‘More tea?’ Flannigan asks me. I just nod in reply, raising my hands slightly for him to pour more tea into my china blue teacup. Flannigan poured, the liquid swirling around the blue teacup that I held in my shaking hands, a miniature Charybdis representing another trial for me to face.
‘Say, have I ever told you about the episode with Mr Kinsella?’ Flannigan leaned back in his chair. ‘You see, Kinsella came a-hunting, round about these parts. Knocks on my door and tells me all of these stories he’s heard. Dreadful business about these parts these days, don’t you think? Biscuit?’
I shook my head slowly, not wanting to shake my tea any further. Flannigan’s other guests were just as mute.
‘That’s right. Horrible stories you hear, all them folk going missing up the way and all that trouble with that couples’ car covered in blood.’ He paused to shove a bourbon into his mouth, grey teeth crushing and grinding as he spewed crumbs over the table. ‘Sho you shee, I did… Shcuse me.’ He swallowed, pronounced Adam’s apple moving visibly through a jowly throat. ‘ You see, I hadn’t heard about most of them. So, I invited him in for tea to tell me more. He was so willing to share. Turned out, he was a policeman, very involved in the whole shebang! Came into my home, abused my hospitality. He even took the custard creams. So, I showed him the door.’ He gestured to the unpainted wooden door behind him.
I looked into his eyes and saw nothing but madness. I could feel my badge stabbing into the soft flesh of my backside and I prayed he hadn’t realised who I was.
‘Same door I’m showing you, Police Constable Victor Jones.’
I squinted my eyes shut, tight. If I focused really hard, it was as if I wasn’t there. I could barely see the wire around my wrists from here anyway.
The bodies wired in next to me were harder to ignore.
Flannigan leered at me as I opened my eyelids.
‘Whatever are we going to do with you?’
The tiger who came to tea, as long as by tiger you mean apparently murderous maniac. Any ideas on why Flannigan may be murdering people, I’m all ears. Or any ideas on how on Earth Victor is getting out of this. I feel kind of bad about leaving him there at Flannigan’s mercy.
The Idiot in Tin Foil