Deep in the devilishly decadent district of Soho, above the luminous light of the lanes and the inebriated intonations of the imaginative industry that calls it home lays the flat of that most flirtatious and fiery fighters for freedom, Madu Bandara, also known as Mimsy Burogrove, perhaps the world’s only psychedelic detective. See her now, safely sat upon silks and satins, silently supposing and mute as she meditates upon the mysteries of the mind and this mortal coil.
Mimsy is a small woman, perfect and petite, charming and comely in her coffee-coloured cut-off kaftan than blends with her caramel skin until it looks like all is one. Laying upon the cushion in a lotus, her limbs aligned languidly, the lissome lady of love and learning, sable shorn, has no reasons to suspect the scandalous scoundrels that slip and slide through the shadows toward her sanctuary.
The Hashishin are heralds of the hate that her hirsute rival, The Guru, now feels for our famed feminine figure. Silently they shimmy open a shutter and slip within, sharps shivs held in sure hands, eyes shining as they slide towards her. Their steps may be virtually soundless but she is aware of them and, as they approach her, intent on assisting her into the afterlife, her eyes open and bindi that she bears upon her brow begins to burn with a brilliance that blinds and baffles the brutes who have come to bleed her.
She floats, she sees, through their minds as though she were rooting through their pockets. She sees the hatred that they have for her, instilled in them by their mentor. She sees the promises that they have been made, the heaven that they have been promised. As they hesitate, she strips out of her body and steps naked into their minds.
Wadi was a pleasant little boy, until his father shut him in the hut with the spiders. All night long he could not sleep, feeling the webs brushing his face, hearing their skittering legs – imagined or not – feeling them dance across his skin. He is grown now, a man, a thug, a killer, brave in the face of almost any danger but…
Wadi’s mouth opens wide in a wail. Under his skin swarm a slew of spiders and he screams as he slaps and stabs at them, sprawling backward through the sash and down to the street below with a sickening splash so high is our siren’s shelter. Her impossible iris turns its ire upon the other interloper and infiltrates his intelligence.
Haider on the other hand… Haider just wants to be loved. In the secret gardens of The Guru he has met the dusky maidens who serve in the afterlife and he wants to carry out his missions so that he can be returned to their embrace He doesn’t know that this heaven is a fake, he doesn’t understand that no right-thinking deity would never accept a murderer, however much they thought they were doing the right thing. Mimsy takes pity on him. She breaks apart like a kaleidoscope of curves and lips, of soft eyes and warm kisses and she enfolds him within her, she tells him she loves him and her one becomes many, surrounding and stroking, murmuring sweet word in his gullible ears.
Haider slides to the floor with a subtle and serene smile and sighs as he stares into the stars only he can see. These two thugs are not the only transgressors though. Their task to trouble her, to throw her off, to tempt and taunt and turn away. At her door the deadliest of the dangerously deranged dealers of death delays, determined and – he thinks – destined to kill her. Luck is with our lady at least as he leans in, a latecomer looms large over the lowlife.
Detective Inspector St. John is an imposing individual, intent upon ingress when he identifies the ingrate intent upon inflicting iniquity upon our illustrious ingénue. Maddened at the malice of this malcontent the man makes his move, laying his mitts upon the miscreant and mashing him against the marmalade-coloured mass of the door until his mandible is mincemeat and his muzzle is mushroomed across his mug. With that accomplished, the agent of the law seeks access and admits himself to the scene of anarchy and amour that has become of her accommodation.
“Mimsy;” St. John nods, wiping his hands, leaving the unconcious body of the Hashishin assassin behind him. “Trouble?”
She uncoils from her crouch over the barely-conscious cur, and crosses the carpet to give him a kiss upon his cheek. “Nothing that I couldn’t take care of Christian, but thank you for your help.” She smells like jasmine and jam, honey and hashish; she’s warm and wonderful but he’s here for work, not women.
“Well, we do have trouble, down at the station. A murder that seems like your sort of thing.” He screws a cigarette into his kisser and sighs as he sparks it, taking a deep and soothing suck upon the slender cylinder. “Gruesome business, but strange. If you’re finished playing with religious fanatics and cults, we’d like you to take a look at it. For payment of course.”
The psychedelic princess pouts prettily. “It’s always business these days Christian, never anything fun. If I am going to help you with this, you have to agree to let your hair down.” She fondles his follicles and he must confess that his fine features have been flattened by the cutting of his flowing locks, but he falls in with her feeling.
“Agreed.” It was no hardship to hang around the happening with this hepcat, she was honest and happy and had to be humoured, at least here and now.
“Did you see the victim? Investigate the murder yourself?” Her hand hesitates over his and her eyes turn heavenward, as he hesitates.
“Yes, I did.”
“Then we don’t need to go anywhere.” A touch and her ten digits tingle at his temples.
She slips into Christian’s mind, they know each other, they’ve been lovers. It’s like sliding into a warm bed next to someone you care about. For a moment he’s alarmed, but she’s done this before and he tries to relax. She walks through his structured and ordered mind, bare feet slapping against the hard surfaces of laws and duties, of honour and decency, leaving little footprints of chaos in her wake.
She stops, a moment, a glittering barrier around his thoughts, cutting her off from his memories, his fantasies, though trough the shield she can make out the shape of herself and hear words they once shared together. He’s so nervous, she finds it sweet and skips on, giggling, deeper into his mind.
A giggle is not appropriate here, not in this dark corner where he buttons down the bad things that he’s seen, the bad things that he’s done. Here the horrors and the guilt wait behind walls far stronger than those used to keep her out but these are to keep these memories in, suppressed, hidden.
Mimsy closes her eyes and steps through and what she sees she can scarcely believe.
A man stands naked in a room as the ghost of her astral body watches. A screwdriver in his hand, the body of another man before him, dead and bleeding, his skull stabbed through and bleeding, right above and between his eyes, deep into his ajna chakra, into the pineal gland, the gate to the higher planes and the imagination.
She dissolves into a cloud of butterflies and returns to her body, opening her eyes to her friend, the Inspector.
A moue of disgust marrs her marvelous mask as, in a moment, she opens her mouth and mumbles. “A horrible murder, but you know who did it. Why do you need me?”
He shrugs his shoulders and with a shudder speaks what has been unspoken. “The man we caught claims not to remember anything. The man he killed is his friend, his business partner. They have no reason to kill each other. It’s motiveless and if it wasn’t for the fact it happened, we would never have thought it would. We need you to look inside him and to tell us if he is telling the truth.”
She taps a fingertip, marking time against her top lip and as time passes she takes in a terrible something in the man’s eye. In his eye, as though perched in an aerie is an eerie entity. A yellow man yells at her, a man she has a yen to understand. Determined she decides to dive once more into his dreams, this derangement indicative of something deeper than the dead man at work, but the little man is gone.
She realises then that St. John’s radio is unwrapped and he is ranting. The radio is rushed away again, rapidly and he reaches for her hand. “We really do need you.”
“There’s been another murder, the same method, a different man, a different victim.”
“Curiouser and curiouser…”