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Offline Ed

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Part chapter (not first)
« on: November 05, 2004, 05:42:35 PM »
I've been writing this novel for some time now, and I think I'm going to carry on with it now, after a lengthy hiatus.  Some of you might remember the misadventures of Milt and Merve - well this is part of that book :)

DCI Patrick Williams surveyed the crime scene; the human remains in the boot of the vehicle lay contorted and still steaming from their dousing by the firemen’s hose.  The car had been thoroughly gutted by the blazing heat of the fire, there was no paint left on the bodywork above the level of the seats, only the occasional tattered flake of matt black, and all the windows were heavily sooted, discoloured and broken.  Inside, the carcasses of the upholstery bore only a fleeting resemblance to seats; skeletons of springs and pressed-steel frames, with globs of melted nylon clinging to the structure, and blackened debris filling the gaps.  A few broken dials and a distorted mass of wires, honeycombed plastic and the bare spokes of the steering wheel showed where the dashboard and steering column had once been.
A beat copper had discovered the body, and swiftly cordoned off the area for a hundred yards either side of the car.  After that, he’d called the Crime Scene Investigators in.  Williams, already in the vicinity, came to see if it had any relevance with the aftermath of the pub brawl, and liase with the principal CSI, Douglas McKenzie.

“Find anything useful yet, Doug?” Williams stooped to look at what McKenzie was scraping into an evidence bag.
McKenzie, visibly shivering despite the quilted fluorescent jacket he was wearing, looked as if he’d been rudely awoken from a stupor; so engrossed in his work that he hadn’t noticed his colleague approach.  A typical boffin, his straggly grey hair contained by an ‘unwanted Christmas present’ kind of bobble hat, he talked with a staccato-like rhythm, missing out any words he thought unnecessary.

“Messy…not much here…have to identify body from dental records…probably.” he said, poking at the slurry in the gutter with a tongue depressor.

“What is that you’ve got there?”

“Give you a clue…orange root vegetable!  Ha!  Not really…probably stomach lining…usually is….”

“Come again?”

“Always wonder where bits of carrot come from…when haven’t eaten any lately…well it’s bits of stomach lining…not carrot.”  He pushed his spectacles back up his nose with his ring finger, and smiled.
Lucky for him, Detective Williams was relatively good at solving riddles, and soon came to the right conclusion.

“So somebody threw-up here, is what you’re saying?”

“Precisely!  Most got washed away…firemen.”


“Eh?  But?  Ahh, yes…plenty DNA.”

“From the girl?” the frugal use of words was contagious.

“Not sure…maybe, maybe not…know more later.”

“Anything in or on car?” he was taking the piss now.

“Nothing much…pretty well incinerated…except….”

“Except what?”

The forensics expert rooted through a plastic evidence box, and pulled out a bag, “This!…hardly anything left…pretty sure it’s money though…good sized wad.”

“Where was it?”

“In rear footwell…plain view…expect fell out of pocket or something…not hidden.”

The detective studied the remnants, without opening the bag.  Where an elastic band had been tight around the middle of the bundle there were still traces of paper money.  Looking closer, he was fairly sure they must have been twenty-pound notes.  And given the thickness that was left, there must have been three or four thousand pounds in the wad originally.

A recovery truck turned up outside the police lines, and once the area had been scoured for evidence and the photographer had done his work, the entire car was wrapped in tarpaulins, craned onto the back and driven away for further scrutiny.

Williams turned his collar up and sunk his hands deep into the pockets of his jacket.  A bitter northerly wind was whipping his skin blue and making his eyes water; he decided to hold court in the back of a police minibus, rather than brave the elements any more.  Walking towards the bus, he noticed a wiry old lady handing out cups of steaming tea to his officers, so he made a slight detour. 

“Any more of those left, madam?”

“Ooh yes, constable, but we forgot the magic word now, didn’t we?”


“That’s better, now you wait there, I’ll be right back.”

He watched as she walked back up the threadbare carpet of her hallway, her pink fluffy slippers slapping her heels as she lifted her feet.

“She see anything?” he turned to ask one of the coppers, who was warming his hands on a chipped mug.

“Says she did, Sir, but I think she might be just glad of somebody to talk to.  She can’t give an exact time, and I reckon she’s blind as a bat anyway.”

“Hmm…okay, thanks.  I’ll have a word with her when she comes back.  Tea any good?”

Grimacing, he shook his head, “It’s warm and wet, Sir, and that’s about it.  Think it’s Earl Grey, tastes like perfume.”

“Yuk!  Dunno about you, son, but if it hasn’t got a picture of a monkey on the box, I’m not interested.”

“You mean ‘primate’, Sir.”

“How’d you mean?”

“Well if you’re talking about the tea chimps, they’re primates, not monkeys, Sir.  Monkeys have tails.”

“Fascinating!  Thanks for the natural history lesson, I’ll see if I can organise a transfer to the zoo for you, how’s that?”

“Sorry Sir.”

Williams’s pet hate was punctilious junior officers, trying to score points by picking up on every trivial wrong word he said.  They often turned out to be the wrong type for the job; obsessing over minor details, at the expense of the obvious and more important ones. 

The old lady came back with another tray full of steaming mismatched mugs and odd cups, which were hurriedly snapped up by cold hands, the DCI’s being two of them.  It was Earl Grey, the young officer was right, and Williams sipped and swallowed, wishing it was just ordinary tea, but still glad of a hot drink on such a cold day.

“So you saw the crime being committed then Mrs…?”

“Tuttle.  And yes, I saw the whole thing.  Terrible it was.  I don’t know what’s wrong with people nowadays.  I blame it on the violent films and the music they all listen to.”

“I’m sure you’re right, but did you get a good look at whoever did this?”

“Ooh yes, darkies, they were.  My husband, God rest him, said this would happen.  They all said Enoch Powell was wrong, but he knew it would happen too.  They’re just not like us, are they?  Dirty, dishonest, violent people, they are.”

Williams was just about to take another sip of the vile tea, but as he tilted the cup, saw what looked to be a piece of cabbage stuck to the bottom.  Hot and wet as it might have been, the thought of consuming another drop of the Earl Grey and cabbage infusion filled him with revulsion, as did the thought of wasting another minute on a lying old bigot.  Small-minded morons giving false evidence should be made to pay for the time and resources they waste.  If they didn’t already have descriptions matching the perpetrators to the burned-out car they could well have been off on a wild goose chase now, and all because of this woman.
He placed the cup back on the tray and, without a word of thanks, walked away, calling his men together to meet him in the minibus for a ‘pow-wow’.  The old woman made a remark about him being rude, but he only caught the jist of it, and wasn’t concerned about what she thought of him anyway.
It was a little too snug for comfort in the minibus; ten or twelve coppers, each wearing thick winter jackets, crammed into the seats, some still clutching cups of Earl Grey.  The windows quickly steamed up, condensation dripped from the bare ceiling, and you could see the moisture-rich mist hanging in the air.
Williams stood at the front of the aisle and started the meeting.

“Right, listen up, please, gents,” noticing a female face in the bus, he added, “and ladies…” 
The burble of conversations abated, and after a few coughs and rustles, he had the full attention of the assembled task force.
“Now, what we know to date is that two white males entered the George and Dragon public house at around 10:30 pm, and soon after their arrival became involved in a fracas, which resulted in the glassing of several patrons, one of whom died an hour ago.  As they left the pub, they took Miss Sarah Yates hostage, and escaped in her boyfriend’s car.  That car matches the description of the burnt out vehicle that was found across the street from us, and we’re assuming for the moment that the corpse in the boot is hers.

To be continued...probly....
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline horrorcrafter

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Re: Part chapter (not first)
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2005, 11:03:22 AM »
wow, interesting stuff, there.  Let me guess...Youre a brit.  Nobody else would talk about tea so much.  I'm an anglophile.  Anyway, I really enjoy your writing style.  I like the mix of dialogue and description.  Don't rightly know if this is horror, though.  So far, at least, it seems like another cop drama.  I like the main cop, though, and thats saying alot for me.  Keep this up, and lets see some monsters pretty soon alright?
Yours Hopefully,

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