The Absent Man by Robert Enright

The Absent Man by Robert Enright

Author:Robert Enright [Enright, Robert]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-03-08T22:00:00+00:00

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

The hum of the halogen bulb gnawed into the back of Bermuda’s skull like a woodpecker, adding to the throbbing pain from his collision with concrete. He sat at the empty metal table with a cold bag of peas pressed against his head and the glaring eyes of Detective McAllister burning through him.

For all its noise, the bulb was doing a poor job of illuminating the room, the corners draped in curtain-like shadows. Beyond the door to the room, the walls were blank besides the ‘mirror’ that sat adjacent to where they sat. Bermuda was pretty sure that Nicola Strachan was pressed against the other side, salivating at the idea of ending Bermuda’s career.

After Argyle had saved his life, two police officers had roughly pulled him away from the crash scene, slapping the metal cuffs roughly around his wrists and then manhandling him into the back of a car. The tram carriages had zig-zagged across the street, sprawled randomly like a child’s playset. The passengers had been helped out, some of them requiring medical attention.

From what Bermuda had heard, there were no deaths, which he took as a tick in the win column. The resulting damage to public property and general panic were not. As he sat dabbing at his skull, he felt the pain dance along his jawbone from the crushing blow that Kevin Parker had delivered, the quickly appearing bruise at the base of his spine the proof of the wall that had caught him.

He could already feel his body healing itself.

The Otherside taking over.

Shuddering to himself, he slowly turned on his seat and faced McAllister, her glare tightening around him like a boa constrictor.

‘Do you have any idea how irritating you are?’ Her words were firm, laced with menace.

‘I have a fairly good idea, yeah.’

His response only enticed a larger snarl.

‘Look, we have some bastard out there killing innocent women. We had another call come in last night and—’

‘Whoa, wait. Last night?’ Bermuda interrupted, slamming the ice pack on the table and realising his hands were no longer cuffed.

‘Yes. Last night. Her name was Rosie Seeley.’ McAllister’s voice softened with sadness at the name.

‘How long was I out for?’

‘You sustained quite a blow to the back of the skull. You lost consciousness in the back of the car and have been asleep for over sixteen hours. It’s now two p.m. Tuesday.’

‘Fuck.’ Bermuda sighed, slumping back in his chair.

‘What were you doing at the Necropolis?’ McAllister’s voice was firm and authoritative, as if this was any other interview.

‘Jesus Christ, you’re not going to read me the riot act again, are you?’ Bermuda shuffled slightly, but she just stared at him. ‘I was doing my goddamn job.’

‘Your job?’ Her tone was mocking. She shifted the paper in front of her, Bermuda realising he hadn’t noticed it beforehand. ‘Your job is to, and I’m only reading what has been provided by eye witnesses, assault cyclists and steal their bikes, ignore a direct order to pull over, cause a traffic



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