An #FF Tale – Chapter 3

Dave’s sleep had been short and restless. Sleeping during the daytime never came easy but today his head was still processing the events of the night shift. After three and a half hours of tossing and turning he got up and made toast and a large pot of coffee. The rain had stopped and sunlight was streaming through the glass doors leading onto the balcony. He threw open the doors and sat outside enjoying the simple pleasure of the warming sun after the nights chilling rain.

His mind inevitably meandered back to the graveyard at St Michael’s. Something was bothering him. He couldn’t put his finger on what it was but something felt wrong. His irritation grew like an itch he couldn’t scratch.

Time was pressing on and he remembered his appointment with Salwando in The Bull at 3pm. He grabbed his coat. If he left now he could stop off at the graveyard on the way.

After a short drive he pulled into the car park and wandered to the scene. The place seemed far more pleasant in the sunshine than it had in the dark rainy night. Nobody seemed to be here and the scene was closed. A small figure then caught his attention hunched over by the grave. As he drew closer he could see the male was filling in the hole. The male stopped shovelling the earth and faced him. He was an old man and the exertion of his efforts showed on his face and how out of breath he was. He stabbed his shovel into the ground and leaning against it gave Dave an appraising view. “You’re a cop aren’t you?” He had a deep gravelly voice and his face was partially obscured by the hood of his stockman’s coat. “What makes you think that?” he asked. “Because you look like one, you walk like one and you are scanning the whole churchyard like one.” Cairnsy admitted defeat and indicated why he had come back.

The man introduced himself simply as Rayner. “Bloody odd business but this family have been involved in suspect activities for generations.” With his curiosity roused Cairnsy pushed some questions at the old man but he gave no more acknowledgment to him. He turned back to his shovelling and just kept muttering “Trouble this family. Just bloody trouble.”

PC Kirkwood was back at the station. Having taken the burglary report from Mrs Winter. He’d come back in to submit the crime report before going home. DS Bruce stuck his head around the door. “Darren. Come to my office when you’re done. Supt Payne has tasked me to look at any jobs in the vicinity of St Michael’s.”

A few minutes later PC Kirkwood ventured upstairs to the CID office. “Hello Darling. What are you up to?” DC Phill Darling was usually the night detective. He was sat in front of a large TV screen looking at some grainy images. “I’ve got a total of 42 hours of CCTV footage to view from in and around St Michael’s. It’s a pain in the rear to be honest but they called me in on a rest day so it’s double time.” A small grin crossed his face. It occurred to Darren that the pain Phill was suffering would be short-lived and forgotten on the arrival of the next pay day. He also couldn’t remember the last time he got double time. He left Phil to the CCTV and entered DS Bruce’s office.

“So what’s in this burglary Darren?”. “It’s an odd one Sarge. They broke in through the French windows at the back. Used some sort of jemmy. CSI are trying to take some imprints. The house was turned upside down but nothing has been taken. It’s as though they were looking for something.” DS Bruce was a terrier like career detective. Once he had his teeth in an investigation there was no letting go until the villain was in prison. “So nothing was stolen at all?” he asked. “Not quite Sarge but this is where it gets even more odd. The house is called Lock cottage. It had a large rusty metal key hanging by the front door. It was covered over by Wisteria and couldn’t be seen unless you pulled the branches out of the way. Mrs Winter says its been a feature of the cottage for a couple of hundred years and where the name derives from but the history of it is unknown. She thinks the key was taken during the burglary. It’s certainly not there now. It can’t be worth anything and is not worth weighing in.” DS Bruce scratched his chin. “Does sound a bit odd. Stick all that in a statement for me Darren please. Thanks for your time. I know you’re off in 20 mins but if you could do it before you go that will be great.” Darren wandered back to the writing room contemplating whether Paperwork Mountain was as big as Snowdon yet.

Cairnsy dumped his car down a quiet side street. It would be staying there all night as he planned on having a few drinks. He walked to the High Street and crossed over toward The Bull. A large motorcycle was parked up on the cobbles at the front. It was immaculate and whilst he never rode bikes himself he did appreciate a well kept machine.

He wandered into the bar. The barmaid Steph served him a pint of ale. There seemed to be more real ales than usual on the bar. “Is it a beer festival or something” he asked. Steph gestured to a chap at the end of the bar. “New landlord. His name’s Al. A real ale buff and a motorcyclist too.” He looked vaguely familiar to Dave but he couldn’t quite place him.

Dave glanced around the bar and in one of the side rooms he could see Salwando. She was engaged in conversation with somebody who was obscured by the door and angle of the wall. All he could see was a pair of brown leather boots. The person was sat with legs crossed at the knee and the boots had high heels and went to just under the knee. They had a look of sexy sophistication about them. Intrigued he walked over to meet Salwando and the mystery boot wearer.

“Dave. Really glad you could come” Salwando said as she stood to meet him. “You look so much better than this morning.” “Warmer and drier if nothing else” Dave replied. “Can I introduce you to WPC Pink. She is a transferee and has been put on my team. Today was her first day.” Dave turned towards the new officer. She was stunning with a great figure and smiled warmly as Dave took hold of her perfectly manicured hand. He could see the boots fitted perfectly with everything they projected from the bar. A feeling of being smitten washed over him. “Really nice to meet you.”

They sat talking and drinking for some time and the conversation eventually ended up on the graveyard case. Dave relayed how he had revisited the graveyard and described Rayner. Salwando grabbed his arm. “That’s Gray Rayner. He was the DI before the amalgamation years ago. He’s a real local man. Born and bred in the village and knows everything. Used to be the Fed’ man too. He’s retired now but we used to call on him for local info. He knows everything going on around here. Then about 6 months ago he just stopped talking to us. Like he’d never been in the cops at all. Most people think he’s gone a bit “Mike November”. It’s a real shame. Insp Brown tried to get him some help through his mental health contacts but old Gray went nuclear. Nobody has any contact with him now.”

Cairnsy began to ponder this news. What was the old guy going on about? Which family did he mean? He found himself lost in reverie momentarily. “Cairnsy! Are you ignoring us?” Salwando said as she prodded him in the ribs. “Er.. no. Sorry.” He was just about to continue the conversation when he noticed a local reporter at the bar. Evans the Crime as he was known had a nose for a story and eavesdropping on other conversations was not beyond him. “I’ve had enough to drink” said Dave. “What do you say to a kebab?”

To be continued….

This post is fiction but the characters are people I follow on Twitter and by referencing to them I recommend (#FF) them to you. The story is just a different way of #FF’ing that gives me some pleasure. The personalities of my Twitter characters portrayed in this tale are hypothetical and in no way reflect their true professionalism and personal qualities.. it’s meant to be fun.

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