Day 270: You realise you have inadvertently become a stalker

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I’m not a stalker. Not really. I just like to know about people.

Are you honestly telling me that you don’t? You don’t meet someone and want to know everything about them, every little detail because they fascinate you so much? I mean, you can get the boring stuff when you first meet them. Their eyes are blue. Their hair is blonde. They live with their parents, seeing as Mum phones while she was on the train and she responded that she didn’t know what time she was going to be home for dinner.

That’s the easy part. But surely nobody is satisfied with that kind of thing. So, yeah. I got off a couple of stops early. She called up her friend while she was walking back, Tracy (who lives in Dagenham, easy enough to find after the girl had said her full name in astonishment, probably referring to the party Tracy Brackwell had attended the night before. It’s implied she went home with a stranger, known only as Ali G on his Facebook page.)

So after this, the object of my attention is still walking home. Tracy has clearly had a good night and through her profile I’ve found my affection’s name. Elise. Elise Warner, who has the sense to make her profile private at least. Always an attractive aspect of a woman, someone who knows their privacy settings.

So, I kept following her. I found out where she lived after a couple of days. Her parents names after a week. She’s got a brother in Australia and a sister in law that she gets on better with in Cardiff following their messy divorce. She works at Clifford’s Home for Dogs and has a poodle called Scruff. I’d praise her for originality, but I can only use so many sarcasm circuits at once.

But I’m not a stalker. I just wanted to know about her. The way I see it, that’s the easiest way for me to make a move. It means I won’t slip up!

Shame she ended up dead really. She was on her way home from work, I was following her when she heard a noise. She turned around, saw me, clearly thought I was going to attack her so she bolted. I ran to try and explain, she rounded a corner, I lost sight of her for ten seconds, maybe twelve.

I came round the corner and promptly threw up. It wasn’t my fault she was just… Scared. Somebody killed her.

But it wasn’t me.

The Idiot in Tin Foil

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Day 210: The weekend in St Tropez

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“Alright, gentleman. This is a standard mission. In, bag, tag and then out. There will be no messing around, no distractions,” Carrigan looked pointedly at Huxley, “and most importantly, no showboating. That includes you, Porter.” Chaz Porter smirked.

“None at all, Major?”

“You’re god-damn right. Luther, you’ve got point. We’re coming in from the north of the town, we’re gonna be dropped about four klicks from Pointe de Cemetiere. Then we head south to Rue Cavaillon. Sidearms only, no long guns. They’re already stored landside at the Citadel should we need them.” The Major tucked his pistol into the holster beneath his arm. “Which we should not. Now, we have two days. Any questions you want to get out of the way before we begin?”

The only noise was the wind. With a silent nod, Major Carrigan got back to preparing.

The four man team didn’t speak for the rest of their time on the large vessel. Not a word, just their silent preparations. Huxley lifted the cross from beneath his shirt, placed it against his lips, then tucked it away again.

“Showtime.” He whispered as he descended into the small boat.

The four men and their small boat came slowly to shore, resting against the beach in the long shadows of the morning. Luther jumped out first, dragging it up the beach as the other’s took more time. They had specific equipment, specialist roles whereas Luther was just there to damage things that needed damaging.

Not that the other men weren’t, as the man they were here to see for the weekend was about to find out…

Mysterious hit team versus one house in St Tropez. How’s that one going to go?

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 206: The last time you were betrayed

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“Hello, boy. How are the bracelets holding out for you?” I asked, turning to look at the reprobate in the back of the cart. He glared back at me, eyes burning above the gag. He raised his hands in their cuffs and raised his middle fingers. “Nice and comfy then?” I turned back to the road and started whistling. I could see a pull in up ahead, somewhere I could have a little chat with my new pet.

I called the horses to a stop and jumped down from the cart. He was breathing heavily, nostrils flaring as he tried to get away, but I grabbed him by the ankles and dragged him onto the dirt.

“Now then. I’m gonna take the gag off and you’re gonna tell me what happened. Deal?” There was more glaring, but he nodded eventually. I reached around his head and pulled at the know.

“You fucking sh-” I punched him in the face. God, but it felt good.

“You’re gonna be polite. Ain’t ya?”

“Whatever man. Just let me go!” He was looking a bit scared now, his eye already showing signs of a bruise. “Look, I’m sorry about…”

I raised a hand to silence him and his mouth snapped shut. “We’re not going to talk about that just yet. First, you’re gonna tell me where you put the money.”

“Starr took it. He took it all, said he was gonna let us all know when it was safe to collect. I mean, he was the guy in charge, it was his idea to fuck with you, I’m innocent. It was all Starr.” He’d even started blubbering. “Please, I don’t want to die.”

I walked over to the cart and reached below the seat. I took the rifle out, made sure he could see the gleaming metal in the sunlight as I grabbed the powder too.

I took my time loading, letting him squirm. “Alright, boy. Stand up.” He started to cry, great gulping sobs as he struggled to his feet. I took a step towards him. And another. Every step sent him shaking with fear like a leaf in the breeze. I kept going until I was in arm’s reach. “You’re never gonna mess with anyone else like you guys did to me, are ya?”

He nodded vigorously. “No, I won’t, please, I swear, nothing.” I took the handcuff key from my pocket and unlocked the cuffs.

“Fair enough then. On you go. Philly’s that way.” He just stared at me, jaw hanging loose as he tried to process what I’d said. I leaned in close and whispered in his ear, “I suggest you start running.”

He did. As fast as his little legs would take him. I raised the rifle, sighted at the shrinking figure, then pulled the trigger. He went down like somebody had tripped him.

“Like I said,” I said as I dropped the rifle, “You won’t be screwing with anyone else like you did me.” I spat on the ground and headed back to the cart. I placed the rifle on the seat, then took a moment to try and stretch my shoulder. Damn thing still ached where the ball had gone in.

But at least now I knew which of those fuckers had organised the collective backstabbing. Jonathan Starr, Bastard-in-chief.

Revenge is a dish best served with a dash of hope. 

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 204: Put yourself or your character in a place where you feel vulnerable and uneasy.

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I kill people and I get paid for it.

It’s not an easy job, but somebody has to do it. Otherwise, you’d find the world overrun with dictators, monsters and annoying ex-spouses.

Now, as part of my job, I’m inherently exposed to danger. Most of the people I get paid to kill don’t exactly want to be dead and spend vast amounts of money coating their insidious lairs with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos and violent criminals dredged from the depths of their underworld. It’s a complex game that we’ve been playing for years. It’s almost them saying “If you can get through my defences, you can kill me!”

So far, I’m twenty-five to a half. Mark number seven managed to get a knife into my shoulder, which sure as hell wasn’t fun. It was like being punched in the shoulder in a really unfriendly way, then ice being poured into the yawning chasm that’s been left in your shoulder.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. The fact is, I’ve been in some shitty ass places. I’ve been shot at, stabbed, beaten. In training I was nearly drowned and burnt at the same time. I pray you never hear about how that one plays out.

Today, though. This was a hell of a lot different to anything I’ve done before. I had been thrown out of my comfort zone entirely today.

“Come on Daddy!” Lily tugged on my arm. I stared up at the banner before me.

Channel Heights Junior School Welcomes Parents. 

This was going to be a long night.

***

“Mr Hyde,” Lily’s teacher said, shifting some papers in front of her, “I’m sure you’re aware the Lily has been showing some… Difficulties, in her class.”

I looked at my daughter who was wearing her practised innocence face. I know she was putting it on because I’m the one who taught it to her, every time she asked what I did at work all day. “I just work for an office. That’s all.”

“She acts out. She gets into fights. She actually put Miss Wollestein over there in a headlock last week. And yet she shows a great aptitude in her mathematics and PE. Perhaps you can explain, Mr Hyde?”

“Please, call me Edward.” I flashed her the disarming grin. Nothing happened.

Now, I said I went through rigorous training, but to be completely unresponsive to my disarming grin? I want to know what training these teachers are put through.

“Mr Hyde, your daughter is disruptive. She is on the verge of being kicked out of this school for her behaviour and I personally believe it to be due to negative influences at home. So, Mr Hyde, do please explain yourself?”

Like I said. A whole different kind of mission.

It was this or the Hitman That Came to Tea. Hitman is accidentally teaching his daughter all these wonderful life skills and hilarity ensues. Now with the potential for bonus romantic plot with the teacher!

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 198: The cleaning lady

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Cecelia Monroe, forty two years old, smiled at her children as she closed the book. “Now, you two, time to go to sleep.” They whinged and they cried, but she ignored them, swinging her legs off Sarah’s bed and beginning to tuck her in. “There’ll be more story tomorrow. Besides, I already know what happens next.”

“You read ahead?” Oliver said, bottom lip jutting out and quivering as his big brown eyes widened. She shook her head and kissed his forehead.

“Nope, I’ve just read it before. My mother read it to me actually, just like I am doing for you. Now, the pair of you, go to sleep!” She kissed Sarah, turned on the night light, then shut the door behind her. She paused for a moment, waiting for the inevitable movement, then, “I told you to go to sleep!” She heard the thud as they both leapt back into bed. She’d been exactly the same as a child, so knew exactly how to deal with it.

She made her way downstairs to where her husband, Phillip, was waiting for her. He held out a glass of wine that she graciously accepted. “Tykes are all tucked in then?”

“Book’s read, nightlight’s on and the cupboard’s even been checked for monsters. Piece of cake. Which gives us a relaxing evening for once.” Cecelia looked at Phillip’s weathered face, a deep nut-brown from where he worked out in the sun, kissed him on the cheek and rested her head on his broad shoulder. “I don’t deserve you, you beautiful man.”

“You need a bloody eye test.” He grinned, then rested a muscular arm over her shoulder, lifting the remote to see what was on the television. A phone started ringing, a jangly tune that cut through the quiet house. “Go on, go and get your phone. I’ll still be here when you get back.”

Cecelia placed the glass of wine on the small table by the sofa’s arm. She mouthed the word sorry at her husband, then rushed through to her study. She checked the caller ID.

Henson.

She let it ring twice more, hoping he’d give up and try again another time. Or find somebody else. But he didn’t. “Monroe.”

“Cecelia, my girl, how are you? Now, I know it’s late, but we’ve got an urgent one. Think you can manage it? I can send you the details the minute you give the affirmative.”

Cecelia screwed her eyes shut. She should have known that something like this was going to happen, just to interrupt her first night with Phillip in months. She’d been planning this for days and this was going to ruin everything. “I’ll do it.”

“I thought you might say that!” Henson’s voice, tinny and far away through the phone’s tinny speakers, did nothing to convey an image of the man to whom it belonged. “I’ll send it through while you go make your excuses.” The line went dead.

Cecelia sighed and made her way back to the living room to find her husband waiting for her. “You’re going out, aren’t you?”

“Urgent work thing. A client’s flying in tonight and needs to be met at the airport. The interns are in Nicaragua and Jamie’s wife’s having the baby at some point this weekend. Only person left is little old me.”

Phillip swilled the wine around his glass. “Gonna be late?”

“Shouldn’t be more than a couple of hours.”

“Hmph. Try not to wake me up. Now scram!” HE grinned and slapped her butt as she left the room. She hated lying, or even telling the half-truths to Phillip. She wanted to tell him everything, but that wasn’t an option. She grabbed her travel suitcase from next to the door, threw on her coat and made her way to her car. It would be twenty minutes to the airport, giving her an hour and twenty minutes to get set up before she needed to leave.

“Too easy.” She muttered to herself as she slid the keys into the ignition. While she waited for the car to warm up, she popped the suitcase open on the passenger seat, looking at the contents with wonder. Fourteen photographs, all with a small red ‘x’ on the subject’s temple. The rest of it was taken up by her rifle, looking naked and forlorn in it’s stripped down state.

There was a name for her on the circuit. All because she’d never missed a shot. One shot, one kill, clean kills only.

They called her the Cleaning Lady.

The Idiot in Tin Foil

 

Day 197: “Let’s go, sugarbeet,” he said and snapped on the light. He was holding two duffle bags, one very light, the other very heavy. It was her car, and she had slept with the keys.

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Alison winced as the light attacked from the naked bulb. Shark was standing at the foot of the bed, with the two bags in his hands. She hated when he called her sugarbeet. It was her dad’s pet name for her and hearing it from the mouth of this monster in human form felt like sacrilege. She’d slept with the keys in her left hand, taped on so that he couldn’t get to them without waking her up. In her right was her knife, in case he decided to try.

“I said let’s go.” Shark kicked the bed, then turned towards the still open door. He’d just barged into the room, just as he had every night for the past two weeks.

“Just, give me a minute,” she replied. It made Shark pause in the doorway, still facing out into the cold winter’s night. She started peeling the tape from her hand, wincing as it tugged at her scarred skin. “I didn’t sleep very well, I just -”

“You’re not here to sleep. Five minutes, be at the car.” He stomped out into the night. He had the grey duffle bag over his shoulder, visibly bent against the weight of it. The black duffle bag in his left hand, however, didn’t faze him at all. For some reason, whatever was in the black duffle bag scared her far more than the grey one full of the things that clinked and clanked.

Alison sighed as he walked out into the night. She thought about making a run for it, the same as she had every night for the last fortnight. She could make a break for the police station they’d driven past yesterday as they looked for the motel. She could claim a kidnap, or a robbery gone wrong. She grabbed a handful of her flowing red hair, pulling it tight enough that her soft grey eyes began to water. She got herself ready to rip out a chunk, as if she’d escaped an attacker.She began to count in her head, down from three.

But she couldn’t remember which way they’d come in, the fog had fallen thick and fast, taking visibility down to six feet or so. It was like something out of a horror film. Deserted small town and thick fog. Shame that the monster was sat in the car with her instead.

She peeked out of the doorway to the motel’s office. No movement, no lights, no sign of escape. “Come on, sugarbeet! Moonlight’s burning!”

“I’m going to kill that son of a bitch.” She muttered, grabbing her knife from the table where she’d discarded it. She took one last look around this newest addition to her motel hall of fame, then shut the door behind her as she walked out into the swirling fog once more. Back to her little Nissan.

Back to Shark.

Just a short one to pique your interest tonight. Posing more questions than answers, that’s for sure. Rest assured, I’m fairly sure that Alison and Shark will be turning up in later shorts. 

Can I just check, how do you spell duffle? I’ve got the prompt saying ‘duffle’, my own knowledge saying ‘duffel’ and the internet saying both. Anybody know for certain?

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 194: A rationalisation of bad behaviour

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The glass shattered as the baseball bat slammed into it, a spiderweb of cracks emanating from the epicentre before the the myriad of pieces fell to the tarmac. The legend “Manny’s Electronics” disintegrated into a field of stars, casting light like a Jackson Pollock onto the surface of the pavement.

“Welcome to the break down of society, kid!” Albert said to me, beaming through his beard. “You see, when society breaks down, all that is left are the basest urges. The urge to steal, to rape and pillage and do whatever the hell you want. The only urge that remains is to survive, to thrive in the new world. You see,” he said as he leaned into the window, pulling out bundles of wires, digital cameras, anything and anything that he could fit into the backpack, “you’ve got to consider it this way. When you take away the rules, the only thing that’s left… Is the urge.”

He whistled as he plundered, raising a mammoth hand occasionally to scratch beneath his eyepatch. He’d lost the eye in the first few days of the rioting, said it had been one of the baton rounds that the police had started firing wildly into the crowd, trying to slow that inexorable tide of people.

The good old days, back when it had been police with non-lethals. Back before they’d brought the army in and ordered them to use live ammunition. It only took a quarter of them to obey the order and it meant that everybody knew somebody who died that night. I’d got away, somehow. I never even saw Jonathan get hit, but I’d been scared to begin with.

It all started with the protest. That’s a generalisation of course, as tensions had been growing for months, if not years. General Keenan’s death. The taxes, all to fund King Cadwaller’s war against the Arrogan. The food shortages. The backouts. Everything piling on top of one another until, as expected, it all came tumbling down.

The protest built to a riot. The riot had escalated and become a battle against the council. Then, in no time at all, it was an all out war. Bodies piling in the streets because nobody could get close enough to clear them away.

“So, Danny my boy, now is your chance! The government lies behind that thin green line along with all the laws. This world is yours!” He passed me the bat as we walked past an intact window. Designer clothes, somehow missed in the last few weeks. “You want it, boy, you take it.”

I hefted the bat in my hands, feeling the leather handle rubbing against my palms. “Do it, Danny. Smash the glass.”

“Do it.”

“Smash it! Now!” He commanded. THis was a man who was going to end up one of two things. A leader, or dead.

I swung the bat and watched as the glass, along with the life I used to know, shattered.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer. 

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. 

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 193:You are a camp counselor. Make up a story that will scare the bejeezus out of your eight- to ten-year-old campers.

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You’ve all heard the story right? The clown statue that hides in the corner of the room and the babysitter calls the parents and says “Yo, that statue in the kid’s room is hella creepy” and then the parents just start screaming down the phone to get the kids and get out because guess what, turns out that they don’t have a clown statue and it’s a serial killer, or kidnapper or even just some random fucking lunatic that likes to stare at kids.

Well, you realise that story’s based on truth, right? Only it wasn’t a clown statue. Not in the slightest.

It was a night a lot like this. Halloween, when the fog was flowing in thick and the trick or treaters were out in their droves, tiny little vampires and monsters scurrying around, bags full of sweets in their hands. With their parents, of course, because on a night like that, with the darkness swarming in and the sodium glow failing at cutting through the fog, who’d let their children out alone?

You see, the best decorated house at Halloween was always the Bastian’s. It was down at the end of the lane, a little bit further on than the last of the terraced houses. Mr Bastian had this huge front garden and he’d fill it with plastic gravestones that sat under the oak tree, green and purple lights to get an ethereal glow to the place. He’d add something every year. There’d be animatronic spiders, or huge rats that would leap at you. One year, he even had a zombie hand that would burst from the ground when you walked up to the door.

So, the Bastian’s were going out for Halloween this year. Some of their friends from university are having a party and as such, they can’t take their children. They ask this kid I know to babysit Jenny and Murphy and the kid wholeheartedly agrees. He’s too old for trick or treating and too young for the parties, so he might as well get some money for it.

He arrives around eight, just as the Bastian’s are headed for their taxi. They’re hurrying, dressed as Gomez and Morticia Addams. He’s always had a crush on Mrs Bastian and teh costume is playing to her slender figure. All he gets is a quick hello, the briefest of rundowns on what time the kids should be going to bed, followed by the actual time they’re supposed to go to bed.

The taxi pulls away with gravel crunching beneath it. This kid, Danny, he watched as the taxi pulled away, then turned to go into the house. The plastic body swinging from the oak tree, Mr Bastian had really outdone himself this year. There was one swinging from the oak tree and another collapsed on the floor looking partially decayed. Danny took a minute to appreciate, then he goes inside.

The kids are there, eating far too much chocolate for kids about to go to bed. So Danny shoos them up to their rooms and tells them that he doesn’t mind how long they actually stay up as long as their lights are off when their parents get back. This goes down like a house on fire and the two of them disappear upstairs, leaving Danny with the fifty inch plasma TV.

Murphy comes downstairs at about half past nine and says that dad’s halloween decorations are at his window. Danny just brushes this off and tells him he’s eaten too much chocolate. Then Jenny comes down and says that the decorations are trying to get in. So Danny heads upstairs to have a look and there’s nothing, just the figure in the tree and the figure on the ground, nowhere near the window and just where they were when he came in.

He went back downstairs. He turned on the TV and he watched the next horror film that came on.

That horror film was still playing when the Bastian’s returned. They walked past the empty boughs of their oak tree, past their plastic gravestones and multicoloured lights. They saw their children’s rooms in darkness and when they went upstairs, both of their beautiful children were sound asleep.

When they came back downstairs, they found the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

Inside that oven, staring without staring, was the eyeless face of Danny McIntyre.

Were they decorations come to life? Or real people, just waiting for the perfect moment to strike? Perhaps…

At this point, one of my fellow counsellors in Halloween make-up, matching one of the decorations,  would sneak up behind the kids and go boo, scaring the pants of them.

The clown statue creepypasta has always freaked me out. Partially because I can absolutely imagine it to be true. I toyed with the idea of making my storyteller one of the “decorations” but it didn’t gel in my head. Oh well, perhaps next time.

Well, happy Halloween everybody!

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 183: What broke your heart?

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It could have been her words. It was nothing I hadn’t heard before, but this… This was Karen. We’d been together since we were seventeen, for crying out loud! We’d fallen in love in the summer and had stayed in love through that long winter. I remember shovelling snow off her driveway in the night, just so that I could be sure that she’d come and visit me the next day. It was a fifteen minute drive there, stretching to half an hour in heavy snow but it was worth it, just to make sure that I got to see her pretty blue eyes every day.

I made that journey a lot, every day of every winter until we moved in together. Then the fights came with the winters. Then the rest of the seasons became poisonous as well, with hostility and a dash of viciousness thrown in as well. Those were the words that really went for the throat.

They hurt my heart, but I don’t think they broke them.

It might have been the look in her eyes as she told me she was leaving, going to her mothers to get away. Those pretty blue eyes were flushed with tears, cutting pale lines across her rosy cheeks. Full of hurt and pain, the suffering of being stuck with me. I thought that I was more than that, more than just the pain. I figured that that pain was just a blip, a momentary spike on our line of happiness.

I guess I was wrong. I still don’t think it broke my heart though.

The door had just closed behind Karen after the final row. She’d thrown a glass at me, she’d thrown the worst words she could find at me. She’d compared me to my father, a waste of space who just damaged those he loved. Then she’d walked out of my life. Even that wasn’t the thing that broke my heart.

No, that honour belonged to the bread knife. It passed between two of my ribs, straight through my left lung and came to rest in the left ventricle. I’d called her name weakly before collapsing to the floor on my back.

The knife stood tall, a parody of the flag on a conquered land. I didn’t even see the person that stabbed me. Just turned around and felt the sharp pain in my chest. 

The worst part? Being stabbed and dying wasn’t even the start of my problems.

How to take things literally, a lesson by The Idiot. First, take thing in hand. Then, walk away with it. You have now taken something, literally. Much like I did with this prompt. 

That was an awful joke, but a fair one. Sometimes the most fun thing to do with a prompt is to go literal. 

The Idiot in Tin Foil

Day 180: Open with a bad joke

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I stared along the barrel of my pistol into his frantic eyes. My mouth curled into a grimace and I spoke.

‘Not on my watch.’ Then I pulled the trigger.

Dorian spun as the bullet caught him in the shoulder, teetering on the edge of the building. He grinned, slammed his foot into the ground and then fell backwards. This happened as I was rushing over to him, trying like mad to get to him before he could make his way over the precipice.

I didn’t. I fell to the floor and watched as Dorian’s body fell down, spinning in the wind before…

I can’t describe the next bit. Mostly because I’d screwed my eyes shut, but also because I swear I heard the thud and it makes me feel a little ill.

I rolled onto my back, staring at the sky and shifting uncomfortably when I realise I’m lying on something hard. I reached behind my back and drew out the offending object.

I was looking at the broken face of my old wristwatch. The bastard had stamped on it before he took his swan dive.

***

“Mr Roanoke, you understand that this isn’t accusing you of anything. We simply need to understand everything that led to Mr Dorian Webster’s unfortunate demise. You fired your gun?’

‘Yes Sir.’ I kept my eyes facing forward. I’d been through this a few times before, though most of those times the guy hadn’t died. One of them was getting out in a couple of weeks. I gave the stock answers to their questions, how many rounds were fired, did the assailant have a weapon. Two and yes, respectively. Then they threw me.

‘How did he get your wristwatch, Mr Roanoke?’ Captain Harvey leaned onto his elbows, cricking his neck loud enough to echo through the boxy room. ‘You were wearing it in your academy graduation photo. So, tell me. How did a murder suspect get your watch?’

He’d been a consultant, of sorts. Back in the early days, when I was still getting to grips with the city with all its confusing streets and smells, the constant bombardment on your senses. I’d noticed Dorian pawing at my wrist in his attempt to steal my watch, it was like being mouthed by a toothless dog in how obvious it was.

He’d protested all the way to the car. Claimed he was innocent, he wasn’t trying to take nothing. I ignored him all the way to the station and was wrestling him towards the cells when he’d said it.

‘I know that guy! That’s Biggy Phil!’ He’d pointed with his cuffed hands to the suspects board.

That was the start of an interesting friendship. We’d ended up arresting Biggy Phil, or Phillip Keenan as his mother had named him, then we parted ways. It wasn’t until I got home that night that I realised the little bastard had nicked my watch.

I figured he could keep it for his help.

‘So it was a gift?’

‘Yes Sir.’

‘Very well, Mr Roanoke. You are dismissed. Go and get some rest.’

***

I drove towards my home in a daze. What the hell had caused Dorian to turn like that? Last I’d seen of him he’d been going straight. He’d found a girl, or a purpose. Either way, he’d talked about getting out of being a criminal.

Something must have changed his mind. The clouds burst above me and unleashed the rain on the cold ground. The headlights thinned out and I ended up alone with my thoughts. Dorian wouldn’t have just turned like that. Something must have changed his mind.

Or someone.

I pulled a vaguely illegal U-turn and started driving towards Halifax Road. That’s where Dorian had lived. It was definitely the place to start.

The Idiot in Tin Foil