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Murder Behind The Lines

By Shona Howie All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Thriller

The Detective

Major Jones stood in the shade of the ambulance as the black Chaika pulled up beside him. He watched as the man inside drank from a whiskey flask before putting it into his jacket pocket and stepped out of the car,

“Detective,” Major Jones addressed him, “I am Commanding Officer Major Robert Jones of the 5th regiment stationed in Singapore. But you will formally address me as sir.” The Detective, who had his hands firmly resting in his pockets, gave him a slight nod then continued himself, “Good to meet you sir. I am Military Police Personnel Detective Inspector Edward Hunt, you will call me Detective Hunt. Please don’t call me by any other name as it is how I am formally addressed.” The Major stood for a moment taking in the Detective’s slightly sarcastic tone before continuing,

“This way Detective” Major Jones said simply before lead Detective Hunt across the veranda and into a large, light room with a high ceiling. The Detective started taking in the scene before being interrupted by Major Jones, “Let me introduce Government Land Agent John Howie and Army Cleric, Father Christopher Miles”

“Military Police Inspector Edward Hunt,” The Detective replied.

“I thought you would be a Detective,” John stated.

“I am but I like to mix and match the title, Detective can get rather boring after a while.” said the Detective,

“Remember Detective Hunt,” Major Jones said interrupting him once more, “we are the army so one name will do.”

“Well then Detective Hunt,” Father Miles′ interjected, “Would you like to start inspecting instead of sarcastically making comments and finding out whether others like whiskey as much as you do?” Detective Hunt turned to look at Father Miles.

“Oh I shall starting inspecting father, shall I start by inspecting you?” The Detective said boldly.

“Inspect all you like, I have nothing to hide,” Father Miles replied. He and Detective Hunt held eye contact for a moment.

“Perhaps you can inspect us later. It′s just right now there is a man over there who, if you haven’t noticed already Detective, is dead.” John interrupted,

“Yes of course” The Detective said agreeing with John’s statement, “death now, life later. After all death is the bigger mystery, isn’t that right father?” John placed a hand on Father Miles to stop him continuing what would have be an aggravating yet exciting conversation. Meanwhile Major Jones followed Detective Hunt to the motionless figure in the centre of the room. He knelt next to the tall man lain upon the boards with the Major beside him. Barely touching him Hunt started by looking the man up and down muttering as he did so,

“6 foot 4 inches, early to mid 30′s, married, no bruising or wounds so he didn’t fall, pale skin.” The Detective smiled quietly to himself, “He was poisoned,” he turned and pulled the man onto his other side, “his muscles aren’t paralysed.” The Detective then proceeded to hit the back of the man’s knee. Nothing happened.“So he’s not paralysed but his nervous system has shut down. Who was he?” The Detective asked addressing Major Jones.

“He was a Naval Commanding Officer, Aidan Jefferson,” The Major replied.

“So he was a Major?” Detective Hunt questioned.

“Lieutenant Colonel,” Major Jones corrected him.

“Lieutenant Colonel?” The Detective smirked as he spoke, he then let out a little laugh and looked at everyone, “So he’s more senior than all of you?”

“Yes that’s right,” Major Jones replied. The Detective stood up and took out his whiskey, after taking a swig he carried on,

“Look at you. The Officer, the Cleric and the land agent. One of you is a murderer!”

“One of us?” The Cleric inquired,

“Haven’t you seen it? The scrapings on the door frame, made when the door is forced open and the lock is still across. Then there’s the windows, locked and no signs of breakages. True in the hot climate they would have been open but to jump from such a hight to the floor, the murderer would have been badly injured. So now we′re left with a locked room mystery,” The Detective spoke with a clearly excited tone.

“That still doesn’t mean one of us did it!” pipes up the Cleric.

“No no, that’s the beauty of it. A murder of a high ranking Officer in a locked room, so where is the police, where’s the story in the paper?” the Detective mocked.

“This is the army, not the local people,” John said.

“Exactly. Why not report a murder? Why not call the police but an MP Detective Inspector? Because you’re the army, you are the ones who don’t even tell family’s if their son or daughter is dead until months after that fatal bullet was fired into the soldiers skull.” The Detective’s voice became almost ex-static as he raised his whiskey flask towards Major Jones before continuing, “Her Majesties armed forces are renowned for being very organised, strict and structured. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was only the four of us that know this has even happened. I mean if there was anything strong enough to successfully commit and cover up a murder it would be you lot. Poison, easy enough to get hold of, and disposing of it would be hilariously simple.”

The Detective paused for a moment before taking a swig of his whiskey and carrying on,“I bloody love the army. Protect the country and God save the queen. The Detective shot John Howie a glance before walking to the door, “Good to meet you all. Try not to kill anyone while I’m gone.” And with his last words the Detective walked out the door.

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