The Blue Light: Part Nine

This is the ninth part of a fiction serial, in 773 words.

George sat on the sofa looking across at the crumpled body of his wife. For some reason, he felt if he looked at her long enough, she would be alright. After almost forty minutes had passed, he realised that wasn’t going to happen, and walked across to pick up the house phone. Dialling 999, he waited for the operator to ask which emergency service he required.

“Police, please. I have killed my wife”.

Less than ten minutes later, there was the sound of fists hammering on the door, and shouts of “POLICE!”. He opened the door, and four officers charged in, one of them grabbing him by the arms so he couldn’t move. Soon after, an ambulance arrived and the two women came in and looked at Eileen. The younger one turned and shook her head at the policeman standing next to her. “Broken neck. Nothing we can do”. The policeman who seemed to be in charge then turned to George, and formally arrested him on suspicion of murder. He was led outside, searched, and put into the back of a car in handcuffs, a young officer sitting close next to him.

The rest of the day was a blur. He was driven to a police station, fingerprinted, told he was being detained pending investigation, and asked if he wanted a solicitor. When George shrugged, the desk sergeant said, “I will take that as a yes then”. Then he was put into a cell and told he would be questioned when the lawyer arrived. He sat on the blue mattress, and burst into tears.

Given ten minutes with the duty solicitor until the detectives came to question him, the weary-looking man advised him to say nothing. “Just reply No Comment to every question”. But when a male and female detective came into the room shortly after and began to ask him questions, George ignored the advice, and answered them. He told them about the argument, denied intending to kill her, and described how he had grabbed her and she had fallen downstairs. The solicitor shook his head in frustration as George rambled on, finally closing his notebook and folding his arms.

Both detectives seemed pleased with themselves when George happily signed the statement. The female one escorted him back to the front desk, where she charged him with manslaughter, having accepted it was not pre-planned. He had to go back into the cell overnight, before appearing at court for arraignment the next morning.

As George tried hard to sleep that night, over one hundred miles away in the Worcestershire countryside, Adam Brice woke up in the early hours, his bedroom illuminated by a blue glow from the west. When he opened the window, the land in front of the farmhouse was bathed in a deep blue light. He started to get dressed to go and see what was causing it, but before he could get his boots on, it went out. As far as he could tell, it was coming from the direction of the farm of his neighbour, old Jess Inchcape. He would go and have a word with the grumpy old bugger tomorrow.

Adam was a reluctant farmer. In fact, it was only circumstance that had led him into farming. His mum had died young, when he was still at junior school. Dad never really explained all the details, saying only “Women’s problems, boy”. Adam did alright at school, but was never happy at home. He thought he might join up when he was old enough, if not the army, then the air force. That would get him away from his miserable dad, and the run-down farm that struggled to make a profit.

That was not to be, as on his seventeenth birthday, Adam’s dad suffered a serious stroke that left him unable to move or speak at first. With the guidance of the farm-hand, Callum, Adam had to leave school, and learn to run the farm. They sent his dad home eventually, when he was able to just about get around using a walking frame. A nurse came in to check on him every week, but Adam was left to do everything else.

By the time his dad had died four years later, Adam was almost twenty-two, and inherited a farm he didn’t want. But he knew nothing else by then, so stuck with it.That was ten years ago, and now he lived alone, hating every single day he had to go out into the fields.

Unable to get back off to sleep, he felt himself getting really angry. If this was something to do with old Jess, he would make him sorry.

33 thoughts on “The Blue Light: Part Nine

  1. (1) Overheard:
    George: “Police, please. I have killed my wife.”
    999 Operator: “My husband told me a joke in bed last night, and I died laughing. So what was the joke?”
    George: “I didn’t tell her any jokes!”
    999 Operator: “Ah! So you tickled her to death?”
    George: “No! I didn’t tickle her at all!”
    999 Operator: “Perhaps you bored her to death?”
    George: “Well, I may have bored her, but—”
    999 Operator: “In that case, I suggest you get a hobby. For instance, you could tie-dye neckerchiefs. Would you like the phone number for Fabrics Galore?”
    (2) Overheard:
    Police woman #1: “Broken neck. It’s bent all wrong. Nothing we can do.”
    Police woman #2: “Damn straight!”
    (3) George sat on the blue mattress. Was it a light blue?
    (4) Adam Brice was adamant that his good health was due to the antioxidants in blue rice. #NasiKerabu.
    (5) Tom Thumb bought a Superman costume for Halloween. Seeing that the inchcape was blue rather than red, he complained, “Oh, no! That’s jess terrible!”
    (6) It was a stroke of bad luck that led to Adam becoming a farmer.
    (7) Adam’s farm hand was Callum, who became the target of calumny for teaching outdated farming techniques.

    NOTE: Although there is no real connection with your story, I’m reminded of a French sci-fi novel that I’ve read twice: “Le Péril Bleu” (1910) by Maurice Renard.

    Liked by 1 person

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