Back at Annica’s office, my liebchen was making concentration difficult. She kept rubbing her foot up and down my leg. My mistress couldn’t see this as her desk was blocking the view. She mused,
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“So the Govam is having us followed, hmm?”
“I’m getting a little fed up of calling him ‘The Govam’ all the time.” I said,
“Don’t we know his real name?”
Janis smiled at me affectionately,
“Oh liebchen, which name would you like? He’s adopted hundreds of them down the centuries, possibly thousands.”
Annica started and cried,
“Mein Gott, Johann – his real name. That’s what the scholars were looking for and why their lives were in danger. His real name will give its owner power over him.”
I tried to push Janis’s foot away from my leg. She was driving me nuts, and asked,
“He said he’s buried somewhere and can only be away from home for short periods. How fast can these buggers travel?”
Apparently fast enough to give us little hope of locating his grave. Scouring half of England looking for funny goings-on in graveyards was beyond our capabilities. We needed a name to begin tracking back along centuries of other names obtained by stealth and deviousness. I sighed,
“Oh crap, even with access to records of births, deaths etcetera it’s impossible.”
“Take heart, Johann.”
“I’d rather take valium.”
“The game’s afoot.”
“Oh hell, mistress, not that again.”
Janis removed her foot from my leg, thank God, and stared at her sister,
“The game’s a what?”
“We need the use of information that will focus on criminal activities.”
“A CRB you mean?”
“Exactly Johann. A small police station will have the necessary access, yes?”
“Erm mistress, you’re planning to walk into a cop-shop and expect them to welcome you with open arms?”
She smiled evilly, the smile slipped when she turned to her sister,
“With the help of my dear sister, yes, that’s what I’m planning.”
I rubbed the back of my neck,
“Hanley nick’s too big, I s’pose Burslem’s your best bet.”
The Burslem cop-shop was situated at the edge of town. We walked in and the sisters worked their magic on the desk sergeant and the only other occupant, a detective constable, DC Banner.
The constable was very useful and under Annica’s persuasion he pulled out a list of cases involving graveyards, usually vandalism, desecration of headstones and so on. Downloaded the files onto a couple of cds for us and we exited main entrance right.
It was two in the morning when I finally came across a file that looked promising. Case notes recounted a report of a really odd incident at a graveyard close to us ten years ago. A body drained of blood had been found in St. Michael’s Church graveyard on the edge of Longton.
The curious thing was that an identical death had occurred fifty years previously and another, fifty years before that.
I scrubbed my face with my hands, the strain of staring at the screen for nearly nine hours was taking its toll. Time for bed, I decided and smiled. Janis of course would be wide awake and waiting for me. She did not sleep in a coffin, that would just be wrong - having sex in a long wooden box I mean. I did want to ask her a very special favour tonight. One that would probably make my mistress explode with fury but if I explained it to her in a calm rational manner – she would surely see the logic behind my request. I shook my head sadly; no she was more likely to go ballistic.
In five hundred years time, most of us will be forgotten dust. But Hitler will still be remembered, God loves irony.