• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 04


The captain sat behind his desk, ergonomic swivel chair squeaking a little as he laid back, hand supporting the back of his head. He released a great sigh, his lips fluttering a weak raspberry.

Dean tried to get comfortable in the basic static chair opposite. It was moulded plastic and a little too small for an adult of reasonable dimensions. Dean was bigger.

The captain flicked a case file in his direction, sending a couple of envelopes to the ground. Following an eyebrow-cue from his superior officer, he lifted the stationery back onto the desk and opened the file. The latest crime scene photo was front and centre – not where he had filed it.

“Your own work?”

Dean liked sepia prints. They were easier on the eye when poring through the files over and over in an effort to find something missed: the minuscule details which helped solve crimes. A peripheral observation suggested that the chair he now occupied had been picked specifically to make those seated deliberately uncomfortable to give the captain an edge.

“You know my reasoning on this captain. There’s a back-up plain black and white print in the enclosed plastic envelope.”

The captain leaned forward and scratched his left cheek with his three middle fingers before resting his elbows on the desk. Using his fists to support his jaw, the man stared impassively at Dean.

“I’ve gotten used to that, Junior.”



The charming Southern drawl diluted any offence Dean might have taken from the nickname given him by one of his fellow officers who had been familiar with the works of Edward Curtis on Native Americans. Over the years the tag of ‘Curtis Junior’ had eroded to just ‘Junior’. Dean doubted if anyone remembered its origin. Dean had decided to let it erode naturally: seeking to stop it aggressively would only have antithetic results.


“At first I thought these shots to be some sort of sick prank–”

<“Captain, I would never–”
The man waved the protest aside. “Yeah, got that… But this last one is just so weird I had to double-check for my own sanity. What is with this guy?”

“I don’t know, Captain. We are still clueless … literally. He must spend an awful amount of time cleaning up the scene and posing his victims … and he must hang around until rigor mortis sets in … yet not a hair, fluid, or fingerprint to be had.”

They both stared at the image: a young Noh Theatre actress in some sort of crazily inverted yoga position, frozen in death in front of a patterned bamboo and silk screen.

The support frame was invisible in this photo, but snapped from every angle in the others in the hope of tracing the manufacturer and thereby the killer.

The captain picked up his phone.

“Profilers?” Dean asked.

“Yeah. And oh, before they arrive, do you think we could change the case name? The Weird Pose Killer is a bit on the nose.”