The Block: Part Nineteen

This is the nineteenth part of a fiction serial, in 715 words.

“This is Doctor Fiona Eccleston, Rampton Hospital. Interview two with Jeffrey North. Jeffrey, you are aware that this is being recorded and I do not need your permission to do this? Please say yes for the benefit of the recording”.

“Yes, I am fully aware”.

“Now, in our first session, I explained why you are detained here, and that I will need to undertake these sessions to establish your state of mind, and awareness of your surroundings. These reports will be used to assess your treatment protocols, and eventually as part of any appeals process or parole board judgements. Do you remember that first meeting”.

“Yes, I am in Rampton Maximum Security Hospital, detained indefinitely subject to assessment of my sanity, behaviour, and the likelihood of my ever being dangerous if released. It’s okay, doctor, I am perfectly aware. And completely sane too, I assure you”.

“I would like to talk about that day in particular, the day that events got out of control. I am interested to hear what made you snap after so long”.

“Snap? Out of control? Neither of those are true. There was no snap, and I was in complete control. It was the outcome of very careful planning and preparation, and nothing at all like the actions of some deranged maniac. I said all this at my trial, as I am sure you have read from the transcripts. In fact if you read the statement I gave my own legal representative, you will save yourself a lot of trouble”.

“Hmm, that statement. Yes, I read that, but it is little more than a long-winded confession. But I would like you to tell me in your own words, Jeffrey. I want to hear your reasoning for myself, not read it on a page. Besides, there will be many more sessions like these, so you may just as well relax into them. To start off, why not give me some kind of timeline to the events that day?”

“I chose that day as I was fairly sure that most people would be home at some stage. I had already been in most of their flats when they were out at work or shopping, and what I found in them had enabled me to compile my list. You have no doubt seen the notes and video recording I handed to the police, and they should tell you all you need to know, doctor”.

“But as I said, I want to hear it all in your own words. So please continue”.

“Well a Sunday morning was the obvious choice. And early too, before anyone was up and about, and thinking of going anywhere. I used the titanium cycle lock to secure the two handles on the front door entrance, then disabled the lift by removing the fuse for it in the service cupboard on my floor. Then I did the same for the entryphone system, so that no callers would be able to contact any resident. There was no point disabling the phone lines, as most people had mobiles anyway. So I used the signal scrambling device I had obtained to interfere with the incoming moble signal from the nearest mast. The block was built with no external fire escape, and the only entrance and exit was the front door or the roof. The roof entrance was secured by a bolt and padlock. I had previously removed the existing padlock with bolt cutters, replaced it with one I had bought, and then thrown away the keys”.

“That’s a lot of preparation I agree, Jeffrey. Where did you manage to buy the various things you needed? Was it through contacts made during your time as a police officer?”

“No, it’s all on Ebay. You can find almost anything there. If not, you can get stuff from elsewhere online, delivered from America or China, no questions asked. You must have seen the receipts and order history. It is all on my computers”.

“Okay, you had secured the only exits, and decided that Sunday morning was the time to act. Talk me through how it started”.

“After fixing the D-lock to the front door, I was on the ground floor of course. So I started with Edna, and worked my way up”.

41 thoughts on “The Block: Part Nineteen

      1. I was thinking about you as an EMT in London, and guessing that much of these episodes must have come from your experiences. Sheesh! Reading books is one thing, talking face to face with the criminal or victim is another. That’s why your stories are so good. Best to you, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One day, we were called to a house with a radio message of ‘Confused patient, possibly mental illness’.
          We were met at the door by a man in his 20s who had blood all over his hands. He told me, “The Devil told me to kill my father”.
          He pushed open the door to show me his father’s severed head, placed on the bottom step of the staircase. Then he said, “I suppose you had better inform the police”.

          There is a lot of madness in the world, especially in big cities.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Naturally, we handed it over to the police, but it was rather ‘memorable’. So many psychiatric hospitals were being closed at the time, and the patients discharged ‘to live in the community under supervision’. Sadly, this is the sort of thing that happens when you do that.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. An excellent change of plot. I have no idea why this serial hasn’t the readership of earlier ones. I think it is among your best. Great character development, one of your strong suits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was starting to lose interest, but this chapter totally reengages me, Pete. I figured there had to be more than Jeff endlessly being a snoop. Well done! Thanks for the payoff!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like the dissection of a malignant psychology in this series. We drop in on the process without a big fan fair and watch the progression–much like Jeff watches the residents. I think it’s a brilliant series, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Pam. I’m glad you liked the sudden change of pace with no explanation.
      I appreciate your kind words a great deal, especially as this serial has attracted far less readers than the last one. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the things that I appreciate so much about you, Pete, is you are your authentic self in your blog. Most of us look at our stats–I do, anyway–but I hope that you will always write for yourself first.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I do. This serial is all about me really. My life living in blocks of flats in London, the characters I met as an EMT, and the policemen I knew when working for the Special Operations Division of the London police.
          I would still write it if nobody read it, but that doesn’t reduce my interest in what readers like. Even though I have never written anything in the hope that more would read it. 🙂
          Best wishes as always, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. (1) “I am interested to hear what made you snap after so long.” Jeff thought for a moment, and said, “I was under the influence of the Rice Krispies marketing department. But so were Crackle and Pop.”
    (2) Comparative testimony:
    “It was the outcome of very careful planning and preparation, and nothing at all like the actions of some deranged maniac.” (The Block)
    “Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded –with what caution –with what foresight –with what dissimulation I went to work!” (The Tell-Tale Heart)
    (3) “To start off, why not give me some kind of timeline to the events that day?” Jeff was shocked that Dr. Eccleston hadn’t consulted his Facebook account.
    (4) “I chose that day as I was fairly sure that most people would be home at some stage.” And that included Theatrical Conehead, who saw home—in fact, the whole world—as his stage.
    (5) “I had already been in most of their flats when they were out at work or shopping.” What he found in those flats pumped him up.
    (6) Interview notes:
    Jeffrey North: “Well a Sunday morning was the obvious choice.”
    Dr. Eccleston: “Sunday, bloody Sunday…”
    Jeffrey North: “I love that song! U2?”
    (7) “So I started with Edna, and worked my way up.” Edna’s last words: “Heading up, North?”
    (8) The residents of Spencer House tried desperately to head South when they realized what North was up to.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You must never mention U2 in a comment. I hate Bono so much, I might be inspired to hurt him in some way. Good to see you noticed ‘stage’. Theatrical was a gift for that remark. NIce to see the Poe comparison. I would love to be able to write with his flair. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually started to listen to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (I was familiar with the song title, but didn’t know the song itself or which group sang it), and had to turn it off after 30 seconds or so because it hurt my ears. Not my kind of music! Still, the song made for a good comment… I have read “The Tell-Tale Heart” many times. A masterpiece!

        Liked by 1 person

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