David Viner would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Puppies

By David Viner All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Humor

1

The case started off routinely enough with a neighbour's report that she hadn't seen the old man for over two weeks.

I despatched an officer to the block of flats to search for any evidence of Mr Sculthorpe – he drew a blank. Via the DSS, some distant remnants of family were traced but they lived several hundred miles away and hadn't been in contact for years. Acquaintances from the local OAP club also drew a blank. By all accounts Mr Sculthorpe was unsociable; just another lonely old man who kept himself to himself. His kind were ten-a-penny in this area, holing themselves up for endless hours neither seeking nor encouraging companionship. Then, in solitude, they popped their clogs leaving us to pick up the pieces.

So, lacking any excuse not to, I gave the order that enabled two officers to return to the property and break in. I suspected that they would discover just another long-dead, frail old body. It would be slumped on the sofa, or half submerged in a long-cold bath. Most commonly, it would be in bed where it had finally given up the ghost.

However, I was wrong, and the case became far more interesting.



I arrived less than an hour later. The block of flats, the concrete stained greyish-brown, was one of many that had been hastily erected in the nineteen-sixties and seventies. Long overdue for demolition, they were abhorred by all except their shortsighted designers. The lift was broken so I climbed the stairs to the fifth floor. As my feet negotiated the litter-strewn steps I couldn't believe people had been seriously expected to make their homes in these abominations.

I greeted Officer Peterson who guarded the property. I entered the hallway and nodded to Officer Maguire who stood before the bathroom door at the far end of the short hallway. I peered into the first door on my left – the lounge. It was decorated in oldness: there was an old sofa in front of an old television beside an old wooden table covered with a faded old tablecloth. Old fruit mouldered in an old dusty fruit-bowl. Even the air smelt old.

Back in the hallway I heard the tinkle of running water coming from behind Maguire. His face was a shade or two paler than usual and he looked distinctly uncomfortable guarding the room containing the corpse.

"Nasty?" I asked.

"Yes, Inspector."

"And the bathroom door was shut when you broke in?"

"Yes, Inspector. Shut, not locked."

Maguire moved aside to let me in. I slid sideways into the bathroom and stared down at the body that lay twisted upon the carpet. In the bath, a stream dribbled from shower attachment to plughole.

Mr Sculthorpe had obviously not died peacefully nor had he died naturally, though this could not be deduced from the expression on his face, for Mr Sculthorpe no longer possessed a face. It, along with much of his skull probably accounted for most of the gore that was distributed upon the carpet, on the side panel of the bath, on the battered old rusty bathroom scales, and upon anything within two feet of the tattered top section of his torso.

Mr Sculthorpe was naked, and his back and what remained of his shoulders were gouged with deep, ragged channels from which blood, now dry and almost black, had once run, oozed and then congealed.

I looked more closely at the injuries. The parallel cuts, three on one shoulder and four on the other, suggested that some sort of large animal had pounced on him from behind. If I had discovered this body in an American or East European forest then its condition may not have surprised me. But finding it inside a small, suburban bathroom was, inevitably, perplexing.

I stared at Mr Sculthorpe's remains. The dim light coming in through the shaded window coupled with the random patterns of the flecked carpet played games with my eyes that, after a morning wading through the usual mound of paperwork, were already gritty and tired. I reached into my inside jacket pocket and retrieved my glasses from their case. Once balanced upon my nose they reduced the swimming effect that the carpet imbued - I really should wear the damned things all the time.

The windowsill, littered with shampoo bottles, disposable razors and toothpaste tubes showed no evidence of disturbance – nothing had come through the window. Besides, it was the fifth floor and the window was secured shut.

Leaving the bathroom I made a quick scan of the rest of the flat. The bedroom held a single, metal-framed bed, its mattress sunken with use. Protruding from under the ragged bedspread was a stack of yellowed magazines. The bedside cabinet held a wind-up wristwatch alongside a glass of water whose surface was specked with dust. Inside the small wardrobe, shelves displayed socks and underpants, and from the hangers hung a handful of thin shirts along with a single, well-worn black suit.

The room was nothing out of the ordinary.

The same was true of the kitchen. Some crockery, cutlery and a saucepan lay unwashed in the sink, while the small Formica work surface, slightly grimy and etched from years of wear, was home to an assortment of typical kitchen items: a knife-block with all knives present and accounted for; a plastic kettle, its mains lead winding away behind a biscuit barrel to a socket on the wall; a teapot upon which was casually dumped a tatty tea cosy stained brown by years of heat and spillage; and packets of cereal, tins of soup and other nondescript paraphernalia.

In other words, an old man's normality.

I left Peterson and Maguire to their guarding duties and went back out into the dull afternoon. Locked room mysteries were always intriguing and I hadn't encountered one for several years.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

ojomooluwakemi: Beautiful plot, writing style is poetic,deeply emotional and so lovely.Detailed descriptions, very minimal errors. I love love this piece. Welldone

Rianne28: I loved it. It was fun, drama and love in the right balans

XXXBLACKPINKXXX : This is a must read for everyone. I must say that this book was something out of imagination...I loved the plot twist and the entire story. Perfect start and a brilliant ending. Never read about a dark cinderella but this is amazing. Loved the way you combined snow white and cinderella in one sto...

it' just me: I love this book so much since both parties struggle to find out who they are as a person and I am so in love with this book so far.

alice: the main characters are super relatable and charming. they have a realistic reaction to the troubles they face in life and nothing is too overdramatized which is a refreshing change from other books that are similar to this plotline, that I have read. I would definitely recommend this book to any...

Bella Suarez-Ramirez: This story is so... I just can’t explain, I loved every bit of it! The humor of the MC is amazing. So many LOL and LMAO moments! True genius! I am so happy I decided to read this book and hope that a sequel will be out soon. Can’t wait to see what else Spencer gets into. :) you need to read this ...

Taumaoe Taula: When an author write his/her book they need to be inspired,need to have an idea of what comes to the the story. You can't just write a story you need to organize it make the reader understand what and why you wrote it. Make the book dramatic and emotional so the reader is captured by it. For this...

irisaruil: I love your story and I only downloaded this app to keep up with the story faster🖤 this is a really nice wor💗

Emmalyn2233: This story was amazing and the ending was sad, that I cried seriously. My mood right now is upset, sad.

More Recommendations

Viarmic File: The flow of the story is great and the time of reading is worth it, even the wait ;)

I.want.stories: I started this book yesterday and finished reading it today..... It was that interesting 😁😁Love the plot and the characters Had a blast reading this bookHope other books of yours are funny, sarcastic and just plain amazing like this one 😁😈😊😊

Deleted User: Great story I loved it

Readingnerdy: I love how this novel presented the story, a good quality of writing indeed. Now, i would never to go back to some cheap stories with poor writing.

bethann822001: Good story line

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.