Friday 27 May 2011

Cops and robbers (Part 2)

Anyone wishing to read the first part of this story can find it here:-

Cops and robbers (Part 1)

* * * * * * * * * *

Aaah, this truly was the life he deserved, a beautiful sprawling house with its own private beach, speed boat tied up at the private jetty, an endless string of caribbean babes to help him pass the time, and a neverending supply of fine rum and sunshine...

Yes, this was definitely the life for him.

Ex Detective Inspector Bennett eased himself more comfortably into the sun-lounger, and took a long, slow drink from his iced cocktail, a gentle breeze touched his sun-bronzed face, he smiled to himself, he was smiling a lot lately, especially when he recalled the events from a few short months ago...

It seemed like a lifetime ago, another life, another world.

Everyone was so surprised when he suddenly decided to retire from the police force, he claimed exhaustion and stress, most people put it down to his failure to crack the jewellery robbery case, this was the first time in all his years on the force that he had failed, and the strain showed.

As well as being an excellent cop, Bennett was also an excellent actor too, his drawn, haggard appearance was self-induced, night after night he took a minimum amount of sleep, which had a cumulative effect on his appearance, a lined look, bags under the eyes, pale sunken cheeks, all of which reinforced the belief of those who knew him that he was suffering inside.

Many of his colleagues were secretly relieved when he retired, he had lost his edge, it was for the best really.

Inside, Bennett was laughing like a drain, his plan was coming nicely together, a few weeks after retiring, he retrieved the diamonds from beneath his floorboards, then, wearing a cunning disguise, paid a visit to Fat Freddy...

He walked out of Freddy's establishment with just shy of three quarters of a million pounds in his possession.

Second phase...

No-one was surprised to find Bennett's abandoned clothes on the beach, a note in his wallet saying goodbye to all that he held dear, last night's storm tide along the English Channel would have washed a body miles out to sea...

Bennett smiled again as he returned his thoughts to the present. Yes, this was definitely the life.

After several hours of sunbathing, hunger finally began to gnaw at him, tummy growling he eased himself off the sun-lounger and ambled up towards the house, as he approached the building he cast an appraising eye over it, he had the property on monthly lease from one of the local big boys, the beach and speed boat all part of the package.

The sprawling single-storey was a beauty, red-tiled roof, white walls gleaming in the sun, the large picture window, the open door..... OPEN DOOR??

Bennett froze, he had definitely closed the door when he came out, no-one left their doors open here, there were too many little furry things living in these parts that would chew everything inside.

He looked slowly around, there were faint marks in the sand, a barely visible swirling line led from the doorway and off towards the treeline, someone had used a branch to wipe out their footprints.
Bennett slowly crept to the door, if anyone was still inside they would shortly be very, very sorry they had come here.

He peeked around the doorframe... nothing!

He listened for a few moments... nothing!

He silently entered the house, his body ready to spring to violence...

The first thing to catch his eye when he got to the lounge was the seascape picture lying on the floor, from there his gaze travelled upwards to the wall safe, whose door was also hanging open...

Bennett walked to the safe and looked inside... Empty!

All of his money, all of it, gone!!

Panicking, he thrust a hand inside the safe, not quite believing what he was seeing, maybe his hands would find what his eyes could not...

Right at the back of the safe his fingers touched a scrap of paper, Bennett pulled it out and stared at it unbelievingly...

There was something very familiar about this bit of paper, obviously torn from a notebook.

On the paper, in his own handwriting, were the words THANK YOU. And next to this was a cartoon drawing of a grinning Bugs Bunny.

At the bottom of the page was a clumsily drawn picture of a fist with the middle finger sticking up,

And the words CATCH ME IF YOU CAN... signed... YOURS TRULY.

- - - - - - - - - -

Cops and robbers (Part 1)

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Cops and robbers (Part 1)

I was pretty sure that I was going to go down for this one, even though at this point they didn't have a single shred of evidence to fit me to the crime, and I would usually give myself a ninety nine percent chance of walking out of here had anyone else been on the case, just my rotten luck, I had the misfortune to be looking over the interview room table at Bugs.

Detective Inspector Bennett, aka Bugs, was a good cop, a very shrewd cop, his powers of deduction were legendary. Many a crim' had sat smugly in this room, giving him the runaround, only to be tripped up by something that they HADN'T said.

Bugs' thought processes were almost psychic, it was like watching an episode of Columbo.
There was no guesswork when he was on the case, he KNEW if you were guilty or not.
For him, then, it was just a case of using his extremely clever questioning technique to dig out the proof.

All the while we talked he was writing in his notebook, not writing notes, to be re-examined later, as he would like you to think. No, he was doodling, drawing to be more precise.
If you could sneak a look at his book, like 'Johnny The Dip' had once managed to, he would be sketching miniature cartoon characters, namely pictures of a grinning Bugs Bunny.
Of course this soon became common knowledge courtesy of Johnny, and the nickname was born.

No-one ever called D.I. Bennett Bugs to his face, not any more anyway.
The few people who had dared to had earned themselves a good slapping. He was a right hard nut he was, athletic, tough, his hobbies included rock climbing, pot-holing, sky diving, and he held a second dan black belt in karate too. Definitely not a man with whom you would want to bump heads with!

As I sat there I cast my mind back to earlier in the evening...

I had done the jewellers, a piece of cake it was too. After coming back outside I had cut straight across the old cobbled yard that ran alongside of it, and dropped the shoulder bag down the old dry well, I would recover it later when the heat was off.
It was pretty much laid on that I would get hauled in, every time a job like this was pulled I was in the top five names.

Just my luck! As I was coming out of the other side of the yard a police car cruised past.
Spinning on my heel I turned back into the yard, unzipped my flies, and pretended to be taking a leak. The boys in blue must have had a slow shift, they arrested me for possible indecent exposure.
Give me a break will you? There was no-one else around to look at the bloody thing apart from me.

Well, at least the ice was safe, and they'd have to release me after I'd spent several hours giving them nothing.
I would recover the loot in a few days, nice and quiet like.

Whilst I was in custody, news of the robbery came in. That was when it all went up a notch, and Bugs got onto my case. I would have been picked up for questioning on this one anyway, and there I was, all conveniently sitting in a cell, just ripe for the plucking.

“So!” Said Bugs. His tone soft, relaxed, “what were you doing in the yard?”

“You know what I was doing.” I replied, very casual. “I was taking a leak. Yeah I know, a bit naughty, but I got caught short on my way home from the Dog and Duck. I had a few pints in there, and when the cold hit me outside, well...”

Bugs scribbled in his notebook for a while.

He looked up from his doodling, and slowly looked me up and down, from my scalp, right down to the soles of my Italian leather shoes, and back again. His deadpan expression gave nothing away, but I felt like a laser had just burned its way up and down me.

“With anyone I might know?” He asked me.

“Johnny Preston, and Stumpy.”

I hadn't seen either of these two in more than a week, but they would spin Bugs a line for me.

More scribbling.

“Put him back in the cell, I'm going to have a word with Stumpy and 'The Dip'”

He glanced at the clock on the wall, ten past one.

“Those two fine upstanding citizens'll most likely be in the Sugar Cane club at this time of night.”

About an hour later, I was sat in the cell, idly examining the moss stains on my nice shoes, I must've scuffed them against the well wall when I threw the bag down there. I'll give 'em a good polishing tomorrow, can't stand having dirty shoes. I mean, you can tell a lot about a man by the state of his footwear can't you?

The door clanked, then swung open to reveal Bugs filling the door frame.

“Out” He said “Looks like you're in the clear.”

“What about the bollocksy indecent exposure charge?”

“I can't be arsed with the paperwork. Now off you toddle before I change my mind.”

I hit the street feeling like a million dollars. I could hardly believe my luck! I had fronted it!
I don't know what steered Bugs away from me, maybe something Johnny or Stumpy had said to him, but lady luck was definitely smiling my way. This tale will go down in history, once I've got the lovely untraceable cash for the goodies.

Bugs had me, and for once in his exemplary career he had screwed up. Ha!
Maybe his legendary intuition was finally beginning to fade!

I wasn't waiting for later to get the sparklers, as far as I was concerned the heat was already off. I would go for them now, collecting a torch from home on my way past. There was still three or four hours of darkness left, and I intended to grab the stuff, visit Fat Freddy the fence, and get myself home with the cash whilst the luck was still with me.

Half an hour later I was winching the bucket down the well. I slithered down the rope, holding the torch in my mouth, before long I felt my feet touch the soft earth at the bottom of the well. The torch beam fell across the bag... lovely jubbly!

Five minutes later I was walking down the road on my way to Fat Freddy's, when a familiar figure came lurching drunkenly towards me.

“Hey Stumpy, you're in a right state, you are. Thanks for helping me out with Bugs earlier on. There'll be a drink in it for you later.”

Stumpy looked at me as though I was talking gibberish. “Wha' the fug're ya talkin' 'bout?” he slurred, muttered something under his breath, then lurched drunkenly on his way.

Fat Freddy was very pleased to see me.

“OK, lets see the gear.”

I took one of the velvet envelopes from the bag, and emptied it out onto the table. Smiling broadly at Freddy.

“Feast your eyes on them stones Freddy.”

“Is this some kind of a joke?” Said Freddy.

His two minders eased their shoulders from the wall and ambled over to stand behind me at the table.

I looked down at the stones, that's exactly what I was looking at, stones!
Well, gravel to be more precise.

“What the...?”
I felt like I had just been slapped.

One by one I emptied the small black velvet bags onto the table...

And for each one I emptied, the pile of gravel grew bigger...

A few minutes later I was sitting on the pavement outside Freddy's, after unceremoniously being thrown down his staircase by the two very nice minders.

My shoulder bag followed me down, hitting me in the back of the head.

I picked up the bag, and started walking, still numb with disbelief...

I idly slid my hand inside the bag, half expecting that this was some kind of dream, and the diamonds were really still in there.

I didn't find any diamonds, but my hand brushed a scrap of paper...

I pulled it out and held it up under the glare of a street lamp...

It was a page torn from a notebook...

The note said simply. THANK YOU

I couldn't recognise the handwriting...

But I sure as hell recognised the grinning cartoon character drawn next to it!

- - - - - - - - - -

Continued in :-

Cops and robbers (Part 2)

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday 13 May 2011

Guilty party

She did it!

There was absolutely no doubt in my mind. Oh yes, she killed him all right, little miss 'butter wouldn't melt' was as guilty as hell.

I had digested all the evidence, collated all the facts, dismissed all the red herrings, and seen through all the lies, and as far as I was concerned they could handcuff her, drag her off, and throw away the key.

I was born to do this, I had the logical type of mind that could cut through the bullshit and aim straight at the truth, oh yes, and the truth was exactly what I was looking at.

She had lied through her teeth. Oh, very convincingly, I'll give her that much.
You wouldn't think it would you? Upper middle-class sloane ranger type , cucumber sandwiches on the lawn, and show jumping trials every weekend, jeez, give me a break will you.

Oh ,how the lads at the station had laughed when I failed the exams for the CID. What a thoroughly good jape, eh?

“What? Old Griggsy? A detective? God help us.... har har har “


I can still hear the Superintendent's condescending voice.

“You must realise constable Griggs, that not everyone is cut out to be a detective, and you lads on the beat are the first line of defence in the endless fight against the criminals and lowlife that are trying to undermine the integrity of our society. You are a very large, and very important cog in the policing machine. So, chin up, chin up lad, eh? ”

Supercilious plummy-voiced twat!

Old Griggsy? Doesn't make the grade, eh? Hasn't got the smarts?
Well, I'd managed to work this one out without any help, hadn't I?

Oh yes, there were suspects a-plenty, the place was overflowing with them, they were under every stone, and behind every tree, but one by one I had eliminated them all.
All apart from her that is.

Means, motive, and opportunity. The three main building blocks to solving any crime.
Picking out the truth from the lies and the half-truths.
Who stands to gain? And who stands to lose?

The father in law, and brother in law, didn't arrive until after it was all over, the time of their breakdown on the M6 was well documented, and logged by the recovery company that they called out.
Out of the equation.

Martin and Rebecca had been a bit more cavalier with the truth, turning up just minutes before the first squad car arrived.
They swore they had been at the village fair all afternoon, a lie, oh yeah, they'd been at the village all right, shacked up in a hotel room.
They were both in deep trouble with their parents, but still eliminated from my list.

Most of the guests had been down in the lower garden when the shot was heard, and were discounted as not having the opportunity almost from the outset.

Aunt Julia had held my attention for a while, her bygone love affair with the victim was common knowledge, and the resultant bad feelings and acid conversations between them after it all went sour had been the source of much gossip.
Now revenge hungered for by a woman scorned, is a powerful motive, but at the time of the murder she was draped over the toilet pan noisily vomiting up the effects of far too many glasses of wine at the afternoon meal, whilst Georgina and Tobias listened in disgust outside the bathroom door, waiting impatiently to escort her to bed so they could return to the party.

Another three names crossed out.

Several family members stood to gain financially, or should that be ' hoped ' to gain financially?
For he had been rich. Very rich.
And god knows, some of them certainly seemed to have had ulterior motives too, for he wasn't exactly what you would call popular.
But one after another were dismissed as possible trigger pullers, mostly due to their lack of opportunity.

But SHE had had the opportunity, hadn't she?
There was a twelve minute gap in her presence accountability wasn't there?

According to her story she had been in the greenhouse, about to water the seedlings when she heard the shot, but no-one saw her either going to, or coming from, the direction of the greenhouse, did they?
No! She was just suddenly running into the house along with everyone else.
How bloody convenient!

No, my little miss murderous, I think you fired the gun, dropped it on the carpet, then ran out of the back servant's entrance, stripping off the surgical gloves and throwing them onto the open fire on the way past.
You then ran around the west side of the house, hidden from view by the shrubbery, and joined the crowd of guests flooding in the front entrance on their way to investigate the gunfire.

Oh yes, very clever, but not clever enough miss smarty pants.

“Oh yeah, Griggsy. A good plod Griggsy is, salt of the earth is Griggsy, but a detective? Nah!”

This coming from D.S. Bannister, who was a dead ringer for one of the 'fat sweaty cops' from 'The Fast Show'. Bleedin' slob, what the hell did he know?

Well, I knew this much, I had a lot more going for me than any of them gave me credit for.

Well, this was it....... The moment of truth.

I felt smug, and confident knowing that my superior intellect, and well honed powers of deduction were about to be proven.

I picked up the book, leafed through to the final chapter, and began to read....

I had only read a few paragraphs when the realisation sank home....

I was wrong!

I continued reading with a steadily sinking heart, as the final chapter laid out in meticulous detail exactly how the BUTLER had done it.

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Thursday 5 May 2011

The betrayal. (Guest post from Louise)

Following a request from ABSOLUTELY*KATE, that talented lady who resides AT THE BIJOU, my daughter LOUISE has agreed to guest post on The Twisted Quill this week.
I always enjoy my daughters writing, and I hope that you do too.
Steve Green.

* * * * *

I was delighted to be offered a guest spot on Dad's blog, and flattered that it had been requested. I'm normally a novel writer, even my short stories tend to run to a few thousand words, but I do have this little piece. It was written for an activity as part of my course work. We were given the basics (the figure, the man on the church steps and the baby crying) and had to construct a story from them. It didn't take long for my mind to turn these elements into something disturbing. I loved writing this piece, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thank you for reading.



In the quiet dawn of Midsummer's day, even the bells of the village church are silent. Tendrils of steam rise from the damp grass, and from the coat of the man laid on the church steps. A tweed cap covers his face, and his white hair has been neatly combed. At his feet, a single red rose.

A figure strides past the church wall before the silence is cracked by a baby crying. The figure pauses, listens with its head cocked a little to the side, fat fingers fluttering at its pale, thin lips. At the swollen tongue that slips out and licks at the corners of its mouth; tasting salt and the bitter copper of blood. The creature salivates, hunger blossoms in its belly and lower, a different kind of desire gnaws. Breathing heavily, it slips between the graves and approaches The Place.

The corpse on the steps is pitiful. An old man desiccated by age and cancer. His hands, clasped neatly together and holding a rosary, are little more than skin over bone. His body is as rigid as a fallen branch. Not so much laid on the steps as resting against them. The creature plucks the hat from the corpse and brings it to its nose. It inhales deeply, sucking up the aromas of sweat; of hair wax and of sickly death. Then flings it away, watches with amusement as it spins into the distance beyond the graveyard.

The face beneath is yellowish and taut with rigor. The creature grimaces. The meat will be tough, stringy. Barely worth cutting at all. It reaches out a hand to open the eyes, to gaze upon the sweetest of the delicacies offered. Dissatisfaction turns to anger. It is not rigor mortis that has stiffened this deceased, but a failure to thaw. The sacrifice is not fresh. The agreement has not been kept.

Once again the silence is broken by the infant's distress. The creature grins.

©2011 Louise Craven

Any comments or feedback would be very much appreciated.
Thank you.