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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Sordid Secret - Part 1

Hi everyone

Well today I am posting the first part of my four part crime fiction short story.  I apologise in advance as I have had so much to do and haven't had much time to prepare, but I truly hope you enjoy reading my writing.  

Further instalments will feature on the 12th July, 19th July and the final part will feature on 26th July.

Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.  Be honest as I can take constructive criticism and love to know how others see my work.  

Sordid secret – Part 1, by Janet Cooper

The smell was rancid.  The type that lingers when drains are blocked – but possibly worse this time.  I held my handkerchief up to my nose.
‘Here you are, Ma’am,’ said DI Moore handing me a white mask. ‘It’s not very pleasant up there!’
‘When is it ever, pleasant, Moore?’
He shrugged. 
‘Well the smell’s bad enough down here, never mind the smell up there where the body is.’
I took the stairs two at a time and DI Moore followed me. 
‘She’s in the bedroom.  It was the neighbour, he reported a bad smell, well the one underneath, there’s nobody in the flat beside her.’
I turned to look at him and nodded.  I wanted to say that it was a wonder the neighbours noticed the smell, as the whole place wreaked but that would be unprofessional.  My hand touched the icy-cold metal of the banister.  The black paint flaked away at my touch.  It had been years since that had been painted.  In fact, the whole outside of the flats screamed neglect.  Moss grew on all the canopies above the doors. 
‘Used to be the place to live, here, when I was a child,’ I told Moore.  ‘Now, you couldn’t pay me enough to spend even the night.’  I leaped up the last two steps.  The two uniformed officers nudged each other and grinned.
‘She’s through there, Ma’am.’
‘Right, thanks, back to it then.’ I said barging through them. 
‘I think you’re in there, Robson.’ One of the uniformed officer sniggered to the other.
My feet stopped on instinct. 
‘Something to say boys?’ I asked.  ‘Only I could have sworn this was a crime scene which means neither of you would be disrespectful enough to be making inappropriate jokes when they should be working!’
‘Erm, no, Ma’am,’ they both said bowing their heads.
‘Thought not, now chop, chop, back to work.  We have a murder to solve!’ 
One drunken, stupid night with a uniformed officer and people stopped taking you seriously, that’s all it took!  I could shake myself for being stupid, only, I had no idea he was a police officer at the time.  All of the work I had put into building up my career and gaining the respect of the lads was in jeopardy just because I fancied a bit of rough and tumble.  Jeez, it wasn’t even that remarkable either!  Still, at least I always managed to look cool as a cucumber on the outside, even though I was raging on the inside.  Professionalism, I believe they called it!
I walked into the bedroom, and the victim was strewn across the bed diagonally, with her knees bent off the bed at one side.  She had nothing on the bottom half of her body and the top half was barely covered.  Her bra was still fastened but pulled down, exposing a bruised left breast.  Her shirt was ripped open, and was just hanging on her shoulders.  Her pale skin divulged bruises – old and new, all over.  More prominently were the new ones around the thigh, inner thigh and wrist area.
‘Are we thinking she has been assaulted, Moore?’  I asked.
‘Forensics are on their way, Ma’am but it looks that way.  Oh, and one more thing, rumour has it she was an addict.’ 
‘Thanks, Moore!’
I stared at the body.  The girl faced back over, towards the window exposing her neck.  It did look like there were some pin prick marks in the middle of her arm but I would await the lab report before jumping to any conclusions.  There seemed to be some bruising around the throat and glands area too.  I examined the room and nothing really looked out of place.  There were some dirty clothes on the floor, a picture of a baby smashed, and on the floor.  The bed covers and curtains were supposed to be cream but they were yellow along with the nicotine stained white walls.  A thick layer of dust covered the drawers and wardrobe. 
I slipped on my gloves and headed towards the window, scarping the window sill with my latex finger, collating at thick layer of dust.  The window sill itself felt sharp and bobbly.  Dust particles seemed to explode into the air and as I sucked in a breath, I started to cough as it tickled the back of my throat. I had to leave the room.
‘How long do we think she has been dead?’ I asked Moore.
‘Nobody has seen her for at least two weeks,’ he said.  ‘According to the neighbours that is.  They say her name is Sacha Mason, but we are trying to confirm so that we can trace some relatives.’ 
Lloyd walked in through the door in his white suit, with a large box.
‘Lloyd, tell your team I need a thorough and clean investigation.  No stone unturned.’
‘Always do, Ma’am.  But can I get in the place.’
‘I mean it Lloyd, take as many pictures as possible and process as much as possible. The place is a bit of a mess so it might take time but take as long as it takes.  I want pictures, to know if she has been assaulted, cause of death, and when she died back to me pronto so get the body moved as soon as possible, I don’t want any cross contamination!’  I stepped to the side, out of his way. 
‘Yes, Ma’am.’
‘Moore, you can oversee this.  I’m going back to the station and expect regular updates. I’ll start a search on the name Sacha Mason, but get the pictures and evidence over to me as soon as you can so I can start mapping the case.’
‘Sure, Ma’am.’ 
I rushed down the concrete steps and was relieved when I could remove the gloves and face mask, and breathe in some of the fresh air – well if you can call it that.  I got back to my car and drove to the station. 
The station wasn’t too far from here, so it only took ten minutes to arrive. 
I bolted into the office and acknowledged numerous hellos as I headed into my section.
‘Molly, I want you to do a search on a Sacha Mason, preferably she will be linked to Port-house flats.  See what you get and bring it to me in my office as soon as you can.’
‘Yes, Ma’am.’
I slammed shut my office door and sat at my desk.  I switched on the computer, and then slouched back in the chair reflecting on the scene.  I could still smell my Coco Chanel very faintly when I removed my jacket but I took it from my handbag and squirted the quite sickly aroma over myself, and on my jacket to get rid of the stench of the murder scene. 
I hated murder cases, and it had been a while!

Please tune in for part 2 next Sunday!

As I mentioned, please feel free to comment and say if you enjoyed, or if you disliked - say why!

Laters, Janet 

My Random Musings


  1. Oh, I love it! Can't wait to read the next instalment :)
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

    1. Thanks for the positive comments, Debbie, it's always a good sign if someone wants to read the next part. Thanks for hosting #AnythingGoes #Linky


  2. Very intriguing, I'm looking forward to the next installment. The only criticism I'd offer is that 'cool as a cucumber' is a bit cliche, maybe you could change it for something a bit more original?


    1. Thanks for visiting, reading, and taking the time to comment. I absolutely see what you mean - sometimes cliches are used to draw in the reader as they show a commonality, but when used you do sometimes endanger your story as it comes across as being 'the same as' something else and can make the story seem boring. I'll certainly take your comment on board. When I was editing, I did think about making a reference to ice, but I felt that this too can also be seen as a cliche. It's certainly be something that I will be thinking out for future development. I really appreciate your comment, come back soon! #anythinggoes #linky