The Di Visi Code : Chapter One

Guido has obtained the serialisation rights to Ben Drown’s Di Visi Code, here is the first chapter. But is it fact or fiction?

Chapter One

They found the distinguished, experienced, white-haired, older man sprawled on the floor of Westminster Abbey, in the historic heart of traditional London, England. He had been stabbed in the back 121 times (at time of writing – the number goes up each day). The Police were baffled. They sent for me.

“I’ve absolutely no idea what’s going on,” said Inspector Mitchell. “Wye aye, man, we divvent a clue,” exclaimed Sgt Conway with rough Geordie honesty.

As an American academic specialising in a spurious made-up subject, with a surprising ignorance of basic Renaissance art, mediaeval history, architecture, geography, but a penchant for plagiarising 20 year old books and a completely unfeasible ability to attract leggy French totty, I am of course just the person the Police would turn to in order to solve a serious crime.

“There are 197 suspects,” said Inspector Mitchell. “They were all in their constituencies at the time.”

“Anything suspicious?” I asked.

“They were all in their constituencies. Look, Professor Longjohns, I haven’t the time to solve this mystery. There’s an armed gang of lunatics running around London shooting innocent people in the streets. And as well as Special Branch, I’ve got Al Qaeda to worry about. If this carries on I’m going to miss my next board meeting in Hong Kong. Sort it out.”

I surveyed anxiously the scene. The white-haired, experienced, older man was lying in a pool of (non-blue) blood. Strewn around him were piles of expenditure plans slashed to pieces. There were also four sixteenth century Italian paintings arranged in a line, to which the corpse’s contorted fingers were pointing at bizarre angles; a collection of half-completed crossword puzzles; a helicopter ticket to Blackpool; some discarded photographic negatives; a couple of computer CDs and a switched-on open laptop; on the floor were chalk markings of dots and dashes; and the wall was smeared with writing in blood. Absolutely nothing to go on.

I rolled the body over – because, as you know, it’s standard Police procedure to not check the corpse for clues – and gasped. Underneath the victim was a crushed bottle of fizzy water and some mint imperials.

“Inspector,” I stammered, fighting for air. “We are dealing with a sinister right-wing cult of incense-burning messianic fanatics.”

“You mean?”

“Exactly. This slaying was the work of Opus Dave.”


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