Chapter 3: Chapter 3

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Erotica  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 66
Comments: 2



Murder at the Orient Sexpress Chapter 3



If you are lucky, you could see the Sun walking down the streets of Shang. Not that anyone walks down the streets of Shang anymore. That is where the unfortunate dwell and those who feed on them in those dark alleys. Like many of its sister cities, Shang forgot its poor. All semblance of compassion is gone once you reach ground level. The further up you live, the higher in the sentient chain you are likely to be. I live on the sixty seventh floor, and I still have a few hundred more floors to care for anyone else but myself. Only now I was heading down there.


The AirPod rocked as it dove down. Destination: district 18 right in the old center of Shang. I have been investigating the serial killings of those sextressess for months.  The only clue I could find led to this place. The person who can answer some of my questions was down there and I needed him to confirm my suspicions.


I parked the pod in a remote spot, hoping it would still be there when I got back. I paid for the two hours usage, it should damn well be there. It was getting dark. I had to finish my business and get out before it got darker. It was dangerous to be down here even if you were carrying, especially if you were carrying. You could be killed for less down there. A zapper was worth its weight in rhodium. I tried to hide it under my coat but still, I was a walking target in those empty streets. I put on my face mask and walked away. The air was filtered clean in the close confines where I came from. Down here it was loaded with all kinds of germs and viruses. Fuck knows what else has been festering in the open air for decades. It was a wonder mankind has survived all this. I wasn’t going to take any chances. 


“The House of the Children of Abraham,” that is what the faded sign outside the temple read. I’ve heard that what was left of Abraham’s children and every religion which originated from that branch gathered into this one House. It’s a survival instinct, to forget your little differences and bunker together for warmth. Unfortunately Abraham is in dire need for more offsprings if he is going to get through this cold spell.


I pushed the door and walked into an empty hall. A few worn out posters hung on the walls. Probably images of saints or long forgotten heroes of old. I did not recognize any of them. Why would I. I’m not the religious type, nor anyone I know for that matter. Some people still cling to some sort of belief like this one. Maybe it is a way to project insecurities unto others. Maybe they need assurances that their miserable lives had not been waisted. Or maybe they were the ones who got it right. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it before I came down here. Who am I to judge. To each his own. However, one thing caught my eye. The words, “Let Him Kiss Me With Kisses Of His Mouth- The Song of Songs,” were inscribed under an image of a man and woman kissing which hung among the many pictures that adorned the walls of this temple.


I walked to the stage at the far corner of the hall, trying not to stumble on broken furniture scattered on the wooden cracked floor. “MR HAJAR” I called out, but no one answered. I was supposed to meet him at 18:00 only he was no where to be seen. So I called out again. I was hoping my visit wasn’t for nothing.


“Father HAJAR is not here.” 


The soft voice came from behind a torn out curtain. I could not see her from where I was standing. However, I was right in her line of sight, a perfect target.


“Who is this?” I asked. “I have a meeting with the Reverend,” I explained. I didn’t know if  “Reverend” was the appropriate title to use but showing respect might save me from a slug between the eyes if she was carrying. 


A few seconds later she stepped from behind that curtain. Still her face was not visible in the dark, however an old shotgun in her hand was. She was definitely carrying. She stood in the far corner of the room pointing that weapon at me. “My father is dead,” she said with a shiver of grief in her voice. 


“I just spoken to him a few days ago,” I was surprised. “When did he die?”


“A few days ago.”


“Damn!” I exhaled. My one lead was gone and I was back to square one. 


“What is your name?” I was still a detective and my instincts kicked in.


She did not answer. She was waiting for me to introduce myself before she relaxed her grip on that gun. “My name is Detective Sumi Nishan of the 379 district.” The standard issue communicator strapped to my ear automatically projected my holo badge a few inches above my head. It was standard procedure in such encounters. However it took a few seconds for her to compute whether I was a threat or an actual officer of the law.


Finally she lowered her guard and stepped out of the shadows. Her gun was still pointing at me. I was finally able to see those ocean greens piercing like Sirius among the contrast of a deep dark olive skin. Damn… she was beautiful.


“You’re far away from home, detective,” she was right. “What brings you here?”


“I told you I had a meeting with the Reverend… the late Reverend.”


“What about?” She asked.


“Some matters of the faith.” I wasn’t sure which faith I was referring to. I guess they all led to the same salvation or damnation which ever one you want to believe in.


“My father was the Rasheik of this temple,” she said. “Now that he is gone , I guess his duties fall down to me.” She explained. “What do you want?! And don’t waste my time detective. I have to clean this up before our next prayer cycle.”


“When is that?” 


“Tomorrow morning,” she replied.


Cleaning the room was going to take more than that. I don’t know who broke in and made this mess but I wasn’t here to find out. I liked that girl. She was clever and right to the point. She reminded me of me. So I might as well get to my point. 


“I want to know what you can tell me about ZINA.” I have looked up the definition of ZINA before I came here. However, I wanted to check the last place in Shang where this word might be of significant. It was the only clue that connects all those murders and it all points down to this place; The House of the Children of Abraham.


“That word has not been used for a long time,” she said. “Where did you hear it?”


That was confidential official business. “It was etched on the foreheads of more than twenty murder victims.” I replied. I guess it is not confidential anymore.


“May I ask who those victims were?”


“They were sex workers.” I divulged more official secrets which I should not have.


“So someone thinks they did ZINA.”  She said. I knew she knew what that word meant but whether she or her sect condone this, that I had to find out.


“Do you believe they did?” I started by asking


“It is very hard to categorize what is an illicit sexual activity now a days,” she explained. “That is why the word ZINA has not been used in our scriptures to describe such an act for centuries. We now grow to believe that sex is a natural phenomenon,” she added. “However, our beliefs still advocate celibacy before the union between two individuals is consummated.”


“You mean marriage.”


“If you want to describe the union of two lovers with such a broad word. Then yes. You can call it, Marriage.”


“So you are saying that by providing sexual activity out of the framework of a  marriage union, those sex workers are committing ZINA.”


“I didn’t say that.”


“But you implied it.” I countered, only she did not reply.


“What about what is written on that wall over there?” I pointed to those words inscribed on that poster in large letters ‘Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth,’ how do you advocate that?”


“What about it?” She asked in confusion 


“Aren’t those people doing those acts practicing ZINA?” I asked. 


“Noooo…. As I said we don’t use this word anymore.” 


Suddenly the explosion knocked us both off our feet and threw us to the other side of the hall. If we had but been a few inches closer we would have been incinerated by the Molotov bomb which was thrown from the street and into the temple. A broken bench cushioned our fall and sheltered us from the flame until we managed to regain consciousness. I scrambled to put off the fire using a fire extinguisher and pulled her back behind a solid pedestal. She was barely breathing from the shock. Then bullets started raining on the wall behind us. All I could do was stay low until I managed to pull out my gun and return fire. I wasn’t sure what I was shooting at or who. 


“We are going to DIE!!!” the first thing she said when she opened her eyes.


“Who the fuck is shooting at us?” 


“I have no idea,” she managed to say. “They’ve broken in several times during the past week and destroyed the temple. Father was killed trying to defend this House. We don’t have anything of value. What do they want?”


I had no idea what they wanted. We were probably going to die if I didn’t do something about it, however I wasn’t going to tell her that. For the next hour we exchanged bullets with our assailants until my handgun was almost out. I wasn’t going to tell her that either. 


“We are going to die tonight. Aren’t we detective?” She repeated that doom prediction one more time. 


“Call me Sumi,” I replied. “And No. we are not going to die.” I didn’t believe that  either.






“Azra,” she repeated that again. “That’s my name.”


“Nice name.” 


“My father wanted a boy,” she was mumbling, probably from concussion. “He got me instead. He wanted me to dedicate my life to the House like he did. That’s why he called me Azra. It means ‘Virgin’ in the old tongue.”


“That’s nice,” I replied. I wasn’t really listening to her. I was trying to make sure none of those thugs outside manage to enter the building. If they did we’d be dead.


“I guess I’m to die as an Azra in my fathers house, Aren’t I detective?”


“What?!… no, no… you’re not going to die as an Azra.” I don’t know if that sounded how it was supposed to sound. “I’ve called for help. They will be here in a few minutes. We’ll just have to hang on until then…”


We didn’t die that night…








Submitted: May 25, 2023

© Copyright 2023 samnash. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



Very interesting and well written, Sam. The Song of Solomon. Pretty steamy for religious literature, isn't it?

Love the action and Azra is so mysterious. You make a good Harrison Ford - by the way, I remember you played his role once before.

Fri, May 26th, 2023 10:34pm


Thank you. Harrison is my older brother. He taught everything I know.

Fri, May 26th, 2023 4:57pm

Amy F. Turner

Why waste ones time with a temple without anything of value save the leaders who perpetuate the religion practiced there? It stands to reason though that such atrocities would only expand a draw attention to the very thing the assailants seek to destroy. Hmmm...
And Azra last thoughts before dying is that she'll die a virgin. Poor dear. And Sumi is the only one available to help her out yet of course not while bullets are flying. Where is Sumi's partner? Have they parted ways because of his obsession with solving this case? He's been at it for months so then does that mean the murder count as doubled? Tripled? To what gain? Still no slip ups? Still at the same establishment with sexworkers?

Sun, May 28th, 2023 10:26pm

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