Monster – Part 1

‘I seen it, I say, I seen it. T’was huge and monstrous!’

Everyone gasped.

‘Order! Order!’ Hammered the judge.

I sat there looking at the horrified faces in the courtroom.

‘You should’ a seen her, poor Leslie!’

‘Who’s Leslie?’ asked the judge.

‘That’s his cow, your Lordship!’ answered a man standing next to the witness. They both looked like poor peasants wearing mud stained clothes.

‘Ya’ should ‘a seen her!’ repeated the witness. ‘She was torn apart, her guts everywhere, as if a beast had just opened’er up!’

‘It’s true!’ shouted a man sitting in the room. ‘I’ve seen it!’

‘Wolves!’ said another.

‘Wolves?’ said the man next to the witness. ‘No wolf could have done that!’

‘T’ was a beast!’ said the witness. ‘A beast!’

My heart beat fast.

The crowd was out of control.

‘Order! Order!’ shouted the judge. ‘Continue, Mr. Potter!’

‘I saw it run away. It’was as big as Leslie!’

‘What was?’

‘The beast!’

‘Was it not a wolf?’

‘No, much bigger!’

‘A bear?’

‘Never seen a bear around here, your Lordship!’

The judge, a tiny man with bushy eyebrows leaned over his bench and faced the witness, Mr. Potter.

‘But it was dark, are you sure it was that big?’

‘We found marks, your Lordship,’ said the man standing next to the witness.

The entire room buzzed. The gavel fell once more.

‘Order, I say or I’ll throw you all out!’ shouted the judge then continued calmly. ‘What marks did you find, Mr. Thomas?’

‘A mark of the paw…this size!’ Mr. Thomas showed the size of half a meter. People buzzed softly. It only took the judge one look at them to keep them quiet again.

I suffered in silence. The size of the paw…it could have been accurate.

‘Has anyone else seen this…paw mark?’ asked the judge.

‘Me and me boys saw it, sir!’ A peasant stood up in the crowd. He gestured to three children next to him who stood up as well, two boys and a girl. All four of them were covered in dirt and dressed in ragged clothes.

I was sure they had seen it. I was sure it was real. This scared me the most.

‘This time it was a cow, next time who knows!’ shouted the father of the children. The crowd turned wild, beyond control.

‘We need to take measures!’ shouted the judge. But, I am not sure to whom he was talking. Half of the courtroom was in chaos. Not even his gavel could save him now.

‘Let’s go home!’ said my cousin, Aidan.

On the way back home we exchanged no words. Aidan was worried even though before the hearing he said the entire situation was pure nonsense. After the hearing something inside him changed and made him doubt that. That doubt scared me. I preferred him clueless…for now.

Stubborn Murder – Chapter 5

He carefully opened the envelope and unfolded the letter. Then his eyes traced the handwriting. That only made me wonder just how much he was familiar with the King.

I sat there watching his eyes fixed on every word, every sentence and on every page of that letter.

‘Did you do it?’ he finally asked while still holding the letter in his hand.

I was not sure what the King had written but I knew the detective was referring to that terrible night.

‘I don’t know,’ I responded hiding my frustration.

‘You don’t look like you could…’ he said vaguely, ‘at least not with that body.’

The King had not told me about the content of the letter. So, had he mentioned my nature? If he had, then why wasn’t the detective shocked about it?

Mr Grumps dropped the letter on his desk and lit yet another cigarette.

‘I don’t have time for this shit! I have so many cases, I…’ He looked at me and stopped. ‘How can they suspect you? You’re merely a…what happened that night,’ he narrowed his eyes. His reaction confused me. So, did the King mention my nature or not?

‘Do you have any cash?’ he asked.

‘Yes, I have some.’

‘Then you should go at a hotel.’

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Was he insane? How can he send me to a hotel considering the circumstances? Or did he want me dead?

‘Frankly I’m not sure how I can help!’

I bit my lip. Now, I was curious about the information the King had given him. ‘May I take a look at the letter?’

‘No!’

‘Why not?

‘Because it specifically says that you may not.’

‘The King mentions that?’ I grew frustrated. ‘Why, why would he…’

‘Stay at the Candlelight Hotel,’ he said. ‘It will be safe there.’

‘So, will you help me or not?’ I asked.

He didn’t answer.

‘I don’t know what the King mentioned in that letter but perhaps you don’t know all the facts and I need to…’

‘I have all the facts…’ he said while he watched me. ‘I understand.’

His answer startled me.

‘Go to the hotel and I will meet you there later.’

What other choice did I have? I ended up nodding. ‘Thank you!’

‘Don’t thank me just yet.’

Stubborn Murder – Chapter 4

 

I stood there facing a closed door. So, this was the man who was going to help me? This was the man who would understand what I was going through? Perhaps the King was wrong? How could this idiot be my only hope?

One thing was clear, I couldn’t give up now.

I sighed and knocked on the door. But of course, no answer. What a typical jerk! Even so, I slowly opened the door and peeked inside. He was sitting at his desk, tie and shirt stained but he seemed to have forgotten about it. He was looking at some folders while writing down some notes. Mr Grumps…he did have a very grumpy look about him. His eyes were fully concentrated, frowning at every word he wrote. And not to mention his desk, it was a complete mess, all covered in papers, pictures while a cloud of cigarette smoke surrounded it all.

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‘If you want to apologize, get me a new coffee, black!’ he barked.

I said nothing. Instead, I approached his desk, took out the King’s letter and placed it on the corner of his desk. He threw a glance at it then continued with his work.

‘Is that an apology letter?’

I didn’t react.

He looked at me. Sighing, he grabbed the envelope and studied it. He stopped, staring at the King’s wax seal. Then he slowly ran his thump over it. Did they know each other well? The King had said nothing about their relationship.

‘Are you going to stand there while I read it?’ he snapped.

‘I have nowhere else to go,’ I reacted.

He lifted his head up and looked at me. He must have been…around 40, his hair was brown, messy, his eyes were dark brown, his eyebrows thick and messy as well…and he looked tired.

‘I have a chair.’ He blinked then looked at the two chairs before him. ‘You could…sit your ass on one of them…and you can even choose on which one you want to sit’ he mocked.

I sat on one of the chairs feeling like one of his…clients…did he even have any? It took a moment until he pulled his irritated gaze off of me and returned to the letter.

‘I need a smoke for this,’ he barked as though he knew the content of the letter was important. The half burned cigarette in the ashtray was no longer sufficient. He put it out in the pile of other 30 cigarettes and lit a new cigarette.

This was going to be a long day.

Stubborn murder – Chapter 3

I waited for an hour but Mr. Drums did not leave his apartment. And, I had the feeling he wasn’t planning on leaving too soon. I considered slipping the envelope from King under his door but it was too risky. I had to be there when he’d read the letter.

‘Excuse me, madam?’

I turned around and faced a strange looking old man with one white eye. He smiled at me and that made him look even scarier.

I moved out of the way to let the man pass. He slowly passed me by. That’s when I heard the door open.

I turned around and…

‘Damn it!’ someone shouted.

I turned around and…Mr. Drums…was looking at the floor holding a cup of coffee, half its content now spilled on the floor and on his shirt and tie.

‘Watch where you’re heading, idiot!’ he barked at me. He saw the old man looking at us.

‘Great, one white eyed freak OUT and one daydreaming idiot IN.’ He growled more, then passed me by.

I watched him surprised. He was not heading the elevator. Instead, he was heading the other end of the hallway, the same way the white eyed man was going.

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I followed confused.

At the end of the hallway just around the corner…his office.

I walked quickly and caught up with Mr. Drums.

‘I had no idea your office was just a few steps away from your apartment!’

‘Are you just gonna stand there like an idiot and block this way too?’ he roared.

I moved aside.

He unlocked the office door.

‘Are you sure you’re Mr. Drums?’ I didn’t want to know the answer.

‘No, I’m the freaking tooth fairy!’

He entered the room, slammed the door in my face and pulled the blinds down.

 

Stubborn murder – Chapter 2

I said goodbye to the King, the Castle meaning the office and my home which was the only place I felt safe in.

The King’s men were a few colleagues I had never met before but the King trusted them. Perhaps they were a special unit used only in urgent matters…and this was urgent after all.

I packed my bag with only the essentials. After all, I wouldn’t be gone for too long…I think.

The King’s men escorted me to an abandoned parking spot. Well, not entirely abandoned. There was a car waiting for me and it was…not one of our best models but…it was practical and it didn’t stand out. But, it was important to not attract attention. As I needed to solve this matter quickly and without any delays, I drove to…the miracle town called Sunshine.

Sunshine… perhaps they named it when the town looked…different from how it looked now. But, it was just an ordinary town filled with bored people, strange cafés and old buildings. Oh, and it was raining…

The King had told me to go straight to Mr. Drums’s apartment and not to his office as the matter needed all the discretion in the world. I held a piece of paper in my hand as I stood before a four stores apartment building which was nothing more than a grey, depressing building.

The door to the apartment building was open and there was an usher…I don’t know what for…but he was sleeping, snoring, with no care in the world. So, I passed him by and went to the elevator leading to Mr. Drums’s apartment.

I knocked on Mr. Drums’s apartment door. But, nothing happened. Perhaps he was not there…or perhaps he did not want to answer? It was ten o’clock in the morning. Maybe the detective had left to his office?

I knocked again. That’s when I heard noise and someone was approaching the door fast. But, that someone was not very hap..

‘What?’ growled a horrid face as the door had opened in a flash.

‘Mr. Drums?’

He said nothing. Instead, he looked at me. That’s when I noticed he resembled a rabid dog as his hair was in all directions, his eyes half open and his unshaven chin…his clothes..

‘Detective Drums?’ I asked hoping I had knocked on the wrong door.

‘Detective Drums will be in his office in an hour.’

‘I see, but I…’

That’s when the door slammed shut in my face.

This was Mr. Drums? No wonder they called him grumpy…this was going to be a challenge after all.

 

Stubborn murder – Chapter 1

‘I don’t know what to do’, I stated feeling desperate and totally hopeless.

I sat in my boss’s office realizing I was in more trouble than I could have ever imagined. Although we had been talking for hours, it seemed we could not find a solution to what had happened.

The old man, whom I called King, looked at me, his thick grey eyebrows frowning with concern.

‘Someone might be able to help you,’ he finally stated. The King hesitated for a moment, ‘he is a fine detective…’ As he mentioned this, the King opened a drawer and pulled out an envelope. After that, he put the envelope on his desk and looked at it. At that moment I realized he had planned this for a while, but obviously had been having doubts whether to do it or not.

‘Take this letter to him. Make him read it and he might…help you.’

‘You are not sure he will,’ I remarked.

‘He’s a…he can be very angry sometimes. He’s feared in his town and…well…he can also be a true bastard when he wants to.’

‘What’s his name?’

‘They call him Mr. Grumps,’ he said it with a serious face, ‘but his real name is Alexander Drums.’ He looked at me as if awaiting my outburst.

‘Mr. Grumps?’ It sounded stupid just mentioning it. ‘The only man that can help me is a man called Mr. Grumps?’ I stated once more. ‘And where does Mr. Grumps live?’

‘In a small town called Sunshine,’

‘Mr. Grumps from Sunshine? This is not the time to make jokes!’

‘Lidia, he’s your only hope.’

‘Why do you think that?’

‘You two have more in common than you think. That is why he’s the only one who can help you.’

I sighed.

He stared at me and I sensed pity in his eyes. So, what choice did I have?

‘All right. When do I leave?’ I finally said.

‘My men will take you there.’

‘Thank you!’

‘If there is anyone that can save you, my child, then it’s Alexander. Pray he helps you in this matter because if he doesn’t, we are both doomed.’