“Trail’s gone cold,” yelled the short man back to the detective, cupping his hand to his mouth against the wind and rain battering the cliffside path along which they struggled. The lawman sighed and touched the peak of his cap. A moment’s silence passed then he called back, “You want to keep going?” They had come to a bend in the track formed on the inside of a small promontory, and onto this the short man stepped out. He looked out across the ocean, dark and and shiny in the evening gloom, and saw wave after wave forming an endless, meaningless pattern. It mocked him. Frowning he pushed out a few round tears which mixed with the thick downpour and ocean spray.
A tall man sits crouched by a tiny earthen mound at the mouth of a giant cave. The land rises high around him in bleached stone, rich minerals and he is the only human soul for miles. His face a blank slate and with pupils like black pebbles he presses something small and metal into the soil and crosses himself.
She felt as if she was falling through the clouds as the pressure at her throat tightened. Pain jolted down her spine and in desperation she kicked out, flailing uselessly. A hot wind blew in her face and a massive force pushed down on her, trapping her in the cream carpet at which her fingers gripped and clawed. She could not scream, the world dimmed. Her dying moment felt like life giving air flooding her lungs.
A bonfire was burning in the short man’s backyard and he stood bent over a cardboard box filled with old belongings, deliberating over which items to spare from the flames. Several neighbours would comment the next day on how the smoke had looked rising from his garden, as if singling him out from the residents of a hundred other suburban dwellings. It was that day he found it- an old document which had lived among a pile of others within the box. His hands shook a little as he read it. It would spark the beginnings of a fuse, a trail which he would follow.