."
The young woman handed Garrit a paper cup from an artisan coffee shop. The cup felt hot to Garrit's numb fingers. His skin had become dry, tough, and insensitive from the poor diet, age, and exposure to the elements day and night.
"Are you a hallucination?"
"Oh, poor old man, how far have you gone to not believe it possible that a pretty, young girl would sit down next to you."
"Don't play games. I know who you are, Grenada. Or, do you prefer your number, 3-7-1?"
"Garrit, I am now here for real. Remember, that you went through the ritual to summon me?"
"So, when I was in the morgue with those three occult followers, that wasn't a fake charade?"
"That was true. I am an over demon in young woman's body."
"What about the first two times, when I meet you? Remember, when I raped you? Remember, when you appeared as the twin sister to rape me in revenge? Was that real?"
"I am afraid that was unreal. At that time, I was still locked up in a prison deep in hell. However, I knew that with the right projections into your mind, I would drive you mad. And, eventually, you would find people to summon me. Now, I am free. And, the one that summoned me has one wish free."
"So, I am a lonely old man to you, who was easy to manipulate?"
"I'm afraid so. Look on the bright side. You'd have never gotten pussy anymore for the rest of your live. If I am right on count, you got three delicious young pussies because of me."
"You may be a devil spawn, at least you are honest."
"I believe honesty is a good foundation for deals. You have a wish free. I have a wonderful proposition."
"You mean like get me my job back and my doctor credentials after you got me fired?"
"You know even god is powerless to undo British bureaucracy. I was thinking of love."
"You found me an old gal to be the companion of my last days? A street walker perhaps!"
"Don't be so bitter, old man. You were very fond of Jessica, the red haired nineteen year old teenager. I know you liked her youthful innocence and bubbly personality. I could arrange for a tryst between you two."
"Jessica is dead. She was in my morgue."
"No, Jessica is me, merely in a different form. This time, you could experience her alive. Imagine looking into her eyes, hearing her soft giggly laughter, and feeling her smooth, gentle hands caressing your face."
"I feel betrayed enough from your games. I am done."
"Okay, I'll throw in a stay at London's poshest hotel with food, towel service, and a warm bed. That warm bad could have Jessica's cute body wriggling naked underneath."
"Okay, I'll do it. It's not like my alternatives of talking to the sparrows in the park is any better."
"Good. There is one condition. In exchange, you have to do an errand for me."
"For Pete's sake, I knew it was a trap. Didn't you say that I had a wish free?"
"Well, that's how free wishes with demons work. It's not like I'm a genie out of the bottle. I will be at the Rose Park Hotel tomorrow. Come by tomorrow. I will explain you the errand. And, if you agree, you can spend the day and night with Jessica."
With that, Grenade jumped on her feet and stomped into the distance. The park lights had turned on. The night had turned pitch black. The sudden chill after sun down was hugging Garrit's ribs and made him shudder. He arranged the news papers sheets over him and a few beneath him to close the draft between the bench slats. He fell asleep into black dreamless slumber.
The next morning, the sun beamed its rays down from a blue sky. The brightness made Garrit cover his eyes. The brightness created the illusion of warmth that made one want to relax and roll up the sleeves. However the morning air was still cool. He swung his arms around his body to warm up. His clothes were crumbled. Dirt had increasingly grayed the surface of the clothes.
He took a deep inhale and thought to himself, perhaps going to the hotel is not that bad. At the very least, he could take a red and white colored candy out of the bowl at the entrance. He hadn't had sweets in a long time.
Thus, he shuffled across the packed pebble ground to the fountain. His old limbs moved awkwardly and stiffly. The fountain was a gray masonry piece. The brim of the fountain was carved round and voluptuously. The center of the fountain was a chimney hat high smooth, round tower. Various creatures adorned the fountain: A stone fish with large scales jumped mid-air, a cherub like chubby kid played the violin, and a sun with a jolly face smiled like a fat French king.
Struggling to hold his weight with one arm on the fountain brim, he lowered his knees to the ground. Then, he bowed over the water, smelling the mixture of chlorine and brackish stale water. He looked into the thick wads of algae floating in the water. A few coins reflected the sunlight brightly. He leaned forward and flushed the water with both hands cupped together into his face. He repeated and repeated like a monk trying to purify his soul.
Then, he wiped the excess water over his overly long hair. He had only a few strands of hair left. These strands of hair were grown long enough to make up for all the bald spots. He carefully aligned the hair across his bald top from one side to the next. He blew the stuffy nighttime buggers out of his nose and into the fountain. He stood up feeling refreshed, laughing bitterly at his faint cleanliness, because he knew that his body reeked.
He walked through the morning streets to the Rose Park Hotel. The Rose Park Hotel exuberated royal service. A generously spaced driveway with flours and statues had valet boys standing in green-yellow royal uniforms with hats at least a foot high. The hats had a silly black leather chin strap. The entrance had a lavish roof over it. The frame of the building was decorated with golden patterns. A modern police officer with a submachine gun stood guard in a clash with historic style. The modern day hotel guests required modern day protection.
Walking up the wide stairs to the entrance, a bellhop boy greeted Garrit warmly with a salute of white gloved hands to the side of the head in a military gesture. Garrit responded: "Good morning." The bellhop held out his hand for a tip for having greeted him. Garrit had no money to share and hastily walked on. The bellhop stoically looked into the distance.
At the entrance, an old gray haired man with a mighty mustache wore a uniform with golden ribbons going across the chest and everywhere. The man opened the door for Garrit and held out his white gloved hand as well for a tip. Garrit rushed to move on. The luxury, the different facial expressions, and feel of it all spooked him. It was too unfamiliar.
The lobby was a giant three story high room. Curtains and big portraits of generals adorned the walls. A chandelier the size of the car hung in the center of the room. Benches and ottomans with thick leather upholstery and excruciatingly detailed ornamental carvings filled the room. Each furniture item had a folded sign of parchment paper with a handwritten fountain pen drawn notice: "Do not sit -- originals!"
The reception desk was a towering mahogany desk. The backdrop was a stylized marble wall to symbolize a rising sun. All the little things on the desk were golden: Golden phone, golden pen in pen holder, golden bowl with red-white candy, golden study lamp studded with green emeralds.
A woman in her mid twenties stood in a black business uniform behind the counter. Her hair was styled back. Every single hair seemed perfectly aligned. The hair was shiny like a shampoo commercial. Her makeup was done perfectly, precisely. Her fingers were folded politely on the counter.
Garrit tried to talk. However, all the embarrassment, awe of the place, and fear about meeting Grenada scrambled the letters for words in his head like the shuffle at the beginning of scramble. Instead, he was snapping air with the open mouth like a fish. He cleared his throat and licked his lips.
The receptionist leaned forward to create an air of intimacy. With an overpouring warm smile, her voice began to speak gently, refined, and friendly like a warm spring day: "There is no panhandling here. Security will escort you out. If you come back a single time, one of our Mafia guests will feed you to his pigs on the farm. You disgust me." She finished with a perfectly warm smile and leaned back.
All the shuffling letters for words slid down his throat. His mind was completely blank. He was shocked. His bones started shaking for fear. His hand reached back searching for support. The weight of the precious entrance hall came crashing down on him.
A second male receptionist that had stood motionless hiding in plane sight looked up from his computer screen. He seized up Garrit and quickly reached out: "Garrit, my deepest and most sincere apologies. Grenada is expecting you. She gave us a picture of you, so that we could welcome you properly. Please, excuse our inexperienced staff."
Garrit relaxed. He continued breathing. He looked at the male receptionist with big puppy eyes, ready to do whatever was asked of him. The male receptionist politely walked around the desk and inquired: "May, I help you out of your jacket." Garrit obliged. The male receptionist expertly folded the jacket and laid it over his forearm. His face showed not the slightest hint of disgust or hesitation to put the smelly, dirty jacket over the sleeve of his sparkling clean high end designer suit.
The male receptionist walked ahead of Garrit to the elevator. Garrit watched the back of the male receptionist. The suit fell perfectly giving the receptionist a big manly and elegant appearance. The smooth fabric of the slacks made them ripple softly with each step.
The elevator was Victorian cage welded metal, gold, and ornaments. To the left stood a royal soldier with a sword and hair piece from the Middle Ages. To the right stood a modern security guard with bullet proof vest, security insignia, and a submachine gun. Both of them looked straight ahead like stoic statues. The elevator door opened with perfect timing. An elevator operator had looked through a pinhole to see them approaching. On the outside, the pinhole was perfectly disguised in the eye of Neptune, the Greek water god. Neptune sat in the middle of a wild water scene with waves crashing.
The elevator contained four chairs with royally red upholstery. Garrit was asked to take a seat. The elevator operator pressed a button to lock the door. He pushed a lever gently up that increased the acceleration of the elevator. A needle displayed the speed of the elevator. Another needle displayed the height of the elevator. The elevator came to a gentle stop. The operator swiveled a hand sized wheel to perfectly align the elevator with the floor. Another button released the lock on the door.
Just as the male receptionist stepped into the hallway, two linebacker-sized men in black suits swooshed past the elevator. The faces were big, meaty. Their look was tensed. And, the eyes were focused on the distance. They had clear-colored curled wire behind their ears -- ear pieces. Their jackets flapped in the wind from their brisk steps. The pressed white shirt, brown leather gun holster, and black handguns were exposed for a brief moment.
"Please, apologize the extra security. We have a world oil conference in the hotel. The prime minister will arrive tomorrow for a press conference. We have MI-5, private security, and hotel security. If it is any consolation, you will know that you are one of the most secure citizens at the moment," said the male receptionist over his shoulder, while he walked toward Grenada's door.
The door was an extra high double door with intricate decorations, frames, and embellishments. The classical off white color was only broken for a black box with a slot. The male receptionist pushed the keycard inside of the slot and swung the door open with a big welcoming arm gesture.
The room behind the door was two floors high. The barn door sized windows were covered in generous amount of translucent white curtains. More opaque curtains were draping around the opening. Overhead light hung down from the high ceiling in big chandeliers and fake electric candles. Giant oil paintings with massive frames adorned the walls. A medley mix of antique furniture was everywhere.
In the midst of the baroque and bright colored beauty sat Grenada. She was dressed mostly black with a tough leather jacket. The black combat boots were resting on the table with the shoe laces undone. The table itself was neatly arranged with tablecloths, napkins, candles, and today's magazines bound in leather cover. Her jacket zippers had fallen wide open to expose an intensely red colored t-shirt. The whole room made one take in a deep and easy breath, yet Grenada owned the center of the room like a black hole.