A Stab in the Dark

A detective. A forensic scientist. A journalist.
Three lives drawn together by a murder.
When evidence lies and the case evolves, who can you trust in a city full of lies?
---- Updated every Wednesday ----

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5. Well that Sounded Ominous

Day Two: Lloyd

Deep red shirt mirroring the carnage of my nightmares, I waited for the quiet sobbing to subside. There was one visitor. There was one person willing to identify Martha: James Kane. Glancing over his file, I winced.

Ex-husband. Married for four years. Divorced but still in contact. Never remarried. Never moved out of their once shared apartment. Wife had an affair and had left him.

It must have been hard on him, losing her not once but twice; once to another man and now to death. Their marriage was a turbulent one but the devastation in his eyes as he walked in told me everything that I needed to know. I didn’t miss how he slipped his hand into hers and let the tears fall or the rage dancing beneath his pupils. Even after she left him and betrayed him, her still loved her.

He still wore the rings.

Even though she moved on and left him in the ashes, he never found or even looked for someone new. He was fixated with what he once had and watching his actions, I could see how obsessed he really was. Whispering to her and fixing her hair, I could see just how much he had missed her.

 Looking through the photos in her wallet, the picture of Martha and James caught my attention. Cloaked in a sleek suit, his arm was around the waist of his beautiful bride as the shared an intimate gaze. In the picture, Martha was uncharacteristically smiling as she made her way into a new chapter of her life. I remembered the days when Martha would stroll into work and talk for hours about the wedding plans and then not even bother to invite her workmates. For the first time, I could truly picture her with a life outside of commanding the force to abide to her will.

Closing my eyes, I pictured my Katie and how I coped after her death. I remembered the tears, the condolences and the sheer feeling of dread as I was called to the scene of a car crash outside of my girlfriend’s workplace. In the late hours of the afternoon, my investigation took a turn for the worst. A sick feeling had been building up in my stomach for days as if to tell me, as if to warn me what was about to happen, but I missed it. I realised too late and Katie paid the price.

 ‘A red citroen’ they had said. ‘A lorry’ they added. ‘Head on collision’ they muttered. ‘No survivors’ they whispered.

It was the number plate that I recognised first, and then the figure that was slumped in the front seat, engagement band still sitting around her finger. Rushing forwards, I cried out as the door flew off of its hinges and allowed me to hold my beloved one last time before we were separated for the rest of time. Her blond hair was coated in blood her once vibrant eyes were hollow and void. It had only been two months since I proposed and now, in a tale of tragedy, she was gone and I was left all alone. My colleagues had pulled me back but with the last of my strength, I placed a kiss on her lips before allowing them to drag me away.

‘I still love you Katie.’

To say that I understood grief was an understatement.

“It’s her. It’s definitely her…”

“I’m sorry, sir. Truly sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you to say goodbye.” The look of anguish which graced his features killed me a little inside but he nodded. Running a hand over her curved cheek, he dropped a gentle kiss on her forehead before whispering his final goodbye. His eyes narrowed  as he shook his head.

“Goodbye my love.” He chuckled for a few, heart-wrenching moments, “I always said that it would end this way.”

Wiping away his tears, I opened the door and watched as he walked away, not looking back at me or what used to be Martha. What he had seen in her, I would never know but something still felt off.

“Well that sounded ominous…”

Twisting around, I gazed at the figure in shock. This was a private viewing area for a dead woman’s family to say good bye, it was no place for a man wearing a Batman tie and brandishing a bright blue notebook.

“Who the hell are you and what do you want?”

“I’m Max. I’m a journalist for the London Chronicle-“

“Please, have some respect. A woman was murdered and her family just said goodbye. I'm going to have to ask you to leave.” Pressing the security button on the desk beside me, I felt strangely threatened by the man who stood in front me. Finally, I had a use for the system I had mocked for the duration of my career.

And then it hit me.

The Chronicle. Shit.

Jackie had warned me about this man.

He was on the list of suspects.

He was here to see Martha.

He was here to dispose of the evidence.

​He was here to plant the blame on someone else. 

This was not good.

“Please, I'm asking you to leave.”

“No. I’m here to do my job; I’m here to report on this story. Who are you anyway? What is your role in this case? Did you know Martha? Is that why you're so creepy?”

Seeing security walk around the corner, I let out a sigh of relief.

“Leave now or you will be removed.” I threatened, gesturing to the two guards that were standing behind him. Sweat was rolling down my forehead as his eyes narrowed.

“What have you got to hide? I have to get this story. Let me in for just two minutes and then I’ll- Hey! What do you think you’re doing? Get you're hands off me. GET YOU'RE HANDS OFF ME! I have rights you know. I HAVE RIGHTS!”

“NO COMMENT!” I yelled after him, stealing a deep breath.

Fighting down the rush of fear and adrenaline, I realised that I had bigger problems to deal with. Diving into my pockets and pulling out my phone, I dialled a number as I tapped on the table in agitation. Finally, my call was answered.

“Jackie, it’s me. I think we may have a problem…”

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