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Mordet/The Murder, Day Two

 
Hyle Troy's picture
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Hyle looked in the mirror, the bags under her eyes were evidence of a sleepless night. Her mind had been full of the previous day’s events and the fact Shadow had been out all night investigating did not help.

 

He had called home the previous evening. Hyle had been sitting on the sofa.

I think there’s something in the fridge for your dinner.” She said.

Are you not eating?”

Nej.”

You should.”

Hyle just shrugged, so Shadow squatted in front of her, put his hands on her knees and sought her saddened gaze, knowing his silence would elicit some response from her.

She sighed. “Any news?”

Shadow shook his head still holding her attention. “Still waiting for the autopsy. When I get that we should have something more to go on. My guys are taking statements around town. I’m going to speak to Theis as soon as he feels better,”

 

Hyle leaned to one side and took a sheet of paper from her rear jeans pocket, she opened it and gave it to Shadow.

Here are a few names, people who complained or threatened about Magrat.”

 

Shadow looked, “Yeah, I read the reports. They’re going to be interviewed tomorrow.” He folded the sheet and pushed it into his pocket. Hyle resumed her silence, although she held his hands. She lifted her eyes from his hands to his face.

 

I’m just empty. Magrat seemed like a success. Now, I just feel like a years work has been torn apart. Why do I bother when someone can just ruin everything with such a cruel act?”

 

She felt him squeeze her hands. “Because that’s what you do.” He smiled softly, “One or two individuals do not make the whole town, Hyle. Everyone else is relying on you, me, The Constabulary, to find the answers. And we will.”

 

Hyle nodded slowly. “I am so tired, I can’t find Mayor Troy within myself.”

 

Shadow stood up, pulling Hyle gently to her feet. “Get some rest. I’m going to have a good look around. Maybe send up the drone to see who’s around. You know what they say..”

Hvad?”

That the guilty always return to the scene.”

Hyle huffed a little. “Maybe they did, I was looking at the crowd thinking that someone among them could be the killer.”

Maybe they were, but I’m going to find out who.” Shadow gently pushed her butt towards the stairs. “Get some sleep. Mayor Troy will be waiting for you on the doorstep in the morning.”

 

 

Hyle took a deep breath before turning away from the mirror, straightening herself and her clothes. She went downstairs and paused as she opened the door. The morning was bright, like any other, her car waited as it always had.

 

Mayor Troy closed the door behind her and started her day,

 

Comments

Joe Spivey's picture

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Nurse Maisie

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? I was here at the clinic. 

Do you have anyone who can corroborate that? No. 

What time did you leave? Mmmm six thirty ish. I can’t remember the exact time. Mag… We had been cleaning all day so there wasn’t much to do. Doc Troy left for the mayor’s office right after Magrat left. 

Did anyone see you leave? The Gestapo… I mean the Lightbearer security outside the clinic. 

What’s a gestapo? I just told you. Do you need me to examine your ears? 

What did you do after you left the clinic? I went home. And no, I was alone all evening and just as alone when I went to bed. 

Did anyone see you? Did you meet anyone on the way home? Shit, I don’t know. Probably. I mean I smiled at a few people as I passed, is that meeting people? 

How did Magrat seem to you when she left?  Kinda sad I suppose, we all were. 

All? Magrat, Doc Troy and me. 

Did you get on with Magrat? Not at first, I guess. She seemed, well, flighty. Shit she’s… She was, a teenager… 

Would you like a handkerchief?  Don’t you patronise me you jumped up little… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean… Magrat was a typical gobby teenager when I first set eyes on her, at least I thought she was. I guess you could say we didn’t get off to a good start. But Magrat is… was, one of those people that grow on you. Well, she did on me. 

Was when she left the clinic the last time you saw her alive? Miss? Nurse Maisie? Was when she… Yes. 

Thank you. We may have some further questions. 

 

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Winona Barrow

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? Oh that poor little girl. Who would do such a thing? Well, let me see. We’d just had a meeting of the Hope Spring Society For The Protection Of Poor Little Things That Don’t Have Anyone To Protect Them, so that finished about five. Then Effie and I had tea at her house, I must get that recipe from her, and then I suppose I came home. So yes, I’d be home around six. 

Do you have anyone who can corroborate that? No, I don’t think so. Oh wait. Elsie popped around about sevenish to check the minutes of the Refugee Benevolent Society meeting. She is a devil to shift once she sits down so she didn’t leave ‘till well after eight. You could ask her I suppose. 

Did you meet anyone on the way home? Only the patrols, not that they ever notice anything. 

How did Magrat seem to you the last time you saw her?  Oh, such a happy girl. Always smiling. All the ladies loved her. 

The Ladies? All my friends, you know the ‘Silver Soldiers’ as we sometimes call ourselves when we’ve had a sherry ot two. 

Did you get on with Magrat? Oh yes! From the very first moment we met. Poor thing. Who could do such a thing? 

Thank you. We may have some further questions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Stella McFarlen

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? Look. I didn’t kill that girl and I’m sure nobody I know did either. Yes, we have some people with grudges, but don’t you think that’s normal after what many of us have been through? 

You and yours poking around asking questions ain’t going to do nothing but stir up trouble among folks. Some are even thinking of moving on because they think we’re gonna be scapegoated over this whole thing, it wouldn’t be the first time. Don’t think we haven’t noticed the looks from your folks. And our kids in school are getting more than just looks, if you know what I’m saying. Just a push or bad word so far, but you know how kids are. 

Now, I’ve got diapers to change so unless you want to help out with that you best go. 

Thank you. We may have some further questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Jake Johnson

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? In the bar, taking my pain meds. *Mimes drinking and then winces painfully* 

Do you have anyone who can corroborate that? Oh, I don’t know, how about everyone in the bar? 

Can you give me a list of people you remember being there? Well, those damn happy-clappy dancers or whatever they are. Pain in the ass if you ask me. Then there was Jonas Barret, he was pretty loaded even when I arrived. Reckon he must have been there all afternoon. Some kids ran through, always doing that they are, a dare kind of thing. Couple of strangers drinking together, god knows why they come here, still they spend money so I guess that’s all that matters. Place started to fill up after that, when folks finish work, so probably half of Hope was in at some time or other. 

What time did you leave? When they closed, why would I leave earlier? 

Did anyone see you leave? Son, it’s a bar. 

What did you do after you left the bar? I went home, I think. Least that’s where I woke up. 

Did anyone see you? How would I know? I have to check my own underwear every dang morning to remember my name. 

Did you get on with Magrat? You mean did I kill her because of what happened at the clinic? No, I didn’t. 

When was the last time you saw her alive? Couple of days afore I reckon. 

Thank you. We may have some further questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Hank (Burned Face)

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? Go fuck yourself. 

Sir. I have to ask these questions to… You think I killed that raider bitch? You prove it. 

No one said you killed her. Ha! Then you’ve been walking around with your ears closed. Every one of you fuckers I meet pretty much accuses me of doing just that. So, you go right ahead and prove it, but don’t expect no help from me. 

Thank you. We may have some further questions. FUCK YOUR QUSTIONS! No get outta her afore we throw you out! 

Several men in the hostel rose from their seats at this point, so I left. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Harold Johnson

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? Here at the store. The bar. The Wafflehouse, Here again. Post office, then back here. 

Do you have anyone who can corroborate that? Why don’t you go to those places and ask? That is what my taxes are paying for isn’t it? Oh, and while you’re at it… Is it safe to have kids going into the Wafflehouse alone? I mean, that new guy our mayor hired… Know what I’m saying? 

What time did you leave? Oh I see, not interested huh? Some raider gets killed and you constables are all over it. But one of our own kids in danger from some pervert and nothing gets done. Typical. I left for home about 8:30 and no, I didn’t see a damn thing. 

Did anyone see you leave? How in hell would I know? Maybe. I mean, there were people about. Hey, don’t you try and pin this on me! Is that what she’s doing? Going to nail me for the murder so she can get some liberal hippy dippy to take over my store?! Not while my arse points downward she doesn’t, you tell her that! 

Did you get on with Magrat? No, I did not get on with Magrat. So what? I didn’t kill her. If you ask me this is all some plot by the mayor. Is she on your suspect list? You go ask her where she was, you’ll see. 

When was the last time you saw her alive? About six I guess, maybe just after. She was walking past the Black Beer. 

Thank you. We may have some further questions.

 

 

 

Witness/Suspect Statement

 

Arch Stanton

 

Where were you between 18:00 and 20:00 Yesterday? Working. 

Do you have anyone who can corroborate that? Yes. Everyone on the farm can corroborate that. In fact, everyone on the farm can tell you I was there from 6 AM to 9PM 

What time did you leave? Oh, sorry, you just said didn’t you?  

Did anyone see you leave? Everyone on the farm. Look mister. I was working all day. Same as every damn day. Since the wife left it’s pretty much all I do. The boys look after the house and the baby and I work. Ok? Can I go now? 

Just a couple more questions please. Did you know Magrat? *Snorts* No. No I didn’t but they way Evan goes on about her you’d think she was family. If he put half as much energy into his school work as he does into mooning after that lass he’d be a goddamn genius. 

Can I have his name, for the record? Evan. He’s twelve, I think. Don’t look at me like that, his Ma kept track of birthdays. Oldest boy is Arthur he’s seventeen. Then there’s little Dudley… blame his mother for the name, he’s… two, three? Something like that. The boy’s take turns looking after him while I’m at work. 

Did Evan get on with Magrat? I think she tolerated him, maybe led him on a bit. Hell, she was only a kid herself. Still, Evan was happy enough… if you know what I mean? 

Thank you. We may have some further questions.

 

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Hyle Troy's picture

 

Hyle paused before she got into her car. She retraced her steps back to her house. Reaching, she picked out a couple of stems from the julestjerne from the pot by the door before returning to her car.

 

The police had extended the cordon from where it was yesterday, Hyle parked her car as close to The Waffelhus as she could. She took a deep breath and summoned Mayor Troy. There were a few townsfolk standing in respectful silence by the cordon, she noticed Winnie Barrow stooping to add a spray of flowers to the growing pile near the door to the diner. Hyle knelt added the blooms she had brought from her house to the numerous tributes already lying there.

 

Poor girl. Such a crying shame.” Winnie was standing beside Hyle as she stood back up. “Is there any news, Miss Troy?” she asked hopefully.

 

Hyle turned to Winnie with sympathy. “Not that I can say at this time unfortunately, Miss Barrow, you understand. But I can assure you that the constabulary will not rest until the truth is known. I promise.”

 

Winnie nodded. One of her friends, equally silver haired, linked arms with Winnie and they moved slowly away down the street, deep in discussion. Hyle watched them go and walked along the cordon as it flapped gently in the breeze. She looked out across the valley in the direction of Haven.

 

Haven. Tuki would be there performing the post-mortem. Hyle bit her lip,‘She must be feeling terrible’ she thought, ‘feeling guilt, sorrow, hell knows what else...’ Hyle made a mental note to look in on her later. With that thought, so much else avalanched into mental plan for the day. She was thinking about Tuki, then Hyle thought about Longhands and the Devils Own, what reaction would come from them?

She recalled her conversation with Hank ‘burnedface’ Godsen, how she warned that if he carried out his threat there would be a greater danger from bandits feeling wronged and seeking revenge. Then what about the other refugees, how were they feeling considering everything that had happened? Then there was the clinic, the school..

 

As each wagon in her train of thought shunted into the next, and the next, Hyle’s mind swam. She braced herself against the whirl in her mind, closing her eyes.

 

When she opened them she looked around at the passers by. They had not seemed to notice her apprehension. She did notice Harold Johnson though, leaning in the doorway of his store, arms folded, watching her with his customary disdain from across the street. She turned her back on him and faced the crime scene once more.

 

Hyle leaned heavily on one of the posts holding up the barrier tape and reassembled the badly shunted consist of her thoughts. She had Shadow and the constabulary working on the crime, Tuki and Nurse Maisie in the clinic on the medical side.

 

Hyle’s role became clear to her. It was obvious, she was Mayor. Her job was to consider and contain the political fallout ensuing from Magrat’s murder. Such an event had the possibility to smash deep cracks into the fabric of Hope Springs, to cause distrust and possibly outright animosity between different groups within the town. It had therefore fallen upon Hyle to make sure the various shockwaves did not make matters worse than they already were.



I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

Joe Spivey's picture

Running feet on bare floorboards. High pitched voices suddenly quieted by two loud handclaps. Tukiko panicked and sat up, she was late again. This time maybe Sensai would make good on his threat and she would not be allowed home this weekend.

But no. The voices in the corridor outside her room belonged to a different generation, a new generation. The students being hushed were because this time she was the honoured guest. Tuki fell back onto the soft futon, much softer than those of the chastened students outside her door, and wished she was one of them again.

Yesterday’s autopsy came back to her in a flood of images with snatches of her own voice providing commentary.

Her gloved hands lifted the still attached heart so that she could better examine it.

“The immediate cause of death was a single thrust between the fourth and fifth ribs on the left side of the victim with the blade at a 40-degree angle relative to plane of the torso and about and two inches to the left side of the sternum. The stabbing motion was powerful and followed by a sideways slicing motion. The result being that the wall of the left ventricle was opened, leaving a wound of 5.5 cm with the line of the wound parallel to the ground.”

A few expert movements of the long scalpel and Magrat’s heart sat on the scales while her assistant weighed it before depositing it in a prepared mason jar. Tuki watched, instinctively and automatically assessing his performance as she had done so many times when the cadaver they were working on had not been someone who only a day before she had been laughing and joking with.

The mechanical voice of her own commentary continued while, laying flat on the futon and staring at the decorated ceiling, tears rolled freely down Tuki’s cheeks, tickling her ears before dropping onto the silk.

“The wound, being too large to seal upon contraction of the ventricle, therefore widened with each contraction, producing tearing at the extremities of the initial incision. Indications are that blood was forced violently out the wound channel under high pressure immediately following the withdrawal of the blade. This would result in blood jetting out of the wound with each contraction. The blood pressure drop would be nearly instantaneous and unconsciousness would follow swiftly, the victim likely blacking out before they even had time to fall to the ground.

Massive bleeding would then continue for a minute or so due to the heart operating on its own without any external neural control. It would then continue to pump blood out of the body until the arteries, held open by blood pressure, collapsed. Death would have occurred in under a minute after the fatal wound was delivered.”

The autopsy report, the slim findings on the ending of a life too short, lay on the floor next to her bed. Tuki wiped her eyes. People were waiting for it. Pushing her emotions aside, something that was becoming easier to her, Doctor Troy got up and dressed.

She returned to Hope mid-morning. Magrat’s body would be ‘cleaned up’ and brought back tomorrow.

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.



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