Away from this scene, a solitary man marched through the driving rain, the hood of a black anorak up, a capped long lens camera with a flash, swinging from his neck.
“Grissom!” belted a young male officer, in the fluorescent-yellow and dark-blue uniform, of the Guàrdia Urbana, or city police.
Dr Josep Caldet (the most senior, but not highest ranked, Field Agent for the Scientific Police Division) cringed and ignored the annoying comparison to a character on a TV show most of his colleagues loved, but he made a point never to watch.
He addressed a thin female officer, in the navy and crimson colors, of the Mossos d’Esquadra who, like him, worked for the Catalan Regional Authority. “What happened?”
“Looks like a piece of concrete fell on our victim from the boardwalk above.”
Caldet peered through square glasses, popular with pseudo-intellectuals and hipsters, to see a hulk of a man, lying face down in a puddle of blood and muddy rainwater.
The forensic scientist spoke to the female officer again. “Do we know who the victim is?”
She shook her head. “No ID on him. The bouncers think he’s English. He picked a fight with some South Americans.”
“Where’s the coroner?”
“Finishing his coffee,” a tall man, in a dark military-looking uniform, representing la Policía Nacional, or the Spanish National Police, answered the question.
Caldet stared at the three officers of the different law enforcement departments he had to keep in the loop during the forensics investigation. They all had the expressions of passive students, waiting for the professor to speak.
He felt his neck strain as he turned and looked at the MAPFRE Insurance Tower, standing tall and dark, on the upper boardwalk behind him. The falling rain pelted the thick lenses of black-rimmed glasses and a salt-and-pepper beard. “Do you know why in England they say, ’It’s raining cats and dogs’?” A dripping Caldet faced the three police officers, standing at attention, in their different colored uniforms, as they awaited his answer. “Because in the past, pets slept on the roofs and when it rained, they fell off.”
Silence at the urban legend.
“That’s interesting, sir,” the female officer eventually said.
“Yes. Thought so, too.” Caldet took off his glasses and wiped the lenses on damp slacks. The young woman was still blurry as he adjusted the black frames on his uneven ears. “Although, tonight,” the forensic scientist added, with a well-practiced smile, “we must amend the phrase to, ’It’s raining concrete slabs’.” He paused, but his grin held firm. “And please, call me ’Josep’, ’Pep’ or ’Pepito’. Anything but Grissom.”