Saturday 24 – Sunday 25 August 2013
‘I don’t know what happened. Honestly, I was just sitting here and this guy – that guy there –’ she paused just long enough to weakly motion towards the corpse laying inside the doorway, ‘burst in through the front door, bleeding all over my new carpet, and then collapsed over there.’ Audrey Boyd rattled off the words at considerable speed. Foley imagined it was because she wanted to get the ordeal over and done with. He thought she looked a fragile type who wouldn’t sit well with any sort of trauma, minor or major. In fact, Travis Foley thought Audrey looked like she might have a fully-fledged meltdown if she broke a nail.
‘Do you know him? Ever seen him around the village before he burst in?’
Audrey shook her head. ‘No, don’t know him, never met him. Not likely to now either.’
Foley knelt by the body and sighed, his knees and back aching after the weekend football match. His partner, who mirrored Foley’s stance and posture, joined him.
‘Shit, I’m getting too old for this, Russell,’ Travis said. The comment was met with a laugh that sounded more like a low growl.
‘Mate, it’s not that you’re too old, it’s more that you played against considerably fitter guys in Division One on Saturday. Most of those guys ran rings around you,’ said Russell.
‘You’re only saying that because we beat you.’
‘Well, there is that small fact. But seriously, what happened to you? You used to be the fittest guy on the pitch, and now, you can barely run from one end to the other without taking a break.’
‘Told you, I’m getting too old, that is the problem. Can’t do half of what I used to do a few years ago.’
Audrey, far enough away from the detectives but close enough to hear their conversation, sighed loudly. It drew Foley’s attention.
‘Haven’t you got anything better to do than chat? There’s a dead body in my front room and I want it out of my house. NOW.’
‘I’m sorry to say, Miss Boyd, but your front room is now a crime scene and you’re going to have to find somewhere else to stay for a few days, until we can clear this all up,’ Foley replied.
‘Somewhere else to stay? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m not leaving my house. I paid good money for this place and I intend to enjoy it, so unless you’re going to arrest me, I’m not leaving. You, however, have got twenty minutes to get him and yourselves clear of my property before I raise an official complaint with your supervisor.’
Travis stifled a groan as he rose to his feet and walked over to her.
‘Listen, love –’
‘Don’t you dare love me, you slimy git. I don’t care if you’re the Prince of flippin’ Persia, you’ll show some respect in my house,’ Audrey interrupted, stopping Foley in his tracks. He paused for a moment to consider his words.
‘You don’t seem to understand, Miss Boyd. A crime has been committed and a man is dead. Unfortunately for you, he’s expired in your front room. Now, whether you have had any part in this event or not, your house is a part of the crime scene and it, by law, must be cordoned off until the body and the scene have been examined, evidence has been found and removed and the forensics team is happy that they’ve got everything. Once that happens, then your house can be released back to you. BUT UNTIL THEN, you’ll have to find somewhere else to stay. Do you have anyone you can stay with in the village? Friends or relatives? The Inn perhaps?’
Audrey stood motionless in defiance, glaring at Foley. He met her look with a slight smirk, confident in the knowledge that he’d put her in place.
‘Russell, take Miss Boyd upstairs and have her pack a bag with everything she’ll need for a few days. When that’s done, escort her out the back door and drive her to wherever she chooses to stay in the village. Then arrange a time tomorrow to take a statement of her account of tonight.’
‘Sure thing, boss.’ Russell stood and ushered the angry woman upstairs. Travis returned his attention to the dead man in the doorway, and awaited the arrival of the coroner.
. . . To be continued . . .