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The Murder - Cause and Effect

Hyle Troy's picture
Submission type:


Amid the general kicking off of shoes and the sighs of relief, after all, high heels were not best suited for the long walk back to Hyle’s house on the compacted dirt roads of Hope Springs, Hyle, Kirsten and Tuki took their places leaning against the table and worktops in Hyle’s kitchen as the room filled with the smell of brewing coffee.

Now you see why I don’t wear shoes?” Tuki let a slight smugness into her voice as she helped her mother arrange the cups and set out some pastries on the tabletop.

So what did Shadow tell you?” Kirsten asked as all three women settled into the chairs around the table.

Not much, only that Arthur Stanton confessed to the murder. Besides that, Shad already had proof that Evan had nothing to do with it all.” Hyle took a sip of coffee.

Tuki put her cup down and leaned forward. “Which leaves Arch Stanton in a mess. One of his sons charged with murder, and he still has care for the toddler and still have to work hard to keep the roof over their heads. On top of that, Evan will be devastated that not only that his older brother is charged with murder but also that the victim was a the very girl he had developed feelings for.”

Hyle nodded. Tuki had only voiced the concerns that had filled the back of her mind as the funeral had continued to it’s conclusion. What was to happen to the Stanton family?

Tuki went on verbalising her thoughts. “My biggest concern is for Dudley. Arthur was the main carer and he is locked up. Evan will be traumatised, so will Arch, and Arch is going to have his hands full as Arthur goes to trial. So amid all this, who cares for Dudley?”

Does Hope even have the facility for a trial?” Kirsten added, clearly she had her own train of thought which was delivering more firewood for the bonfire of challenges Hyle would have to face in the next few days.

Hyle realised that silence had settled around the table and that her daughter and best friend were looking directly at her as if she was about to deliver a wonderful solution to all these question in that moment. She could not, she had no idea, that was the plain truth.

As the look of hopelessness flashed across Hyle’s face, Tuki and Kirsten felt pangs of guilt and exchanged glances with each other. Kirsten offered the apology on behalf of both of them.

Sorry. The last few days must have been very difficult for you.”

For all of us.” Hyle gave a caring look at Tuki. “Most of us have had an awful few days. It is just something I’m going to have to work on.”

Tuki cast a semi-professional eye over her mother, noting the tiredness all to apparent in her eyes and general posture even as she sat half relaxed at the kitchen table.“You should get some sleep Mor. All this can wait until tomorrow.”

That statement managed to elicit a tired groan from Hyle “Huyy, yeah. I suppose. But….”

Hyle felt Tuki’s hand close over hers “But nothing.” The hard stare she gave Hyle hit the spot. Tuki hid the smile, her mother was actually going to do what she, Tuki, had told her. For once.

Kirsten added her own leverage as she stood and cleared the dishes from the table announcing, “I better be getting back to Joe and Anneka anyway. You do as you have been told, hmm?”

And Taiyoko will be overwhelmed by Itchy by now. The nanny finished work an hour since.” Tuki added.

Fifteen minutes later, Tuki and Kirsten gone. Hyle found herself pacing the lounge floor as myriad problems, ideas and solutions fought for supremacy inside her aching head. She had no idea when Shadow would be back from work, she badly needed to be moulding herself to his frame with his hands finding all those places on her body that would comfort her. But she sort of knew that was a long shot too, he still would be bristling from the days events.

The fact was that ever since the first constable knocked on their door heralding Magrats murder, Shadow had been consumed with work overlaid with the anger that a girl had been killed on his watch. Consequently, any form of intimacy or comfort seemed marooned on another planet. And Hyle knew herself and her needs only too well. She craved comfort often and without a doubt and this was one of those times that she needed Him so much.

Fand! Dette er umuligt,,,” she growled to herself, forcing her feet toward the stairs.

Much later, Hyle lay in bed, alone in the dark trying to snatch sleep out of the turmoil in her mind. It was impossible. Trying to compartmentalise the issues at hand, to separate the components into manageable portions at times worked but then the individual issues would break out of their individual boxes and combine with the others to run riot in her mind.

Eventually Shadow did come home. She lay awake as he ‘considerately’ undressed in the dark before sliding into the bed next to her, presenting his back to her, thoughtfully pushing his elbow into her ribs as she tried to slide nearer to him.

Hyle sighed deeply, accepting the message and turned to lie on her other side, to wait for elusive sleep to come.


Hyle Troy's picture

In all fairness, breakfast the following morning was a much more convivial affair. Earlier, Hyle had woken next to a half asleep Shadow afflicted with ‘morning glory’ and had taken advantage of the situation, which sounds selfish on Hyle’s part but she was certain that once he got into the swing of things he would be quite enthusiastic about the whole idea. Which he was.

Anyway, that was one item scratched off Hyle’s ‘to do’ list. She was much happier and it’s fair to say, so was Shad.

Over breakfast, they had discussed the events of the previous day and outlined their plans for the day to come so by the time they headed for their respective workplaces, their shared mood was far more positive than it had been for a while. There was even a parting kiss.

Leaving orders with her staff that she was not to be disturbed under any except the most pressing circumstances, Hyle put herself in front of her whiteboard and physically drew out the boxes she had placed each of her separate concerns in each one. Having done that she stood back and studied the overall situation. It was much easier to have it all in black and white than trying to do it purely mentally.

After an hour, and several additions to the board, and of course several deletions and alterations Hyle felt pleased enough with her progress to call Monika, her new PA into her office.

Firstly, I would like you to ask Miss Skovlund to come to see me when she is done at the school.”

The impending trial of Arthur Stanton had pre-empted Hyle’s plans for what to do after the constabulary was established, and indeed precipitated the need for some sort of judicial system in Hope. In short, there was a need for a Magistrate.

Clearly, said magistrate could be neither part of the constabulary, nor could they be part of the Town Hall. A judiciary needed to be independent of both law enforcement and politcs.

The easiest solution would have been to turn over any arrestees over to The Union and let them deal with it, but that thought horrified Hyle. In no way did she want The Union or indeed any agency from New Flagstaff, like the NFPD for instance, involved in Hope Springs.

Hope Springs, under her watch, and for as long as she had anything to to do with it, would remain separate from Flagstaff and the Union. That was a red line.

So a Magistrate it would be. After considering a number of possible candidates, Hyle had settled on the School Headmistress Ytte Skovlund as the most appropriate candidate and would invite her to take up the appointment.


Monika jotted down the instruction on her notepad.


Secondly, please instruct Mr. Drayton to pay Arch Stanton a weekly allowance to cover his rent and a little more for food for at least the duration of the trail. Tell Mr. Drayton I shall be reviewing the amount.”


Arch Stanton, it was well known, worked all the hours he possibly could in order to keep the roof over his and his sons head. Hyle realised that because of the pressures brought on by his elder sons crime, Arch Stanton would be, through no fault of his own, under considerable stress and worry in the next few weeks. An allowance would free Arch to concentrate on matters closer to home without worrying about keeping a roof over his head.

Hyle knew that her chief accountant, Wesley Drayton. Would grumble about the expense, which is why she added the caveat that she would review the amount. After all, she had created a social welfare system in Hope Springs to act as a safety net for it’s citizens, this was such a situation and Arch Stanton should benefit from it.


Finally, would you send a messenger to ask Arch Stanton to call in to see me at 14:00 this afternoon.”

I’ll get this done straight away, Miss Troy.” Monika made the necessary notes and returned to her desk in the main office.


This was the most complicated part of the whole situation, What to do about Evan Stanton and his baby brother Dudley. Several alternatives had occurred to Hyle during the previous nights bout of insomnia. Each possibility having a slugging match with another. Hyle needed to have a long discussion with Arch about his sons welfare over the next few weeks.

Perhaps they could have stayed at the hostel, but that idea was a definite non-starter. The atmosphere there would be hostile to anyone connected with the murder.

It could have been possible to foster the children. The list of candidates was long. It even included herself at one point, except Hyle knew for certain that her work load over the next few weeks would be far to much for her to additionally find time to look after two children, to give them the care and attention they would need. But, Hyle also recognised that it would probably more beneficial if they were actually away from Hope Springs entirely.

So would the orphanage in New Flagstaff be a solution? Not if Hyle Troy had anything to do with it. She reasoned she would sooner dig out her own eyes with a rusty spoon than allow Evan and Dudley anywhere near New Flagstaff, the orphanage and particularly, Joe Spivey. Even if Kirsten was her best friend and at the same time Joe’s wife, there had been to much bad water between Hyle and Joe Spivey for her to trust him entirely.

But there was one possibility for fostering the kids, one long shot that Hyle had settled on. It would take some arranging, she would need Arch Stanton’s consent of course, which is why she had requested him to meet her later.

But first she had to make a call.

Hyle tapped her feet nervously as the call connected and rang. Finally the other party answered. The voice was far away, faint, but very familiar.


Hej Sorja, it’s Hyle…..”

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

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