Thursday, 28 February 2013

Readers' Wives Part 2

This is part 2 of this story. For the whole story click here 

In the house DC Jones was waiting for his boss - ready to show him the collection he’d found.
‘You might want to look at this guv,’ he said as the harrassed looking DI came back into the room.
Griffiths went over to Jones and looked at the pile of porn magazines the younger detective was flicking through.
‘Nothing illegal about having porn Jones,’ Griffiths was getting impatient.
‘I know boss but look, our suspect is in every other magazine.’
‘She was a model?’ Griffiths moved in closer and picked up a magazine.
‘Not exactly! The Readers’ Wives section, look.’ Jones pointed to four or five spreads and there she was, Mrs Edwards in various stages of undress.
‘I think in this one is our stiff too.’ Jones said with a smile, Griffiths looked him. ‘Excuse the pun boss.’
Griffiths looked and sure enough Mr Edwards also featured in the pages of Fiesta in the ‘One for the Ladies’ section.
‘How far do these date back?’ Griffiths asked feeling that stirring again as he looked at Mrs Edwards in white stockings and suspenders with nothing more than a smile.
‘Well 15 years I reckon boss.’
‘Do you think she looks happy in any of these photos, Jones?’
‘She’s smiling isn’t she?’
‘She’s smiling, pouting, licking her lips but that isn’t what I asked, is she happy?’
Jones shrugged his shoulders and went back to flicking through the other magazines.
Griffiths wandered away, lost in thought. ‘Bag them up Jones.’
Griffiths went back to the murder scene, where the SOCOs were just finishing up. As she had been dressed in those clothes, he guessed there had been another photo shoot planned or in progress.
‘Was there a camera here George?’
The SOCO looked up at the DI and pointed to a pile of polythene bags. ‘Yeah and a tripod, we bagged it.’
‘Mind if I take a look?’
‘Be my guest.’
Griffiths pulled on another pair of rubber gloves and looked at the camera but there was nothing on it. All the pictures had been wiped or uploaded to a PC.
‘Jones, make sure the PC is taken down the station too.’ Griffiths called up to his constable before deciding it was time to head back to the station.

‘Meryl, I am trying to help you here love, but you won’t say anything.’ Griffiths stretched out his arms, the gesture completing his sentence for him. ‘You say he didn’t beat you or molest you so why did you kill him.’  Griffiths was hopeless at this, he could deal with real crims, the scum, but this woman wasn’t scum, if anything she was the victim. He wished he had a female colleague but instead he was lumbered with Jones.
Meryl Edwards said nothing. The sobs had dried up and her face had hardened.
‘We know about the photo shoots’ try as he might Griffiths couldn’t get his voice to sound right. It was too harsh, patronising, too policemany. ‘Did he make you do them?’
But it was hopeless, Meryl had said all she was going to say.
Griffiths and Jones turned off the video camera, and left the room.
‘She’s got no defence boss. If he wasn’t beating her then she has no defence, just cold blooded murder.’

But Griffiths wasn’t so sure, there was more than one way to skin a cat. 

For the whole story click here 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Nominative Determinism

Does contain scenes of a risky nature. You have been warned.

Milton the sheep had been known as Milton the sheep for longer than he cared to calculate. His folks had moved from Neath to cider growing country when he was 10 and almost immediately Trevor's brother had given him the moniker, it had stuck. At the time he didn't know why he was called sheep, being ten he didn't know anything about having sex, with animals, girls or himself. So it was another couple of years before the sexual connotation of the nickname dawned on him, but by then it was too late.
Trevor's brother Brendan was one of those nasty boys, older yet still hanging round with his brother's friends, using the strength and worldly wisdom of a 14 year old to impose himself in a way he could never do with his own peer group. As time went by Brendan had joined the army, Milton had not been surprised. Milton meanwhile became a sheep farmer back home in Wales - nominative determinative he supposed.

Milton didn't know what had made him go outside that warm summer's evening but something had. The sun was just about gone but it was still light enough to see a man running round the field chasing after his sheep. As Milton marched down to confront the offender he realised the man was not only exposing himself but also in a state of arousal. Another few more steps and he was struck with another realisation. He fired his gun in the air and screamed.
'Brendan, leave my sheep alone.'

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Memory Stick parts 4 and 5

This is part 4 and 5 of this story for the whole story click here

Part 4
Just as Steve was getting up to answer the door he heard an almighty clatter. Suddenly the place was full of men screaming and shouting, radios blaring, buzzing around like wasps in a beer garden. Their leader was one of the men that Steve had watched take away the girl away earlier that day.
He stood in front of Steve, arms crossed, assessing his quarry. Steve was tempted to say I’ve been expecting you like those bad guys in the Bond movies but he decided against it. Instead he put his hand out and said.
‘I guess you are looking for this?’ and proffered the memory stick to the man in black.
‘Let’s go in here.’ The man pushed Steve towards the kitchen while the other spooks continued to ransack the place.
‘Who are you?’ Steve asked surprisingly calm.
‘Never mind that?’ The voice oozed with arrogance.
‘Do you have a warrant?’
The man ignored the question and instead held up the memory stick?
‘Why did she give it to you?’
‘I don’t know.’ said Steve firmly, he was pleased with how strong his voice sounded; he did have a tendency to go high in times like this.
‘How do you know her?’
‘I don’t.’
‘So why did she give you the stick?’ there was a growing impatience in his voice.
‘I don’t know.’ Steve tried to keep his voice steady while trying to see if those searching had taken down the CD-ROM.
‘Did you look at it?’ The man waved the stick in Steve’s face.
‘No? C’mon, pretty girl gives you a memory stick and you don’t have a look-see?’ He pointed at Steve with the stick.
‘She told me to look after it, not look at it.’
‘So did you make a copy?’
‘No, I just put it in my trouser pocket expecting her to come and get it in a few days.’
The man scratched his chin and stared at Steve.
‘Why did you give it up so easily?’
‘Well where would I hide it? I guess you guys know all the nooks and crannies to look in. Just thought I’d save you the time and energy’
They sat in silence for a little, the man looking at Steve with suspicion. Just as it was getting uncomfortable another of the men in black came to the kitchen door.
The two of them spoke in hushed tones. Then his interrogator turned back to Steve.
‘Right, we’re out of here, but if you’ve been lying to us, they’ll be big trouble. Thanks for the stick.’ With that they were gone.

Steve felt strange, violated. Was this how people felt after a burglary? He walked through the house expecting the worse but he was amazed at how tidy it was; if he had been out he would never have known they were there. They had put things back in order immaculately; in fact if anything things were a bit tidier now then they had been before their visit. The disk was still hanging above the window and the electric socket looked untouched. It was just gone midnight but Steve was more wired than tired. He wondered where she was, what they were doing with her, what she was saying. How had they known about him? Where he lived?  

The next day on very little sleep Steve staggered to work. He didn’t want to go but he needed to be in the park at lunchtime; just in case. He hoped she’d be sitting there, so he could see she was okay, so that he could get an explanation but the bench was empty, the park was empty and no one approached him for the stick.

After work he took a look in her office building, but there were no clues to be found there. It housed a myriad of companies and without knowing her name he didn’t know where to start. He hadn’t even got going and he’d reached a dead end.

Part 5 

Autumn came and went in a blaze of colour cloaked in mist and drizzle. Everyday as Steve walked up the stairs to his office he looked out over the park hoping to see her sitting on her bench. It was too cold and wet to sit in the park at lunchtime but he still took a brisk walk every day in the hope someone would tap him on the shoulder and ask for the stick. He thought about that leaf that fell on the day she'd given him the stick, the first of many - they'd all fallen now, the trees were bare as was the park bench.

That morning was the first frost of winter and the grass was still white as he looked out over the park from his vantage point on the office stairs. He looked at the bench. There was a figure sitting there. It was her!
He bounded down the stairs across the road and into the gardens. She looked up and saw him coming. As he reached her he realised she was wearing the same summer dress that she was in the last time he had seen her. She was shivering like there was no tomorrow and if she sat there much longer there would be no tomorrow. He enveloped her in his arms; not the nervous, shy man of a few months ago but decisive acting on instinct. She was pale and cold and needed warmth, she said nothing, just sobbed, her nose running and teeth chattering.

Just over an hour later the girl was sitting on Steve’s sofa, cupping but not drinking a steaming hot mug of tea. Her hair was still wet from the shower and she was wrapped in a blanket. She hadn’t spoken since Steve had found her and had only just managed to control her breathing. Steve was on the phone to his boss explaining his sudden absence by claiming a violently upset stomach.

Steve sat opposite, watching her, waiting for her to speak. She was stunningly beautiful even in this state.  She sipped at her tea and smiled.
‘You look at the stick?’
Steve nodded.
‘I made it all up.’
Steve stared at her blankly, not comprehending.
‘I made it all up.’ she repeated her voice getting stronger.
‘So…’ but Steve was lost for words.
‘The photos are fake, photoshopped.’
Steve just stared.
‘It was a fantasy, an alter ego, a life I lived in my mind. Then I started to make it real by making photos, it was fun, silly, harmless fun.’
‘So the men in black?’
‘Well I showed the photos to a friend.’ Steve nodded ‘Unbeknown to me he posted some online, next thing I know I get a call from someone saying they are coming for me.’
Steve took in the news for a moment.
‘So why give me the stick?’
The girl was sitting up straight now, control back in her voice.
‘I just wanted to keep my work. Didn’t want them to delete all those photos. I’d slaved over them.’ Steve excused the pun.
‘I knew you liked me, you’d been watching me all summer. Thought you’d be safe.’ She smiled, Steve smiled back enchanted by her beauty.
‘I told them straight away it was a fake, but they didn’t believe me. They questioned me everyday. Where did I meet them? When? My answer was always the same, it’s all made up.’
Then today out of the blue they drove me back to the park and left me there.
Steve went over and put his arm around her, she snuggled into him. Something didn’t quite add up but for now Steve was just glad she was safe. 

This is part 4 and 5 of this story for the whole story click here

Is there going to be a part six? If so, I need a name for the girl. Head over to here to vote for the name.

While you are there why not like the page :-) 

Monday, 25 February 2013

The tables are turned - A Steve Rant, or is it?

‘Is there anything more frustrating,’ Johnny rolled his eyes and settled in for the long haul. When Steve started a sentence like that Johnny  knew he was about to go off on one. Their local was still being renovated so they were trying out another new pub - The Rose - for their weekly pint.
Just as Steve was about to tell Johnny exactly what was frustrating, Queen came on the jukebox. Thank god for that thought Johnny, Queen was Steve’s favourite band and if there was one sure fire way of shutting him up it was some Queen.  
‘I want to break free….’ Steve sang along with the lyrics while Johnny wondered which was worse - the rant or the bad singing.
‘This song makes no sense’ said Johnny.
‘Who needs sense, it’s Queen.’ Steve looked shocked that Johnny should dare question Rock and Roll royalty.
‘You bloody hypocrite. Weren’t you telling me the other day how crap Radiohead lyrics were?’
‘Yeah but they were trying to be clever, up their own arses, Queen are just Queen, no one takes them seriously.’
‘So one rule for the masses and another for the aristocracy then?’
‘Yeah that’s it.’ Steve smiled and continued to sing.
‘I’ve fallen in love, I’ve fallen in love for the first time and this time I know it’s for real.’
‘There! That line!’ said Johnny, ‘that line, it’s complete rubbish. He says it’s the first time he’s fallen in love but then says ‘this time’, that implies there have been other times ergo completely contradicting himself. And and and,’ Johnny was on a roll, ‘if he’s fallen in love why does he want to break free?’
‘He has a new lover so wants to break free from the old one, simple.’
‘No!’ Johnny was almost shouting. ‘Listen.’
Mercury sang and they both listened. ‘See,’ said Johnny, ‘see.’
But Steve didn’t see, or at least didn’t want to see.
‘I don't want to live alone, God knows got to make it on my own’ Johnny repeated back the line. ‘So he’s not got anyone else. I told you it’s nonsense.’
‘You think too much.’ Steve was shaking his head as he wandered over to the bar to refresh their drinks. 

And if you don't believe me.... 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


‘What’s that?’ Eric looked in amazement at the thing that Molly had put on the table.
‘It’s a Siemens C35.’
‘Well I can see that but what the bloody hell are you doing with it?’ He picked the archaic phone up and twirled it round in his hand. Probably only 14 years old but already more out-dated than Paul Daniel’s magic trick.
‘I told you my phone is dead, that’s why I am on a new number.’
‘And this one works?’
‘No Eric I am carrying it around as an accessory of course it bloody works.’
‘Where’s on earth did you get it?’
Carphone Warehouse I think, back in 2000.’
‘No I mean now.’
‘Back of my draw, it’s my emergency phone.’
‘Jesus, so what happened to the old phone?’
‘Well, I dropped it in the bath.’
‘Shit! Your lovely, shinny, new Galaxy cleverer than Professor Brian Cox smart phone? You dropped it in the bath?' Molly nodded.
 'You muppet!’
‘It’s completely fucked.
‘What were you doing with it in the bath?’
Molly blushed a colour so red Eric thought she was going to burst.
‘Tell me, tell me.’ Eric was bouncing on his seat desperate for the gossip but Molly stayed quiet.
‘Have you tried putting it in rice?’ He asked eventually realising that he wasn’t going to get anything out of his friend.
‘In rice? Why?’
‘Apparently it dries the phone, the rice absorbs the moisture. Same principle as putting rice in a salt pot.’
‘Yeah, but I’ve never tried it cos I haven’t tried to take naked photos of myself in the bath.’
Molly blushed again. Had Eric hit the jackpot?
‘Cooked rice?’ she managed to say despite her embarrassment.
‘No, dry rice.’ Eric said his voice heavy with sarcasm.
‘I think I only have risotto rice at home, Will that do?’
‘Any rice I think.’
‘Well, okay I’ll try it.’
The next day Eric was sitting in a café drinking a latte, minding his own business, his super duper Steve Jobs inspired phone buzzed signalling he had a new message.
‘Thank you, thank you, to show my appreciation I’ll send you the photo I took when I dropped the phone. Wait a sec.’
Eric smiled, he didn’t really think the rice would work so he was amazed it had. He was excited about the impending arrival of the ‘bath’ picture. His imagination raced.
30 seconds later the phone buzzed again. Eric grabbed it from the table and slid his finger across the screen to view the pic.
In front of his eyes were three yellow rubber ducks bobbing merrily in foamy bathwater.