Darkness Is The Coldest Colour (complete)

Darkness Is The Coldest Colour (complete)

A murderer is at large. Named Jack the Ripper, he strikes terror into the heart of Victorian London and it's Victor Stride's job to bring him to justice. With the help of two old friends, Victor sets out to capture the killer, but will he become a target of the Ripper's cruel game, killed before the investigation is completed, or will his findings reveal enough to tilt his world off its axis forever?

Chapter 1

The Fallen Woman

The winter air bites my face and icicles hang, as ominously as the atmosphere, from rooftops. The morning air is free of the diseased sounds of human activity. Sleepy sunlight breaks through the smog which clings to Whitechapel’s rooftops, encasing the tiles with its weightless fingers. The ground is kissed with a layer of dusty frost and the sound of my boots echoes through the otherwise silent street.

I convince myself that the woman laid on the cobbles will move in a moment. With every pace I take, closing the distance between her and I, my heart pounds just a little louder in my chest. A pigeon rests on the tiles of a nearby house and coos quietly, like he is waiting for me to reach the woman whom I am but a few yards away from now. I swallow. She doesn't move but with every thump of my thunderous heart, I believe that she will.

I don’t know what I expect. Why this woman would be laid on the floor of a Whitechapel road before even dawn has broken through the silence of London is beyond even the largest stretch of reality. She’s hardly going to jump up from the ground and walk off, is she? Nevertheless, the foolish part of me insists that when I arrive at her presently motionless body, her chest will rise and fall with the instantly recognisable sign of life- breathing.

Her body is not ostentatiously exhibiting the gaping, eager wounds that I come across frequently. Instead, she has the haunting, almost ethereal appearance of a corpse. Her skin is pale and tinted with the faint shade of cerulean; a layer of frost has crawled across her motionless hands up to her pointed elbows. It is the deadly silence that confirms my worst fears, even before I examine her closer.

I go to analyse her body anyway, just like every victim I have examined lately. A multitude of bloody mutilations tattoo her with crimson ink, each savage slash leaking a scarlet ocean. The waist of her dress is ripped in places and I can see that the skin of her abdomen is coated with the vermilion blood. Corpulent droplets of red-wine blood drip from the edges of her torso, forming a claret lake on the cobblestones.

My stomach flips. I know it is not her tranquil body that I know will never move, nor the macabre tint to her skin that sends icy chills crawling up my spine; it is the silent incision that is practically an autograph from her murderer. I know I cannot draw the murderer’s identity from her murder, but I can certainly verify one thing:

Jack the Ripper has struck again.

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