Addison entered the department for the first time. There were desks scattered everywhere and officers were in and out of the department. She found a desk that had a silver name plate with DS Addison Scott in front of a new desktop computer. She sat down at her new desk and picked up her name plate, observing it. She glanced back to see where Robert’s office is, his name DCI Robert Ashworth written on the door.
At the front of the department was a large white board with a photo of Wendy Willis stuck in the middle. Addison had noticed some of the evidence photos that were taken at the crime scene. Under the suspects section, it had ‘NONE’ written below in red pen. Addison placed the silver name plate back on her desk and shuffled forward in her seat. She switched on her computer. Once it finally loaded, she typed Mandy Phillips into the system. She needed to notify the next of kin. A file of a woman popped up.
Addison clicked on the photo of Mandy Phillips and it was like looking at a double. She glanced up at the board where Wendy Willis’s photo was, and then back to the one of Mandy on her computer. They looked exactly the same. She scrolled through the file and saw previous arrests for minor offences like thieving, damage to a property and public nudity.
Addison scribbled down the address into her notebook as Robert walked in. He strolled into his office and slammed the door behind him which rattled the whole department. He threw his jacket on his chair. She didn’t want to go and talk to him now she knows of his foul moods. She took in a deep breath and plucked up the courage to get up from her seat.
Addison picked up her notebook and tapped on his office door. She stood waiting for him to call her in, the longer he took the more nervous she got, but he finally called her into his office. She shuffled her way in and moved over to his desk in front of him. He was slouching in his chair undoing the top button of his shirt. Addison watched as she saw a small reveal of hair on his chest, his voice slowly dragged her eyes back up to his.
“What do you have?” He asked her. Addison handed a file of the information she collected from the system. He took it and started to flick through the pages as she carried on talking.
“I’ve found Wendy’s sister Mandy Phillips.” Addison flipped open her notebook. “I’ve written down Mandy’s address which is in Harlow. She is named as Wendy’s next of kin.”
“Take Fletcher with you.” He waved his hand for her to leave his office, but she hesitated. “What is it?” He raised his voice.
“FLETCHER!” Robert bellowed. Addison flinched at the sudden call. The sound of the door opened, and she heard a voice behind her.
“Yes sir,” she heard him say. He stepped into view as he came up beside her in front of Robert. The first thing she noticed was how tall he was, his head nearly touched the ceiling. He ran a hand through his dark blonde messy hair as his eyes flickered over to Addison. She turned to face him as he greeted Robert in his chair. She could see a crescent moon shaped scar around his eye.
“Addison Scott, this is Andrew Fletcher, you two will be travelling to Mandy Phillips house to tell her the news of her sister,” Robert told them. Addison glanced at Andrew Fletcher who nodded and left the room. She paused before she followed him, Robert had turned to face the window. She wanted to slam the door behind her, but she stopped herself, she didn’t want to look bad on her first day on the job. She closed it gently.
“I’m guessing you are the new DS on this case. Robert new partner.” Fletcher asked.
“I’m supposed to be his partner, but he’s not very happy about it. I’m sorry you are left with me. We must go and notify Wendy’s family. I’m Addison Scott, thought I’d introduce myself properly.” Addison put her hand out and Fletcher shook it.
“DI Andrew Fletcher, shall we get going?” Fletcher smiled at her. Addison knew she would get along with him much better than Robert. She glanced back into the office window to see him running his hands through his dark brown hair. She grabbed her jacket from her chair and rushed off out after Fletcher. Robert watched out of his office window as Addison got into the car with Fletcher.
“So, what’s up with you and the DCI?” Fletcher asked.
“Honestly, I don’t know. It’s my first day here as a DS and he’s not exactly happy that he’s been partnered up with me. He’s even palming me off on you, which I’m sorry about.” Addison said. Fletcher kept his eyes on the rod but from his peripheral vision, he observed Addison.
“I think we would make a good pair, let’s show Robert how good you really are,” Fletcher replied. Addison glanced at him and he grinned. She smiled realising how good-looking he was, soft, brown eyes that glanced back at her.
“Let’s do it.”
Addison pulled out her notebook to look through all the notes that she had made. “I have a theory that the kids saw the killer’s face. From what we know, he had his face covered, but what if he took it off?” She said.
“Anna and Jake?”
“It’s possible and if they did see his face, then I’d imagine the killer might have threatened them somehow, with something that is important to them.”
“The boy who lives next door to them told me that Anna knows sign language. I think that might be a good route to go down. Find out where she learned it and how long for, why she learnt, who for?”
“That’s good, not many people learn sign language so it’s a good start.”
“Well, there wasn’t a break-in at the house. Wendy must have invited this person inside, so she may have known this person personally.” Addison carried on. “I want to know why he killed her, what was his motive?” She started to rub the white scar on her right wrist.
“That’s what we plan to find out, the sooner, the better.” Fletcher told her.
Addison glanced out of the window trying to push back the memories of her past. Fletcher noticed that she was distracted, so they sat in silence for the rest of the journey.
“Are you sure this is the right place?” Fletcher asked as he pulled into the side of the road. She glanced down to double check the address. Addison got out of the car with Fletcher following close behind. There were drunk people everywhere, in and out of the house, dancing to loud music. They were surprised no one had made a complaint. Everyone saw Fletcher and Addison coming up the walkway to the house, staring at them as they walked by.
“Why is everyone looking at us?” Addison moved closer to Fletcher.
“It’s a house full of junkies. Stay close.” Fletcher ordered. They entered the house and asked around to help them locate the owner. Addison was stunned by the person who approached them, she instantly knew that this was Mandy Phillips. She looked exactly like Wendy, remembering they were twins. Mandy looked a lot thinner, bags under her eyes and a cigarette between her crooked hot pink fingernails.
“I haven’t done anything wrong. If, someone has complained about the music...” Mandy started.
“Mandy, we are here to talk about your sister Wendy,” Fletcher said. There was a short pause before she stumped out her cigarette in an ashtray that sat on a side table beside the sofa.
“Excuse me for a moment,” Mandy Mumbled. Fletcher watched her move towards her DJ, she whispered something into his ear. He picked up the microphone and announced for everyone to leave the house. There were some boos and hisses as they left, but Mandy didn’t care. She picked up a dressing gown from the cupboard and wrapped herself inside it. She sat down on her sofa and invited Addison and Fletcher to sit opposite her.
“She’s dead, right?” Mandy asked.
“How did you...” Addison started.
“How did I know? Wendy is trouble, she probably had a relapse.”
“She was murdered,” Fletcher announced.
“Murdered?” Mandy stood up.
“Yes, she was murdered Ms, Phillips, we wanted to ask you some questions about her social life,” Fletcher asked.
“I don’t know much. She wouldn’t let me see my niece and nephew unless I cleaned myself up. But the urge is too strong, so I stayed well away from her and her family.” She replied as she sat back in her seat, folding one leg over the other.
“You mentioned Wendy relapsing, was she a user?” Addison asked.
“She was, but after having her children, she cleaned herself up. She did well.” Mandy told her.
“Are you a user?” Addison asked.
“Well duh,” Mandy responded sarcastically. Addison sat in silence and let Fletcher carry on. She moved over to the mantelpiece to have a look at Mandy’s photos of her and Wendy when they were children. There was a photo of Wendy and a man with his arm around her, Addison picked it up and showed it to Mandy.
“Who’s this?” Addison asked. She saw the photo and she leaned back on the sofa resting her head back. Addison put the photo back and perched next to Fletcher.
“That’s Michael, Wendy’s first husband.”
“What happened?” Fletcher prompted.
“He beat her up all the time. She filed domestic abuse against him many times, but the police never did anything, I think it was because of the drugs. Eventually, she ran away from him, met someone else and had a family. I’m glad she did, he was a nasty piece of work. I never like Michael.” Mandy explained.
“What’s his full name?”
“Michael Ray,” Mandy said as Addison jotted the name into her notebook. Fletcher looked over her shoulder to see her shorthand writing that he couldn’t understand. “This is a secret between us, I believe Anna was Michael’s kid. Wendy was already pregnant when she ran away, she wanted to save her kid from a father like that. She never planned to tell Anna the truth and I don’t think Michael knew about her.” Mandy mentioned. It was enough to put Michael as a suspect, his motive to murder Wendy. Addison jotted everything down into her notebook and quickly pocketed it. “I saw a dead crow this morning on my way to the corner shop, it’s a sign of death. I never knew it would be Wendy.”
Fletcher glanced down at his phone and then nodded to Addison. She knew it was a sign for them to leave which she was glad.
“We better get going, but if you come up with anything else that could help us don’t hesitate to contact us.” Fletcher left his contact details on her coffee table. They left her house and Addison drew in a deep breath.
“Finally, I’m able to breathe.” They both headed back over to the car. Addison noticed that Mandy was watching out of the window as they left. “What do you think of her story?”
“I believe her.” Fletcher said, opening the car door.
“I want to talk to the children again. Do you think they’ll let me?” Addison asked.
“You’ll have to run it by Robert first. He wants an update on how it went with Mandy if we got anything that was useful.”
“As if he’ll let me, he hates me as it is.” She replied insolently.
“Are they still at the hospital?” Fletcher asked.
“The nurse isn’t going to release them until the social worker traces down Carl Willis, the father. I could ring before arrival to see if they are still there.”
“Make it quick and we will go and see them. We’ll only have a short time.”
“I’ve got a feeling about this. The children are the key, they know something.” Addison expressed. “I’ll give them a quick ring to make sure they are still available at the hospital.” Addison carried on as she shuffled forward pulling her phone out from her pocket. She dialled the number to the children’s ward.
“Hi this is Detective Sergeant Addison Scott, I’m on the case of Wendy Willis who was murdered and wanted to know if Anna and Jake Willis were still available there as I have a few more questions to ask them,” Addison told them. Fletcher watched as she nodded her head to him. Addison hung up the phone. “They said we can have ten minutes with them.”