This is the sixteenth part of a fiction serial, in 824 words.
Denise was only wearing a vest and panties when she opened the door, and her hair was completely flat on one side. Marian could smell alcohol on her from last night, and noticed that she was already smoking a cigarette, despite having just opened her eyes.
“Come in. D’you want tea?”
Marian declined the tea, not wanting to trust either the freshness of the milk, or the cleanlness of the mug. She waited until the woman was sipping her tea, and appeared to be fully awake.
“I have the number of the local Social Services office, which is the main one in Welwyn. When you have finished your tea, I want you to phone them and report that you think your ex-husband is sexually molesting Daisy. Tell them why, about him sleeping naked, and suggesting Daisy doesn’t wear her pyjamas. If you make it convincing, I will give you another two hundred before I leave”. She opened her bag, showing Denise the money.
“He’s not actually me ex, you know. We never did get divorced, not on paper, like. Legally separated, I think we are, I have some papers somewhere, but don’t ask me to try and find them. I spoke to Daisy last night. She said sometimes her dad’s willy touches her when he turns over in bed. But not in her privates, just her leg, or arm. I’m not sure she is gonna tell the sort of story you’re looking for, but give me the number, and I’ll ring ’em now”.
Listening to her on the phone, Marian had to admit she was surprisingly convincing. After sounding genuinely concerned about the situation, she told the real truth, not wanting to rely on Daisy to confirm any exaggerations. She concluded with something very plausible.
“You know it’s not that I know for sure that he touches her. But showing himself naked and allowing his bits to come into contact with her in bed, well I mean, that can’t be right, can it? I want her to stop seeing him, right now. And Daisy wants that too”.
Whoever was on the other end obviously agreed, and told Denise someone would be visiting her at two that afternoon.
Standing up and handing over the two hundred pounds, Marian smiled.
“Well done, Denise. I am going to ring you this evening, about six. Try to remember everything that is said later, I will want to take notes”.
With that she left, and telephoned Amanda from her car. “I won’t be back at your place tonight, I’m going home to see my sister. I will let you know when I want to stop over again”. That was left as a message on the answerphone of course. Amanda never answered her phone.
Back at the Hackney flat, Marian told Ros what had happened as she typed out a document on her laptop. It was a simple covering letter to go with the press cuttings, containing no name or contact details of who had written it.
‘I think you should be aware that your sub-contracted security employee, Lee Fowler, is a convicted offender, and historical abuser of women. He is working at a new housing development under construction in Welwyn Garden City. The enclosed press cuttings will show you what sort of man he is. He is also being investigated currently for suspected sexual abuse of his own schoolgirl daughter, and if charged, your company will be named in court as his employer. I suggest you dispense with his services before your company name is tarnished by association with him’.
After printing off the document, Marian put on the rubber gloves and placed everything into the large envelope, which had a pre-glued seal. She then addressed it in block capitals, using her left hand. It was for the attention of the head of the personnel department, at the registered head office of Group 4. She turned to her sister.
“Amanda knows I am not staying there tonight. I am going to drive up to Loughton in Essex now, and post it there in the first Post Office I find. I will wear those brown leather gloves you bought me one Christmas, so no prints will be on anything. When I get back, we can wait to find out what happened with Denise and the Social Services, then I will phone up and order some Chinese food, okay?”
The Post Office was inside a Spar Shop. It would certainly have CCTV, but who would be looking? Marian handed the envelope to the Indian lady behind the screen, said “First Class please”, and paid in cash. On the way home, she stopped at a big Tesco and bought two bottles of wine and some Maltesers. Her and Ros could have a drink and some chocolates later, after dinner.
Denise answered the phone at exactly six-o-one after just two rings. Marian didn’t waste time on pleasantries.
“So tell me, how did it go?”