Chapter 2 – Tea and a Revelation
Robert looked at his mother. She looked older today than yesterday. She sat at the small table, trying to put crayons in her mouth, while his younger sister Amy removed them again. They said something to each other in low tones and then Amy glanced over at him.
‘Pop the kettle on’, she asked him, rolling her eyes. He grinned and got up. Walking into the kitchen his eyes started to water thinking of his Mum now compared to her only a month ago, and he was about to put out the tea cups when his mobile started to vibrate in his pocket.
‘There’s been a murder!’ said Andy. ‘Address is 4 The Cottages. Inspector Denvil is already there so you need to get a move on’
Amy stood at the door as he put his phone away. She nodded at him without even asking what the call was about and kissed his cheek.
‘Don’t worry pet.’ She said, ‘I’ll finish up here’
Rob gave his sister a quick hug and sped out to his Skoda, sitting in the drive behind her Ford.
The road was very quiet, as normal, and Rob got to the Cottages within a few minutes. A barrier had not yet been put across the road and he saw the Inspector and a PC, probably the first officer attending, standing outside number 4 talking earnestly. The PC pointed to a lady standing at her gate a couple of doors up and the Inspector started walking towards her. Spotting Rob on her way, she waved him over.
Dulcie smiled at the two Police officers but her eyes were worried and sad, Rob noticed. She led them into her home and showed them into her living room where a man sat, his back to them, at a writing table. Rob saw her take a wide berth around the room so that her shadow fell across whatever the man was writing and he looked up quickly. She pointed back to the two officers waiting at the door and he pushed away the papers under some others, put down the pen, and got to his feet. Dulcie introduced them, explaining about her husbands deafness, and then asked if anyone wanted a cup of tea.
Rob was going to say not, but the Inspector smiled and told her they would love one and she would give Dulcie a hand in the kitchen.
Once in the kitchen Dulcie put the kettle on and started to get a tray together with a plate of biscuits and tea cups. The Inspector decided not to press her and took it on herself to swill the teapot with hot water to warm the pot when the kettle had boiled. Dulcie popped in the tea and filled to the brim, placing a knitted tea cosy over the teapot once it was ready.
‘He was a lovely old man’, burst out Dulcie suddenly. ‘Who could wish him harm?!’
‘That is what we are hoping to find out’, said the Inspector softly. ‘Is there anything you can tell us about this morning? Anything unusual’
Dulcie turned away and looked out of the window, her back to the police officer, who could see the rigid shoulders and clenching fists of someone trying hard not to cry. ‘No.’ said Dulcie, with a catch in her voice. ‘You know, that makes it even worse! All I could think of was the music’
‘Music?’ asked Inspector Denvil.
‘Yes. Oh! I am sorry! We turned it off when we found him. I didn’t think….That damned Beethoven’ said Dulcie turning. Her eyes were streaming now. ‘I was about to tell him off! He was playing that music SO loud! But all the time…… all the time….’ She broke off and went back to looking out of the window, shoulders shaking.
‘Shall we take this tea in now?’ asked the Inspector gently. She handed Dulcie a piece of kitchen towel. Dulcie dried her eyes on it and sniffed bravely, leading the Inspector who was carrying the laden tray, out of the kitchen
Rob was wondering if it was worth questioning Ken, when Ken grabbed a notebook and pencil from the table. I LIPREAD, he wrote
Rob asked, ‘Oh great! Did you hear or see anything unusual this morning?’ He quickly blushed, realising what he had said. Ken laughed and scribbled on the pad.
NO, BUT BEETHOVEN wrote Ken, holding it up to show Rob. HE HATED BEETHOVEN
Rob nodded politely and wrote it down. He had NO idea what that meant.
He was about to get up to follow the two ladies into the kitchen, when Dulcie came bustling back in to make a place for the tray. The Inspector followed her in and set it down. Dulcie spotted the notebook in her husbands hand and exclaimed.
Her husband nodded.
‘So,’ she said quietly, almost to herself, ‘if he hated it, why was it playing full blast when he died?’
Again, this is my unfinished version, as it comes new and un proof read. I am building it up as I go. Then it will be extended, played with and grown into a full book. Hope you are enjoying it ~ IsabellaS
I’m an oil painter and photographer, who also makes time to paint with words through my short stories and published poetry. Seascapes and animals are the primary focus of my oil paintings
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