The Block: Part Twenty-Five

This is the final part of a fiction serial, in 848 words.

“This will be our final session, Jeffrey, as I have now completed my assessment. You should know that I am not in the least intimidated by your remarks the last time we spoke. I could not do this job if I allowed myself to be worried about threats from those I assess”.

“I wasn’t threatening you, just stating how easy it is to get information, even in here”.

“Okay. Do you have anything you would like to add? This will probably be the last time we see each other”.

“I would be interested to hear what your conclusions are”.

“It is not usual to discuss those, but I think you know full well that I will not be recommending your move to a conventional prison. In fact, I will be strongly recommending that you remain here until such time any future assessment shows you are fit to be considered for parole. You have shown no remorse, no sympathy for your victims, and I cannot imagine that this aspect of your personality is likely to change anytime soon. Furthermore, you refuse to concede that you are mentally ill, and that in itself makes you very dangerous, as far as I am concerned. If and when any appeal hearing is granted, I am sure my detaled report will ensure that you are not successful”.

“Would you like me to say sorry, and confess to rape? Would that make you feel different?”

“I know you are just saying that, Jeffrey. It is not in your nature to feel sorrow or regret for what you did. You are even smiling as you speak. If you said sorry a hundred times, I would still not believe you”.

“Alright, doctor, you got me. No I’m not sorry. But I didn’t rape that woman, whatever you believe. Why are you so prepared to believe a bad thing about me, but not about her actions on that Sunday? Whatever you think of me, I told you the truth. I am not a rapist.”

“I would have to talk to her to change my opinon, and I can’t do that. Because you killed her”.

“Now you are sounding angry, doctor. Not like you to let anger creep into your voice”.

“I am not angry, and any change in my tone is caused by human emotion, something I suspect you do not understand”.

“You would be very surprised at what I understand, doctor”.

“I think that is enough discussion, Jeffrey. My full report will be submitted to the relevant authorities for their consideration. However, if I were you, I would not expect to ever be released. With that in mind, you might want to think about ways to deal with your life here, perhaps improve yourself in some way. There are classes, and you are allowed to study too”.

“Oh, I think I have done all the studying I am ever going to do. But thanks for letting me know”.

“Very well, I am closing the interview. I doubt we will ever meet again, Jeffrey”.

“Oh don’t say that, doctor. I live in hope that we will”.

Nine months had passed since Fiona Eccleston had presented her report. It had not been necessary to see Jeffrey North again, and she was as busy as ever with new referrals and admissions. But there was a holiday to look forward to. In three weeks, Poppy would be home from university, and the promised mother-daughter bonding trip to California was going ahead. As Poppy had asked, Fiona had arranged the rental of a classic American car. They would just drive north up the state, and see where they ended up.

Fiona was up early on that Friday morning, and the strong coffee had made her feel perky. Reversing her car out onto the street, she drove to the junction with the main road, and pressed the button to turn on the radio. The weather forecast was good, and when the next song came on she drummed her fingers on the steering wheel and sang along to the familiar words.

The police roadblock was unusual.There must have been an accident. As she got closer to the head of the queue, she saw officers opening the rear hatches of the cars in front, and looking in the back doors and windows. When it came to her turn, she wound down the window as the policeman walked over. “Can you please turn off the engine and open the boot, madam? Just a routine check, won’t delay you too long”. Reaching into her bag, she showed him her Rampton Hospital identity card. “I have to get to work, officer, please hurry”.

The policeman glanced at the card. “Rampton eh? It’s one of yours we’re looking for. That Londoner, the one who killed all the people in that block of flats. He managed to escape during the night somehow. Can’t have got far on foot though”.

Fiona reached into her bag for her mobile phone. Scrolling quickly, she pressed to dial her daughter’s number.

It didn’t ring at all, just beeped. The line was dead.

The End.

56 thoughts on “The Block: Part Twenty-Five

  1. I don’t know how you do it, but you’re bloody good! Thoroughly enjoyed the last few chapters, totally unexpected! P.s. sorry I’m so behind on reading your serials!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, Pete. And I definitely did not suspect the ending! You know how much I enjoy your serials. Each is quite different from the one before, yet just as fascinating and well written. Best to you, and thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ll be pleased to hear that this brought on a lot of emotions ๐Ÿ™‚ He bothered me from the very beginning, then he was disturbing, and he finished off being terrifying. You built it up nicely – dropping hints here and there to keep us anticipating his next move, but even with all the hints you managed to finish it off with a nice bang. I hated that I liked it, but I would have liked it more if it wasn’t during Corona-times. BTW, I know that you reply to all of your comments, but for some reason I am not getting any notifications for your replies so I apologize if I failed to reply to anything. Can’t wait for your next story (but hoping for something a bit less terrifying)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Margie. I am sorry about the nofifications, but I have not changed any settings. I confess I did intend to make this story unsettling and a little ‘terrifying’, in keeping with the crimes committed. It was my attempt at a modern-day horror story of sorts.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps they will have one last meeting after all. I stuck with you all the way through, as disturbing as this serial was at times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for doing that, Pete. If there is ever a sequel, they will surely meet. Unfortunately, when writing about such subjects, it is sometimes necessary to be disturbing, and to add some graphic imagery. If not, there would never be horror books. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.


  4. I liked this best when Jeff was just an unemotional cop. His/Your characterisations of his neighbours were very entertaining. I found the recent episodes a bit too gruesome for me and also they felt a bit rushed. The ending is typical of you though, to leave us with a twist in the tale. Rampton is probably very hard to escape from, though not impossible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I researched Rampton escapes, and there have been some. They were usually recaptured within days, but Jeff only needs one day. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Sorry it felt rushed for you. I didn’t want to date the interview sequences, but they would have taken time. I tried to balance between the events at the block, and the unexpected Sunday when Jeff ‘cracked’.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, not bad, not a disappointment. My head shaking is that as a reader I could see this coming, or something very similar. I was disappointed that the doctor could not, and she was trailed to spot this sort of thing. Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That it came up in how you wrote the interview was what made me anticipate the ending. But then I did anticipate a start on another 20 episodes to tell thE story leading up to the doctor attempting to call her daughter at the roadblock, ๐Ÿ™‚ Warmest regards, Theo

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Man! I’m ashamed to say I didn’t see that coming. I had relaxed a bit thinking Jeff had got his comeuppance–that he was too “average” to construct an escape from the mental ward, etc…You roped me in, Pete. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pam. Don’t forget, I work back from the end. So I always knew he was going to escape. ๐Ÿ™‚
      (In case his escape seems unlikely, I should note that other prisoners have escaped from the same institution)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. (1) “No, but I also know that your home address is number five Lilac Close, Gainsborough. That you are divorced and live alone, and that your daughter Poppy attends the University of Lincoln, studying Modern History.โ€ Whatever happened to that Lincoln fellow, anyway?
    (2) “I could not do this job if I allowed myself to be worried about threats from those I assess.” O ye of little faith, such threats are not to be taken lightly, especially when dismissed by the killer as an innocuous observation.
    (3) “If you said sorry a hundred times, I would still not believe you.” However, Dr. Eccleston knew that each subsequent apology after the hundredth would slowly chip away at her incredulity.
    (4) Re Hurst: The killing was rehearsed. Rape was not part of the script.
    (5) Overheard at Rampton Hospital (not to be confused with Hampton Inn, though I’m sure plenty of crazies have checked in there):
    Dr. Eccleston: โ€œI would have to talk to her to change my opinion, and I canโ€™t do that. Because you killed her.”
    Jeffrey North: “Try attending a sรฉance after our final session.”
    (6) “However, if I were you, I would not expect to ever be released.” Dr. Eccleston, do you have a short memory? Remember what Jeffrey said: “Who knows? Things change. Societyโ€™s attitudes change. Or I might escape.”
    (7) Rampton’s security was sloppy. And now Jeffrey has offed Poppy.
    (8a) Maybe Poppy wasn’t the best name Dr. Fiona Eccleston could have given her daughter.
    “Poppies have long been used as a symbol of sleep, peace, and death: Sleep because the opium extracted from them is a sedative, and death because of the common blood-red color of the red poppy in particular. In Greek and Roman myths, poppies were used as offerings to the dead.” (Wikipedia)
    (8b) It wasn’t until after Poppy’s death that Dr. Fiona Eccleston realized she could have named her daughter Lilac after the street they lived on.
    (8c) “In the poem ‘When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d’, by Walt Whitman, lilacs are a reference to Abraham Lincoln.” (Wikipedia)
    (8d) On second thought, considering Whitman’s poem was an elegy to the U.S. president after which Poppy’s university was named, maybe Lilac would not have been such a good choice after all.
    (9) Poppy was Jeffrey’s twelfth victim. After her death, he bought himself a carton of eggs and wrote each victim’s name on it. He then took the “dirty dozen” and threw them, one at a time, at the Fraud Squad windows.

    NOTE: This is an engaging serial that could easily be turned into a book! Great job, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. As you probably know, Lincoln is a city in the East of England, and has existed as a city since 1072, and as an important Roman settlement long before that. It is the president who was named after the city. ๐Ÿ™‚
      You did well with a combination of episodes here, but references to Poppys’ death may be in error. As Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) once noted in a telegram, ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kim. Hope you liked the ending.
      As often with me, the last part of this episode was the first part I wrote in my notes. Everything else led up to the police roadblock, and the unanswered phone call. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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