[Background music at the end. This story will be posted in full after the Challenge for those of us that like to read everything in one complete telling,]
LETHALITY – Friday afternoon
Legal loopholes challenge us. CPS must prepare for canny lawyers. I need to ensure we have everything.
Eyes closed, my mind plays games with scenarios. Be prepared.
Ivan Tjäder, our runner might be more than the loophole. Did he see me? Was this coma a pretence? The doctor would’ve known. But Stefan fooled him.
My shudder is premature – if Ivan is found by us first. I check the latest sightings – nothing.
But Ffion has sent me the petty theft incidents. Nothing expensive. Nor anything the pawnshops will bother with. Very likely gift shop purchases. Sentimental trinkets the professional jewel thief would ignore. An opportunist petty thief? A spate that merits monitoring. So, I give Ffion my assessment.
I’m assessing my next lateral step, when a message flashes up.
“Detective Dike Anwyl. We are watching you and your lesbian bitch. No perversion in NWP. Resign or regret staying.”
I shiver. My heart beat races. Dizziness. Pain.
The first stone, and we’ve only been doing our jobs. Is this hatred or jealousy?
Rigidity dissolves. The bitter tang in my mouth. Spit. My lip bleeds.
I can’t tell Kama.
No. I must tell Kama.
Are we safe at the regatta?
No cop would dare expose us – would they? To be rid of us? If we fail that proves our lack of worth.
Focus on the case. Ignore the haters. I’m queer and proud.
Lost cargo – jettisoned overboard. My hunch. I open the message from HMRC in Pembroke. The manifest from the Scandinavian freighter shows items missing – washed off by waves during a lightning storm. ‘Medical supplies.’ Drugs?
But no loss report or insurance claim shows in any records I can access. Buried or dismissed?
Diving might reveal more. And probing.
I ring forensics.
“Liam, our guest confirmed they were attacked with gaffs and staves.”
“Do we have a crime scene?”
“Nothing definite. A jetty, perhaps a marina near Llandudno. We haven’t the resources to search for a scene. Not yet.”
“Austerity biting at your budget too. Crazy with crime not sleeping.”
“That’s what my late tad would say.”
Tears come freely at his memory. Cancer was the crime that took him. The toughest adversary.
“He was – the best.” I close my eyes. Breathe. “I’ll ring when I have more. Oh, they had been sailing.”
Waves of tingling as I replace the phone.
A for Austerity and Adversary. M for Medical and Manifest. L for Lightning, Lesbian and Legal. U for Unknown.
MAUL. Who is wanting to maul us? Lethality unleashed. No matter. The trap should be set. I check the online news.
“Champion divers choose Aberdaron Regatta.”
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“Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” William Congreve – The Mourning Bride