Written by: Suraya Dewing

An elderly woman in an ill-fitting faded floral dress shambled up to reception at the Westbrooke Police Station and demanded to see Chief Inspector Karen Simonivic.

She was told Karen was not available, that she was attending a serious traffic accident.

“Can I help you?” Constable Ken Morrow asked politely.

The woman vehemently shook her head and her knotted grey curls bounced. No, only the Chief Inspector would do, she insisted. She stood awkwardly at the desk, as if expecting Karen to come through the door any minute.

However, Karen was over in the next block surrounded by paramedics and other police. Lights flashed red and orange across people, turning them into shadows that jerked as they rushed from vehicles to the unconscious teenager lying on the cordoned off road. An anxious, troubled air hung over everyone as a paramedic applied CPR to the still form.

Distraught neighbours hung around on the fringe muttering among themselves, speculating about what had happened.

Karen worked steadily, keeping people away, comforting the distraught mother and making sure the scene was secured for future forensic investigation.

Later, when Karen arrived back at the Police Station she felt emotionally drained.

She winced against the bright fluorescent light as she stepped through the door.

Constable Ken Morrow looked up. “This lady wants to see you.”

He shook his head, imitating the woman’s determined insistence. “No-one else will do.”

The elderly woman’s lips parted in what looked like a futile attempt at a smile revealing brown stained teeth.

Karen sighed. “Follow me. I’ll find an interview room.”

After sending the Duty Officer a triumphant smirk the woman hurried after Karen, her cracked black shoes thudding on the floor.

As she led the way, Karen rubbed her temple in an effort to relieve a persistent headache. She opened the door to an unlit room, snapped the lights on and waved her to a seat.

Having just smelt death she decided this woman hovered near the edge. She briefly wondered when her turn would come. The old woman sat, knees locked together and worn handbag gripped on her lap.

After getting Annie’s name, Karen waited.

“I saw that boy….” she finally burst out. “Well, young man…” she corrected.

Karen was suddenly interested but caution narrowed her eyes as she sat forward. “Which boy?”

Annie fanned a knobbly hand in front of her face. A look of keen, intelligent glee, captured her features. “The car didn’t stop did it?”

Karen’s stomach lurched. They were still trying to find the driver.

“Do you know who it was?”

She shook her head vehemently. “No.” She held her hand over her mouth as if telling Karen a secret. “There’s a painting, Waterfall.”

Karen frowned and was about to dismiss Annie as an interfering sightseer when Annie sat sharply forward, bringing with her the odours of the street.

“Find that painting and you’ll find the person who ran that poor boy down.” Her sharp eyes looked at Karen intensely. “Pfff,” she huffily snorted, “gangs.”

Writing order: Anna Zhigareva (Scotland), Joe Labrum (USA), Linda Alley, (Australia), Rosemary Wakelin (Australia), Ray Stone (Cyprus), Ray Stone (Cyprus), Hemali Ajmera (India), Anthony Smits (Samos Island), Sameer Nagarajan (Dubai), Suraya Dewing (NZ)


Loved it, Suraya. Well at last - a crime scene and a mystery to solve. "It's not a good story 'til somebody dies." Well written start to a, I hope, tantalizing plot. Nice characterization and overview of the atmosphere. I'll enjoy writing a chapter for this. I hope everyone books quickly so we can get our teeth into this one.
Thanks Ray. I was thinking of you and your saying as I wrote it and I realised yes, in this instance, it is true. I had to smile. First time I've had a go at something like this and I enjoyed the experience. Thinking of doing a series. Now you've got me going, ha ha.
Love a good mystery. And the characters differing personalities. Right up my alley, Suraya. Have to book a chapter. Love it.
Great news everyone and great feedback. Thanks.
Love the ending, Suraya. Very intriguing!
I love Annie and the subtle hint of mystic ability. This will be fun.
Intriguing, and of course seems on course for a crime/ murder story. Looking forward to it!
Thank you everyone for your comments. I really do look forward to seeing how this serial pans out. It'll be such fun to follow!