The Blue Light: Part Twenty

This is the twentieth part of a fiction serial, in 765 words.

The man who liked to call himself Mark was in fact named Martin. And he wasn’t forty, he was fifty-one next birthday, in five weeks. Hard work at the local gym, and copious amounts of black hair dye, kept him looking presentable. Add a lot of money spent on cosmetic dentistry, and using old photos on his profile, and so far he was doing okay. He usually preferred the older section of the dating site.

Seventy-plus guaranteed success, and often came with financial rewards too. In his opinion, there was no fool like an old woman. Viagra helped of course, and he regularly gave thanks for the invention of that wonder drug. This latest one was a bit younger than his recent conquests, but he was sure he could live up to her expectations.

Although the pub was in walking distance at less than a mile, Emma didn’t do walking. And she didn’t drive to meet someone she had never met before, not even in a loan car. So she had booked a taxi for the short journey, asking them to arrive at her house at five-fifty sharp.

Martin allowed twice as much time as he needed to drive from Dorchester. He wanted to be there outside the pub, when she arrived. No lady should ever be expected to walk into a hostelry alone, he knew that. Touching up the sides of his hair with black dye, fretting slightly about how it was receding at a widow’s peak, he decided he would do, and made sure to slip the packet of little blue pills into his suit jacket before leaving.

Her taxi was a few minutes late, but Emma thought that was appropriate. Although she had never been on a date with a man, or so much as kissed one other than her father, she knew that women would be forgiven for not being on time. He was there when she arrived, standing outside but looking significantly older than his profile photos. Oh well, he was still younger than her, so he would do. The twelve red roses were too much though. She might have had no experience with men, but she knew that instictively. Nonetheless, she was gracious.

“Thank you, Mark. The flowers are lovely”.

In the bar, he seemed to know how it worked, so she followed his lead. Her white wine was handed to her with just the gentlest touch of his fingers. His eyes never left her face, seemingly ignoring her ample breasts, or her exposed knees in nylon stockings. After two drinks, he suggested a meal there. Emma was ready.

“Why don’t we just go back to my house? I had a sufficient lunch, and I am happy for us to continue this meeting in the comfort of my home”. Martin was greatly relieved. He had less than one hundred pounds in his bank account, and a meal at this place might have left him without enough to put petrol in his car later. Keeping up the facade, he appeared to be surprised, but grateful. “Dear lady, that would be my pleasure”.

His ten year old Peugeot car was less than impressive, but he remenbered to open the door for her to get in, and to make suggestive hand movements as he fastened her seat belt. On the short drive back to her house, Emma let loose with a prepared speech. “Mark, you don’t have to seduce me, I am already seduced. Let’s just get into my house and get on with it. Is that acceptable to you?” He swallowed hard, and nodded.

“More than acceptable, lovely lady”.

One hour later, and Martin was breathing hard, more thankful than ever for the Viagra. He had given her his full repertoire, but she showed no sign of being even remotely satisfied. “Is that it? I will go down and get us something to drink, and then we can start again”.

He had been given little time to scope out the house and the things in it, but the cursory appraisal of the size and location, along with substantial grounds outside, confirmed she was worth plenty. The house alone woud sell for not much change from a million, and it was packed with genuine antiques inside, from what he had seen so far. Resisting the urge to open a few drawers in the bedroom to see if they contained valuables, he waited for her to come back with the drinks.

This one was worth taking his time over. He was going to try the long-haul approach, make her fall in love with him.

The Blue Light: Part Nineteen

This is the nineteenth part of a fiction serial, in 800 words.

On the fourth day of her self-imposed house arrest, Emma received a phone call from the policeman dealing with the accident.

“The passenger has woken up, and her account is that the driver was her sister, and that she was using her mobile phone to ring her husband at the time of the accident. Apparently they come from a traveller community, and were living in a caravan on an illegal site when the accident happened. As a result of this information, and considering that using her phone was an offence under law, there are no further investigations into the accident”.

Emma thanked the officer, remembering to add that she was pleased to hear that the passenger would survive. To celebrate, she drove down to nearby Weymouth, walked along the beach, and treated herself to a high tea in a very nice cafe in the town. Five nights of the blue light had made her feel very different, and as far as she was concerned, in a good way. As she drove home, she was thinking about Internet dating. Although she had never considered it previously, she was wondering what value might be placed on a sixty year-old virgin with her own house and comfortable financial situation.

That evening, some brief research led her to a dating site specialising in older members. She paid the fee to sign up for three months, and took some photos on her phone to add to her profile. Some of them were slightly provocative, at least by her standards. A low-cut dress once worn to a Christmas event, and a relatively short skirt that she had only ever worn once, many years ago. As she was compiling her profile, she noticed an email from the car repairer. They might have some trouble sourcing some parts, but the work should be completed in two weeks if they could get them. The estimate was almost three thousand pounds, but she replied by telling them to proceed.

By the time she was thinking of going to bed, the dating site had already produced five suitable matches. She discounted three of the prospects, as they were all over seventy. The last two were accepted by her, and she gave permission to disclose contact details. One, named Dennis, was a similar age, and a widower who lived in Dorset. The other was only forty years old, and looked younger in his profile photos. She liked the look of him very much, especially his bright smile and taut physique.

Not stupid by any means, Emma knew full well that if he was genuine, ‘Mark’ was not interested in her for her company, or desire for her sixty year-old body. He would be a money-grabber, perhaps a gigolo, that was obvious. But when she approved his request to contact her, she was smiling.

Two could play that game.

In the early hours, she stood naked in front of the light once again. During the short time before it went out, she experienced the delicious nerve tingle, and the brain activity that made her think about sex again. The light had awakened long-dormant feelings that she vaguely remembered from puberty. It made her realise that life was indeed short, and it was time to discover things she had denied herself.

Dennis contacted her by email the next morning. He suggested they meet in Christchurch, and mentioned a restaurant with a good reputation where he would book a table. So he didn’t want to collect her from her house. He lived in Christchurch near the restaurant. And expected her to walk into a restaurant alone to meet him. No, that wouldn’t do. Her reply was rather curt.

‘Try again, Dennis’.

Mark’s email was so predictable, it was laughable. He addressed her as if she was twenty-five, and used phrases hardly appropriate for a woman of her age.

‘Hello lovely sexy lady! I see you live in Winterbourne Abbas, not far from me in Dorchester. I have to say I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but I definitely could not resist your profile as you seem incredibly well-suited to me, classy, and very attractive. Please say you will meet me. I am happy to collect you from your home, or if you prefer I will meet you outside the Coachhouse Inn. We can start with a drink, and if you like what you see, stay on there for dinner. On me of course! Let me know soon, as I can be free tomorrow night, and I am so excited! Mark. xx’

Still lauging at that, Emma ignored Dennis’s second try and replied to Mark. ‘Yes. Shall we say six tomorrow evening at the Coachhouse Inn? That will suit me nicely’.

His reply took less than one minute to arrive. She had her first date.

The Blue Light: Part Eighteen

This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 777 words.

Emma was impressed by the turnout of the emergency services. Three police cars, two ambulances, and a fire engine. A smart traffic policeman spoke to her through the window of her car, to make sure she wasn’t injured. “I think we will have to get your car recovered to a repairer, madam. The nearside lights are broken at the front, and the impact may have damaged your steering. Someone will give you a lift home once that happens”. The he asked to see her driving licence, and took details of her insurance before asking her what she remembered about the accident.

“Oh, I remember it clearly, officer. I was heading home from Waitrose, and I was about to overtake that car when it pulled out from the inside lane unexpectedly, for no reason I can think of. There was no chance I could avoid hitting it in that situation. I didn’t even have time to apply the brakes. I hope the people in the other car are going to be alright”.

Surveying the scene in front of her, she saw one stretcher being loaded into an ambulance with the body completely covered by a blanket. Before the recovery truck arrived to take her, the second woman was removed from the car apparently still alive, an oxygen mask over her face and a stiff medical collar wrapped around her neck. The traffic policeman came and told her they would call on her at home to talk to her, perhaps tomorrow.

She told the recovery driver to take her to the main Jaguar dealership in Christchurch. Despite that being some distance away, it was the one her father always used. She would pay whatever it cost to have the Dailmer repaired, and they would give her a replacement car to use while it was in the workshops.

By the time she got home in the loan car late that afternoon, Emma was feeling very pleased with herself. She decided to have some of the good vintage Claret with her meal that evening. As she ate, she sat and thought about things. An intelligent woman, and quick-witted too, it soon occurred to her that the mysterious blue light must have something to do with it. After spending her life being so meek and mild, such a change in her character could not be explained by anything else.

That night, she slept naked for the first time in her life. When the light illuminated the curtains and woke her, she rushed to the window and opened them, standing in the blue glow. Once the light went out, she felt wonderful, and soon managed to get back to sleep.

Up bright and early, Emma opened the door to the police officers just after ten. They were very professional, declining her offer of tea or coffee, and asking her to make an official statement about the accident. Once that was noted down, she showed interest in the proceedings. “What will happen now, officer?” He looked across at his colleague before replying.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you that the driver was killed in the accident, Miss Howard. The passenger is still unconscious, so we cannot get her version of events. To be completely honest, it doesn’t look too good for her, she is on a life-support machine. I also have the information that the female driver had no driving licence, so the car was technically uninsured. You should inform your insurance company of that”. Emma made herself look suitably shocked and upset. “Oh, those poor women. Were they not wearing a seat belt?” He shook his head, and stood up.

“There are no traffic cameras on that stretch of the road, and we cannot find any other drivers at the time who actually witnessed the accident. So as things stand, there are no charges being made against either driver at the moment. Unless the passenger wakes up and has anything to tell us, it will be resolved as a tragic accident and dealt with through your insurance company. You may be required to appear at the Coroner’s Court in the future”.

Thanking them as she closed the door, Emma turned and smiled. She would inform her car insurance company, and tell them she was not intending to claim. She had more than enough money to pay for the repairs, and she didn’t want to get into any legal entanglements over a compensation claim. Although tempted to go out for a drive in the replacement car, she knew that might not be a good idea.

Best to make it look as if she was too upset to venture out so soon after an accident.

The Blue Light: Part Seventeen

This is the seventeenth part of a fiction serial, in 841 words.

In a quiet village due west of the town of Dorchester in Dorset, Emma Howard was looking out of her bedroom window with a puzzled look on her face. It was hundreds of yards in every direction to another house, and she had no idea where the strange light could be coming from. It reminded her of the floodlights that illuminated sports grounds, but this light was only shining across her garden and into the room. Although it didn’t scare her, it made the room too bright for her to continue to sleep in. As she went to get her watch from the bedside table to check the time, it went out.

Three in the morning was a strange time for aircraft, helicopters, or anything else, to be shining lights around the village, but at least it had gone out and she could get back to sleep. And there had been no sounds suggesting aircaft anyway, so she forgot about it and slept soundly.

The next morning, Emma woke up feeling full of energy for the first time since she had retired last September. After forty years in the Library Servioe in Dorset, the rumours that her library was going to be closed down came true. As she was already sixty, she took the opportunity to retire and take her pension. Not that she had much need of money, as her father had left her comfortably off when he had died fifteen years earlier, and she still lived in the five bedroom family home that she had been born in, with no debts.

Her mother had died when Emma was a child, and she had little memory of her. So as soon as she was old enough, Emma assumed the role of housekeeper, and later became the carer to her father. Because of that, she had never married, and had not even had so much as one date with a man.

That feeling of well-being extended to cooking an unusually large breakfast, then taking time to look her best for the day. Having used the last of the eggs, and needing some other groceries, she decided a trip into Dorchester for a supermarket shop was how she would spend her day. She might even have lunch in the town while she was there, something she hadn’t done since she worked at the main library.

Father’s car might have been well over twenty-five years old, but it was a very good car. He had maintained it well, and she had carried on using the same dealership when she inherited it. No longer needing her small Fiat, she had sold it for cash after advertising it in the Post Office. Starting the engine of the Daimler Double-Six, she smiled at the purring, burbling sound it made. You couldn’t buy cars of this quality any longer, and she didn’t care that the petrol consumption was so high, as she rarely used it anyway.

Emma’s preferred supermarket was Waitrose, to the north of the town. More expensive, certainly, but much better quality. The journey took less than thirty minutes, even in unusually heavy traffic. In the car park of the store, she spotted a good space fairly close to the entrance, and swung the front of the car in to claim it. The blast of a horn made her jump out of her skin, as a small Japanese car drove into the same space at speed, almost hitting the Daimler. Feeling shaken up, she reversed back, eventually finding a space nearer the back. As she locked the car, she could feel herself getting very angry.

In her entire life, Emma could not remember ever being angry. It was a weird feeling, but also felt surprisingly good.

Once she had bought her shopping, she was heading back to the car with her bags when she spotted two women walking to the Japanese car that had stolen her original parking spot. They were wearing vest tops and leggings, and one was smoking a cigarette. She also had tattoos all over her arms and neck. Just the sort of white-trash newcomers that were lowering the tone of the once sedate town. Too many new housing developments that included social housing, that’s what Emma blamed it on.

As she was driving out, so was the small white car, and she stayed behind it. The women headed west, past Poundbury, and onto the A35 main road. Still driving behind them, Emma slowed a little to make some space between the cars. Two minutes later she accelerated rapidly, reaching over sixty as she rammed the car from behind, careful to make contact with the rear corner of the bodywork. The small car lurched to the left, then rolled over. It rolled again, then came to a halt on its roof. Nobody tried to get out.

Other cars were stopping to help as she got her phone out of her bag. Sitting in her car in the inside lane, she dialled 999.

“Police, please. I appear to have been involved in a traffic accident”.

The Blue Light: Part Sixteen

This is the sixteenth part of a fiction serial, in 750 words.

When Callum arrived for work early that morning, he was shocked to discover the two bodies in the front yard of the farm. He wasn’t the brightest man in the county, but he knew enough not to walk across a crime scene to use the phone in Adam’s house. Getting back on his bicycle, he rode off into town to raise the alarm.

Hilda Inchcape looked out of the window. The pickup was gone, so no doubt Jess had made an early start somewhere around the farm. That suited her, as it gave her the chance to look up flights to Australia on the old laptop. Jess couldn’t cope with computers, and it had taken Hilda a long time to discover how they worked. But now she could buy things online, and contact the relevant authorities to do with farming by email. The previous year, she had even set up online banking, and had been very pleased with herself when that worked.

Detective Inspector Harris arrived at the farm, having been phoned at home to take the job. When he saw the two bodies and the inexperienced uniformed constable looking white-faced, he knew it was going to be a long day. Using his personal radio, he contacted the control room. “I’m going to need a full forensics team with two tents, a uniformed search team to cover the search of the house and farm, and at least two more from my team to assist for now. Can you jack that up for me?”

Harris had transferred from London as a Detective Sergeant twelve years earlier. His wife had originally come from Stroud, and wanted to be closer to her family as they got older. He had thought it might be a nice change from London. A quieter life, with less stress. He had been so wrong about that.

These country people were nutters.

Remembering she had to renew her long-expired passport, Hilda was just researching how to do that online when there was a knock at the door. Not a pleasant knock, a loud one that made her jump. There were two men in suits at the door, and a policewoman in uniform. “Mrs Inchcape? I’m Detective Inspector Harris. Could we come in and talk to you please?”

As Hilda showed them in and put the kettle on for tea, Callum was giving the same version of his statment for the third time, and wondering why he had bothered. Those coppers were acting like he had done something, and he wasn’t pleased about that. Finally losing his patience, he folded his arms across his chest, and shook his head. “Enough’s enough. I reckon it’s time I had a lawyer, and I ain’t saying no more until I get one”.

The Inspector was a nice man, respectful and considerate. Hilda could tell from his accent that he wasn’t from those parts, but that wasn’t a bad thing, in her opinion. When he told her Jess had been found dead, and had likely killed old man Brice’s son too, she had to suppress a smile. At last! Jess had gone too far, and she was finally free. No need to argue the toss with her husband about visiting Matilda. And she could finally sell the farm that had been like a millstone around their necks since her wedding day.

When he said she would have to go and identify Jess at the mortuary, she reacted a little too soon. “No problem. Just let me get my coat, and my outside shoes”.

A cursory examination of the crime scene had led Harris to an instant conclusion. Two farmers, known locally for decades of grievances, had finally taken it too far. One had shot the other, then been shot in return. It didn’t matter who fired first, as there was nobody left alive to try to lie about that. He made the decision before escorting Hilda to the mortuary, and informed the control room. “Stand down everyone else. This is a tit-for-tat shooting, and I am not looking for any other suspects”.

That was a lifeline for Callum, who was immediately released before the solicitor arrived, and was on his way home long before he would have finished work. It didn’t occur to him until later that day that he was now unemployed.

After Hilda got back from the identification, she turned on her laptop and began to compose an email. She was hoping Matilda still had the same email address when she pressed ‘Send’.

The Blue Light: Part Fifteen

This is the fifteenth part of a fiction serial, in 771 words.

When Sergeant Carlyle told Kirsty the next morning that no prosecution would go ahead, the girl closed the door in her face. Five munites later, she had looked up the phone numbers for the newspaper and TV news covering her area, and took out her mobile phone. They were both very interested in her story. The newspaper man said he would come round this afternoon with a photographer, and said her mum had to be there. The TV news woman said she would be there in an hour, so they could get the report on the lunchtime news.

Running upstairs to get ready, Kirsty went into her mum’s room and shook her awake. “Get up and get dressed, mum. You’re going to be on telly”.

Just under an hour later, Kirsty was dressed in her school uniform, and wearing no make-up. She had knee socks on, and looked even younger than her fourteen years. Her mum was slumped in an armchair smoking, wearing a sweatshirt and jogging bottoms. When the doorbell went, Kirsty was ready. Moderating her voice to sound as childish as possible, Kirsty went over the fictitious incident in great detail, naming Tom Corcoran, and occasionally wiping her eyes with a tissue. If the reporter could not see any tears, she didn’t care. The girl looked vulnerable. Her mum looked mentally ill, and the house was like a rubbish tip.

It was going to be great TV.

Before she had a chance to watch herself on the news, the newspaper man arrived early, with a woman photographer. He listened to the same tale, and the woman took dozens of photos using a flashgun. He also tried to get her mum to comment, but she remained completely silent.

An hour later, Tom Corcoran answered insistent knocking on his front door, wondering if it was the police again. But all he saw was a flash going off on a camera, a bright light on a video camera, and a large microphone thrust in his face. He closed the door again without answering any questions, then went around the ground floor oh his house closing the curtains.

By four that afternoon, the newspaper man and TV crew had gatecrashed the school, managing to get a comment from Miss Pilbeam outside the main gate. Then they went after Carlyle, who refused to answer any questions. On the six-o-clock news, it was the main story locally, and by the nine pm news, it even featured nationally, albeit less sensationally. Kirsty received so many phone calls that evening, she had to finally switch her phone off. In Tom Corcoran’s house, he stayed in the dark. He had also muted the volume of his mobile, and unplugged the house phone.

Sitting shaking on the sofa, he didn’t even want to know what Sarah was thinking.

Miss Pilbeam had tried ringing Tom so many times, she decided to leave a message on his mobile and tell him to call her. “Tom, you have to contact me. Have you seen the news on television? I think your only option is to resign. There is going to be no hope of your job surviving an internal disciplinary hearing, and at least if you resign, that might put some closure on this”.

Kirsty stayed off school for the next couple of days. She wanted to make it look as if she was too traumatised to go in. On the thrid day, there were no more phone calls, and no reporters near the house. Looking out of the window, she felt a twinge of disappointment. It had been fun while it lasted.

Tom finally listend to Miss Pilbeam’s message, and knew she was giving him the best option. He rang her directly, and tended his resignation. Then he rang his in-laws, hoping to speak to Sarah and explain that it was all a lie. But his mother-in-law answered, and refused to hand her the phone. “Give it up, Tom What you did was vile, and Sarah will never speak to you or see you again”. He decided to drive to their house, and stay outside until his wife agreed to speak to him. Looking out of the curtains, he could not see any journalists hanging around. So he grabbed his car keys and walked quickly over to his car.

Every window was smashed. All four tyres were flat, and someone had painted the word ‘Pedo’ in huge letters along the side with a spray can. Someone else had scratched the word ‘Pervert’ on the tailgate using something metal.

Glancing around to make sure nobody had seen him, he ran back inside the house.

The Blue Light: Part Fourteen

This is the fourteenth part of a fiction serial, in 776 words.

As Kirsty was waving goodbye to the police officers, Adam Brice was drinking tea and eating bread and jam, wondering why old man Inchcape had not showed up to complain about the fencing. But Jess Inchcape was biding his time, waiting until it got dark. He had discovered the fence just before midday, and that had made him lose his appetite for lunch. Hilda had just shrugged, and put his meal to one side. She was used to his moods, after being married to him for almost fifty years.

She went into the sitting room, and thought about her only child. Matilda Inchcape had been named after a great aunt, as they hoped the old lady might leave her something in her will when she heard about it. Matilda never forgave them for calling her by that archaic name, and went by Tilly as soon as she was old enough.

But the old aunt came good, leaving the girl a house worth many thousands that her namesake soon sold as soon as she was eighteen. Then Tilly took off on a trip around South-East Asia, backpacking in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. That was where she met Rob, who came from Australia. He invited her back to see his home town, and that was where she had stayed.

Hilda had wanted to attend the wedding, but Jess said there was no money for that foolishness. Now she never contacted them at all, not even phone calls. Calling her after the great aunt had backfired, as Jess was happy to remind her a few times a year.

Jess took the big trailer on the back of his tractor, to clear away the ruined fencing. It was hard work, harder than he expected, and he was back late for his dinner. When he realised it was just his lunch warmed up, he refused it, eating cheese and bread instead. Hilda seemed grumpy, not unusual, and she went to bed early. But Jess stayed downstairs, his anger building minute by minute. Brice was going to get what was coming to him.

As soon as it was completely dark, Jess took the pickup truck, and drove to the Brice farm. He had put the old shotgun in the back, just in case.

Adam was not surprised when the headlights of a vehicle shone across the windows of the living room. He already had his dad’s shotgun across his lap, determined to settle this thing once and for all. Jess saw young Brice walking fast in his direction carrying a shotgun, and reached into the back of the pickup to grab his. But Adam fired first, both barrels at fairly close range.

It was like being hit by a car, and the impact knocked him off his feet, leaving him lying on his back. There was no pain at first, but he couldn’t move his legs, and his underwear felt wet. Brice acted as if he had just shot an animal, not bothering to come any closer, and turning round to go back into the farmhouse.

That was when Jess fired at his back, the aim high because of his awkward position. The pellets hit Adam in the head and neck, killing him instantly. He fell forward into the doorway of his house, and didn’t move. Jess felt suddenly cold, colder than he had ever felt. He started to feel the pain in his gut, then it got march darker.

In Falkirk, Tom Corcoran answered the door, to see the police Sergeant standing in the outside light. Carlyle didn’t ask to come in. “Just to let you know that the prosecution will not go ahead, for lack of evidence. But I understand the Education Authority will be contacting you about an internal investigation into the girl’s allegations. If I were you, I would start looking for another job”.

Tom went back into the living room, and opened a bottle of Cognac that had been hanging around since last Christmas. He wasn’t much of a drinker, but he filled a tumbler to the brim, and drank half of it down without pausing for breath. The he sat down heavily on the sofa, and said out loud, “Heads you lose, tails you lose”.

Sleeping heavily, Hilda Inchcape had not heard Jess leave in the car. She was also unaware of the blue light that had filled the room just after three in the morning. When she woke up just after six, she felt determined to do something. It would mean tackling Jess, but she felt very ready for that. One thing was on her mind that day.

A long-overdue trip to Australia, to see Matilda.

The Blue Light: Part Thirteen

This is the thirteenth part of a fiction serial, in 780 words.

Tom was released on bail, pending investigation. But by the time he got home that night after collecting his car from the school car park, there was no trace of Sarah and the kids. He eventually found a note on the pillow in the bedroom. She was at her parents’ house and would not be coming back. Unable to understand why Kirsty had said what she had to Miss Pilbeam, he felt his life unravelling around him.

Sarah would never believe he hadn’t touched the girl, and he doubted whether Pilbeam or the local Education Authority would either. In all his years of teaching nothing remotely like this had happened before. What was it about Kirsty today that had made him agree her to see her alone?

Looking out the window of the farmhouse, Adam was expecting old Jess to arrive to complain about the fencing. But so far, there had been no sign of him. Maybe he hadn’t been in the top field to notice? Time would tell, he was bound to discover the damage soon. That night, he slept through the blue light, but it still illuminated his bedroom. When he woke up the next morning, he felt full of energy, and ready for anything.

Detective Constable Frazier was glad that he was accompanied by a female officer, Sergeant Carlyle. There was something strange about this Kirsty Douglas, and the girl made him feel uncomfortable. She kept crossing her legs, and spreading her knees, and as the Sergeant questioned her, she was looking at him, not Carlyle. He started to feel very warm, and kept fiddling with his tie.

Kirsty’s mother had to be there for the official statement, but she was of little use. She sat chain-smoking in her armchair, staring out of the window. Unlike her dauughter, she had made no effort for the visitors, and was still in her dressing gown, her hair flat on one side from where she had slept on it.

By contrast, the girl appeared to be dressed for a night out. Short black dress, polka-dot nylon tights, and far too much make-up for someone who was still legally a child. It seemed to him that the Sergeant was trying to catch her out, but the girl was more than a match for her.

“Like I told you, I’m not much good at Maths. He told me I had to come back after school to go over the Geometry, so I did. As soon as I sat down, he put his hand up my skirt and touched me. Well, rubbed me really. It couldn’t have been an accident, and he looked like he enjoyed it. I told him straight away that I wanted to go, and he let me leave”.

Carlyle had done some research on Tom Corcoran. Not one complaint after all those years in teaching, and nothing about him had ever come to the attention of the police. He had never so much as had a parking ticket. Not much of a go-getter by all accounts, but a family man with long service at the same school. As far as she was concerned, he just didn’t feel right as a sex offender. She pushed the girl further.

“You’re telling me he touched you over your tights and panties. That means ther is no forensic evidence that we could discover. But I will take away the tights you were wearing yesterday, in case there is any DNA on them from his fingers”. Kirsty shrugged. “They are in the wash now, along with all my uniform. Seemed a good time to wash them, as I was given the day off”. The Sergeant pushed again. “In that case, it is your word against his, and we may not have enough to prosecute him. What do you say to that?”. This time, she smiled, a smile that made Constable Frazier even more uncomfortable.

“Well if you want to leave a pervert free to touch other schoolgirls, we will see what the newspapers and local TV have to say about that. Let him go, and I will be contacting them, believe me”.

Sergeant Carlyle believed her.

“Okay then, Kirsty. I have your statement, and will continue to investigate your allegation. I will of course let you know what happens”. With that, they both stood up and left. Kirsty’s mum didn’t even acknowledge their goodbyes. In the car, she turned to Frazier. “Was it just me, or is there really something creepy about the girl?” He turned the ignition key. “Not just you, Sarge. I felt it too”.

As they drove off, Kirsty was waving to them from the doorway. He could swear she was laughing.

The Blue Light: Part Twelve

This the twelfth part of a fiction serial, in 749 words.

At the end of the school day, Kirsty appeared in the empty classroom. Tom smiled at her, and indicated that she should sit at a desk. “Now, Kirsty. What didn’t you understand earlier?” The girl shrugged. “Well that Geometry stuff leaves me cold, to be honest. I think you could explain it twenty times, and I still wouldn’t get it. Actually, there’s no point in me being here, but thanks anyway”. She stood up and left the classroom, leaving Tom confused.

A few minutes later, she was in the office of the Headmistress, Elizabeth Pilbeam. The woman looked up at her standing in front of the desk. “What is it, Kirsty? I am very busy you know”. This time, Kirsty wasn’t smiling. “It’s Mister Corcoran, Miss. He said I had to come back after school because I couldn’t understand Geometry. But when I sat down he stood next to me, and put his hand up my skirt. Then he touched me between the legs, you know, right on my thingy”. Miss Pilbeam told her to sit down, then left the office to get someone to stay with the girl while she went to speak to Tom.

He denied it of course, and was flabbergasted that Kirsty had made such an accusation. But Miss Pilbeam was resolute. “You don’t deny being alone with the girl in this classroom. What were you thinking of, Tom? You know the rules. I am going to have to suspend you on full pay, pending an investigation, and I am sure the police will be involved once I speak to her mother. You have to leave the school premises now, and I will have to escort you to your car and watch you drive off”.

The colour drained from Tom’s face, and he put his head in his hands.

That night, Adam was woken up at just after three by the blue light. He managed to get the bedroom curtains open before it went out, and could definitely tell it was coming from the Inchcape Farm. It was also flooding Jess’s place with light, and it was impossible to see where it was coming from. For a second, he wondered if it was nothing to do with Jess at all, then his anger returned, and he was sure it was something to do with the old bugger. Something would have to get sorted, he thought. He needed his sleep to be able to work properly the next day.

In Lanark, Kirsty had provided a detailed statement to Miss Pilbeam, and then her mother arrived at the school, looking like some old dishrag. Not long after that, the Police arrived, and they also went through the whole thing again. After hearing her side of things, they drove to Tom’s house and arrested him for the sexual assault of a minor. Sarah was still screaming as the police car took him away. Kirsty was told not to come in the next day, as the police would be visiting her at home for a full statement, then Miss Pilbeam ordered them a taxi to take them home. Mum didn’t say anything to her on the way home, and when they got in she just shook her head and mumbled “Men”.

She was too excited to get to sleep. Kirsty had done her bit, getting back at men for how her and her mum had been treated by dad. Corcoran should have known better, but he was too lustful to turn down the chance to be alone with her. Lying in bed smiling, she was very pleased with herself. He was going to be the first of many, she was sure of that. When the light appeared, she opened the curtains and felt the tingling as it came in through the windows. Whatever it was didn’t scare her at all, quite the opposite.

It made her feel powerful.

Early the next morning, Adam Brice was driving his tractor on the top field, adjacent to the boundary with Incape Farm. He started chuckling as he thought of something, then turned the tractor around and got close to the fence dividing the properties. It was an old fence, and poorly maintained by Inhcape, so as he drove the tractor hard against it, it fell down easily. He didn’t stop until he had completely destroyed the fencing all the way along the top boundary.

Still laughing, he shouted out of the tractor window. “Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you old bastard!”

The Blue Light: Part Eleven

This is the eleventh part of a fiction serial, in 753 words.

After eating his toast and drinking his tea, Jess could feel his jaw aching, and he was sure that one of his teeth was loose. But as he hadn’t been to a dentist since he was at school, he decided not to worry about it. If it became unstable, he would just pull it out with some pliers. That had always served him well-enough in the past. His anger had not subsided though, and he could feel a pulse beating in his temples as he remembered Adam Brice knocking him out with one punch.

So before going out to the fields, he went up and loaded the old twelve-bore shotgun that he had inherited from his father. If that bastard Brice came near him again, he would get both barrels, and to hell with the consequences.

Across from Inchape Farm in his own field, Adam could also not contain his anger. He was unable to concentrate, and left Callum to drive the tractor and get on with the harrowing. Back at the house, he went up to the bedroom and took his dad’s double-barrelled shotgun out of the wardrobe. Adam had used it quite often in the past, mainly to shoot pigeons and crows on the crops, or at least to scare them off. But it still worked well, and he had twenty cartridges left in the box. He would leave it in the Land-Rover, just in case old man Inchcape turned up.

Around the same time in Falkirk, Kirsty was sitting in Maths class smiling at her teacher. She had attracted some attention when she arived at school, her hair and make-up near perfect, and her skirt much shorter than was actually allowed. Now she was sure that her Maths teacher had also noticed the change in her, as he stumbled over his words every time he caught her eye, or looked at her deliberately splayed legs.

Tom Corcoran was almost thirty-three, and had been teaching for nearly nine years, six of them at this school. His wife Sarah had decided to give up work once she had the first child, and the second baby had come along soon after that. Money was tight, and life at home was all about crying children and Sarah’s moaning. He was struggling to run his old car, pay all the bills, and deal with Sarah’s increasing demands for things they could never afford. He had been overlooked for promotion, and knew full well that he had little respect from his colleagues. He was an unhappy man, in every sense.

Kirsty Douglas was not one of his brightest students. She normally sat alone at the back, said nothing, answered no questions, and handed in below average home-work. But today, she was sitting right at the front, still alone, but exuding confidence. Her skirt was far too short, but he hadn’t sent her to the Headmistress. He couldn’t be bothered with petty discipline or school politics. It seemed to him that his colleagues had all forgotten they were young once, even the ones still in their twenties. All he wanted to do was to get through each day, and get home. Not that home was that attractive, with the prospect of two screaming kids and a wife who nagged him until he switched off his brain to shut her out.

He had no idea why she kept smiling at him this morning, and it was disconcerting. So too the way she kept crossing and re-crossing her legs, wiggling her shoe in her black tights until it seemed it might fall off of her foot. Why had she suddenly started this? Probably her age, he concluded. In his experience, there was a huge difference between thirteen and fourteen. The boys started to rebel and become aggressive, and the girls became knowing and sly.

The bell went for the end of class, and the kids rushed out as always. But not Kirsty. She took time to pack her books into her bag, still smiling. When the room was empty except for them, she gave him a big smile, and spoke in a husky voice. “Sir, I didn’t understand any of that today. Can I come back after school later and go over it with you?”

Against everything his mind told him to say, he found himself nodding. For the rest of the school day, he wondered why he had agreed. After school classes had to be notified to the Headmistress, and agreed by the parents.

But surely one couldn’t hurt?