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The police retrieved a torn shoe with a severed toe in it. There was nothing else left. The crows and starlings had devoured whatever evidence of a man remained.

‘I didn’t know starlings ate human flesh?’ said Detective Sergeant James Wallaby.

‘Dinosaurs,’ said the lab technician hunched over the microscope. He was dressed in the stiff white which people in cold laboratories preferred. The man had spoken to himself more than to the officer who hovered beside him. As if to acknowledge the policeman’s presence, he looked up and said,

‘Birds, you see, they’re descended from dinosaurs.’

Police investigations faced many roadblocks. But Wallaby was persistent until his superior, Superintendent Price, summoned him. There was another man in the room. An elderly man. Huge. Obese. In a heavy black coat—on a summer day.

‘Apparently your man, Eytan Goehl, was a field operative,’ said Superintendent Price. His voice was hard, and he looked flustered. ‘Some Al-Qaeda types from Syria had tracked him down.’

‘Field operative, sir? For whom?’ Wallaby’s eyes darted to the stranger in the room.

‘Don’t you fret, my boy,’ said the elderly man. And he stood up, his movement smooth and effortless—unexpected for his age and build.

Taken by surprise, Wallaby stepped back but the older man moved close.

‘Our drones took care of that lot. And as far as it concerns Her Majesty’s government—this case is terminated.’ The elderly man snatched the thin file from Wallaby’s hand.

‘And who may I ask are you, sir?’ said Wallaby, his ears turning crimson.

‘Why, I’m Rafael, my boy.’ There was feigned surprise in his voice. The old man smiled and offered his hand. Then, he turned to the superintendent and said, ‘Quite enjoyed our chat, governor.’ He gave a single finger salute and left.

I meant last week’s post—The Gift—to be a standalone, but Ian’s comment triggered the above sequel. Sometimes a word, a phrase or even a thought brings out the muse. Hope you liked the conclusion.

Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2019