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Mark Baird

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For Haines

Chapter 1


Towering brownbricks shielded David Johanssen and the old man from the rain. The red and white neon of a Coca-Cola sign pulsed like a giant life-support machine behind them, coaxing hapless tourists and broken people into the plastic promises of an urban pseudo-Eden. ‘That’s where she was killed, Mr Curtis?’ David asked, clicking on his Dictaphone.

Curtis, a waif of an old man in striped cotton pyjamas, nodded. Pale, diaphanous colours shivered around the old timer, colours only David could see. The translucency of the shades around Curtis showed his fragility and age, but the pale blues and greens were all calm contentment.

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