10th February 2022
Prompted by the phrase ‘Street Art’
The street art here brings colour to this part of town. The quality is so high it is like being in a free art gallery. The painting in the alleyway is a tribute to a missing girl. The artist has painted her surrounded by cats. The area has a history of missing felines, so this combination of the missing girl and the cats is very poignant. My name is Detective Peter Forbury, and my job is to find the missing woman.
The forensic technicians have checked the alley and could find nothing other than a few traces of paint. At first, suspicion fell on the street artists, and we have not entirely ruled them out. We questioned the known ones, but the artist painted the cats, and the girl is unknown. I admit I cannot see a way forward in this case at the moment. It’s late, so I retire for the night.
In the morning, I walk past the alleyway on my way to the station. The unknown streets artist has been back, more cats, a dog and another girl. Maybe I am hoping for a piece of divine intervention. Instead, I continue to the station.
The whole place is in a state of controlled mania. Another girl has been reported missing. The reports say witnesses saw her in the same area as the alleyway. There is nothing to connect her to the previous girl other than where people last saw them. I look at the pictures of the latest missing girl, the same as the street art. I grab everyone’s attention and tell them about the art. I order the forensic team to go back and then set off down there myself.
Eight hours later, the forensic team have again come up empty. So has our questioning for everyone around here. I organise an increased amount of street patrols and settle in for a long night of viewing CCTV recordings for the area. Of course, there is no video of the alleyway with the way this case is going. We have images of the girl walking in there, and then nothing. I grab a couple of hours of sleep.
I wake when my boss shouts my name. One of the officers on patrol last night has not returned. I grab a car and race down to the alleyway. As I enter, the hairs on my arm stand up despite the warm morning. Someone has painted the police officer on the wall, just like the girls and an increasing number of dogs and cats. There are even a few rats hidden away behind painted bins and boxes. Tonight, I am going to stay in the alleyway.
It must be about 2.00 am when I spot some movement. A light in the alley, I move in, trying to conceal myself in the shadows. The light is coming from the street art. What I can see is more than light. It is like a fluid flowing into the alleyway, like paint. It moves across the path and over me. I cannot move.
My name is Detective Laura Gillan. The previous detective on this case has disappeared. I am standing in the alleyway he was staking out. The street art is fantastic. It is a memorial to the two girls, the police officer who disappeared here. Dogs and cats surround them. The latest addition is Detective Peter Forbury, who was on patrol here last night.
Copyright: Andrew Miles February 2022