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Heartbreaker, Page 1

Quelli di ZEd

Carmelo Massimo Tidona


  Series “Nocturnal”

  episode #2

  Translation from Italian to English by

  Carmelo Massimo Tidona

  for Zed Lab


  Copyright © 2013 Zerounoundici Edizioni

  Copyright © 2013 Carmelo Massimo Tidona

  ISBN: 978-88-6578-226-2

  Cover: image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

  Work autonomously proposed by the author, not submitted to selection from the publisher


  Jenna was dependent on her routine. She'd been repeating it for years, always the same gestures and actions, every morning, every day, relentless and tireless, as if even a slight change could affect her destiny. She always resisted steadily any and each external attempt to modify her plans.

  Six o' clock: wake up.

  Half past six: breakfast.

  Seven o' clock: start of the morning jogging session.

  Half past seven: arrival to the east bridge, greet and make a small gift to Rupert, the homeless men who slept there, turn around, back to home.

  Eight o' clock: shower and out to work.

  A thoroughly-paced sequence.

  Going to fail.

  When that morning Rupert didn't answer her greeting, Jenna still didn't imagine that her plan was going to undergo an unexpected change.

  When the man didn't move, although she invited him to pass her his bracelet for a little exchange of money, she started thinking that something wasn't right.

  When she bent to touch his shoulder, believing he was still sleeping, and he fell backward, lacking support as well as life, the only thing she was able to think was that, for the first time in her life, that day she wasn't going to meet her schedule.


  A gloved hand waved over a crystal sphere the size of an orange, mounted into a metal support, without even brushing it, and it glowed a light red glow.

  «17th Trianar of the year 2009. This is doctor Michael Crew who is about to begin the postmortem examination of an unidentified subject, male, human, known as Rupert, apparently about seventy years old, with the help of my assistant, Thomas Gibsen.»

  The voice of the coroner articulated each word clearly in an aseptic and professional tone so that the crystal could record it without distortion. The recording, which also included the visual representation of what was happening within six meters from the sphere, would be stored in the archives of the police precinct for the years to come, so to be available for consultation at any time.

  Michael was one of the two coroners in force at the precinct, the only one who was an actual doctor, as the other, Seamus Owlfeather, was actually a shaman, specialized in postmortem examinations of deaths due to lethal spells. Between the two of them, Michael was the one with the most work to complete, a thing he never complained about anyway.

  «The visual examination of the body shows no evident causes of death. There are some ecchymosis on the arms, unrelated to the decease, but no traumas of greater relevance.»

  He sprawled his hands open and moved them down to the naked body, palm-down, careful not to touch it. He whispered a few arcane words and to his eyes the corpse started glowing lightly.

  «The magical examinations shows the presence of a faint residual of magic on the body. Supposedly it is the trace of a non-lethal spell cast on it in the recent past, and will have to be subjected to further specific examinations. I will now open the chest.»

  He took a scalpel from a tray nearby and performed the typical Y-shaped cut to allow access to the chest cavity and the internal organs. The blade cut through the flesh meeting no particular resistance. Then the doctor grasped the flaps of flesh and pulled them expertly, plying flesh and skin and exposing the bones laying below.

  «Now my assistant will open the ribcage while...» he stopped, seeing the expression on Thomas' face as the man approached the table holding the tool he was supposed to use to cut the ribs. His features bore a mixture of disbelief and confusion. Not a normal reaction from someone who had attended autopsy after autopsy in the last few months.

  «Is there anything wrong?» he asked, unsure whether to make it sound as a slightly worried question or a reproach for the lack of professional behavior.

  «Doctor, I...» Thomas started to reply, then he swallowed noisily and approached further to better see whatever had drawn his attention in the first place «... I think you should reformulate that assertion... about the non-lethal spell.»