Spook Dog (next bit)
By Ed Crane
- 78 reads
Darren watches Bush squeezing himself into blue plastic overalls which look only marginally looser than a condom.
‘You might want to wait outside while I go around the back, Lad.’
‘They run out of coveralls?
‘No, but there might be consequences.’
‘You think it’s dangerous?’
‘For you maybe.’
Darren bristles. ‘Why for me?’
Jeff checks no one’s around. ‘We’ve been taken off the case. That’s what the call was about. The NCA want it. I’m already out of order. The DSO’s on board so I have some elbow room, but if upstairs know you’re here you can kiss goodbye to being anything other than DC . . . if you’re lucky.
‘NCA? Who? . . . Ah, the National Crime—’ frowns. ‘What? . . . MI5?’
‘Dunno if they’re involved. Fucking hope not. I’m supposed to wrap this all up and get the CSM’s team out now.’
‘Why didn’t you . . . Jeff?’
‘The dog. It doesn’t hang right. If the NCA want this it’s likely a surveillance operation gone tits up, but they never end this way. When targets realise they’ve been sussed they disappear. Melt away as quick and quiet as they can before surveillance knows they know. Leaving a dog with its brains blown out for all to see? They just don’t do that.’
‘Blowing a dog’s face off in public is going to create a lot of interest. If the papers get hold of it . . . shit storm.’
‘You’re right, Lad. That’s probably what they’re doing, trying to create a sensation making it nigh impossible to cover up. While the spooks turn themselves in knots they have more time to clear up and get out. Probably the dog’s a message. “Fuck you,” or something like it. Listen, Darren you better get your arse out of here while you can.’
‘You’ve already told me about it.’
‘No I haven’t. I’ve just got the call and I’m kicking you out, NOW. Go back to the station and write up your report. You’re smart I can see that. So be smart. Don’t risk throwing your career away ‘cos of me. C’mon fuck off. I’ll fill you in later, and make a copy of your report.’
‘OK, Boss. I get it, but I’d love to see the rest of this.’ Peed off shrug. Turns to go then stops. ‘You know what? There’s no blood in here.’
‘Have you seen the dog?’
‘Mrs. Darlington, said there was blood all over the place, but there’s none in here. I mean if they shot it outside they’d have woke the street up. Definitely the woman. She seems the nosy type, but she didn’t say she heard a bang.’
‘Bugger it. How’d I miss that? The bloody phone call distracted me. Well I can’t look at it now, Caroline’s waiting in the garden. . . . Do you have a phone on you?’ Darren flips an Apple out of his coat. ‘Good, when you go out get a couple of pictures around the area the dog was found. If the body’s not been bagged yet all the better.’ Jab’s phone. ‘Text this number now and send the photos to me when you get in your car.’ Darren thumbs an OK, Jeff’s phone beeps.’ Thanks, Lad good work. Now go.’
Still wearing his protective gear, Darren motions the sergeant from the entrance.
‘DCI Bush asked me to check the dog, Sergeant.’
’Wouldn’t be better if he looked. Constable?’
Ignores snide remark, ‘He’s busy outside with Mrs. Saunders’ team.’
‘He’s under that sheeting.’ Nods to a plastic tent affair next to Darren.
Gently pulling back the cover, Darren peers in and reaches for his phone. The smell of blood mixed with wet dog greets his nostrils. Rather than getting queasy he’s relieved the smell of shit he expects is absent.
Ten minutes later Jeff receives a small gallery of grim, but interesting shots. Mrs. “Call me Helen” appeared to have exaggerated until Jeff realised she meant the blood was all over the dog. The animal had (as Helen said) a bloody great hole in his head. Two in fact, small in, large out. It’d fallen on the exit side and lain for some time in the liquid gushing from it. Around the body there were just smears on the ground where it had been dragged against the wall. The unfortunate canine was killed somewhere else hours before being dumped. To Jeff, and of course Darren, that meant somewhere there was a huge stain of dog blood.
Outside the chatty Battenburg SUV is gone. A similarly chequered minivan is in its place, the occupants now busy extending the area behind the tape or fending off questions from residents and local hacks.
Sitting in his car, Darren finishes sending pictures decides the last thing he wants to do is go straight back to the station. He decides to Peruse of the route taken by Mr. Heron and the dog looking for signs of property with privately owned CCTV cameras, with luck he might even stumble on signs of a struggle or a big patch of dried blood. Before he can set off there’s a tap on the window framing Helen’s face.
‘Are you going now, ‘cos my Harry finishes his shift soon and he’ll need the space.’
‘I’ll be off in a few minutes Mrs. Darlington.’
‘OK thanks, Son. What’ll I say to the bloke from paper over there?’ Points to student type in a Barbour jacket. ‘He asked me if I saw anything.’
‘Don’t say anything. Tell him I said he should wait until the police make a statement.’
‘So I shouldn’t say about the dog?’
‘Definitely not, Helen.’ Smiles and winks.
‘Oh . . . Oh OK I won’t then.’ Blushes.
Pulling out of the drive, Darren knew by the time he got to the junction with Dover street – a hundred yards away – the headlines “LOCAL DOG DIES IN MYSTERY SHOOTING” were already being typed into computers in news agencies all over town.
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authentic enough for headline
authentic enough for headline mystery dog death a bowser.
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