Excerpt for Mild Murders by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


(Prologue of the Death)



(Translated by Metin Anli)

(Edited by Aparajita Sen)

Paper Boats of Poetry Publishing


Paper Boats of Poetry Publishing

Novella Series: 1

Author: Serkan Engin

E-Book Designed by: Serkan Engin

Turkey, September 2016



Night was covering the faces like a black veil. The moon was under the invasion of the black clouds. An amateur gambler's fear of losing in the alleys which cover the houses like an octopus. For the ones who are in a hurry to reach their homes, the angst of a bullet that hadn't yet arrived to it's target. The houses, when you close their doors from inside, warm and safe as a mother's womb, if someone's waiting for you. For those who live alone, home is nothing but the capital of loneliness...

There was no one waiting for him. And at this point, he wasn't waiting for anyone either. When everyone were stuffing their hopes in which they have been carrying around with them to the places they live; he, undressing from the arid climate of his house, wore the black coat of the night...

Hikmet's footsteps were as calm and dedicated as the stitching up of a surgeon. He wouldn't collapse even if he were hit by a cannon ball.

The alleys were reaching to the main street like the streams running down to the sea. Hikmet, suddenly crashed in the mainstreet after turning the corner. He was surprised that he was able to come here this fast.

The avenue was waiting for his hunt like the insect-eating flowers. Versicolour signboards and discount notices..

Pubs and brasseries; in other words the climate of hopelessness, the centers of rehabilitation for the dissapointment, women who were forced to barter their flesh with money occupying spaces in the sidewalk; some elderly, some in their early adulthood, were flowing by Hikmet on both sides. The avenue was gradually falling behind like an old memory. And the more he was taking steps towards the pier, the more adrenalin was pouring in to his blood. Finally, he was on the port side. The sea was beginning like a botomless cliff at the end of his fingertips. At this point for Hikmet, it was either falling down from the balcony of life into the obscurity, or to surrender to this horrible course embittering him.

''Come on my boy Hikmet! This will all end when you take just one more step.''

Hikmet, never moving his feet that have been fixed to the edge of the pier, looked behind moving his waist and neck. He was afraid that he would retract from his decision if he moved back his feet. Was it only the chaos of a city that he left behind? Smelling a bundle of jasmine exploding his lungs out, making love with all the geography of his skin, drinking icy water rattling his teeth, watching film sprawling at the backseat, eating a bagel scrunching and more, they would all fall behind.

''Great surprise! So many things that I would be deprived of from now on...''

Wouldn't the ones that he couldn't do, also the ones he had done be left behind? He wouldn't be able to watch sunset on top of the Nemrut mountain; go fishing with the Laz crate; learn to make jug from the clay and speaking French. The possibility for realising all those wishes would have been drowned with him in the sea.

He turned his face towards the sea. It wasn't possible for anyone to distinguish where the sea ended and the sky began. Hikmet wouldn't meet the sun which would take down the reign of darkness. He shouldn't have done it. Think for a second Hikmet! Who knows what this sea harbours in her chest. How many fishes, oysters and moss...How much sand, wracked boat and lots of others.. Certainly there's space for you between them..

''Actually, sea is the universal cluster. You know, the one which is to be shown

at the courses in mathematics, comprising everything. The sea is the sub-cluster of the World Hikmet..It comprises all of us.. Oh! What am I thinking?..

''To hell with it. I will throw myself into the sea and it will all be over soon.''

He reached in to his pocket and took out his lighter. There was about a half pack of cigars. Slowly he took one out from the packet and put it on his lips with utmost care, and then lighted it up. He inhaled with such a desire and joy as if he hadn't smoked for days. You could say that it was a ritual.

He lifted the lighter that he was still holding in his hand with respect, then he caressed it with his eyes; it was a gift from Sibel.

Sibel was a tall, plump and cheerfull girl. Straightforward and candid.. She would take a stand against the pain like the Chinese Wall; hope would have flourished where she touched.

For a period, Sibel was the only thing that he thought about. His heart would have beaten speedily when Sibel's hands dissapeared in his palms. Sibel's eyes would have bounced like a timid gazelle, in the steppes of Hikmet's face.

Once upon a time Sibel had stabbed Love like a switchblade into his heart. But a huge love had been toppled like a plane tree, because of the unnecessary jealousy of Hikmet.

''How many years have passed since we broke up? I wonder if she still remembers. At least if I could have just hugged her one last time.''

He kissed and caressed the lighter. Then he put it int his pocket, like putting a baby to bed. One drop of tear escaped from his eye. ''Come on boy, Hikmet, a little bit of courage. You will hit the bottom of the sea and it will all be over...There's no other way Hikmet. Let's do it. Come on...''

He straightened up slightly after slightly leaning frontward upon his feet fixed to the front of the pier.'

'So what happened!? You were swaggering at home. You were talking big, weren't you. Huh? You don't have the courage, do you!?''

''I will make it buddy! I will end this...''

Even though he made a little move the fear drew him back from the neck. ''Come on buddy throw yourself! Do it!''

''I can't do it.''

''Of course you can, you coward dog''

''What if God exists?.. ''

''That's a fine kettle of fish. All of a sudden you came around?..''

''What if ...God exists?.. How can I confront him like this?''

''You dog! You coward asshole! Throw yourself!''

''Shut up now!''

''You shut up and throw yourself into the sea.''

''I can't.''

'' You should.''

''I can't, I can't.''

He shouted out loud stabled to the front of the pier, cracking his veins: ''This has to come to an end...''


2 Months Ago:

''Welcome, officer Cemal.''

''What is it? Why did you call me this late!?''

''There is a body found. Chief Ofiicer wanted us to go to the legal medicine and see it.''

''Ok, let's go.''

They left the Police Station and got into the car. Ümit had got behind the wheel. It was nightime. Stars nvaded the sky like a barbarian tribe. The moon was exhibiting it's every detail, in the manner of a stripper.

The city was flowing on both sides of the car. Children who sheltered in the cashpoint cabin caught Cemal's eye. They were the wasted of life. These violence breastfed children were trying to sleep by silencing the hatred that came out of their hearts and disturbed their sleep.

They never spoke along the way. Cemal was deadly brokenhearted to Ümit. In fact he couldn't admit the truth. He loved Umit like his brother. Now he could never believe. How could someone's brother be a homosexual ? Especially Ümit...A sturdy young man. This wasn't a burden that Cemal could bare. He wished this was a nightmare that will disappear when he woke up.

Umit was a calm and naive young man. He had been interested in men ever since he could remember, and even though he didn't get any pleasure from it, he floated around with girls in order to be seen as heterosexual by the others. He revealed his sexual identity to Cemal, to be able to live the freedom of englightening his condition to one of his closest friends in this world. He'd rather not to..

Cemal had turned into a bull which had seen a red pelerine, and disbanded the table in front of him. He madly punched the walls, cursed Umit.

Cemal was a nervous man. You know, like those whose anger was a flash in the pan. But this time his anger neverending. That night he wandered around the house like a ghost, out of misery. As if walking in his coffin, he was feeling depressed. Then he drank until he forgot his name and started crying for the first time since his childhood....

They arrived at their destination. Parking the car, they entered the legal medicine. Turning the corner they headed for the morgue downstairs.

''Hi brother Ahmet.''

''Welcome Cemal.''

''How are you brother.''

''Fine thanks.''

''We came to see the new corpse that came in.''

''Ok, come with me''

Passing a dark, narrow corridor, they reached a large room. The room looked like a mushroom field: A bunch of stretchers and corpses covered with white sheets...This was the introduction of cemetery.

Ahmet headed towards a stretcher in the middle of the room. When he lifted up the sheet that covered the corpse, Cemal and Ümit jumped one step back, startled. The corpse was beheaded. His neck had been improperly cut-off from where his shoulders started. There were large bruises and cigarette burns on the corpse. On his back, there was an inscription carved by a cutting equipment from his spinal column to his neck.

'Which silkroad multiplies sequence of letters.'

''As you can see Cemal, they have badly worned out the man. He had been brutally tortured. Almost all of his bones have been broken with a hammer-like equipment, lots of cigarettes had been put out on him and he was slaughtered like a sheep.'' ''What the hell is this ?. I've never seen anything like this before. Have they found his head?''


''Please turn the corpse over brother Ahmet.'' said Umit. ''Let's see the front side.''

''Why!? Do you want to see his prick?'' Cemal asked, adding his most humiliating stare to his words. This was the first time that Ümit was so angry with Cemal. He could understand his lack of acceptance of his condition, but his humiliating attitude got Ümit mad. Despite that, he remained silent. He prevented his anger to come out of his lips.

''Let's turn it over brother Ahmet'' said Cemal, ignoring Umit's stares

that were directed at him like a barrel of a gun.

Ahmet turned the corpse over. The front was as much dmaged as the back. And in the middle of his chest, a huge K was carved with a cutting equipment.

''We will have to struggle a lot on this case.'' Cemal murmured.

''Ok brother Ahmet. You can cover it up...When will your report be ready?''

''I'll finish it by tomorrow morning.''

''Ok brother, take it easy.''

''Thanks, you too.''

Cemal in front, Ümit one step back, passed through the mushroom field elegantly. They rapidly climbed the stairs with more shivers than before, in the dark corridor.

Ümit set behind the steering wheel again. They did not speak along the way a. Both of them were totally confused. They were thinking of each other and of the corpse

When they came in front of Cemal's house, two anxious hearts approached the upper floor window. A pair of half bashful half worried eyes turned back, after caressing Cemal in the car.

When the car stopped, not even looking at his face, Cemal said ''Everything that you find should be ready by morning'', and turning his back went downstairs, ignoring Ümit's answer ''As you command.''

When he looked up to the house-owner's window, the face that was stuck on the window pulled back.

As soon as he opened the door, he lit the corridor's light and headed for the kitchen.

Taking a beer bottle out of the refrigirator he took a huge sip, and headed for the living room with the bottle in his hand. He lit the table lamp which had a photo right underneath, and sank into the arm-chair.

In the room only the photo was lit, everything else was in the dark. He fixed his eyes on the photo. The photo slowly came out of the constraints of it's frame and spread through the room. And slowly caressed Cemal's memories.

It was the picture of a beautiful young girl. Her skin was the most innocent caase of white; her hair the reddest tone of lust... A handful of frickles spread out under her eyes. And her badly hazel eyes...

After finishing couple of beers and turning the room into a nicotine empire he went to bed and dived into the black waters of sleep.


In the morning, he woke up surprised that he opened his eyes in his own house as always. he had moved into this house years ago, and still couldn't believe that he was no longer in the sock and pee smelling dormitory of the orphanage.

Cemal had no one else but his loneliness. He neither knew his mother who left him at the door of the orphanage, nor his non-identifiable father. His oldest memories were the ruthless beating sessions of the manager.

His eyes were opened with fear every morning at the orphanage. Especially when he wetted his bed...his breakfast was nothing else but the brutal slaps on his face. He deeply missed his bed during the day which passed like a storm of violence.

When he went into the chest of his bed, his eyes closed to the dream of his home, and the longing for non-beating parents. He made his bed morphine, when the night breast-fedhis dreams.

He'd rather have a mom who would fondle his hair. ..A father who would swing him on the swing...When he was for hungry for compassion he would give a big embrace his dear mother; and take refuge in his father's chest when he was thirsty for security. Why was he a destitute ? Why did he have this heavy-weight loneliness? He still asked this to himself. When he asked, his anger exploded like a molotov cocktail in his chest cage...

The door-bell rang as he just washed his face. When he opened the door, Jale was in front of him with pre-rehersed smile.

Jale extended the plate full of pie as she said ''Good Morning'':

''I made cheese pie...I know you love it, so I brought one plate..''

''Thank you. It was a burden for you.''

''What burden for god's sake. Well...We wondered about you when you went away and didn't come back for a while...''

''Is that so? We needed to go to the legal medicine last night.''

''Well...Bon appetite.''

She attached the pre-rehersed smile on her face again. She started consuming the staircases while Cemal was slowly closing the door.

Jale and Jülide were two sisters. It was quite a while that both of them passed their forties. Even though that they were both in love with Cemal, they both tried to hide it from eachother and at the same time secretely competed. The only thing that made them forget the fact that they have missed life, was to embrace the hope of Cemal could love them.

The sisters’ flirting was a cure for the bleeding points of his self-esteem. Cemal neither gave them hope, nor did he burnthe ships... This was a pretty hide and seek game for him.

He watered his flowers carefully after crowning his breakfast with Jale's delicious cheese pie. He caressed all of them one by one and spoke to them. And then saying farewell to his house, he got on the way to the Police Station...

When he reached the center and approached the murder desk an extraordianry surprise met Cemal. The corpse that was found last night had become the celebrity of media and this situation drew the attention of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Umit welcomed Cemal saying ''Good Morning Chief'', -this time for the sake of formality- lightly standing up from his chair. Cemal sat on his desk with a reluctant response. As he just lit his cigarette, his brewed tea with three sugars caught up, as usual.

''Well...chief'', murmured Ümit. It was unusual that Ümit presented the case evaluation before Cemal finished his first tea. But this time it was different.

''The corpse that have been found last night is on the first page of every journal. The public is in panic. Minister of Interior Affairs, personally gave a call and gave special order for the suspects to be found.''

''Have you identified the corpse?''

''Yes we got the identity by scanning the fingerprints. His name is Ziya Semerci. He is a hard-boiled drug-dealer known as broken Ziya.He got caught twice for drug dealing and he has three records for wounding. When he was in prison for his last case, he was discharged benefiting the pardon.

''Drug-dealer ha? Where was the body found?''

''Found in an empty field all nude. His head is still missing. According to legal medicine' report, the victim was dead for twenty-four hours at the time he was found. The inscriptions on his chest and back were carved with a knife, the seventy percent of his bones were broken by hammer and one more thing which is absolute is that he was beheaded by a rusty wood-saw... But there isn't anything that would identify the DNA of the murderer.''

''Now you go and collect as much information about this guy called Broken Ziya. Find out who he was working for and who his friends and enemies were.

''Understood chief. With your permisssion.''

As he Ümit was leaving, Ceml was lighting his new cigarette. The İnside of his head was as untidy as a bachelor's room.

''What the hell is this.'' he said to himself. ''Even if I thought that it was the execution of the drug mafia aiming to misdirect from the target, I still don't think that they would be so creative... I wonder if it is the revenge of the wounding incidents? What the hell does this 'Which silkroad multiplies the series of letters' 'Is it a puzzle or what?'' Puff, looks like we're gonna struggle a lot...Ok but why is the head missing!?!!

Cemal pushed the series of questions to the most isolated corner of his mind.

He headed to the kiosque to buy a new packet of cigarettes that gave it's breath.

Downstairs, when he was passing by the theft desk his attention was caught by the hand-cuffed youngster standing in the middle of two uniformed policemen. He was good-looking and probably a university boy. The young man was continiously smiling to himself with an ironic expression on his face and nodding his head slightly on both sides. Cemal approched them unable to suppress his curiosity.

''What's his guilt? he asked to one of the uniformed guys.''

''Chief, he had stolen some books from Tüyap book fair.''

Cemal had an eye contact with the young man. He was stuck in between laughing histerically and crying and weeping.

''Boy are you an idiot!? Are books stolen in this country? Go and rob a bank, avoid taxes or conspire to rig the bid. How come you are so stupid to get nailed for stealing books!?''

The young man responded with a certain smile on his face, by nodding his head sweetly up and down.

Leaving the Station, Cemal left the softest place of his conscience hung on the eyelids of young man.

As he just turned the corner of the street, a hand and a man behind it, stopped Cemal by pressing his hand on his chest in a polite and decisive manner. His clothes were untidy but clean, about sixty-sixty five yers old, his eyes the busiest avenue of his face.

''Hey boy! Let's applaude the brave boys who steals books from Tüya with a laughter derived from sorrow. Even though Turkey doesn't know how to be proud of them, I am proud of each one of them...'' And then attaching a huge and insistant question mark to Cemal's mind dissapeared from sight in the crowd, gliding like a sword-fish. Cemal sttod looking behind the old man like conned southwest fish.

''Boy, did he read my mind !.''


Rain was spilling out on the pavements. Copper clouds were dancing slowly...

Ümit woke up with his mother's carress on his head. From his dear mother's eyes, the most timid brooke of compassion was flowing on this face. Miss Nebiye had already made her prayers and preapared the breakfast.

''Come on my son, tea is ready.''

''Hımm, ok mom.''

Mister İbrahim, had already got his place at the table. The stressed eyebrows hiding the soft corners of his heart had their shift on the north of his face. Even his wife for 40 years Miss Nebiye couldn't see that he laughed bass-baritone. Maybe he smiled a little...When their son was born.

According to Mister İbrahim, a father figure had to be hard. Because he was the king in this small monarchy which he called ''my family''. His frowning eyebrows and his voice in a high decibel were the shields of this ruling power. After washing and shaving his face, Ümit walked towards the desk with sleepy steps.

''Good morning father.''

''Good morning'' murmured the father, not caring to look at Ümit by lifting his eyes from the egg that he was peeling.

Miss Nuriye put the teapot on the table. The teapot was sleepyly murmuring it's vapour. The silent air in the room which expanded with the vapour was forcing the windows. Ümit wanted to hit his heart to the street...

Like every other morning, he kissed his mother's hands that looked like crippled paper and he went flying down the steps, leaving behind the murmuring prayers. He confronted the rain outside the door. He looked to the sky, pulling his head up.

Sky put little rain kisses on his face. His heart was like a butterfly which came out from it's cone. Now was the time to fly with the infinite motion of life...

He threw a bashfull gaze on the window of the house on the other side from under his eyebrows when he was opening the door of his car. The sunscreens were not yet opened to the day. The rooms had not started yet to unburden themselves to the city.

Was Zafer awake?... What kind of an expression would be on his face while he was sleeping. All his gazes passed by the windows exterior but his heartbeat in the house for a few seconds.

He hit the road to the Station. He put a cassette on the car's stereo. The city was trying to reach life's speed. The shutters were opening with rusty noises; the shopwindows were putting on their bright masks with anxiety. The garbage man was sweeping off the tired memories of the night. The sparrows which were afraid of the copper shield of the sky, were hiding the fears under the roofs that were not fitting into their little hearts, postponing to fly.

People were trying to catch buses and fairyboats, dragging their frowning-faces with themselves. Everybody was anxious to open a space, in accordance to their volume. Their anxious footsteps were blending with each other. Nobody was able to catch-up with him. Ümit was someone who ended the mission that he started.

He had solved every case that he had taken so far, yet he couldn't have the smallest clue about Broken Ziya's murderer. He had wandered around every place that Ziya frequently visited, made a search for every possible friend and enemy. They couldn't gather any information no matter who they questioned.

All of a sudden, Ziya had dissapeared. His family never got worried. They were used to Ziya's not coming home for days. When he made good money, he ran to the whorehouses and then he ended up in the gambling places in the vicinity. When he came back, he would compensatre for the pain of losing, by hitting his wife and children. Everyday the hatred of his family towards Ziya got bigger, but they were obedient to him because of helplessness. Ziya was a life preserver made of fire in the middle of an ocean of hopelessness. Ziya's wife Selma would compensate for the pain by her skin and insistently filter hope from dispair

Ziya would carelessly roll cigars and get high in front of his children. At times he would he would even use his nine year old boy as a courrier, saying 'He's jut a kid, he wouldn't draw suspicion.'' At such times Selma found herself one step away from murder. She would have cut Ziya into pieces with a bread knife if only her courage didn't fall short.

Because of all that Selma never got sad, when she went to the juridical medicine for identification of the body.When she saw the coldnees of death on Ziya's flesh, all of a sudden the firework show started in her eyes. She hardly supressed the steps of the gazelle that went down near the lake to drink water. She got scared that the people around would hear the happiness knocking on the door of her heart.

She never turned back to look while she was leaving the morgue. Now Ziya was a nightmare marathon that had been completed...

As soon as the Police Station had come to sight, Ümit's heartwings had been torn off.

He was feeling embarassed to face Cemal because he couldn't find any clue about Broken Ziya's murder. Whenever he saw Cemal Ümit's neck had written İtalics in every language. While he was climbing up the stairs, he passed through the crowds, which increased insistently. The handcuffs were living the metal tiredness. The typewriter buttons were doing overtime to be able to catch up the records.

As soon as Ümit enterd to the office and sat down, Cemal appeared. They shared a cold hello reluctantly. A stubborn and transparent wall was still standing between them.

Cemal put the cigarette in his mouth like a gun barrell. His fresh brewed tea accompanied the dance of the smoke with the anxiety of a latecomer cavalier.

The rain that was cold outside and wanted to embrace the room's warmth, was knocking on the window and asking permission for entry.

'Which silkroad multiplies series of letter.'' ...This sentence coiled in Cemal's mind like a leach. Cemal was the locomotive of the murder table.

He had solved many cases that looked impossible, and cuffed so many murderer's ankles. Nonetheless they couldn't get even the smallest clue this time to save appereances.

While looking at other cases, the obscurity of the beheaded murder was working like a mechanical clock at a corner of his mind.

Guilt was ahead of Punishment on the streets, with its holiday dresses. Unresolvedness was providing the spread of the fear like ebola virus rather than the interest and curiosity would diminish after the murder being covered on the media. Death cringed upon the whispers among public. He said to himself 'The insiders in the corner must be shaken one more time' looking at the cigarette butts resemebling a communal cemetery in the ashtray.

A bunch of birds were flapping their wings in Jale's spirit cage. The kitchen became narrow for her enthusiasm. Cemal was coming to dine that night. While Jale was busy with preparing to put her favourite dishes on the menu, Julide was also trying to squeeze in her favorites. Saying 'Cemal loves this more' they struggled a great deal, trying to put their favored dishes on top of the list. Pretending that they don't understand each others intentions was increasing the suspense. As time passed by the shape of all the objects on the counter started creating erotic connotations. Finally Jale got decisive. She had to whisper her desires to Cemal when she found the right time. Her libido supressed her pride at the end.

Two sisters were embrodiering the table like a canvas. Whatever they added to the table, there were still something missing. The guest cutleries were arranged perfectly; the salads and appetizers were competing with each other....Cemal left the office.

His feet found the way automatically and he went down the stairs.

Suddenly he found himself in the front yard and the question marks in his mind totally dispersed. He thought of walking a little. All day long he was imprisoned indoors like a lion in it's cage. Evening was just beginning. Darkness was woven on the city like spider's web. The street lamps were illuminating the tiredness on the faces of those who were just leaving their offices.

The metal lightning bugs were passing by the pavements, buzzing. The sorrow was getting much bigger in the beer houses. The season left the parks disabled. The parks where ghettos of green were pressed between the concrete giants.

Sometimes life stops while passing, in the middle of the untidy symphony of the city...Swings knew silence by heart. The teetertotters couldn't find their balances for a long while. The ravens which were suppressing the nakedness of branches were agitating each other to prove Hitchcock right.

The cold breath of concrete's covering zone was expanding on the green space. The more humanbeing's ego was fed, the more hungry it got...Cemal was strolling along the streets like a letter that has forgotten it's adress. His feet became like stone as he was passing by the district market. The vision that he encountered hit his face like a slap. Immediately a short autobiographical documentary had been released in his brain: He found himself in his primary school's garden, with his big uniform, bought intentionally two size bigger to be worn in the future.

Children flew away like sparrows and there was the fatherly image of teacher Kenan. Teacher Kenan passed by Cemal'ss childhood with a warm smile.

And he just touched on the shoulder of his black uniform. Cemal was a motherless child and a heavyweight orphan.

They would carry their orphanage with them from the house to school with a group of his friends.

Other children certainly knew this terrible loneliness and ruthlessly bled those open wounds with scoffing razor laughs. There was only teacher Kenan...It was only him that Cemal had compassion from. It was only him who fondled his head when he solved a difficılt mathematical problem at the blackboard.

Cemal wouldn't be that happy even if the prune that he loved very much would sour his mouth; neither he would go to the cinema where he made his neck ache by looking at the movie posters that he passed by holding his breath. The pleasure of riding a bicycle should be something like this. The memories that was covered with chalk dust had been exploded like flashlight in Cemal's memory. He found himeslf again in the untidyness of the district market.

There was a rusty drill whirling in his heart: the retired teacher Kenan Dülger was collecting crushed fruits... Not knowing what to do, Cemal stood there paralyzed.

He thought maybe the teacher would have rememebered him, because he helped him to enter Police Academy...He would rather not show up to him for preventing from his pride be hurt. But how would, coming near and pretending not seeing him and helping him, be explained with his desire of paying the bill. Cemal's feet went to right and left. He threw himself to the side street. He felt like a runaway soldier at wartime. Should he go back? He walked to the mainstreet with this fire of duality. The concrete giants lookeed taller. It seemed as if the absence of humans were increased per squaremeter. The avenue covered him like a Tsunami.

Then, from the crowd, the same decisive and gentle hand found him and pressed on his chest. Cemal put his head up surprised and looked at the owner of the hand. It was him. But this time his eyes were like a lullaby: ''Hey kid! Never enter the black seas of melancholy; beware of the blackhole of hopelesssness! Even if life had destroyed your life like a robbed bank, never forget: ' Hope is most suitable for us'...Never forget boy! Beware of yourself....'' Swirling like a lark, he dissapeared into the crowd.

Cemal stood looking behind the old man, looking like sun flowers turning their faces to the sun. He got on the first taxi that he saw. The further the car drove away, the nearer approached the bitter image in his brain. As soon as he entered the neighbourhood, he remembered that he was invited to dinner tonight. He got off the taxi at the beginning of the street and lit a cigarette. He wanted to pull himself together before he went to the landlords. The sisters would be offended from the bitter expression on his face. There was no other way than postponing the sorrow.

The doorbell which thought of itself a canary rang with a feeble voice. Julide popped out from the kitchen and Jale from the livingroom and headed to the door.

Julide with a swirling body attack, succeseeded to pass Jalle and opened the door.

He met Cemal with the spring joy of a univeristy student, saying ''Welcome dear, come inside''.

''Hello, thank you...''

He entered inside by organizing his mimics to smiles as much as he could, but at this moment, it was a torture for him to look happy. His eyes were exposing his endless sorrow. Jale said, ''Hello Cemal, welcome'', the waves in her voice struck on Cemal's face. Just like Jülide, she also realized Cemal's attempt to cover his restlessness with a smile unskilfully fictionalized.

''Hello Jale.'' ''Why do you look unhappy!?''

''Nothing important...I seem to come across something that bothered me that's all...Whatever... Let's see what kind of goodies have you prepared for me?..''

''Come and see for yourself.''

They all passed to the living room as Cemal was a bit confronted.

''Oh I'd say that only milk and honey is missing at the table, but definitely they are waiting their turn in the kitchen.''

''Come on we've done some bits and pieces that's all'' said Jale while giggling.

Then the parade of the food carnaval started on the table. Both sisters pushed the appetizers and food they have prepared to Cemal's nose like a ultimatum, underlining who prepared what. They had sweet conversation; generaly on ordinary issues; heavy matters had been slightly touched. Small and big laughters gad about in the living room . The cuttlery became tired from heavy work. Then the first after dinner cigarettes were lit. Jale quickly smoked hers and ran to the kitchen toı prepare the coffees. She knew that in a while Cemal would go to the bathroom to brush his teeth as always. Cemal was one of those who wouldn't feel comfortable if he didn' brush his teeth after meals. For this reason a spare toohbrush was ready in the sisters’ bathroom to be used at dinner invitations...Sometimes sisters had erotic dreams with Cemal's toothbrush in their mouths, trying not to get caught by each other. Cemal's going into the bathroom was an opportunity for Jale not to be missed. At that instant she could slowly draw him to the kitchen and whisper to eat the forbidden fruit. She was terribly excited. She hardly put the water, coffee and sugar in the pot. On the one hand she couldn't believe what she was going to do, and on the other she couldn't help herslef doing it. Her heart leaped to her mouth when she heard Cemal's footsteps. There was an adrenalin conquest to all her veins. Her ears started wuthering, her knees trembling. She whispered ''Come here a bit'' as Cemal was passing by the kitchen, by trying to avoid Jülide from hearing it.

Jülide noticed the situation yet she tried to ignore. She already got suspicious when Jale ran to the kitchen to make the coffee. There was something strange with Jale all day long anyway. She should have been definitely hanging on Cemal in the kitchen at this instant. She eliminated Jülide. Nervously she started to bend her fork, meshing her teeth. She have missed it again...Cemal was startled like a compass that lost it's north while he left the kitchen and headed for the bathroom. As if he was walking on the water. He put his hands on the sink. He was afraid of meeting of the expression on his face if he put his head up. He didn't know what to find there. Trying to avoid eye contact with himself, he brushed his teeth. While Jülide started lighting her cigarette with nervous movements, Jale brought the coffees. Right afterwards Cemal enterd the livingroom and sat down. There was a little Bermuda Triangle established at the table. Only the noise of coffee sips were heard. A sneaky silence was wandering around the table like a flock of vultures. After the coffee, Cemal asked for permission and left for home.

The Sisters’ home turned into an empty coffin again...

Cemal had already digested his dinner since a long time, and drank half of the wine bottle. He had turned over the picture of the red headed girl at the table. He put a jazz album on the stereo. He knew pretty well that jazz was the best to call out to the night. His head and heart were mixed like half used woollen balls that were forgotten in the corner of the drawer.

Cemal was afraid of untying himself. He was a leaf now, which was being dragged in the wild waters of his libido babbling like the Çoruh River. He was waiting for Jale like a seed that was ready to burst out. Outside night was being performed like a cheap vaudeville on the stage that was called the city. Jale pulled the door of their flat slowly not to wake her sister up.

She started going downstairs, carresing the stairs with her fingertips. Her heart was a self-performing drum with a lopsided rythm, and her lungs was an old accordion that was trying to accompany a rock group.

Her hips would have cracked the thermometers at this moment. She was tasting her skin in the form of lust. She was a bullet that had left the barrell. When she reached Cemal's door, she came face to face with the lust that was hidden and chained in a corner. First she gulped, and then took a deep breath. As her meaty hand was pressing on the door bell, waving like a flag, she anxiously controlled her left hand to see if she had taken the vaseline that she was already holding tightly. Jale rang the door of courage...

The clouds in in their black uniform were positioned in the sky like the execution team. They were pouring out rain bullets on the city with their automatic rifles. The city was looking for a place to run away. Cemal's car was moving on the asphalt sheltering just against the rain flood. The capacity of the wiper was insufficient to wipe away the drops covering the windscreen. The car had overflooded outside the city. İt exceeded the worry limits of the vacant corners. This was the blue boy of isolation.

A little further a police team came into sight, in a place near the edge of the road. The eyes were directed at him when he reached them and parked the car.

Cemal gott off the car in slow motion and headaded towards

a new knot with iron steps. There was a beheaded body between the Research team and Ümit's group. The prosecutor was not there yet. ''Hello chief''


''When was it found?''

''Around eight o'clock in the morning...One of the inhabitants in the collective housing had seen him when he was morning jogging..''

''What do we have in our hands?''

''No clue yet. The team is continuing the research.'' It was a short and brunette male body lying.

''He was badly beheaded, had bruises and lots of cigarette burns. An inscription has been carved from his sacrum to his neck:

''A horse-drawn carriage like a suicidal black rising to the sky with it's horses'' In the middle of his chest cage, there was a slightly bigger E ''This is getting complicated'' he thought.

His cigarette's smoke was blending with the smoky air of Cemal's mind. He was stuck in the folders in front of him. He reluctantly lifted his face up when he heard Ümit calling.

''Chief, we identified the newly beheaded corpse. He also had criminal record. His name is Adnan Çeltik. One of the old hitmen known as Kotik Adnan. He is a legend among the triggermen. He was caught and imprisoned after his last job. He was discharged afer the last pardon.''

''Did you say pardon?'' ''Yes chief interesting, ain't it?'' ''Whatever, carry on!''

''According to the the legal medicine's report, it had become certain that the murder was not an imitation. The beheading saw, the bone braking hammer and the knife that has been used were the same with the first corpse.''

''A DNA sample that belongs to the killer?''

''Unfortunately no trace...With your permission I will start to make a detailed research on Kotik Adnan.''

''Ok. Learn specifically if there's any relation between Broken Ziya and him.''

''As you command...With your permission.'

The small match flames in Cemal's mind were beginng to organise towards a torch...

Evening leaned on the city's door like a sequestrator. The dark, dirty blood circling in city's veins. The city was boiling inside, grumbling. Unemployment and hopelessness became greasy ropes around people's throats. Untying the losers of their hearts from life's piers, most parents desired to sail on the open seas of death. It wasn't easy to return home empty handed and with their heads down...To see oneself like a hunchback on the ridge of life...In brief, as if there was not enough trouble, this beheading nightmare had started. Everone was looking at each other with suspicion. Maybe the murderer was the person sitting next to you on the bus. Maybe you were buying bread from the same bakery, or working in the same place. Suspicion was wandering around like a dirty whisper in the heart of dark corridors of the city. Ümit was wandering in his car, splitting the suspicion that was spread on the city like fog. Another busy day was over. He was feeling dejected for not finding any significant clue of Kotik Adnan's murder, despite his efforts for days. Kotik Adnan had lived alone. Never married. Never got in touchh with her mother at his birthplace. He had few friends and a lot of enemies... But Ümit never found a tie between the enemies and murder. He too had dissapeared suddenly like Ziya.

His acquaintainces in the coffee-shop that he frequently visited got suspicious of his absence. Despite of all his efforts, Ümit never managed to find a relation ship between broken Ziya and Kotik Adnan. He didn't want to think of anything tonight. He only wanted to go to a ''gay bar'', drink and get high. Of course, not forgetting to chew a mint gum to suppress the smell of alcohol and avoid being noticed at home

He parked his car on a street that was close to the avenue. The paviours immediately showed up for their tribute which was disguised as parking fee. But they dissapeared as soon as they saw Ümit. Because most of them had criminal records and knew who Ümit was. Ümit rushed into the bar where he spent time before. As soon as he stepped inside, he felt himself as light as a sparrow escaped from it's cage. These places were like oxygen tents for people like him. These were places that he got rid of the ''painted bird'' syndrome and experienced the partial freedom of being with people like him. When coming in and out he never was never afraid of getting caught by his acquaintences. He would get away with it by using his profession - saying that he was here on duty. He silently sat at the bar. It was just getting crowded. At the same hour, Cemal had already brewed his tea after his dinner, and was getting lazy in front of the television. He wasn't into what was on T.V. at all. How could he be anyway: A bunch of robbers, black money man and the like, were showing up on every channel. He got bored and turned off the television. Lighting a cigarette he walked around the house. He was feeling depressed. He opened the wine bottle, sat down at the table, made eye contact with the young girl in the photo for a while. Their love lasted for such a short time - like a haiku, yet so dense. Or Cemal thought so, or wanted it to be. This redheaded girl was the secret subject of his life. Now Cemal never knew, how he would add the possesive suffix to love? ''Girl you just threw away my heart like a cigarette butt !...''

Sneaky clouds had established a dictatorship in the sky. Gloom was slowly dropping onto the city. The city was moving towards the night by stepping on the heavy words...

Cemal had directed his glances outside the office window but he only saw the question marks in his head. His cigarette smoke directed his head towards a summit of a foggy mountain. Cemal never had a suspicion anymore - ; The beheaded murders were made by a serial killer.

But the murderer's identity was so obscure as a sentence not yet constructed. The only common thing in both murders was both victims had benefitted from pardon. Cemal had never been scolded by his superiors since his graduation from the academy and he was never been under such a pressure in his whole carreer.. With the discovery of the second corpse, the interest of media and public had got bigger. Cemal was like a helpless cavy trying to find it's way in the labrynth. Every road ended at a dumb wall.

''Then what is he trying to say with the carved inscriptions on the corpses?'' he thought. ''Which silkroad multiplies the letter series...With the horse drawn carriages...''

Additionally there are K and E letters. Is he playing a game with us or what?''. He will go on with killing unless he got caught. But why?...''

He sank at his table like an army that have been defeated. He got even with the pain his helpleesness by crushing his cigarette butt like a bud.

''Sooner or later you will make a mistake. Then you will be introduced to my handcuffs.''

Ümit's heart was fluttering like a sparrow that was trapped. He was longing to reach the house by driving the car as if he was in dream. His mother had never called the Station before. For tthe first time she asked him to come as early as possible, but never told the reason.Saying ''Not on the telephone. We''ll talk tonight.'' left ümit in curiousity. Ümit suddenly thought that it was about his father. Was it that his father got sick and his mother didn't want to tell him on the phone, not wanting to worry him...Ümit had turned into an anxiety ball... He stood by the door after parking the car infront of the house casually. He rang the bell insistently.

''Welcome son.'' ''What's up mother. Is there anything wrong with my father?''

His mother caressed the cheek of his son, smiling. ''No dear no. Come inside then we talk.''

They passed to the livingroom together. Mister İbrahim was on the seat of honour as usual.

''Good evening dad.''

''Good evening. Come and sit by my side.''

Ümit had really got suspicious. His father had never talked to him in person unless there was a very important subject.

''There's something important İ want to talk to you about..Ee, you have really grown up.The time has come for a marriage.''

Instantly Ümit's blood pressure dramatically increased. The colour in his face flew away like a bird escaping from his cage.

He was always afraid of this and now it was inescapably in front of him.

''We want you to get married while we're around. We are longing to see our grand children...''

Ümit was like in a press. He was listening to his father in agony.

''You know your mother's adopted maid Aunt Hamiyet. She has a niece. A girl called Emine, who is very honest and religious. She just graduated from the İmam Hatip...''

Ümit didn't want to hear the rest but he was helpless like a fly got caught in the spider's web.

''What I'm saying is that your mother went to girl's house to see her. She liked her a lot. She is beautiful and well- mannered. We shall go as soon as possible to make an agreement.'' There was a brief silence. Mister İbrahim got his stares on the pupil of Ümit's eyes with the order of his approval.

''Whatever you think is fit.'' mumbled Ümit...

Saying ''With your permission'', he repaired to his room, dragging his despair like a chain at his feet.

His mother followed him to his room. ''Look son, this is the picture of the girl...How do you find her? Beautiful isn't she?'' Ümit looked at the picture reluctantly.

''Yes, beautiful.'' ''Don’t you like her? '' No, no. She is nice.''

His mother went back to the room a little worried. Ümit stayed back with his troubles that was accumulated like lava inside him. He wanted to scram like crazy on the street ''I'm a faggot goddamn, I'm a faggot!''

Cemal was searching the radio channel that suited his mood. In many frequencies when he heard the crazy show host speaking Turkish with New York accent and he couldn't help saying ''American slimmies! Smart asses!''

Then he he met ''Apprentice of the Repairman'' in a channel. His nerves that were strained like a bow got relaxed. It was like seing an old friend. All of a sudden 70's got down from the dusty shelves of his mind.

He dived into his adolescent memories: When he was in the first grade, he and his friend Mehmet had skipped school on a warm spring day. It was the most naughty day of Cemal's small biography. For the first time he had eaten a great bowl of ice cream that looked like the peak of a mountain. It was offered by Mehmet of course. Because he had a father and accordingly pocket money too.

In the afternoon, they had sat in the tea garden. How nice was it to drink tea, looking at the sea... In a while, two young men at the next table got Cemal's attention. He never understood what they were talking about. They were giggling sweetly at times. One asked the other ''Where are you from?''. And the other answered ''I'm a union man.'' They had burst out laughing. Cemal was startled with the question in his mind about where does union belong to... He realized years after..

He went to the kitchen pulling away from old memories. He returned to the livingroom after opening a beer bottle from the refrigerator. All of a sudden he realized his loneliness in the middle of the night. He was a purple button attached to loneliness. Turning off the radio he put on a ballad album on the stereo. And then sank into his armchair, and became like a bucket that was put down in the well.

Cemal woke up startled, opening his eyes in his own home. And the sorrow of waking up alone in his bed started giving big pain somewhere inside. Gamze passed by his heart as usual.

That brunette girl in the picture...The clogged longing in his heart spread out naughty confettis on the vision of Gamze in her wedding dress. He got up reluctantly. He went to the kitchen and boiled water for tea. Then, washing his face, started shaving. He was again bleeding in A Rh positive today, with his suicidal imitation of shaving

When he went out the bathroom, he lit his first cigarette without waiting for the tea. . Because his lungs that challenged cancer with laughters, were shouting out 'Carpe Diem' impatiently. In the barrel of his package, three cigarettes were left. As he inhaled a deep breath, the doorbell rang. For a long time the doorbell was not to be heard in his home. Cemal found Jale at the treshold when he opened the door. Jale obviously came early with her nice sporty outfits, nicely done make up and with a plate in her hands full of fresh pies. Said ''Good morning Cemal'' hiding her longing that was e flowing out of the pupils of her eyes. She wasn't able to hide the sweet shyness that was left from the time that they spent last night.

''Good morning. Wwelcome'' said Cemal with a flirty smile. What burden this was for you Jale.

''What burden? I made some pies..You must have smelled it. I thought you would want some.''

Cemal said ''Thanks a lot dear. See you''. Underling the last word with a flirty hint. ''See you'' said Jale, with a pretty smile and her eyes looking down. And putting her shyness under her arm started climbing up the stairs reluctantly.

Cemal put the hot pies next to newly brewed tea. He just had a glimpse at his pelargonium.: ''Girl why did you put your head down. Are you jelaous or what?...'' He said farewell to his house again as he was leaving. As he went down an ominous air met him that turned out his inner peace into a broken toy. The hope that he attached on his collar like an Algerian violet suddenly withered. Sky was a Grand Vizir that wore a 'Black Kaftan'. Gloom was shaking on the city like a greasy rope, as if waiting for an operation on Sultan's orders.

The office was getting narrower every minute. Cemal was confronting the unresolveness of beheaded murders in other folders.

He could never take not overcoming on any matter. He had tried to hold on to life with a lot of battles until now. He closed the folder into

solitude. He got married with the new cigarette before the corps of the old cigarette got cold. The ofice door was opened suddenly to a new tension.

''Captain Cemal''


''A new beheaded corpse is found. Ümit started from where he is to the murder site.'' Cemal had a tension like a boxer going to his title fight. Getting the adress of the scene, he went downstairs with strong steps.'' He was murmuring himself ''Oh only if you had a short.'' He opened the door of his car as if he wanted to break it off. He sat on the seat as if he was going into a panzer. ''Let's see what happens.'' he said to himself.

The door of solitude slowly opened for Cemal. His car was a dirty whisper mixed into silence. Darkness was drawn onto the city like a black curtain. Spotlights were a feeble guide that were trying to enlighten the obscureness of the roadway. Forest was throwing it's black eyes onto the car like a heavy threat.

A shivering light bundle came into sight from a distance,. He had come closer to the site of incident. Parking the car in the nearest place, he dived into the forest reposing on the feeble help of his flashlight. He was getting closer at every step to a vacant uneasiness. He was simply walking towards death step by step. The insignificant visions in the light bundle became clear. The inspection team and Ümit tried to conceive the identity the newcomer.

''Captain Cemal?''

''Yes it's me...''

The team circled the death.

With Cemal's arrival the circle was broken instantly and the violence that was at the footstep of an old tree came into sight: A corpse of a fat middle aged woman, beheaded and hurt severely was lying down all nude. The log book of the murders became totally complicated. Cemal was not expecting to confront woman's corpse after two male victims. Coziness of the forest became deeper. Uneasiness was rustling on the leaves of branches. A showy silence had fallen down on the forest like fog. The woman's skin had turned into an egg-plant field with the strokes of a hammer accompanied with some cigarette burns. On her back there was a carved inscription vertically ''There's blood under every word.''

''There was a big letter C running like a crazy brook, in the deep valley between her two boobs.'

Julide was knitting a sweater, expecting to hear the voice of Cemal's car that would park in front of the house, like Jale who was eating pumpkinseeds.

Whenever Cemal was late, time crept slowly for the sisters. The iron mountains of anxiety settled on their breasts. Their hearts were squeezed in the clamp of fear. Despite the fact that Julide was full of anger for Jale and Cemal's spending the night together, she was still anxious. Once in a while she threw a glance to Jale and she was carefully listening to every voice coming from outside like herself. Both of them were watching the television carelessly.

Sound of a brake came into the middle of the room like a heart attack. Two sisters settled on the window like flies that swarmed on jelly. Thank god Cemal had come all in one piece again. Loneliness fell upon Cemal like an avalanche as he opened the door to trust. Who did Cemal have except his loneliness. Opening a beer he sat down on the armchair. He was trying to disperse the black clouds of anxiety that settled on his head. He was stuck in between of a knot that was going blind. There was no evidence found around the new body that gave any clue about the identity of the murderer. And it was really confusing that the last body belonged to a woman. He was really depressed. One one side chronical loneliness, on the other Ümit's whom he loved even more than a brother, revealing his sexual identity as being homosexual, on top of everything, this horrible serial murders.

He missed Gamze at such times like this that troubles accumulated on top of each other. Wish she were here by his side. First she'd end his loneliness, later they'd communicate.

''Buddy give me one more gin-tonic.'' Ümit said to the bartender, putting his head up from the deep darkness that he had fallen into.

Gin-tonic set infront of him saluting Ümit with respect.

''Ok, thank you.''

''Bon appetit.''

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