I gasped as I opened my curtains this morning and saw my next door neighbour lying naked on his lawn face down, covered in blood. Well, I presumed it was my next door neighbour by the fact that he had short dark hair, like my neighbour, and that the body was in his back garden. Not that I recognised his naked backside or anything. Who else could it be? I called the police immediately, and they arrived within ten minutes, immediately cordoning off the area.
Half an hour later, a young good looking detective came to interview me. He said his name was DS Markham.I told him everything I knew, which was nothing, except for having seen the body when I had undrawn my curtains. He asked if I had heard anything?
“No,” I replied. “I slept soundly after falling asleep watching TV when I went to bed.”
“Could anyone corroborate that?” he asked.
“No, I live alone.” Surely he didn’t think I was a suspect?
“Do you possess a big kitchen knife?”
“Well, of course I do. Doesn’t everyone?”
“Do you mind if we take a look in your kitchen?” he asked politely, while he was walking towards my kitchen anyway.
He looked at the knife block on the surface beside the hob, then he opened the drawers below.
“There seems to be a large knife missing from the block,” he said. “Where is it?”
I looked puzzled.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “It was there last night when I washed up. I’m sure I would have put it back.” I rummaged through the drawers myself, confused, trying to remember the events of last night.
It was Sunday, so last night was Saturday night. I had cooked myself a nice meal: steak and chips, with mushrooms, onion rings and tomatoes. I would have used the kitchen knife to chop the potatoes and the onions. I looked in the bin. Had I been distracted and thrown the knife into the bin with the peelings? It wasn’t there. The bin was empty. I looked in the recycling bin. Where was the empty bottle of wine I had drunk? I must have already emptied the kitchen bins. I didn’t remember doing that.
“I’m afraid we are going to have to search through your bins,” the officer said as he radioed through to “Boss”, as he called him.
“That’s okay.” I said, relieved that I wasn’t going to have to do the job.
A few minutes later DI Moss came through the front door, introducing himself while holding up a plastic bag containing a large knife, all bloodstained.
“Is this your knife Mrs Roberts?”
“Well, it looks like it,” I stuttered incredulously.
“Mrs Roberts, I am afraid I am going to have to arrest you under suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defense if you do not mention …”
At this point I felt faint, and heard nothing more. My head was buzzing. It felt like it was going to explode. There must be some mistake. How could this be happening? Why couldn’t I remember anything after washing up last night? I know I had drunk the whole bottle of wine, but surely I didn’t pass out after that. I drink a bottle every Saturday night, no problem. A bottle of wine usually helps me to sleep.
DS Markham bundled me into their car and as they drove me to the police station I racked my brains to remember the film I had gone to bed to watch. No, I couldn’t remember a thing, not even the title. I must have dropped off immediately my head hit the pillow.
DS Markham ushered me into the interview room. Then in came DI Moss, who turned on the tape and sat beside DS Markham, opposite me. The duty solicitor was sitting next to me, giving me an encouraging smile.
To be continued…
Creative writing homework February 2016:- A short story from the first line prompt “I gasped as I opened my curtains this morning and saw …”
Thoughts on the possible development of this story:-
At the police station it was discovered during various interviews that:-
- I had an affair with next door neighbour years ago, which I ended, so why would I have killed him? And why would I have put the knife somewhere the police would be sure to find it?
- Next door neighbour was a womanising dodgy car dealer who had made multiple enemies, so plenty would have had a motive to kill him
- Next door neighbour’s wife, my best friend, knew her husband was having affairs, so why would she have killed him at this point in time? But did she know that I had an affair with him?
- Next door neighbour’s wife had a key to my house so she could feed my cat when I was away, which gave her the ideal opportunity to come into my house and take the kitchen knife, and cover it with next door’s blood to incriminate me. The key fob with my name on it was kept on her key hanger in her kitchen, which anyone could have taken and used. But it was missing.
- My still friendly ex-husband had an axe to grind with my neighbour over a car he had bought from him, and also had a spare key to my house. But why would he try to incriminate me?
- Next door neighbour had also recently had an affair with the woman two doors down the street. Was he still involved with her?
- He had also been having an affair with his secretary, who he had sacked last week, after she threatened to tell his wife. Was she blackmailing him?