Category Archives: An FF Tale

An #FF Tale – Chapter 6

It was Saturday morning. The force control room was the last place Jenny Clay wanted to be. It was bad enough on weekdays but at weekends and the threat of redundancy hanging over police staff her mood was particularly low. A new incident appeared on her screen. A request to see Rob Harrison and collect some CCTV that may be relevant to the graveyard case. She read further into the detail on the log and concluded that CID had better handle this. She pushed her chair back and wandered over to the control room Inspector. Pete Chisholm had been the force incident manager for some time. She relayed the circumstances of the incident to him. “Thank you for bringing this to me Jenny. Call CID and get them to collect the footage. They will no doubt want this on CD in a variety of formats immediately. I’ll turn out PC Hell from home to come in and sort it.”

John Bish was on attachment to the CID as a result of the Renners case and was despactched to collect the CCTV footage. He was instructed by DS Bruce to collect it and convey straight to HQ where a CCTV specialist had been called in to process it.

DS Bruce sat at his desk drumming his fingers. The CCTV evidence was a massive lead and he was impatient to see it. It was early and the CCTV specialist had been called in but it would be at least lunchtime before it could be viewed. A knock at his door caused him to look up. A young officer stood in the doorway. “Are you DS Bruce?” he asked. “Yes. What can I do for you?” he replied. The officer stepped into the room. “I’m PC Richard Stanley and I have some ANPR data for you.” PC Stanley went on to explain the data contained within the print-out. DS Bruce quickly lost his patience. “Richard. It was Richard wasn’t it? Cut to the chase. Is the vehicle I’m after caught on the cameras?” PC Stanley had been enjoying the dramatic build up and was disappointed to be pulled up short. “Yes Sarge.” He dropped four 10×8 glossy prints onto the desk. DS Bruce snatched them up and poured over them. The shots caught only the front of the vehicle and the VRM plate dominated most of the image. There would be no ID of the driver from these shots. He glanced up at PC Stanley. “Tell me more” he said as he indicated for him to sit down. “It was taken on the by-pass Sarge. No speed or excise offences but it has no insurance. We’ve run checks on PNC and it’s a red Astra van with no current recorded keeper. It doesn’t feature on our local intelligence systems so we know very little about it.” DS Bruce stared at the images willing them to tell him something. The only thing staring back at him was the complete registration. “Richard. Do me a favour. Get this vehicle circulated on PNC straight away.” At that he stood up and headed for the briefing by Supt Payne.

Jane Hamilton stood in the churchyard. The grave had been filled in. It had a very simple headstone and the grass around the base had grown dense and was covering the bottom 6 inches of it. Considering the wealth the Scholes family the grave was very understated. She placed her camera bag on the floor and crouched down by the headstone. She read the basic text over and over but nothing leapt out at her. She stood up and looked at the back of the headstone. The grass on this side was little longer and she pressed it down with her foot. Years of grass growth and cutting had encrusted the bottom of the headstone in a layer of dried grass. As she looked there appeared to be some sort of symbol embossed on the back. The dried grass was obscuring it so she crouched down and picked away at it with her finger. It came away easily. The stone was actually tilted forward through age and it looked like the symbol would have been below the ground when first fixed. Pulling a lens cloth from her bag she worked away the rest of the grass to reveal a small rectangle outline with the image of a key embossed within it. She had no idea what this was. “Probably the Craftsmans mark” she thought to herself.

She stood up and looked around the churchyard. The Scholes family had been associated with the Calder Estate for generations. There must be a family grave somewhere. The sun caught her eyes as she wandered around the back of the church. She held her hand up above her head to shield her eyes and tucked in the far corner of the graveyard there appeared to be a small mausoleum. She walked toward it. The boundary of the churchyard was surrounded by conifers and low branches festooned with pine cones swooped over the top of the mausoleum. It was somewhat quieter in this corner and even the birds seemed to have stopped singing. Notwithstanding the bright sunshine the whole area felt cold and sad. The burial chamber was quite large and surrounded by a decorative railings. Alongside the chamber there were also some individual headstones. She was in the right place. The Scholes name was on most of them and many she recognised from her research of the family. One in particular caught her eye. She read the inscription and the name “Edward Charles Scholes” but it was something else that caused her heart to skip a little beat and set her journalistic mind into overdrive. On the front of the headstone toward the bottom but clearly visible was a small icon of a key surrounded by a rectangle.

Doug Beattie dropped the package onto the floor. He had carried it deep into the forest. He had thought long and hard about how to dispose of the body. His intial thought had been to weigh it down and and throw it in the lake but he couldn’t take the risk of it surfacing for whatever reason. He abandoned the idea and settled for a basic burial in the ground. The forest belonged to one of the subsiduary companies owned by his boss. There was no public access and it was as secure as anywhere could be from intruders. The silence of the forest was only broken by the sound of the wind gently soughing in the tops of the trees. This was as a good a place as any. The hole would need to be deep and would take some time. Taking off his coat he placed his foot to the spade and began to dig.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 5

Inspector Winter sat at his desk. His tweed jacket hung on a coat stand in the corner of the office. Yesterday had been an interesting day. He had a long standing interest in Roaming Royston but turning up at an antiques shop, which he suspected was an export point, with John Cooper QC was unexpected to say the least. He’d slept on the matter and was still puzzled. It just didn’t make sense. He wandered out into the main office. Response Plod had arrived and was busy at his computer terminal. “I need you to get some research going on this QC. I want to know who he is, where he works and lives, who his clients are and what his recent cases have been. I want to know everything about him.” Response Plod was fired up by the turn this case had taken. “Leave it with me Boss. I’m on it” he replied with enthusiasm. The office door opened and Spartancop strolled in. He wore blue jeans, timberland hand sewn boots and a black t-shirt underneath an unbuttoned check shirt. He was unshaven and looked rough. “Sparty” plonked his take-away coffee down on the desk. “What do you need me to do Boss?” Winter knew that looks were deceptive. Sparty was the master of disguise and had been on the unit for years. “I want you to pull all the Royston files. I need to know of any links he has with the legal fraternity, solicitors, barristers or QC’s. Plod is doing some other research into Cooper. Let’s meet back here at 1pm.” A that Winter reached back into his office, grabbed his jacket and snatched a bag of Haribo off his desk. “I’m off for coffee and a think. See you all at 1pm.”

Revdal stood looking over his reservations. There weren’t many but he hoped to increase this with some targeted marketing. Kneewax was going to assist with the setting up of some IT systems to make life a little easier but he had no idea what he was on about when he mentioned things such as “android” and “Linux”. The pub wasn’t open yet but his thoughts were interrupted by the door bell. He wandered down and opened the door. A slim lady in a white linen suit with a very confident look about her stood before him. She had an overnight bag which she handed to him and a large camera bag slung over her shoulder. She stepped through the door and past him saying “I’m Jane Hamilton and I have a reservation.”

Allie had driven solidly for the last 2 hours and decided that enough was enough. She moved the car across into lane one of the motorway and then filtered off into the services. She pondered the phrase “All roads lead to Rome” as she pulled into a parking space. “Seems to me all roads lead to Frankley services” she said to herself as she turned off the engine and checked her make-up in the rear view mirror. She was heading home after a short business trip that had been somewhat out of the ordinary. Her clients were normally up to their neck in trouble by the time she became involved. This client was different. She had been invited to meet with a man called Clive Chamberlain at the Bovey Castle Hotel. Over dinner he had explained that he represented a client who was very wealthy but needed to remain anonymous and that he had been instructed to retain her for taxation advice on a complicated inheritance case. “My client demands complete confidentiality and will pay you handsomely to ensure your discretion” he had told her. All her expenses would be met and files needing her attention would be delivered by private courier. “Allie. In order to secure your agreement I am authorised to offer you a hefty non-returnable retainer.” Allie had thought long and hard overnight and that morning she had agreed to take on the case. Within a couple of hours her bank was credited with £25k sterling from an unnumbered Swiss bank account. Clive, as he had insisted she called him said “My client is delighted. We will send you some documents in the next week or so”.

Deep within the forest at the end of a long rutted and muddy track was a saw mill. The sleek silver Range Rover handled the terrain with ease but the driver was now fed up with being jolted around. The trees began to part and the mill came into view. Tree trunks of various sizes were piled haphazardly on the edge of the clearing and a smell of sawn wood redolent of a woodwork classroom filtered into the car through the aircon. A small red Astra van was parked by the side of the main building and as the Range Rover pulled up behind it a heavy set figure got out of the drivers seat and waited for him. He climbed out of the Range Rover and squelched into mud. He hated being dirty so this was quite possibly the worst place to be. He looked over the man stood by the van. This man had been on his “unofficial” payroll for years. He was well paid to do the dirty work. “Show me” he said to him. Doug Beattie turned on his heels and headed down a narrow track between the trees. The conifers were tall and tight casting a gloom over the place that denied the day existed. If not for the faint glimpse of the sun coruscating on the lake between the trees it could have been dusk. Doug seemed almost as broad at the shoulders as he did tall. He was ex-forces, well built and very dangerous. Good money kept him onside and his tongue still. He continued along the path and then abruptly turned left into the undergrowth. After walking approximately 20m through ferns and brambles they came to a wood stack with a pile of ferns and conifer branches on the floor next to it. Doug pulled these out of the way to reveal a section of dirty blue tarpaulin which when he folded it back revealed a decaying skeleton. “This is her?” asked the smart man. “Yes Sir. I dug her out myself. There was nothing there but the body”. The visitor looked on for moment. “Very well. Lose the remains Doug.” At that he returned to his Range Rover and headed back to civilisation. He had mud spattered up his shoes and would need to get them cleaned. He hated being dirty.

DC Darling was at his desk. “Sarge. I’ve sat through all that CCTV. There is nothing immediately obvious. I’ve cross checked every VRM that is visible and they are all local vehicles.“ DS Bruce sighed..”That’s a dead end then. Nothing at all?” Phill scanned his notes. “The only untraceable vehicle is a red Astra van. There is no image of the reg’ plate and the only obvious feature is it is covered in mud along the side. It parks up on High Street for a short while and then disappears. “ DS Bruce leant forward onto his desk and put his head in his hands. “Thanks Phill. Get onto traffic will you. Let’s see if there are any ANPR hits on a red astra van during the night of the offence.

Most of the time Rob Harrison lived alone in the no-mans land that divorce creates and had access to his children once a week. He missed them greatly and in an attempt to ease the pain he threw himself into his work. He was a self confessed hi-tech computer geek and ran his own business in London. He lived in an apartment in the city but at the weekends he escaped to a thatched cottage on a quiet lane off the High Street in the village. As the place was regularly empty he had kitted it out with an array of technology gadgets including a state of the art IR CCTV system. He sat drinking coffee in front of dual computer screens. One displayed his Twitter feed and the other The Times website. There was an article by the crime editor Sean O’Neill about the graveyard incident in the village. It was clear the police had released little information and had even less to go on but a source had revealed to The Times that there was a link to the Scholes-Fogg dynasty. Rob punched a speed dial and his close friend and business partner Millymoo answered on the 10th ring. “Why are you ringing me at 9am you bastard. It’s Saturday!”. Rob smiled, “Morning. Have you seen this story about my village? It’s all very odd but The Times think the body is related to the Scholes-Fogg family.” There was a pause on the other end of the line. “What? As in Lord Scholes-Fogg? Bloody hell!” Millymoo used to be a practicing barrister and Rob knew it wouldn’t take much to get her interest going. They talked for a while and it was Milly who suggested he review his cctv footage. He had a few hours before the boys arrived so he accessed the system and watched at 8x speed from 6pm on the Thursday night.

The timer was showing around 1.30am when he hit the pause button. He had a cameras on the side of the house that looked down the lane in both directions. A dark coloured van could be seen coming down the lane from High Street past the cottage and parked up a little further down. Two males, one of which seemed to be very well built got out of the van, took shovels from the back and climbed over the gate into the paddock. He fast forwarded the footage and after a couple of hours they returned carrying a large package that was placed in the rear of the van. The van then turned around and drove back past the cottage towards High Street. The headlights burnt out a lot of the detail of the van but he could just make out GH51 at the beginning of the registration. Rob took a deep breath. There was no doubt what his cameras had caught. The paddock backed onto the churchyard. He fired up Safari and searched for the website of the local police and punched the non-emergency number into his phone.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 4

The desecrated grave was that of Amylou Renners. She had died some 200 years ago. French by birth she had come to England as a young girl of 14 and entered into domestic service. She served in many fine London households and quickly progressed to housekeeper. Her reputation for efficiency became well known in the city and she was soon sought after by the most influential families.

After 20 years of working in the city she grew tired and desired a more rural setting redolent of her French childhood. When she was approached by Lord Scholes to manage the Calder Estate and be housekeeper at Calder Hall she leapt at the chance and never looked back. The estate engaged many local staff whom she oversaw and who all referred to her as “Miss Renners, keeper of the keys”.

At 34 years she was still a remarkably attractive woman and rumours abounded that she and Lord Scholes became lovers. However she remained single all her life and died at the age of 72. Protocol denied Lord Scholes the opportunity to publicly express his grief and so she was buried in a simple grave at St Michael’s with a plain headstone.

The Scholes family remained highly influential over the years and in 1959 more than doubled their net wealth when the current Lord Scholes married the only daughter of the massively wealthy Fogg family. Lord Scholes-Fogg as he became was, like all his ancestors, a staunch conservative. He was now in his 70’s and still a keen parliamentarian and it was with he whom Supt Payne had spent most of the afternoon.

“Superintendent. That really is all I can tell you. I know nothing more about Miss Renners. Whatever familiarity she had with my ancestors was kept very private. Unlike my son Tom who has abandoned family tradition for the Labour party”. Supt Payne checked his notes and smiled at Lord Scholes-Fogg. “Thank you for your time in these unpleasant circumstances Sir. I will keep you informed of any developments”. Lord Scholes-Fogg had been sitting forward. He sank back into his wing backed armchair. The black labrador by his feet stirred quietly before returning to its snoozing. “Do you see much of your son Sir?” asked the Supt. “Less than never mostly. He has disgraced this family and its fine traditions by joining the Labour party. He gets in touch when he needs money”. Lord Scholes-Fogg looked weary as though the burdens of family life were becoming too much for him. Supt Payne felt this was as good a time as any to leave, made his farewells and left the Calder Estate for the police station.

The noise of the city was muted considerably by the heavy double glazed doors of the Mercedes E63 AMG saloon. Roaming Royston had no understanding or appreciation of fine cars. This was simply the most expensive car he could buy and acted as a status symbol. He turned to his passenger. “John. It has been a pleasure to meet up with you again. Lunch was wonderful and I do miss how much simpler life was at Eton. I’ve followed your career with interest and I may be able to push some business your way. Can I drop you here?” The car pulled over to the kerb and John Cooper QC stepped out onto Theobald’s Road opposite Holborn Library. “I’ll be in touch” was the last thing he heard as the car slipped away from the kerb. The invitation to lunch had come from nowhere and was unexpected. Royston had never been one of his closest friends at Eton, far from it in fact. Still somewhat bemused he turned and walked towards his chambers on Bedford Row.

The Mercedes was now silently sliding along Southampton Row. Roaming Royston took a call. “Have you got the merchandise? What do you mean yes and no? You either have it or you don’t Max. Listen. Get Hollie find the key and locate that cache. Fast! I don’t pay you to fail.”

DCC Stuart Hyde sat in his office. It had been a long day. He had held a press conference over the Renners case, fielded calls from TV and radio stations and then to top it all the Prime Ministers secretary had called. He advised that Lord Scholes-Fogg was a close friend and the PM would be taking a keen interest in this investigation. He was tired and felt the need to clear his head. An outdoor swim in the lake on the way home would be just the ticket but he was waiting on Supt Payne for an update on the Renners case before leaving.

Mark Payne pulled into the underground car park at HQ reserved for the Senior Command Team and took the lift to the top floor. The ACPO secretaries were long since gone but he could see the DCC in his office fiddling with his phone. He knocked on the door and walked straight in. “You’re not tweeting again are you boss?” The DCC didn’t look up but kept tapping out on his phone keyboard. “Sit down Mark. I’m almost done. I’m just trading tweets with Lauri Stevens in the states about the benefits of social media and the SMILE conference. It’s just this bloody Blackberry. I wish I could talk the Chief into iPhones.” A few moments later Supt Payne had the rare opportunity to see the DCC without his mobile in his hand. He went on to brief him on the state of the investigation.

Jane Hamilton, a freelance investigative journalist sat staring at the screen of her Mac in disbelief. She had followed the disaffection in the Scholes-Fogg family closely. She was watching the earlier press conference given by DCC Hyde and was astonished at the story. “Seems like a trip is due” she said to herself. In a short space of time she had a bag packed, a train ticket ordered and a reservation at the The Bull in the village close to the Calder estate confirmed. This was a story she could not afford to miss.

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.

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.

An #FF Tale – Chapter 2

PC Kirkwood’s plan today had been simple. Parade on duty, have a brew with the team then crack on with a huge backlog of paperwork. Following that he had appointments to obtain a couple of statements and then perhaps he could get out on the streets for an hour or so. This plan had crashed around his ears as soon as he arrived for duty and now with appointments cancelled and paperwork mountain getting bigger he stood in the graveyard at St Michael’s.

Inspector Guilfoyle had retreated to his car to seek some shelter from the rain but CSI had turned up and were wandering around the scene in white paper suits snapping photographs and picking over the remnants of the shattered coffin. PC Kirkwood’s attention had drifted as he contemplated the rare weekend off that would begin at the end of this shift. “Darren grab this bag will you?” His attention leapt back to the present and he automatically reached down and took the bag from the CSI guy who was now stood in the hole. “Not sure whether it will uncover your body snatcher but it’s not been down here as long as the body was.” PC Kirkwood held up the bag. It contained a small business card in very good condition. He read across the front.

“Life Less Vanilla – Tax Barrister”
Specialist in Taxation Law

“That’s me done” said the CSI as he climbed out of the hole. PC Kirkwood handed the bag back as they both became aware of footsteps approaching. Inspector Guilfoyle was returning to the scene and he was accompanied by Supt Payne. “Anything for us forensically” asked the Super. “Nothing much at all I’m afraid Sir. The rain got to most stuff well before we discovered the scene” replied CSI. “I did find this business card though” he said handing the exhibit bag over. “It was under the wood and dry so we may get some prints. It’s in good condition. It can’t have been buried so I can only assume our body snatcher dropped it.” Supt Payne glanced at the card. “Good. Follow it through and let me know how it develops”.

The Super and Inspector then walked a few steps away and huddled close in conversation. PC Kirkwood couldn’t hear what was said but after a few minutes they returned to him. “Darren. The Super is quite happy now. You can close down the scene log. Drop it on my desk at the nick. Before you go find someone to fill in this hole will you” said the Inspector before dashing off to his car.

The graveyard was deserted. There was nobody about at all. PC Kirkwood looked at the hole. It was enormous. Find someone to fill it in he thought to himself. Like who? He stood in isolation and determined no matter what happened he wasn’t going to do it himself. As he pondered this a lady came came toward him. She had a pinny on and was carrying a small tray. “You must be freezing. I’ve brought you a cup of tea and a piece of cake”. It turned out that the lady was Mrs Voysey the churchwarden. After discussing his dilemma Darren established that the usual gravedigger lived across the road and Mrs Voysey had already canvassed him to see if he could fill in the hole if needed. “You leave it to me” she said. “You go and get warm and dry.” Like most bobbies Darren welcomed the tea and demolished the cake. He then thanked Mrs Voysey for her help and walked towards his car. His radio rang for a private call. He answered and the voice of Sgt Main flowed through his earpiece. “Darren. Super says the scene’s closed. There’s a burglary reported just down the road. Will you go and sort that out please? Mrs Katharine Winter reporting. Very upset.”

PC Kirkwood flopped into the seat of his panda and rearranged his daily plan… again.

Somewhere in the myriad side streets of Soho a small saloon car was parked up against the kerb. Two men occupied the front seats. One wore jeans and what seemed to be about 4 thin jackets on top of each other. The other was elegantly dressed in a tweed jacket, smart tie and brogues. They sat silently watching a shop premises on the opposite side of the road and about 7 doors down. “I can’t believe you lost the tail on this bloke” the smart one said. Six weeks of unbroken surveillance smashed because you go for doughnuts!” Response Plod was normally a uniform officer but was on attachment to a specialist unit for a short while. Inspector Winter he knew was an infinitely fair man but he had screwed up and was looking for a way to redeem himself. “He’s not patronised these premises for awhile now but I have a hunch about… said Winter but before he could finish his sentence Winter’s quarry was in sight. “Hold on. Here he comes.”

Affectionately known as Roaming Royston he was the biggest fencer of expensive jewellery in Europe. Possibly the world. “Hang on” said Winter. “who the bloody hell is that with him?” As he said this the two figures entered the darkened interior of the very suspect antique shop. “Who was that other male” demanded Winter to nobody in particular. Response plod desperate to regain favour leapt at a chance. “I’m not sure boss. Let me walk up and have a closer look”. Winter gave him a reviewing glance. “Go and don’t screw it up”.

Response Plod got out of the car. His top jacket was blue. He crossed the road and approached the shop. Slowing as he drew level with the windows he peered inside. He could see the second male but he had his back to him. He walked on to avoid drawing attention himself and turned a corner.

Winter sat watching. He waited. Plod was nowhere to be seen. The street was empty now except for a blind man in a cream jacket. He was walking down the footpath holding a white cane and wore dark glasses and a flat cap. He passed the shop, continued along the footpath and past where Winter was parked. Where the bloody hell has that boy gone he thought to himself. This plod didn’t have it. He would have to send him back to response duties. Suddenly he was aware of a figure at the side of the car. He quickly cursed himself for loosing his attention and lowering his guard enough for someone to get so close to him. The figure grabbed the door handle and jumped into the drivers seat. Winters hand immediately reached for his Glock 26. There was no need. Plod pulled off his hat and glasses and threw the cane in the footwell. “You’re not gonna believe this boss. I’ve had a good look. That second bloke is that QC who’s always on the TV. Campaigns against cruel sports and stuff. “Who?” pressed Winter. Plod took a breath “It’s John Cooper QC“. Winter felt like the wind had just been taken from his sails. This was an unexpected twist. Maybe this plod did have the skills after all. “Good man. Get on the radio and get some relief here. We need to get back to the office now.”

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.