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A Shot In The Dark [2]

Hyle Troy's picture
Submission type:


 The three police officers knowledge of Icelandic expletives was expanding exponentially as they hauled Silja out of the van and into the Police Station. The tirade only intensified as they shut the iron door to the cell.

The most difficult part had been when they removed the handcuffs Anyone who has taken a mean cat to the vet would recognise the tornado of teeth and claws that ensued before the Officers could retreat from the cell and close the door behind them.


Officer Dybbøl sat at the coffee table later, dabbing the scratch mark on his cheek with a soft cloth while the others laughed.


She seems to have calmed down a little.” He noted, with a certain amount of irony. On the other side of the table Officer Kopkage was frowning as he tried his best to fill in the report.


Can anyone remember what she said?”


She said a lot.” Officer Køjarsky said, trying not to laugh but only to fail and cause complimentary chuckles around the table.


EXACTLY what did she say!” Inspector Crabbe barked out his demand, shocking the three policemen to attention. Dybbøl’s chair fell over as he stood and saluted.


Well, err.. a lot. But. We actually couldn’t understand a word.” He looked highly embarrassed. “She weren’t speaking English, see?”


Crabbe’s eyebrows raised, then his eyes closed as he sighed through his nose. “Bring her to my office.”


The three plods looked at each other nervously, wondering which one of them was brave enough to go into the lioness’ den.


Well?” Crabbe was becoming frustrated, the other three exchanged glances more.


Crabbe’s face flashed with frustrated anger.“For Crissakes! She’s a skinny nineteen year old kid! Sort yourselves out. Pronto !. On the double, Dybbøl!”



Silja glared at Crabbe from the other side of the desk. If looks could kill, Crabbe would have been frozen to the spot by the cold Icelandic stare. Crabbe took a long toke from his ciggy. Silja’s silence was oppressive. She sat back in the chair, handcuffed hands in her lap as she had for the last half hour, Just glaring at him, saying nothing.


This is a very serious charge young lady. You do realise you are up to your ears in shit.” Crabbe leaned forward, stubbing the ciggy out and adding it to the almost brimming ash tray in front of him. “We know that you assaulted Miss Berg in her office earlier last evening. What we don’t know is why you returned later in the night and shot her.” He paused for effect,


Silja shifted on her seat. Crabbe noticed, perhaps he was getting through to her. Behind the cold stare, Silja’s mind was in turmoil, there was too much at stake. Few people knew Hanne was her step-sister, only Hanne knew about the dossier, as far as she could tell. Part of her wished that Hanne was actually dead, but she knew that would make her predicament even worse. She took a breath.


I did not shoot her.”


Crabbe sat back up. She had actually spoken. Progress indeed. He slid one of the desk drawers open and took out the chromed .45 automatic pistol, placing it on the desk. The gun had a brown label tied to the trigger guard.




Slija nodded.


We found this in your room, and a half filled holdall,”




You were planning to leave, escape. With the murder… sorry. Attempted murder weapon.”


Silja felt as if she was drowning in a tide of circumstances.


Crabbe went on. “Can you prove you did not go back to the Ranyhyn Company office later?”

I went home.”

Did anyone see you?”

Silja glared again, she couldn’t prove otherwise.

Crabbe pushed the gun forward. “It’s a big gun. Why do you have such a big gun”

Silja rolled her eyes “So what? This is fucking New Flagstaff, everyone has a gun.”

It has been fired recently” Crabbe put another piece of evidence into the mix.

Silja shrugged “I practice.”


Silja let her frustration vent, her nostrils flared. “I am responsible for a three year old girl in a violent city. What do you expect me to carry, a damned pepper spray þú fjandinn hálfviti!?!”

Crabbe sighed and lit another ciggy. Silja put the lid back on her anger.

So. Why were you packing your bags? You just said you are responsible for a child, you are her Nanny. Yet you were preparing to leave town and your employer.” Crabbe’s face almost concealed the grin. “You were about to leave the child you are responsible for, your job. Without telling anyone?” He paused again. Silja felt the ground opening up again, she was losing control, helpless, again.

Crabbe leaned forward and put his elbows on the table, crooking his finger under his chin. “Nothing adds up, Does it. You had a fight with Hanne Berg. You have a gun which was used in the attack. You were packed, ready to abscond.” He raised his eyebrow and held Silja’s stare, ready to elicit her confession.

Silja was at least thankful her voice didn’t crack as she spoke.

I did not shoot her.”

Crabbe looked up and addressed Officer Kopkage. “Take her back to her cell. Let her think about things. We’ll see how a night in a cold cell improves her memory.”


Crabbe followed Kopkage and Silja back to the cells. As they passed the front desk, Crabbe noticed the familiar brown duster and plimsols, the domed head and the cigar. Silja looked at the floor as she was marched past. Avoiding eye-contact.


Joe buttonholed Crabbe as he drew level. “We err, need to ‘ave a little chat, Arthur.” Joe took a long draw on his cigar. Crabbe knew that tone, he knew that dark look in Joe’s eyes.





Joe Spivey's picture

((Poor Silja. Family eh? Pft, guaranteed to ruin your nice quiet life. Doesn't help when plod put two and two together and make three.

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

Hyle Troy's picture

((  sorry for sneaking in some danish puns :p   Officer Dybbøl really is a top cat.

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

Joe Spivey's picture


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

Joe Spivey's picture

Arthur shut the door behind him and watched as Joe made himself comfortable in the uncomfortable chair in front of his desk. Joe crossed his legs and folded his arms and stared at the leather covered throne of cushioned comfort on the other side. Arthur licked his lips. Handling an angry Joe Spivey was going to require delicacy.

Joe’s brooding brown eyes followed Inspector Crabbe as he made his way around his file laden desk to his waiting chair. Joe had known Arthur Crabbe since the man had been an ambitious sergeant. Joe had seen and fed that ambition, giving occasional valuable leads, and pointing the NFPD man in the right direction when the case would otherwise have floundered… At the same time helping remove some of Joe’s rivals from the scene. Only when Crabbe finally swapped his stripes for shoulder pips did Joe start calling in favours. A sizeable monthly remuneration helped cloud the inspector’s conscience.

But now this.

“Why is my little girl’s nanny freezing her bum off in one of your cells Arthur?”

Across the desk Arthur made a space and opened the manila folder he had brought in with him.

“Miss Henningsdaughter…”

“Henningsdóttir.” Joe corrected with what he hoped was the right inflection. It sounded more or less right to his ears. “If you are going to arrest her then you could at least get her bloody name right.” It had the hoped for effect.

Crabbe quickly looked down at his file. Joe stifled a smile.

“Er… Hen… Hennings… Dorter…? Doter?” Arthur glanced up for confirmation from Joe that he had got it right.

Joe rolled his eyes, overdramatically.

“Whatever. Nevermind. Just tell me what she is supposed to have done and what you think you’ve got on her.”

Although nothing in the room had changed. Joe was now seated on expensive leather while Arthur squirmed in discomfort on a hard wooden chair with the one leg sawed just a fraction shorter than the other three.

“Er, yes. Right. Well, ahem. Miss… Your ‘nanny’ has been arrested for the attempted murder of Hanne Berg, the CEO of…” He checked the file again. “The Ranyhyn Company, a small business that deals in…”

“We all know what The Ranyhyn Company ‘deals’ in and it’s got nothing to do with whatever you’ve got written down there.”

Inspector Crabbe bristled visibly.

“Malicious gossip. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that…”

Joe’s face split into a huge grin.

“Ohhhhh I see now.”

Crabbe stopped mid-sentence.

“See what?”

“Why you found the balls to show up at my gaff, upset my family and walk away with MY employee. Berg’s either got you by the short and curlies or she’s paying you big bucks”

“I don’t know what you mean Joe.”

“Come off it Arthur. It’s a dangerous game you’re playing here sunshine. Not that I blame you mind, that Dwight bloke is enough to scare a bent copper straight.” Joe’s grin went from nice to nasty. “Well, almost. Eh Arthur?”

The skin between Crabbe’s top lip and his nose showed the first beads of moisture.

“I…” But nothing followed the pronoun.

Joe took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

“So what evidence do you have that this skinny little girl who earns her living looking after other peoples’ kids almost took out such a prominent local ‘business woman?”

“She had a gun.”

“Everybody past puberty has a gun Arthur.”

“She was about to flee New Flagstaff.”

“And everybody also wishes they could flee New bloody Flagstaff, I know I do.”

“She admitted having an argument with Miss Berg earlier in the evening.”

“Just having an argument isn’t really a motive Arthur. What was it about?”

Crabbe looked deflated.

“She wouldn’t say.”

Joe’s face softened. The smile became benign, friendly, bordering on brotherly.

“Arthur. You don’t have enough to hold her. You know it. I know it. Hell, even the guy moping the corridor outside your office knows it. How about I take her home with me? She won’t leave Flag, you have my word. And once we find out who really shot Hanne Berg you won’t be left looking so much like a prize prat. What do you say?”

For a few moments the inspector considered possible come backs. But if Joe had seen the holes in his case then the smart arse lawyer Joe would be hiring as soon as he left here would too. He sighed and reached for the intercom.

“Fine Joe. But you keep a close eye on her.” He flicked the switch. “Dybbøl? Fetch the girl. Tell her she’s freed under her own recong… Recognis… Tell her she’s freed on bail. Her employer is here to take her home.”

Arthur and Joe stood up and shook hands across the desk. Then Arthur opened the door for Joe. Just as the door was shutting behind him, Joe turned and stopped it with his hand.

“Oh and Arthur. If you ever come to my house like that again…”

Arthur Crabbe swallowed as he found himself looking into the smile of a shark.

Joe leaned in.

“… I’ll return the favour.”


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

Hyle Troy's picture

( got to love Joe.. but is Silja heading from one frying pan to the next?

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

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