Crack in the pot
Many years have passed since the murder of Peter Polanski. There have been sensational rumours and every other day a new journalist seems to appear in Essex wanting to meet me and know the intricacies of the notoriety. I have been advised by friends to write it down. Now, I think the time is just right and I am ready to write a detailed account of the story.
It was 3 years ago, When I came to Essex to work at the RUDOLF news agency which was fairly new. As I entered my office I wondered why I had chosen this profession. I have been a journalist for 5 years then and to be honest, I never liked it. What I really like is writing. If only I could be wealthy enough to do just that and not worry about the cash.
Essex is a small town and there wasn’t much happening here. I wished I had come here when the famous Peter Polanski, the hero of the town was in his prime. The town intensely followed everything which the great detective did or said. Must have been a haven for the journalists.
But now, he is a 60-year-old man and the town seems to have mostly forgotten about him. I wished there were more murders and detectives here.
As I walked to the cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee, I overheard my colleagues talk about how Peter Polanski was releasing a book this week. No one seemed to know what it was about!
At that instant, I had decided I would interview him. I grabbed my coat and off I went before any of my colleagues got there.
The Polanski estate was a fascinating place. A beautiful green lawn surrounded the large bungalow. I parked my car across the street. Put on my jacket and stood at the front, looking at the empty lawn.
“What’s your business here? ” I heard as I turned around to see a young woman looking at me.
“Ohh! well I have come to meet Mr Polanski.” I said, “Gotta ask him a few questions about the book”
"“I am Penelope Polanski. So you must be a journalist? what’s your name?” she asked
“I am James Wilson from The Yorkshire Times. ” I said in a haste hoping the famous newspaper company would save the day for me.
“So, you must have an appointment with dad. Let’s go inside ” she said as she walked me to the front gate and led me into the lawn.
She piloted me to a chair and went into the house.
As I sat on the lawn chair I concocted a story of how my wallet was stolen and how sorry I was that I couldn’t show them my business card, well I had to be prepared since I was going to lie to a detective!
Then, A handsome middle-aged women with short white hair walked towards me.
“Hello! Mr James. I am Barbara Polanski, we spoke yesterday.” she said as she sat down, “I thought you wouldn’t be able to make it today. glad you are here”
“Ohh!? well! I rushed here to meet Peter Polanski.” I said, “I had to!!”
She poured tea and she spoke of how busy she was, preparing for her husband’s book launch.
I was quite relieved now since she didn’t suspect me and whoever this journalist from Yorkshire was I thought I would forever be indebted to him and grateful to my parents for giving me one of the most common names in Europe.
But as I was getting comfortable in my chair, a figure turned up from nowhere. He was an old man with small round eyes.
“Ohh!! Peter sit down,” Barbara said cheerfully as she made tea.
“This is Mr James, from Yorkshire times,” said Barbara Polanski
“This is a pleasure, Mr James,” said Peter Polanski as we shook hands.
I couldn’t believe my eyes!! This was Peter Polinski!? I was distinctly glad that I came here.
He didn’t have the aura of a movie star- he was just an old man. I liked that. It heightened my first impression of him as a silent observer who drew no attention to himself. Allowing people to be themselves and reveal themselves.
“It’s an honour to meet you, sir.” I said, “I am a huge fan of yours. I have always secretly wanted to be a detective like you, solve crimes and always be on an adventure.”
“Ohh! It does seem like an adventure but when you are involved in the process, it’s just like any other exciting job” said Peter as he sipped his tea and smiled.
“Well then, I shall excuse myself.” said barbara “I have to call the decorators and decorate the lawn ” as she went straight into the bungalow.
Then, I began asking Peter about himself - what was his upbringing like and how did he end up as a detective.
Whilst I was interviewing Peter, a young man entered the lawn. I wondered if this was John Polanski, who was Peter’s son and known for being a gambler and a total man-child. He looked at me as he passed and didn’t speak a word. He gaze was singular. I wondered what had happened to him. Just then, the teapot fell over but neither Peter nor I had knocked it.
“Ohh!! it is okay Mr Polanski I will take care of it,” I said and quickly descended to collect the pieces of the broken pot. To my amazement, it only had a crack in the middle.
“Isn’t the crack in the pot a bad sign...“, I thought to myself as I carefully placed it on the table.