crime fiction

(WMB4X) Fiction: Unicorn Droppings

“It’s the the third one this week.” said DC Shaw, looking rather green.

DC Shaw, a tall man in his mid thirties with a bald head which the light from the florescent tubes above him bounced off of, had just opened yet another envelope delivered to the Thames Valley West Police Station.

The envelope, just like those before it had contained a childs finger.

“Bout time we caught the bastard who did it then isn’t it.” DCI Murray replied. Taking a sip of his tea. “Have you given forensics a ring? So that they can do their magic.”

Shaw thought that ‘magic’ was a poor choice of words given the circumstance, but replied “Yes Guv. They’ll confirm in the next few hours but it looks to be from the same hand as the previous two.”

“So it’s from a 6 to 7 year old girl.” said Murray reading from his notes. “With distinct nail varnish, ‘Unicorn Droppings style’ it says here.”

“Yes that’s correct.”
“Does the envelope give us anything to go on this time around?” asked Murray.
“No. Printed label, plain brown jiffy bag. Just as before”
“Why send it here though?”
“Maybe the guy feels bad, wants to get caught.”

The two men sat in silence pondering this as yet leadless case in DCI Murrays office. The hum of the air conditioner and the muffled voices of those the other side of the door were the only things to be heard. Until Shaw’s mobile phone rang. It was switched to silent but the vibration against the table made a noise that startled both men.

Shaw grabbed it with a bear like hand and clicked the lock button twice to send the call to voice mail. “Sorry about that.” he said. The phone then vibrated again and flashed up a message displaying ’27 voicemails’ on it’s large screen.

“27 voicemails Shaw.” said Murray, leaning back in his chair. “Someone wants to get hold of you.”

“I think it’s probably Katie Gov.”
“Want you back does she?”
“What do you think?”

Murray knew all about Shaws recent break up. Katie had chosen to do it in the Investigation room in front of the team and accompanied by Shaws daughter Jessica. Katie went mad, throwing things at Shaw accusing him of having affairs with all four of the female officers on the team. She would have spent a few hours in the cells to calm down, had Shaw himself not stepped in and promised to take her home.

Murray felt sorry for Jessica.

“How is Jess?” He asked. “Do you see her much?”
“She’s fine. Saw her this weekend. Before I dropped her at camp” Shaw gazed off into middle distance.
“Let me know if you hear anything from forensics.”
“Will do Guv.”

The phone on Shaws messy desk sprung into life three hours after he had left Murrays office.
“DC Shaw, Thames Valley CID.”
“Steven. It’s Lisa, from Forensics. How you doing?”
“Not bad thanks,” Shaw replied lying. “Got anything for me on that finger?”
“Yep, as expected it was from the same poor little girl.”

Shaw noted this down after scrabbling around to find a working pen.

“Anything on the envelope?”
“No. Nothing we can use anyway. The whole thing has been wiped.The finger itself was packed meticulously. Almost making sure the finger didn’t get damaged. Bit of a waste if you ask me, I mean with it being chopped off..”

“Nothing of note.” Shaw interrupted. Not caring for Lisa’s opinion.
“No aside from confirming that this is from the same hand of the same girl with the same nail varnish.”
“OK. Thanks.” Shaw said. Placing the phone down and placing his bald head in his sizeable hands. Letting out a deep sigh, he rose from his chair and walked to DCI Murrays door and knocked.
“Come.” said Murray.
“Guv that was forensics.”
“Yes. Anything?”
“‘fraid not. The finger was from the same girl though.”
“Not much to go on then is there.”
“No guv.”
“Well I think the best you can do is go and get some rest. As my old governor used to say to me. ‘A tired mind never solved any crime’”

Shaw took the night bus home. He was still sharing a car with Katie and he’d dropped it off Monday morning. It was raining but he didn’t really mind as the bus stopped right outside his house. He fumbled for his keys that were caught in the lining of his jacket.

He opened the door to his silent house.

Silence where there once was laughter. Jess’s paintings still adorned the walls, bags of clothing Katie’s and Jess’ still lay strewn in the hallway. It had been less than two weeks since Shaw had suffered the humiliation of the “Investigation Room” He wondered How could she break up with him like that, so publicly. She had no right. Bitch was wrong anyway. In front of Jess too. Poor Jess.

Shaw went to pour himself a drink. There were no clean glasses. So he took a swig from the bottle.

Katie would learn that she shouldn’t have crossed him, Shaw thought.

He remembered the last conversation he had with Jess. She was packing her bags to go to brownies. She had told him about the big trip her and her mother were going on when she got back from camp. She said they were going on a plane, to live far far away to with Uncle Barry in “Down Under” and search for Unicorns just like the ones who made the nail varnish Uncle Barry had given her.

She said. “Do you like my nails Daddy?”

Bleeding finger

This piece was a proud part of the Absolute Write Blog Chain for November, where the theme was Unicorn Droppings. The other participants are below.

shtar’sgate – (link to post)
orion_mk3 – (link to post)
sweetwheat – (link to post)
skunkmelons – (link to post)
BBBurke – (link to post)

If thats not enough, please visit the Resident Weeble, he said he’d chop of my fingers if you didn’t.

Fiction: What The Leprechaun Said..

As I like a challenge. I decided to take part in the Absolute Write March 2013 Blog Chain. Being as it’s March and nearly St Paddy’s day the prompt is “What the Leprechaun Said..” Anything St Patricks related, thats how I read it anyway. As always I just hope it’s not shit. Please check out the work of the other members of this months chain. I will update the links to the articles when they are all available. This is the first AW thing I’ve done, so I hope I got the point of it.

Patrick had always been a good guy for as long as I could remember. At school, he was always the one who had his homework done early, his uniform clean and pressed. We didn’t socialise in the same circles, Patrick was a square. But we lived in the same small village so we were aware of each other. People gossip y’know.

Patrick was a regular in attendance at the local church. I didn’t go, well I was there in the car park in the early days to stand around with my friends and smoke. Oh Jesus I was such a wannabe gangster.

We were chalk and cheese, when I was trying out my first joint, Patrick was helping out at the homeless shelter. Whilst I was trying to cop off with Lindsay and her sister Lorna behind the local pub, Patrick was practicing his wedding vows. Patrick married Maria, a girl from Church at when they were both just 16.

She was a pretty girl. Lorna on the other hand was a skank. She suited my persona, I went out of my way to be bad. Swearing, Spitting, joyriding. I got drunk every weekend from the ages of 15 to 22. Pissed and pissed off at the world. Hey, everyone is at that age. Everyone aside from Patrick. Why can’t you be more like Patrick? People said that a lot. The guy was a saint.

Those same people were surprised when I got my job. I was the talk of the village. Mum was proud, finally. Patrick himself was pleased so I heard.

In a sleepy village like ours nothing happens. I’d held down my job for years even got a few promotions. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until the call at 2:30am. I got up having dressed rather sleepily, my buttons on my shirt were out of line. Just like school days. I jumped into the car, although it was hardly worth it for a journey so short. Patrick and Maria didn’t live far from me and that was where I’d been summoned.

On my arrival at the house I met my boss. He’d been there for half an hour already and was now sat perched on Patrick’s doorstep.

“Real mess in there.” he said. “Blood everywhere. Screaming heard two hours ago by the neighbour. Surprised you didn’t hear anything, being so close and all.”
“Sound sleeper Boss” I said as I pushed open the door. Keeping it light to hide my surprise. Surely there was some mistake, surely my DCI was wrong.

He wasn’t.

Blood coated every surface in the living room of Patrick and Maria. The police photographers were taking pictures, mostly of Maria’s dismembered torso which sat centre stage in the room. To the left of it was her head, and on a sofa tossed idly like it was a weekly periodical was a blood soaked chainsaw. I felt sick.

Patrick rocked involuntarily, a crazed look on his face, in the far corner of the room. His hands cuffed behind his back.

“Why did you do it?” I asked him.
“Well officer,” he replied quietly. “It was what the leprechaun said..”

Please check out the work of my fellow Blog Chain bloggers.

orion_mk3 – (link to post) 
robeiae – (link to post) 
writingismypassion – (link to post) 
Sudo_One – ME!
randi.lee – (link to post)
pyrosama – (link to post) 
katci13 – (link to post) 
MsLaylaCakes – (link to post) 
Angyl78 – (link to post) 
KitCat – (link to post) 
Bloo – (link to post) 
dclary – (link to post) 
ConnieBDowell – (link to post)
Lady Cat – (link to post)
Araenvo – (link to post)
MichaelP – (link to post)
Ralph Pines – (link to post)
mdgreene50 – (link to post)
dolores haze – (link to post)

(28DW) Ed McBain

Aside from The Resident Weeble and A Piece of Pandemonium, my favourite writer of all time is Evan Hunter. Well I say that, it is under the name of Ed McBain that I first became aware of his work. My Mother had mentioned to me that I might enjoy his books. So I was overjoyed to find “Rumpelstiltskin” in the school library. I literally launched the book at my mother on my return from school. I of course forgot, that my Mother was recovering from major surgery and therefore didn’t appreciate me lobbing a hardback book in her general direction.

At my school we had reading in English lessons, I brought Rumpelstiltskin along as it was the book I was reading at the time. It is the second book in the Matthew Hope series. All of them named after fairy tales or fables. Matthew Hope is a lawyer who does a fair bit of investigating as part of his cases. In Rumpelstiltskin is he dating a redhead (whos name escapes me), they met thanks to a minor traffic ding. There is a scene in the book where Matthew Hope gets to have sex with the girl. A scene not lost on my then horny teenage self. Unfortunately for me my English teacher then decides to take the book and read the sexy passage aloud. Much to the amusement of my class mates. Can’t have got to me that much because I remember burning the midnight oil to finish it.

McBain’s greatest work is the 87th Precinct series of books. All about the detectives and characters in the fictional city of Isola. Which is for all intents and purposes is New York in all but name. I love the police procedural genre of fiction and McBain was a master of this. His work is a large reason why I write now, it inspired me to continue writing fictional pieces on a quest to find my own voice as a writer. This blog is a testament to that.

For all you film buffs out there. Evan Hunter wrote the screenplay to The Birds. A film which is being spoken about again thanks to the Hitchcock film and BBC drama The Girl. Hunter wrote a memoir about his time working with Hitchcock, called ‘Me and Hitch’ which is well worth a read.

Evan Hunter died in 2005. Hunter/McBain is one that seems to constantly get missed when people start talking of great writers. He is therefore maybe one that you have missed too. If you like your characters to be “real”, your stories to be gritty and to pull no punches. Take a trip down to the 87th. You won’t regret it.


Fiction: Person Dave

He longed to get out of the cold. Into the warm, by the fire. Well, radiator for his was a modern house. They’d just moved in, Carl Larsen and his new family, finally out on their own after living with her parents for so long. Carl always thought that this was no way to live a family life, but needs must as the children were young and Elizabeth wanted to stay home and look after them, Carl’s wages as a freezer man at the local Sainsburys didn’t add up to all that much.

Against all the odds they had finally got a place to call their own. Not a council place neither. Carl had saved every penny he could, he’d stopped smoking and drinking, much to the displeasure of his friends. Not that Carl cared because he didn’t much see them anymore outside of the freezer. “Pub trips cost money” he would say as he watched them disappear into the warm bosom of the Dog and Duck. Still it would all be worth it, a fine roof over the head of his family.

Elizabeth’s mother had always said he wasn’t good enough for her darling Liz. Elizabeth hated being called Liz, that was the first thing she told Carl. “If you want any type of chance with me, don’t you call me Liz mister.” As Carl recalls he made some oh so witty quip about being able to call her Mister Liz instead, as bad as it was it seemed to work, as she smiled and just a month later she was pregnant with their first child. Not caused by the smile, at least that’s not what Carl recalls.

In spite of the pressures of bringing up a baby in the presence of potential in-laws two hamsters and a black and white Collie named Dave. Carl and Liz had a great relationship with a love that was very British and understated, but very strong. Elizabeth would often take baby Maria and Dave on long walks around the town, where she would meet another Dave and his Boxer dog Audley. She told Carl of their first meeting.

“It was funny,” she said. “Him having the same name as the dog”
“Yes.” Carl replied. He was tired, double shift in the freezer.
“And his dog. Such a lovely gentle Boxer, Dave… person Dave” she laughed. “Said that that’s why he’d named him Audley”
“Harrison.. the rubbish boxer.”
“You know less than me about boxing how did you know that.”
“Person Dave..” she smiled. “he told me.”

Baby Maria chose this juncture to wake from her slumber and end this fascinating dialogue. Over the next 6 or 7 months Carl would hear lots more about “Person Dave” and Audley inbetween shifts and sleeping. It was all Elizabeth seemed to talk about, she walked “Dog Dave” 3 times a day rain or shine, often leaving Maria with Grandma for hours at a time. Person Dave, apparently, was an architect who worked from home, as Carl recalled. He apparently got Audley from Dogs Trust or the RSPCA, Carl was dozing off when she told him this. Person Dave had wanted a dog because the “Poor soul” (her words not Carl’s) had lost his wife to cancer 3 years back and he was lonely.

7 months or so after the first “Person Dave” conversation All “Person Dave” comments stopped. Carl was glad of the break. He was preparing things for the move into the house that “Person Dave” helped Elizabeth pick out. She didn’t walk the dog much anymore. Maybe because baby Maria was now older and “Mother and Toddler” groups were the order of the day.

6 months and 27 days since the first “Person Dave” conversation, Carl borrowed Elizabeth’s phone, his was on the fritz due to the cold of the freezer. At 9am at the start of his second shift that day he received the text message from “Person Dave”

Carl still longed to get out of the Freezer, as he had on that day. As he did every day, still it kept his family warm, together and full of Sainsbury’s frozen food. Besides he had to work in the freezer, and stack the fish fingers in such a way so that no-one would ever find “Person Dave”