It was surprisingly calm in this area of the city. It didn't really look deserted, but we hadn't heard anyone while we were down here. Well, maybe a car passing, but no one on foot. At least we didn't have to rush away, yet. Muriel had stood up and turned to the street, more or less on guard while I looked at the note.
It wasn't a big piece of paper and there was only one word on it, written in black ink in an old style. It had flowed out a little on the paper, probably because of the amount of ink, but it was still quite readable. A single word in elegant letters...
All kinds of thoughts roamed through my head. What did it mean? That a queen killed her? For who was this message meant? Was it a warning or a calling card? This was all so confusing.
"Amy, what does it say?"
"Queen, written in black ink." I said while handing it over.
She blinked as she looked at it. "This looks like it's been written with a quill..."
I nodded. "I wonder if that's a hint of its own. What should we do with her body?"
Muriel looked at her in thought. "She's too young not to be noticed and the style of death is rather... Extravagant. This would cause a lot of media attention if we left it here. Do you know if she's the child of a rich family?"
I shook my head. "No, she's the daughter of a Gypsy woman, probably only known by name."
Muriel suddenly looked shocked. "A Gypsy woman... was she the leader of the group?"
"I... I think so, why?"
She smirked. "Guess what they sometimes call her leaders?"
A penny dropped. "Queens?"
But... When we were in the park earlier today, I didn't notice them at all. Of course they didn't have to stay in the park to be in town. And I presumed the woman herself didn't do this. She didn't look the type to be part of this. Maybe Isabel had gotten the note before someone hung her there.
"Maybe the note meant that the woman wanted to speak with her?"
Muriel looked up from her thoughts. "That's a reasonable option. The note had been clenched in her fist before they cut her wrists. Only the edges were covered with blood."
"You didn't see Gypsies in the park, did you?"
She shook her head. "No indication of them at least."
I nodded. "Alright, after we leave the body somewhere, we'll look for them. But where do we take the body?"
"We can't burn her, humans don't catch fire like us. Too much residual matter. The blood will stay here for a long time without water too, so even if we take her, they'll find this and trace it. Hmm..."
Muriel walked around slowly, she did take this quite seriously. Looking for all kinds of options. The rope was annoying, but there was no blood on it or anything. So it could just be a rope. She stopped and looked at me, with a strange look on her face.
"We'll have to take her. The pool of blood doesn't have to be a problem. I still have a light acid with me that should taint the blood enough to prevent research to be done on it. We'll have to carry her by the rope if we want to prevent staining ourselves, her clothes are drenched with blood."
She looked around. "Bury her in the park?"
It felt strangely appropriate, but not near the tree. Maybe near the water, to give her more peace. I didn't want to bury a body there though. If a dog started digging and found it... "Not a really good idea. We could take her out of the city?"
She nodded. "Alright, I'll carry her, you apply this to the blood when she's high enough, then follow me."
I took the bottle from her, wincing at the sharp smell when I opened it. A light acid she said. Well, maybe it meant that it didn't eat through concrete or something. I waited while Muriel raised up slowly with Isabel in tow, a macabre sight, before I applied the acid to the blood.
"You can empty the bottle, just make sure you get all the blood." Muriel's voice drifted downwards.
Starting at the edges and going round to make sure I got it all, I emptied the bottle of acid on the blood. Visibly there appeared no change, but I could almost imagine how the cells of blood were bursting because of osmosis. And the cell membranes that might dissolve in the acid, taking their precious contents with them.
After the bottle was empty, I looked around again. Still no one here, would all of this have gone by unnoticed by the world? A dark show, unseen.
I rose up and followed Muriel.