Untitled Part 2 (1)

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The Deva Station And Kat Astrophe

With a Chance Goneabegging

By Daniel Kemp

A Comical Story Told In Two Parts

The First Part

Miss Kat Astrophe And Her Thomas

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Any interpretation of this short story is done entirely at your own risk.

I have incorporated English names into this compact chronicle to avoid disappointing those who find Russian a difficult language to pronounce.

* * *

A Wild Winter's Mid-Morning In The Reminski District, Moscow, Russia

His initial feeling of gushing pride at being selected by the captain of detectives from the final year of cadet school to accompany him to a murder scene was quickly forgotten as the ground beneath his feet both crunched in agony and screamed in pain, as by measured stride followed by measured stride, the distance between the warmth of an official car and the body of an untidily dressed man widened until at last the Police Lieutenant Colonel's car was reached. A window of the automobile was lowered, but no invitation to share the warmth within was extended to the new recruit. Motionless he stood, unable to curb the chilling frost that rose through his leather-soled shoes and climbed his legs like Superman on steroids, soon eating at the flesh beneath his lightweight college garments. In increasing discomfort, he began his account of the scene he had just walked from.

"The body was found by a Miss Kat Astrophe. Well, sort of found but not actually found in the sense of stumbled across. More seen as I told the station officer when I messaged him, Colonel. Of course, Lieutenant Colonel. I do know your full rank and I should have used it in my address. What's that? Yes, I will certainly refer to you as sir if that's what you want, Lieutenant Colonel, I mean, sir; sir. With your permission, I'll carry on, sir?"

With a scornful frown embedded firmly on his world-weary face, the high-ranking officer looked contemptuously up at the humble cadet then ever so slowly nodded his head in a sign of approval.

"Very well, sir. When I interviewed Miss Kat Astrophe on her doorstep I discovered that she is Italian by birth which accounts for her beautiful suntanned skin. She has long jet black hair and a face to die for, oh and a voice straight from the opera as well. No doubt you may meet her, sir. What? Oh yes, the report. I hadn't forgotten, sir. It was just that her beauty was so overwhelming, just like this cold." He hastily cleared his drying throat and under a haze of freezing mist continued.

"She's thirty-eight, twenty-six, thirty-six. I forgot to ask her age as I was concentrating so much on her measurements. I think I included all that in my first report. When your car arrived I thought her figure may have been the reason for your visit. My captain saw you pulling in off the road and told me to report directly to you as he had somewhere important to be. Yes, sir, he did go rather hastily. No, sir, I am not implying you would indulge in anything improper with Miss Kat because of her delectable figure. Although, I would add that I would if given the chance. Yes, sir. I agree that's an inappropriate remark. Why did I say that? I guess because I wanted to appear as masculine as I could, sir. No, I most certainly am not suggesting that the police force that you are head of is a bunch of nancy boys as you so eloquently put it, sir. Most gracious, sir, my lord king, sir."

Under normal circumstances it would have been impossible to sweat in such cold conditions, but there was no normality on show in this part of Moscow.

"I'm complimenting you, sir, on your appreciation of the feminine figure." His emitted cloud of misty breath sufficiently covered his embarrassment. However, nothing could stop his shivers. As the novice was congratulating himself on the quick-wittedness that most of the instructors at training school said he lacked, the happily ensconced superior officer flicked ash from his thick cigar that fleetingly mesmerised the cadet as it fell to the ground. But Kat would not disappear as swiftly as mere ash.

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