A Game of Life and Death · Uncategorized · Writing

Part 2 – Chapter 2: The Beginning of Something

The walls of their new place of business were covered in monitors and several individuals were sat at the desks analysing the footage.

“Novel?” inquired Agent Smith, “Can we have you both in this meeting? It will allow you to be brought up to speed on the investigation.”

They were led into a brightly lit meeting room. A long table was surrounded by many other senior officers. A projector was displaying a series of faces onto a white painted wall. Some familiar faces from Ireland stared back at Novel.

From what they could tell from their investigation and questioning, the group were a major supplier of drugs into the UK. It was being used to fund a trafficking ring that was based on the African Continent. Their main market was buying girls from poor families for use as household help from rich Western and Asian families.

Cassie still felt completely unsure about how she was going to handle this new situation she now found herself in. Her experiences in Ireland had left her feeling shaky and suspicious of those around her.

When Novel and Cassie eventually arrived back at the hotel, the sun was beginning to set. Novel as gracious enough to pick up the phone to order a take-away – neither could be bothered to walk to the restaurant around the corner. A Chinese turned up about an hour later and was silently devoured.

Shortly after the remains of the dinner had been thrown away, Cassie’s phone began loudly vibrating from the bedside table.

“Who is it?” asked Novel.

“I don’t recognise the number, but gave m number to most of my cousins at the wedding. It’s probably one of them,” explained Cassie, “I’ll see what they want.”

She pressed the receive call button and put the phone on speaker-phone so Novel could listen in – and allowing her to have her hand free to make a hot chocolate from one of the provided free sachets. Cassie thought the chances of some scandalous secret being divulged were slim.

“Hello Cassie,” greeted a voice, “my names is Stevon. Do you remember me from the airport in Ireland? I was the nice man that gave you and your cousin a lift from the airport.”

Cassie froze and there was a smash as the mug she was holding fell to the floor. Novel started gesturing at her in an attempt to keep her speaking.

“H-h-how did you get my number?” she stammered, recovering from the shock a little.

“Your lovely cousin gave it me on the off chance I might want to contact you,” explained the man, “although it’s not so much me… More my boss is feeling a little bit more put out that you weren’t delivered. He’d invested a lot to get hold of you.”

“Well tell his to f-fuck off!” screamed Cassie down the phone, tears starting to fall down her cheeks, “nobody owns me and you can’t tell him he can go fuck himself!”

“I can… but he won’t like it…” replied Stevon, sounding calm and collected at the other end of the line, “where are you Cassie? We know you aren’t at your flat.”

“GO AWAY!!!”

She throw the phone across the room. It largely survived the collision, but the back fell off and battery came out – effectively ending the transmission.

Cassie sat on the very uncomfortable sofa and curled herself up into a foetal position. They were watching her flat! What on earth was she going to do? As the thoughts continued to swirl around her head, Cassie stared blankly into the space before her.

“I’m going to bed,” she eventually announced, “we’ve got an early start tomorrow.”

When they arrived at the office the following morning, the tech guys got hold of the phone and attempted to trace where the call had originated from. Their conclusion – some hours later – was that he was within the UK, which wasn’t much of a help. Cassie assumed that he must be in the group watching her flat.

“We’re heading out this evening,” commented Novel, interrupting Cassie’s staring match with the light switch, “They’re collected our bags from the hotel now.”

She nodded not really listening to what was being told to her. This entire situation had become absurdly strange. All she wanted to do was be a good daughter and go to the family wedding with her mother… Now it had somehow ended up with her assisting with the hunt for an international trafficking ring. She was never going to take time off again – for anything! It had all just seemed to go horribly wrong.

They headed out to Africa on a public flight – it had been decided that this would create less attention. The entire team had provided with fake ID’s (for some reason someone had decided that her and Novel were now ‘Mr and Mrs Morris’) and were seated separately over three different flights that headed out to the African continent within the next 24 hours. Their destination was the country that boarded the one that it was thought the gang was based in. It would allow them to enter undercover and hopefully regroup unseen.

Since the last phone call Cassie had turned her phone on to find three text messages from the number Stevon had called her on – he had decided that the best course of action was to make Cassie’s guard fall was to consistently remind her that she would be recovered sooner or later. There was also one from Novel’s mother telling her the cat was happy over at hers and enjoying cashing mice in he back garden. Apparently, this particular cat didn’t set off her allergies.

She had sent a reply back to Novel’s mother to inform her that she was pleased they were getting on so well and that she was grateful the cat was being looked after. Stevon did not get a response. They did not want to risk him being able to track the origin of the message.

A Game of Life and Death · Uncategorized · Writing

Part 2 – The Unsettled

Part 2

Chapter 1 – The unsettled

William Novel was not amused when he was forced by some busybody in Human Resources to take an additional 2 weeks off work. Nothing at work would be happening and his caseload would be a mess.

Cassie was not feeling so good. There was a slowly tightening knot in the pit of her stomach that made its presence known almost constantly. The cat had managed to nearly give her a heart attach in her first week back at the flat  it had hurtled it’s way into a window in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a Robin sat on the windowsill.

Novel – who had run out of the ability to cope with watching ‘homes under the hammer’ – returned to work before Cassie. The morning of his return to work, news of what had happened in Ireland began to filter through into the National press. A Crimestoppers appeal for additional witnesses ensured that Mohammed’s not particularly handsome face was branded about for all to see.

His return to the office surprised him in a way he had not anticipated. His office was surprisingly organised. Most of it was to his liking – although the ‘fresh looking’ vase of flowers did end up in the bin.

“Hello Sir,” greeted the voice of Sofia from the door. She had settled herself in the doorway with a cup of tea in her hand. Looking up from his keyboard, Novel noticed a second mug had appeared on his desk. She was now staring at the now empty vase with a slight grin on her face, “A no to the flowers then?”

“Definitely a no,” although he did give her an uncharacteristic nod of thanks for the coffee.

About half an hour later the phone started to ring. Novel stared at the object as if it was something foreign. However, after a few rings he picked it up and put it against his ear.

“Chief Inspector Novel?” asked a male voice at the other end of the phone.


“I’m agent Smith from the Serious Crime Unit,” continued the unfamiliar voice at the other end of the phone line, “you were involved in the arrest of a number of serious gang members. We want you and your Deputy on the case. We believe your additional awareness of this gang will assist the investigation. I have agreement of your superiors. You’re both being seconded to my team.”

Novel made sure that he was fully briefed on the final fates of the men n the warehouse.

All of those handcuffed at the scene had been taken to the Serious Crime Unit and thoroughly cross examined. Some had agreed to a deal. However, the breadcrumbs they had provided on a human trafficking ring would need to be substantiated before that were able to follow through on the promise of shortened jail time.

As Novel began to stare at his desk, he realised the rest of the day seemed to lack all of the excitement of the previous couple of weeks. Even the paperwork seemed to have been completed – an unusual occurrence.

That evening Novel headed back to the flat to find that Cassie had left hm a portion of cold pasta bake on the side. He decided that the best idea for him next plan of action was to eat it quickly now – before informing her that she would be returning to work on Monday.

“You snuck in,” she commented, noticing the now empty plate by the sink as she headed towards the kettle.

“I was hungry,” he responded.

Cassie looked quickly towards the door. She’d hardly been out since she’d got home, “you sure you locked it properly?”

He nodded before delivering the news, “We’re being sent off to work with the Serious Crime Unit for a while. Start Monday and we’ll be living away in secure accommodation. Might be worth packing a toothbrush or something.”

With that, he left the room.

Authors note: What’s everyone thinking about the story so far? Any feedback would be very useful 🙂 

A Game of Life and Death · Uncategorized · Writing

Chapter 5 – A rescue Attempt

Chapter 5

A Rescue Attempt

Her whole body ached.

With slow, uncoordinated movements, she moved her head up off the cold, hard floor and surveyed her surroundings.

A series of plug sockets around the room suggested that this space was original meant to have been an office – as opposed to a prison. It currently only contained a solitary cushion and a thin mattress with a blanket. There were no windows and only a solitary door provided any exit or entrance.

Cassie gingerly moved herself from her current position to the mattress – her bum was getting cold. The room was freezing and she pulled the thin blanket around her. Looking around, she quickly realised that there was pleasantly no one else in the room.

Looking around her, there was no way of telling how long it had been since the in-flight meal. While staring at the useless door before her, she began to wonder whether Mohammed had gone home and told everyone that she had arrived safely. Maybe it was Thursday already and she had already missed a day of work… Cassie groaned.

Her stomach began to cramp with an in-build method of self-punishment for not eating on time.

Two men entered the room, disturbing her self-pity party. They were smartly dressed and seemed to examine her as if she were a rare species of animal.

“So this is what he’s chasing…” commented the slightly taller of the two.

“How does it feel to know you own cousin his sold you out?” This was directed at her.

“What do you want with me?” Cassie was attempting to sound bored.

“Your friend Novel is the only member of the team who is still alive that disrupted a very profitable business arrangement we had. We have still become very rich, but it did disrupt our retirement plans.”

“What were you doing?” her curiosity getting the better of her.

“Replica designer goods – lots of profit margin… The plan worked anyway, when you didn’t show up for work, your boss got on a plane.”

When Cassie did not respond, the room fell into relative silence. That was interrupted by a series of loud footsteps behind the door.

The door burst open with a bang. Cassie shrank back from the door to the room as Novel’s form was dumped on the metal flooring. She quickly realised that he must have been sedated.

Cassie sighed after the group left the room, Novel’s rescue plan was currently not looking particularly successful.

After somehow manging to drag her boss on the mattress, she pulled the blanket around her (now aching) shoulders. About an hour later, Novel started to slowly blink back into consciousness.

“How did you find me?” She asked bluntly, feeling a bit let down.

“It wasn’t difficult,” explained Novel.

Her initial reply was a sharp glare before she continued, “so how do you plan on getting us out now you’ve managed to get yourself caught?”

Her new companion was saved from replying when the door to the room swung open. A large man in a suit walked slowly, but purposefully, into the room – his beady eyes staring directly in Cassie’s direction. Looking into his eyes, she feel the calculative look burning through her skull.

She didn’t have time to react when he grabbed her arm and pulled her over to him. Her arms were pulled behind her by one hand and his other arm pulled tightly around her neck.

“Let go of her,” growled Novel, who was now struggling to get up.

“My dear Inspector, it doesn’t feel good to be held captive does it? It’s fun to give you a taste of your own medicine. The last time I saw you was when you raided my apartment in the early hours of the morning.”

Cassie watched as Novel’s eyes widened in realisation.

“You broke the law and I fixed it. Seeing you again was not one of my life goals.”

If she hadn’t been being held in such an awkward position, Cassie would have rolled her eyes. Novel was being ridiculously unhelpful.

She started coughing as the arm began to pull tighter around her neck. The hand around her neck suddenly released her neck and covered her mouth instead.

Cassie felt his warm breath on her ear, “Calm down sweetie, I don’t want to have to harm you…”

She instantly stilled, understanding the potential implications.

“I wouldn’t do anything,” Novel growled, his gaze becoming more intense.

In response there was an almost maniacal grin, staring intensely into Novel’s eyes as he gave Cassie’s bum a squeeze.

The room almost seemed to freeze for a few long seconds.

This silence was suddenly broken by a sudden series of shouts and smashing glass that seemed to echo around the floor above. Within minutes, there was a team of armed police officers entering the room – all aiming their weapons at the man holding Cassie.

“Sir, I need you to let her go,” barked a police office – his gun aimed steadily for the man’s head.

Another moved over and pressed his gun into his back. This had the beneficial effect of Cassie being let go – he had realised that this particular game was up.

She quickly moved over to Novel, who was currently being looked over by a medic now that the man was being secured in handcuffs.

“Are you ok?” she whispered.

“I will be, but I need to give my mother a quick phone.”

Within hours they were both on a plane back to England. It was a chance for them both to start processing what has happened to them over the past few days.

The seatbelt sign had come on with a ding above them when Cassie finally plucked up the courage to turn to Novel.

“I don’t want to go back to the flat on my own.”

The man, who had been sitting silently in his seat for most of the flight, now turned to face her.

“I really can’t go back Novel.”

There was a long silence.

“What if I moved into your spare room? My mother’s been hinting that I should move out for years, so you’d be doing me a favour really.”

She paused, almost in an odd state of shock that he had offered.

“What would be absolutely fine, we’d need to clear my crap out of it. But that would be great – thanks.”

The pair then settled into silence for the remainder of the journey.






Knitting · Uncategorized

F.O Baby Socks

So I’ve finished my first pair of socks! These were the Baby Mitten Socks by Fuzzy Mitten. The pattern was really easy to follow and a great project if you’ve not tried DPN needles before. These socks are knitted Leg down.

The bottom sock was the first one I knitted following the pattern exactlyish (I have a feeling I miscounted somewhere as ribbing went a bit skewy on top of the sock).

For the second sock I changed a few things up – the first sock was to small for Lily anyway so I figured this may as well become a learning exercise.


Rather than going straight into the ribbing  – as the pattern suggested – I did one K row and this seems to have created a more stretchy leg tubing than the first one.

Rather than stocking stitch I changed the heel to K stitch. The texture looks pretty cool. But I think with coloured yarn in this case doesn’t need to extra detailing.

This was a super quick project and I’m definitely a sock convert! Looking forward to trying out my next pair. I have a toe-up pattern I want to try after finishing another yarn ball on my white textured shawl.

Love to you all and happy knitting!!



A Game of Life and Death · Uncategorized · Writing

Chapter 2 Why Family Weddings Should be Avoided

A/N: Apologies that this didn’t go up  last night. My went out to a work do last night and drank to much prosecco (it’s amazing how much pregnancy reduces your ability to drink).


Chapter 2

Why Family Weddings Should be Avoided

Family weddings were a particular breed of nightmare.

Although, to be fair on her cousin, this one had been relatively bearable so far. However, this did not prevent the sense of relief that she felt on the day of her return home.

It was the departure of the happy couple the night before that had eventually opened the floodgates. She had been cross-examined for over an hour before dinner about why she was not yet settled down with a husband. Her mother’s ‘helpful input’ of “she’s married to her job” had not stemmed the tide.

It had been a sympathetic female cousin who had let her into the secret that they were placing bets on Cassie getting married next. She had sighed, exasperated.

Cassie could not remember who had made the original comment at dinner. But, in the same vain as the pre-dinner conversation, Cassie traveling independently home seemed to be another hot topic of debate. Cassie’s grandmother was only silenced when her cousin Mohammed offered to accompany her. He said he had business anyway in the UK and his flight was leaving a little later, so he did not mind being a bit early to the airport.

“The taxi’s here!” Cassie’s cousin called from the bottom of the stairs, “Cas are you packed?”


Cassie checked the guest room one final time, making sure she had not left a stray book under the bed. It would be a while before she returned and she did not feel like giving them an excuse to visit.

After the traditional series of goodbyes were completed, she finally escaped into the taxi.

Her face was creased with worry as she checked her watch again – making sure she had read the time correctly. How was this trip taking so long? Nervously, her eyes flickered back to the watch face, it was already 15 minutes after the time she had originally planned to be at the airport by.

“Is it just me, or is it some sort of ‘National Roadworks Day’?” Cassie inquired, only half joking as she stared at another group of fluorescent jacketed men the car slowly crept by.

There was a small sound of laughter from Mohammed, “don’t worry so much! You’ll be where you need to be on time.”

By the time the pair arrived at the airport, Cassie was seriously regretting accepting the offered lift. Upon arriving through the departure entrance, her eyes quickly located the nearest flight information screen.

Her heart sank like a rock in a mineshaft.

“I’ve missed check in…” she moaned, realising the possibility of making it home today was starting to slip through her fingers.

“Cassie I am so sorry, I really did not thing that journey would take us so long,” Mohammed had materialised back into her field of vision and was offering her a coffee, “Look, it’s my fault and I will get it sorted.”

Gratefully, she accepted the coffee. It would be nice not to have to worry about paying a horrendous amount of money to replace her non-fundable ticket.

Pulling her phone from her pocket, she figured she had better get in contact with Novel. Otherwise the cat would go unfed and she did not want to have to deal with a grumpy fur ball when she arrived back in the UK.

The phone’s screen flashed into life and a poorly taken picture of the aforementioned cat stared back at her. After deciding that the price of an international call would be higher than her month’s rent (or at least her electricity bill), she made the decision to text her boss.

Missed booked flight home. Organising alternative. Will update you when I know more. Can you feed the furball tonight please?

Cassie knew that Novel could be depended on to be annoyed. It had been hard enough to book the original required number of days off for this trip. God forbid anyone had lives outside the office!

Her eventual return to the office later in the week would then be met with an annoyed glare for the inconvenience she had caused him.

Mohammed’s return interrupted her thoughts.

“The earliest ticket to England is in three days. However, I have managed to get us on a flight to Northern Ireland. It leaves from here in 3 hours’ time and so I’ve got our bags all checked in,” he explained quickly, gesturing her to follow him towards the security and passport control areas of the airport, “I am sorry you know. I know you wanted to get home on time.”

“Thanks for sorting it out,” Cassie replied with a smile, “you managed to get the family off my back yesterday because of the offer. I think that more than makes up for this!”

They shared a mutual chuckle.

“If you’re interested, there will be about 7-8 hours before we’re able to get a connecting flight out. The woman at the desk advised that it might just be quicker to hop on a ferry. So I left booking the transfer flight for now.”

“That makes sense,” Cassie replied, “It will be fun to have of a bit of a sightseeing if we’re having an unplanned delay there.”

They made their journey to duty free relatively successfully and they quickly found somewhere to eat. About half-way through the meal, Mohammed disappeared for a long while to the loo. She used this opportunity to check her phone.

There was a message, and it was from Novel.

The cat will be fed. What is your flight number?

With a couple of clicks, she had armed Novel with the ability to stalk her for the next few hours. Hopefully that should keep him happy and at least the cat would get fed….

“I phoned ahead,” Mohammed explained, noticing Cassie had spotted a sign with his name on, “A business associate of mine owed me a favour. He agreed to pick us up as I have to discuss a potential project with him anyway, saves trying to get a Skype call to connect.”

“That makes sense. If I could beg that we locate coffee before we leave the airport though please? I could really do with caffeine being injected directly into my bloodstream – but an espresso will suffice.”

The pair headed towards the awaiting blur of signs and faces. Mohammed steered them towards his name – which was being held by a smartly dressed man who was tall and has slowly thinning dark brown hair.

“I’m Steven,” introduced the stranger, “sorry to hear about your flight troubles and many thanks for allowing me to take some time out of your day so that I may speak with your cousin.”

“It’s no trouble,” she replied, shaking the offered hand.

“There is a cafe truck just by the taxi rank,” suggested Mohammed, pointing in the required direction before pulling out a rumpled 20 from his pocket, “do you mind grabbing 2 white coffees and what-ever you need while we load the car please?”

She looked to Steven, who nodded in agreement to the suggested coffee order and she headed over the source of her next caffeine hit.

“Have you managed to sort out a connecting flight?” Cassie inquired as they headed towards a smart black Mercedes, trying not to spill the 3 slightly overfilled cardboard cups of steaming coffee.

“I said to your cousin that my secretary would organise the next stage of your trip while we’re in out meeting. I’m a frequent flyer and we get remarkable deals – she’ll ensure you’re comfortable for the rest of your trip.”

Their drive from the airport entailed a road that appeared to skirt around the nearby city. Around an hour later – Cassie could not be completely certain as she had dozed off in the back seat of the car for a large portion of the journey – the trio arrived at a rather bland industrial estate. They stopped in the car park of what appeared to be one of the cleaner buildings.

After Mohammed’s sensible suggestion that she would be comfortable in the office than waiting in the car, Cassie followed the two men into the building. She was led into a spacious office reception area on the ground floor. It was an open plan space and the majority of the walls surrounding the room were glass rather than brick.

After her two companions left her to conduct their meeting, Cassie took the opportunity to study the only other soul in the room.


The only permanent fixture within this reception space seemed to be the receptionist. Her action of handing Cassie a cup of coffee scented water in a thin polystyrene cup was the only clue that she was not an innominate object.

As Cassie attempted to consume the ‘coffee’ without wincing, she watched the other woman out of the corner of her eye. After a long span of staring at the computer monitor, the woman shredded some paper – which Cassie was pretty sure was blank – before resuming the staring contest with the computer.

Even the phone was not appearing to be busy – it had not made a sound since Cassie had arrive.

Feeling bored, Cassie pulled out her phone to give Novel an update. No signal. She would have to get back in contact once she was back in the car.

“Do you know how long they’ll be in the meeting?”

The woman almost looked startled for a second – apparently she had forgotten that Cassie was still there. After holding up a quick finger to gesture her to wait, she made a quick call and spoke briefly before responding.

“They think they might be some time yet, can I get you another cup of coffee?”

Knowing that some caffeine was better than no caffeine, Cassie agreed and another cup was passed in her direction.

Instead of the desired buzz of caffeine, she started to gradually feel more tired.

“What is this? Decaf?” She joked as he peripheral vision slowly started to cloud.

That was when the panic quickly set in…. what the hell was going on? Cassie attempted to stand. Maybe, if she could run…

Any option to escape quickly was removed as her legs gave way beneath her. The door that she had used to enter gave a slight squeak as it opened and an unknown man came through.

Her vision slowly began to return to her and she tried to move her arms and legs. However, she quickly found that this option was impossible.

Cassie’s hands were secured behind her back and her legs beneath her.

“You’re awake,” the voice was sourced to her right, just out of her line of sight, “you’ll be pleased to know that your cousin has left you in my tender care.”

“Why the hell has he done that for?” she was started to feel an odd mixed of pissed off and scared.

“I’ve been made aware that you are currently romantically involved with one man known as ‘Novel’. We have crossed swords in the past and I wanted to show him what it feels like to be left rotting in a cell.”

If the situation had not been so serious, Cassie would have laughed. She had never known Novel to be romantically involved with anybody. Ever.

“Your sources are talking shit. If you’ve been paying for your intelligence, well I would be looking at a refund…”

A tall, balding white man in an off – the – rack suit stepped within her vision. There was a rather dangerous looking scowl on his face.

“Your cousin seemed to have the impression that you were engaged to be married the copper.”

“I can promise you that I am currently free and single – with no hope of a husband in the near future. But no, that is not a desperate plea for you to offer,” Cassie responded with a chuckle. If she was engaged to anyone then at least her family would leave her alone for 5 minutes and lose interest.

Without warning, Cassie felt a sharp scratch in the back of the neck.

Aurthors note: That’s all from me! Please feel free to share 🙂

Love to you all and happy knitting!




What I learnt this week

So, in addition to being a mum to a six month old, working full time, knitting and blogging…. I thought I needed some other things to do.

Yep, I know, I’m completely insane.

Course 1: Centre of Excellence – Knitting Diploma Course. 

So this course scales knitting right back to basics for me, which has been really useful. It will eventually teach me how to design patterns and run a knitting business. Which fits in really well with what I want to do with this.

Progress: Completed Module 1-4. Currently awaiting the mark for the quiz on module 4. 17 modules in total

What I learnt this week: How to use DPN needles

Course 2: Centre of Excellence – Crochet Diploma Course. 

So this is the thing I needed to help crochet actually click in my brain. Back to basics and the mixture of pictures and video tutorials really seem to work well for me.

Progress: Completed Module 1-3. Need to make a start on 4.

What I learnt this week: Nothing yet as haven’t made time for this yet.

Course 3: Free Code Camp.org

Found this amazing website that teaches you to code in small, short exercises. Totally free.

Progress: About 1/3 of the way through the HTML5 and CSS module.

What I learnt this week: CSS Style tags.


That all from me for now! Need to get on with everything 🙂


Love to you all and Happy knitting!



A Game of Life and Death · Uncategorized · Writing

Chapter 1: The Bodies in the Bog

Author’s Note: Hello all and welcome to the first Chapter of A Game of Life and Death. This hasn’t been professionally editing and I welcome all comments that aren’t trolling. Love to you all hope you guys enjoy. 

My promise to you all is 1 chapter per week. 

Chapter 1

The Bodies in the Bog

The lonely figure at the window was sure that the universe as conspiring against him. He took the moment of serenity to study the reflection staring back at him.

William Novel’s head was still currently covered with an impressive mop of black hair. However, the slight lines that ran across his face betrayed the paths he had taken.

There was not that much that he could look forward to in the upcoming weeks. In a few days his Deputy, Cassie, was swanning off to a family wedding in Turkey. He was sure that his department would descend into chaos while she was gone. If Cassie called to extend her stay…. The team were useless without her. Two days was quite long enough for her to be gone.

It was if the raindrops on the window fore-told the horrors ahead. The clock’s gentle tick… tock…. tick… tock… seemed to be the only noise in the room.

Assistant Chief Constable Novel moved away from the window of his office. It was usually so easy not to care However, in this case, he knew that he could not do this on his own. This case was fuelling his dependence on the woman.

The town below him stretched out for as far as the eye could see. All the streets below were a hive of activity with streams of people like ants on the ground. He could not remember the last time a case had affected him so much. Novel had been in the force two decades – usually it was possible to maintain the required emotional distance.

The call had come that morning. He had only been in the office an hour and his normal cup of coffee – black – had once again gone cold.

His desk phone rang, the piercing sound breaking the customary still silence of the morning. He calmly reached out to receive the call. It was probably his mother.

It was a female voice, but definitely not his mother.

“Chief, we got another one.”

Novel did not immediately reply, “Sorry, what”

“I’m Sarah Lucas, from the basement – seriously Sir, you need another coffee. They found another poor sod. The Sergeant recon’s same MO as the one last week.”

“Where did they find this one?”

“Peat bog. The one behind the shopping mall. It’s about an hour from here. Pathology recon she’s been in there since spring.”

“Many thanks. Someone from my team will call you if I need anything else.”

Last week they had found a body in a bog on the local heathland. A local peat cutter had called the station in a blind panic.

The body of a young woman, still unidentified, was lying in cold storage in the station’s morgue. There were no records marching her prints or DNA on the database. She had been naked, there were signs of strangulation by a rope – although that was long gone – and both her eyes and her nose had been removed. Even for an officer with as much experience as Novel, it was difficult to stomach.

Looking around the office, he spotted Cassie at her desk staring intently at the screen. She had obviously been here a while and was probably the source of his coffee.

“Cassie, you should have been more organised and booked your extra baggage allowance already. I need you for a few hours.”

She look up in surprise at the interruption, but nodded in reply.

“Another body in the peat bog. Did you fancy coming with me to take a look? I was hoping a look around the area might give us a better insight and make some individuals be a bit more ‘on the ball’. It does not feel like the investigation is moving as quickly as I would like.”

She flashed him a quick grin before grabbing her cot, “I could do with a field trip! It feels like I never get out of the office these days.”

They were met at the entrance to the outer cordon by a young officer. The rookie took their names for his notebook and bravely reminded them that they were not authorised to enter the internal cordon. Novel narrowed his eyes and was quickly placated with the information that he would have a pretty good view of the scene. The pair were also notified that the photographer was still around if they wanted to look at the crime scene images.

“PC Matthews is it?”

A quick nod and a hurried “Yes Sir” followed.

“Do me a favour and radio the Crime Scene Manager. I want a briefing on what has been happening here.”

The order was hurriedly carried out and a red faced female crime scene investigator appeared from a white tent. Novel and Cassie moved to meet her at the cordon tape.

“Afternoon Sir,” she greeted, fishing her notebook from her pocket, “PC Matthews informed me you would like a briefing?”

Novel nodded, “Have you gathered anything yet that would be useful to our investigation?”

“Not much yet I’m afraid,” she replied, sounding apologetic, “she was found by a dog walker this morning. However, the bogs are so acidic they tend to destroy evidence that would have been there. The photographer has been down here for the last few hours. Got some good in-situ images of the body. We’re just waiting on the private ambulance to move her and then it will be up to the pathology lot. I will send a few of my guys with the body to keep the chain of evidence. To be honest, I think there is only the slightest of chances that there will be DNA. Your best bet will be investigative leads.”

Novel briskly thanked the woman. He then called over one of the junior PC’s that was still hanging around to guard the scene. Opening his wallet, he gave the PC a crisp £20 note and told him to go and get everyone a coffee. He was sure the team could do with some defrosting.

“What’s the plan?” Cassie asked, rifling through her pockets to find a previously abandoned hair-band. Smiling with success, she proceeded to secure her long mousy brown hair behind her head.

“A door-to-door of the local area. I want anyone who even smells suspicious down at the station by the end of the day. We need a solid lead. I don’t want any more bodies.”

“Shall I get someone to re-interview the dog walker?”

Novel nodded, there was certainly no harm in it. The person may have seen something.

His thoughts were interrupted by a young woman with a camera – she looked fresh out of college.

“Sir, I was told that you wanted a preview?”

He responded with a brief nod and was handed a brightly lit LCD screen. The first image he came to as a wide angle image of the peat bog – a context shot. After locating a right arrow button he started flicking though the images.

After a few clicks through he paused again at another image. Whoever had done this to this woman had stripped her of her humanity.

He tilted the camera so Cassie could get a better look. Her face grimaced and turned a slight tint of green.

Even after additional attempts to persuade the CSI’s to let his into the crime-scene, Novel was still denied access.

Damn the chain of evidence and contamination prevention to hell and back again. It was no use unless they could get a strong case together and get it to court.

Having finally done all he could before the forensics came back, it was time to head home.

The sun was beginning to set on the front lawn as he shut the door behind him.

“William, darling, hang your coat up! I don’t want you getting it dirty if you are wearing it tomorrow!”

Novel felt the shiver run down his spine. That name was a curse that had haunted him from childhood. His mother was the only one who was still allowed to use it.

“You’re home late.”

“Mother, my job is not exactly 9-5!” he shouted back, was taking off his shoes and neatly leaving them on the show rack by the door.

When he had started out on the force he had not foreseen that he would still be living with his mother at 45. Novel was single, although he had no desire to be in a relationship with anybody. Other people were just too complicated. His dad had left them in his teens and so leaving her alone had never been an option.

Over dinner that evening it was suggested, again, that he should take time off work. However, Novel was convinced that leaving the department would just leave behind a trail of chaos and destruction. He would never be able to find any paperwork – it would all be moved in absence.

He was once again one of the first into the office.

The first few stages of an investigation always seemed to be a waiting game. He needed the information the labs would hopefully provide and still could not understand how they took so long.

Later on that afternoon, thanks to a budget allowance for a new DNA comparison unit, he was able actually get some useful information.

“So what can you tell me?” he could only presume it was Sarah at the other end of the internal phone line. For some reason she had obviously been assigned to his department.

“The preliminary run was provided some useful results. Flagged a Jane Doe profile that we picked up on a drugs raid. It’s been sat on the system for a couple of years. It was stored on the national database.”

“Cheers Sarah. Can you tell them to go ahead with another couple of runs? I want to ensure an eager defence lawyer can’t tear us apart if this goes to court.”

“Sure thing. Bye Sir.” The phone line cur and the call ended.

Figuring that this might be a good time to input these results into the internal system, he logged himself in and typed in the update.

Phone call from Sarah Lucas. Reported that the DNA collected from Jane Doe matched an unknown sample collected from another scene. The scene was a raid on a drug den – case number = B23067

One his update had asses itself into the internal system, it brought him back to the main dialogue page. This allowed him to see a general time-line of the events in order of input.

Case numbers = G56096

Operation name = Butterfly

Lead Officer = DCI Peters


9/10/2013 08:43:41

Member of the public (Mr Samuel Whithall) called to report that he had discovered a body while walking his dog in the local heathland.


9/10/2013 09:32:26

PC Matthews and PC Rogers arrive on scene and set up inner and outer cordons. The CSI team also arrive on scene.


9/10/2013 15:09:04

The CSI team report that little physical evidence was found on the body. Waiting for pathology report.

DNA evidence has been submitted to the lab with high priority status. Thy will contact ASAP upon completion.


10/10/2013 17:35:16

Phone call from Sarah Lucas. Reported tha the DNA collected from Jane Doe matched an unknown sample collected from another scene. The scene was a raid on the drug den – case number B23067


10/10/2013 18:05:34

Requested that members arrested as part of the investigation into the raid come in on a voluntary basis. Mark Stranton has agreed to visit the station tomorrow morning.


Novel was lost for words. The sudden dust cloud in his head, caused partially by shock, took a couple of seconds to clear.

At some point his tea had developed the ability to function independently.

He would have to continue to keep a careful eye on them – it might be a fluke.

Pulling out the android powered phone he kept in his back, pocket, he let himself wonder at the marvels of modern technology. These new phones allowed him to be so time efficient.

Pressing the record button – a smile diagram of a microphone – he recorded his text message to Cassie.

“Who’s interviewing Mr Stranton?” he then checked the screen to make sure that the text appeared correctly on the screen. It had. He pressed the send button.

Within a few minutes the phone vibrated in his hand.

I’m in the viewing room. Interested?

No. Busy. Keep me updated though.

Novel found the file on the raid and set his computer the task of printing it. After a few minutes of shouting at the printer – it was a wireless printed and highly unpredictable – the blasted machine began to slowly ‘warm up’ before sheets of paper appeared in the ‘out try’. He imagined it mean he had some decent bedtime reading tonight.

A few hours later he was sat at home in the lounge. His mother was watching a game show on the television. The large LCD screen helped him to see the faces of the washed up celebrities in clear precision. After being handed a hot chocolate, he dug the printing out from his bag and began to read through it.




June 2012


Witness statement of PC Davids

The team and I were deleted from entering due to dangerous electrical wiring. We have entered the property using a key provided by the owner. I was entered the property from the front entrance.

Upon entering, I was not aware that the occupier is present. However, I was aware of an overpowering smell of what I presumed to be cannabis. I was instructed by the leading officer to go with my partner into the kitchen. It did not appear that the kitchen had been cleaned and the remains of a number of microwave meals covered the kitchen surfaces.


Novel chuckled to himself and decided that he was probably wasting his time. It still amazed him how many landlords did not flag up the low electricity bills on their properties. Drug gangs had a horrible habit of circumventing the mains electrical box to compensate for the amount of energy required to propagate drug plants. However, this did come with a huge risk of self-electrocution.

He took another sip of his now lukewarm hot chocolate and carried on reading until the early hours of the morning.

Around 11 the following morning, Cassie wondered into the office with two steaming mugs of coffee. She placed one mug of coffee on Novel’s desk and made herself comfy with the other on the sofa.

“How did the interview go?” Novel asked, taking a swig of his coffee.

“Stranton spoke a lot of hot air. Tried to make himself seem more significant. There were a couple of names that could lead somewhere. DCI Peters seems to be on top of things.”

“Good. It’s his first big case. Did you notice the significance of the name of the dog walker yesterday?”

“Samuel Whithall?” Novel nodded to confirm she was correct, “He owns a couple of rental properties – but is on a suspended sentence as a a few of them were being used as drugs dens. I wonder why he wasn’t just locked up?”

The flare of intelligence from the team that had occurred earlier in the week had apparently finished. This was a fine example of why taking time off was a bad idea.

“Have you read the internal system notes?” There was a nod, “Did you look up the case file I reference?” A negative, “If you had, you would have known that our Jane Doe wondered into one of those drug dens during her existence.”

Novel could only admit that he was disappointed that Cassie had not made the time to read the document. Her mind was obviously distracted by this wedding fiasco. Not great timing for an off day.

Cassie stared at him. He watched as the light switched on behind her eyes. Novel grinned – at least someone else in his team was awake.

“I’ll call him in for questioning again – tell him we just want to run over his statement…” Cassie quickly made the call to the front desk to set it all in motion.

Within an hour the man was in an interview room and the pair was quizzing him. The usually gave this task to a DC or DCI. However, Novel figured that Cassie could do with the practice.

“Chief Inspector Novel does not believe in coincidences, do you?”

The man before them paled significantly.

When he had previously visited, the ‘dog walker’ had performed the role of distressed witness remarkably well. However, today that masked appeared to have been effectively removed.

“So Mr Whithall, I don’t buy that you couldn’t have any idea about what was going on,” Novel noted the beads of sweats dripping down the guys forehead, “we are therefore of the belief that you were the cause of these girls having such an untimely demise. After which, we believe, you helped orchestrate the cleanup. Although, we still don’t get why you then reported finding one.”

There was a long pause.

“I didn’t kill nobody! Stranton had me van for a bit! Our lot had taken his during the raid… I was just helping him get back on his feet…”

“Have you got any evidence? I’ve got both witness statements linking your van to both scenes.”

“Stranton got a speeding ticket while I was in the US, I have the paperwork that proves I was out of the country. I lent him the van because I didn’t need it you see…”

“Who were the girls Whithall?” Novel pressed again. The man opposite him was currently fiddling with the sleeves of his jacket, “one of the girls we’ve found can be places alive in your property around the time of the raid.”

“Have you spoken to the guys? I mean, she might be a girlfriend…”

Mr Whithall had finally cracked.

Within a few hours a solicitor had arrived. The now rather nervous looking man had realised that he was moving into hot water.

After a long discussion, his solicitor agreed that a detailed and helpful confession would probably be his best option.

The two girls had been homeless strays that the gang had picked up off the steets. They had paid for their keep and would never have been reported missing When the place was raided, they had to hide with other members until everything died down. It turned out that Stranton had done a ‘clear-up’ job as he found them.

Even though the team suspected that the unfortunate young woman had been sexually assaulted – there was no evidence to prove it.

Whithall called that he had not become aware of the horrific final ending of the girls until he enquired about them a few weeks after the raid. The second body had only been reported because Stranton had not paid Whithall for his silence on the matter.

Novel was once again convinced by the stupidity of the human race as a whole. That would be one arrested for murder and one for trying to prevent to course of justice. They never learn.

“Case closed?” asked Cassie, tidying the last of her papers into the filing cabinet.

“There is always the chance of another poor soul…” Novel replied. He had already set some of the new recruits on the task of locating the girl’s families.

“I could do with a drink. Will be on fruit juice and water for the next few days. Care to join me?” she questioned while pulling on her coats, “I don’t know how I’m going to cope with the marriage questions every 5 minutes sober…”

“Of course. I wouldn’t want you mistaken as an alcoholic.”

He did not make a habit of going out for drinks with his staff. Cassie was the only exception to the rule. They had been working in partnership since she had joined the force 15 years ago. He had mentored her throughout her career – just to ensure there was at least one competent member on his team. She had followed in his tailwind and had quickly risen through the ranks by filling in the position that he left vacant.

The local pub (the “Magic Dragon”) was only a few streets away from the station. It was a dark old pub with fading leather seats.  They proceeded to make themselves comfortable with a whisky in the farthest corner from the door.

Cassie began to fidget, “that guy by the door is watching us…”

Novel flicked his eyes in the indicated direction, “I arrested him nearly 2 decades ago. He’s not been out long, apparently he picked up glaring as a new hobby.”

“Remind me again why we drink here?”

“The drinks are cheap. So who’s the wedding for?”

“My cousin. She’s marrying a friend of her father or something. It has all been arranged, but she’s still excited.”

“So how’s the boyfriends? Mike…. Mark…. Matthew… What’s his face….”

“John. We spilt up 4 months ago.”

“So I’ll avoid any drunken declarations of how much you adore him? Good. Staying single now then?”

“For as long as possible. As soon as I get a partner my mother will want to know when the wedding is. The cat and I are perfectly happy together. Are you still alright to feed her while I’m away?”

He had forgotten about that demon cat. Why he had ever agreed to be within 10 meters of that thing he had no idea. His mother probably liked cates… she could do it. Cassie only lived a few streets from him.

She slowly rose and dropped a set of keys next to his now empty glass.

“Fresh food twice a day…. Change litter if it smells…. I’ll see you in the office on Wednesday. Wish me luck!”

He nodded as a way of formal goodbye before she turned the left the establishment. After a few minutes, he too rose and exited. The patrons all glared at his retreating back with a sense of hostility.

It was only the barman who seemed to truly wonder why this man continued to enter his pub when he was so clearly unwanted by the other patrons. There had only been one face that he had seen in the crowd that seemed to contain anything similar to a smile – that gentleman had left the pub earlier in the evening.

Upon arriving home he informed his mother that she had a cat to feed. Her response was in the negative. Novel signed in resignation and warmed up his dinner in the microwave. He would have to feed that blasted cat on his Saturday evening.


Edits made: 1/8/2017: Feedback:  there are two written mistakes. ( he was
sat at home on the lounhe), I think it should be written ( he was sitting at home on the lounge) and ( I was entered the roperty) which should be written (I was entering the property). Also after the full stop there should be 2 spaces. I hope that helped.

Thanks Christina 🙂