Constable Stanley Rowan had just finished his morning ablutions when there came a knocking at his front door. Cleaning his razor, for unlike his colleagues he chose not to sport any facial hair, he wiped the remnants of shaving cream from his face then answered the door.
Standing on his doorstep, wearing clothing slightly too large for him and his typical cheeky grin, was Jacky Hawkins, one of the local boys who ran errands for the Black Museum.
“Mornin’, Stan,” said Jacky, “got a message from his nibs.”
“Sergeant Webb, you mean…” growled Rowan, trying to suppress a smile.
“That’s wot I said,” continued Jacky, unperturbed by the correction, “He says they caught ‘er wot cut off that doxy’s face and banged ‘er up. An’ Moore got hisself cut up, so he wants you back at the station.”
“Thank you, Jacky,” said Rowan, reaching into his trouser pocket, “here’s a shilling for your trouble. Don’t go spending it all on sweets, now.”
“Sweets, Stan?” Said Jacky, the silver coin vanishing into voluminous folds “naaah…I’m gonna buy me some Chinese firecrackers and set ’em off down by the…” he faltered as the realisation of just who was speaking to sunk in. “Sweets, yeah…that’s the ticket…”
With that he scurried off onto the crowd, his progress marked by the cursing of costermongers, as he weaved amongst the handcarts thronging the street.
Rowan closed the door, a thoughtful expression on his face. “If they’ve caught the mysterious blue woman of Blackwell,” he began, “that doesn’t really explain how you’ve been sitting on my bed since yesterday afternoon,” he regarded the figure hunched in a blanket, her delicate elfin features peeking out from between the folds, “now does it?”
That one was other, the words formed in his mind, without the need for vocalisation, this one was here…with you.
Rowan drew up a chair and gazed at his mysterious house guest. Other than the unnatural hue of her skin, which was a pale shade of blue, she was breathtaking beautiful, with lustrous dark lashes framing eyes that danced with an inner fire. She pursed her full lips and Rowan felt a warmth building in his cheek, at the place where she had kissed him on their first meeting.
“Who are you? What are you?” He asked.
This one is a slave, she replied in his mind, this one seeks to be free. Will constablestanleyrowan help this one? Will he save this one from…the fat man?
“I wil try,” said Stanley, reaching out to gently take her hand. She smiled shyly at him and Stanley felt the warmth from his cheek flooding his body.
Ayesha…this one is called Ayesha.