Dubbed “The Murderer”….Chapter Six©

The sun had almost disappeared behind Mount Far Far Away, bordering like a divider, separating Avilas from Yeson. A larger town than Avilas with a population of 2500, and boasting the World’s Largest Brussell Sprout, you’d think Yeson would be tourism central, but they weren’t for some reason.

Knave hadn’t been located.

Bales noted where in the search they had reached. He called it a wrap and announced a reconvene at 6am the next day at that very spot.

The team dispersed.

As the two constables walked back to the house, Bales asked,

“Matty, have you ever met Knave?”

“Yea. Once”, Matty answered. “When he’s here, he stays with Queenie and Giant Pete. Barely comes into town. I’ve heard he goes for walks in the fields and through the forest behind their place. Apparently, there’s a little cottage which is rumoured to be made of candy. No-one’s ever seen it though,” Matty answered.

When they reached the house, they updated Queenie and Giant Pete on how the search went and that it was resuming at 6am. Queenie was understandably distraught. Giant Pete picked her up and took her inside.

Then Matty went home and Bales headed to the station to fill out the report. Not being able to find Knave, left an uneasy feeling in his stomach.

******************************************

“Cock-a-doodle-do!”

The call of a rooster welcoming in the new day, was heard not far in the distance.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!”

Matty woke with a start.

“Beep! Beep! Beep!”

Sleepishly, Matty dropped his hand on the bedside table clock and silenced its unpleasant screech!

He’d set the alarm for 5am, but when he looked at the flashing red numbers on his clock, he wished it wasn’t.

******************************************

Bales was up and ready and full of energy standing at the rendezvous, waiting for Matty and the team to turn up. He’d rocked up at 5:45am determined they’d find Knave safe and sound, today.

The sun was gradually making its entrance in the east, stretching over the countryside like a golden blanket, turning the dew to sparkling diamonds on the ground.

The team drizzled in over the next 15 minutes. Jack and Jill, Hansel and Gretel, Nancy Etticoat, Jack Nimble, Miss Muffet, Peter Pumpkin-Eater, Diddle Diddle, and last but not least, Matty.

Right on 6am, ten other people trudged over to where the search team stood. They’d heard about Queenie’s brother going missing and wanted to help.

Among them were Jack Beanstalk, Peter Never-Never, Raggedy-Anne Doll, Pinocchio Woodenboy, Wazza Crookedman, Mary Liddle-Lam, Polly Kettelon, Sukie Offagan, Margery Daw, and Tommy Tucker. It was quite a gathering!

And so, the search began.

“Knave! Knave! Knave!” was the echoing call of the searchers as they started in their line and headed into the forest.

An hour had gone by when someone in the line called out “Found something!”

It was Margery and she was pointing to something on the ground. Matty and Bales rushed over to see what it was.

It was candy with blood on it.

“Really?” Matty exclaimed. “That’s what we stopped for? A bit of candy?” Bales wasn’t as quick to dismiss it. He was remembering something Matty said last night.

“You told me last night, Matty, of a rumour there’s a cottage made of candy in the forest, but no one’s seen it.” He recounted.

“Yeah,” Matty replied cautiously. “What’s that got to with anything?”

“This is a piece of bloodied candy. Maybe the cottage is real.”

“Seriously?” Matty said mockingly. “Some kid probably dropped it passing through.”

Bales looked at him with pondering eyes.

“Maybe,” he said, agreeing it was possible. “What about the blood?”

“They had a bloody nose, or cut themselves?”

Bales told Matty to bag it anyway, take it back to the station to lodge it as evidence, and to relieve Sarge of his shift.

Then the search continued.

******************************************

Matty was filling out the Evidence Catalogue form, when the phone rang.

“Constable Matty, speaking.” There was an extremely distressed person on the other end and Matty couldn’t understand what they were saying.

“Hang on! Hang on! Slow down. Can you, please say that again?” He listened intently, nodding his head with the odd ah-ha, and scribbling notes down on paper.

“Ok. You did the right thing,” he assured the caller. “Someone will be in touch with you shortly”.

Placing the phone in its cradle, Matty looked out the corresponding window whose view was that of the pub across the road.

“It’s going to be a busy day,” he told himself. Thinking about the drink he’s going to need at the end of it, he completed the outstanding evidence report.

No sooner had Matty filed it, and before he could attention the earlier call, someone “dinged” the bell at the front counter.

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