Somebody was being executed; it was the only logical explanation. The loud taboo in his head certainately agreed with him. He shifted his head slightly, eyes opening suddenly in shock at the feeling of something horrendously viscid touching his face. They slammed closed with at a similar speed; dear lord! Since when had the sun decided it needed to be that bright? Gingerly, he cracked them open, slowly adapting to the luminous light that flittered through the crack betwixt the rooftops. The pain in his head flared and he compelled to close them once more; he repeated this seemingly thankless cycle until he could open his eyes without fear of worsening his unknown condition. What happened to him?
Gazing out with burning curiosity, his eyes caught sight of a nearby beer bottle. Well that might be an explanation. Searching further, he recognised the hand that clutched the bottle. That explained everything. Groaning as his body protested angrily at his half-hearted attempts to sit up, he gradually became aware of a substantial weight pressing on his legs. It was Mr. Harris, the rookery butcher. What exactly had occurred the previous eve? Brisk flashes of dancing on a table, singing the national anthem and chucking a man through a window danced through his ever clearing mind. He grimaced. Staggering upright he 'gently' manoeuvred Mr Harris off himself and wobbled a few steps forward before leaning against the decaying wall and retching. A voice from within one of the houses demanded quiet and he obeyed, already moving on. By the looks of it he was in Durmchapel lane; fantastic, he was only a two streets from his own home.
Stepping out onto Durmchapel street he wasn't surprised to find it empty; this time in the morning was locally known as dead rising due to the fact that most people were just now waking up. Being summer it meant that the sun (which delighted in reminding all of its obnoxiously bright presence) was already peaking through the narrow streets of the Durmchapel rookery and within minutes the street would be flooded with people rushing to their jobs- if they had any- or spending time nosing around the place. Durmchapel street was not really a street but rather a courtyard with many side streets and lanes twisting off of it like some kind of mutated spider. It was easy to get lost in the darkened alleyways and even easier to fall prey to the villains that lurked in their shadows. It was no use pretending that they weren't there; more than once he had been coshed and robbed. All the buildings were like their contents; twisted and worn down in some form. He moved swiftly into Clove Row, the small street that joined the DurmChapel rookery to the Old Jago, their rival rookery and thus the cause of many memorable day long brawls and battles. It was no different then any other street in the area and so his gaze was left unburdened by any strange sightings as he made his way to his rooms.
He modestly inhabited the attic at number 13, lovingly known as Damfino lodgings on account of nobody being able to find the landlord, , until the rent was due- at which time he was magically there all the time. It was a reasonably tall and almost unnaturally narrow dwelling that hosted a menagerie of characters that flittered in at every time of the day. From the outside it appeared like an old man, dropping with age and visibly showing its lines; the inside was not much different apart from the crumbling paint that dropped on to the floor and the lifeless lifeforms that inhabited the stairs like mannequins at a dress shop. There were only two candles on each floors landing (making 8 in total) and one window for every second one; four doors to a landing. Winding your way up the steep steps led to a singular, unspeakably plain door that opened into the wide attic that had one giant windo on the left side of it. Arguably, it was the only room in Durmchapel that could see the whole sun at midday. On the door, engraved on a polished piece of bronze, were the letters:
DR Simon Goldstein
Leaning heavily on the door frame, Simon fumbled for a minute, doing the obligatory 'where are my keys' dance before unlocking the door and pushing his way into his apartment. His rooms were large but most of the room was dressed up as a doctor's surgery. His work enabled him to pay for this place and he was never short of people needing assistance (though most was for a hangover cure). The people of his rookery trusted him - and his very low prices- and so came to him more willingly than to most of his profession. He stood at the counter top, mixing a drug into his drink that should help remove the steadily growing headache that he had nursed since his awakening some ten minutes before. Unbuttoning his waistcoat he slumped heavily into the plush chair ,that he had received from the Father after providing him with medicine free of charge, threw back his head and downed the suspicious looking concoction in the vial before him. Two minutes later, after much cringing and whimpering, he flipped open his pocket watch and decided that he would manage at least half an hours kip before any patients arrived. He leaned his head back and closed his eyes, breathing deeply at the dying pain behind his eyes.
He fell into a soft bed and relaxed at the gentle caresses of soft, delicate fingers that glanced over his cheek. A soft humming gently flooded his senses and he felt tears roll down his cheeks at the saintly sound. An angelic voice soon started up and he felt himself relax further into the soft sheets beneath him. Opening his eyelids, he was taken aback by the pure innocence and beauty of the blue eyes that regarded him. Goodness, how he admired those beautiful eyes. An intrusive knocking startled him and he swivelled his head to glare at the offending sound. Not hearing anymore he turned back with a tender gaze but found that his angel was fled. What? A disjointed voice called out, accompanied by explosive knocking that almost tore down his door. DOCTOR! DOCTOR! I NEED YOU! DOCTOR!
"Doctor Goldstein, wake up you useless lump!" Joined by a fierce slap, this method was sufficient in waking the befuddled doctor quickly. Blinking lethargically, it took Simon a moment to realise that stood before him was his dear friend, Detective Arthur Cook. "I'm sorry to trouble you friend-"
"Good, because I have just told you," and here his gruff voice dropped to an almost supernatural level, "I require your services."
"You are ill Artie?" Casting a cursory glance over the man, he could see no visible signs of ill health.
"No, dear friend, no; do not worry-"
"Then what do you need?"
"Very simple, Doctor, a peculiar corpse had just landed in the morgue and he is calling for you."