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The Detective and the Boy

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I entered the room, “Jamie honey, what are you doing here?” my aunt asked. I knew how hard she’d been trying to act normally over the last few hours, I’d seen her crying just after she’d spoken to the police for the first time. But she stopped as soon as she saw me. The man she was talking to now was tall and thin, with a bored expression on his face.





“Why did this happen to him?” she asked, her voice barely a whisper.
“We don’t know.” he said in a tone that suggested he may have told her this already
“But you’re the police, you must be able to tell me something!” My aunt was almost in tears as she said this.
“I’m sorry, I have to wait for the forensics before I can tell you anything.”
The man did not look sorry. I could tell my aunt was thinking the same thing.



“When did you last see your husband Mrs Johnson?”

“I told you, I saw him just minutes before poor Jamie found him.”
At that they both turned to me as though they’d only just remembered my existence.
“This is the boy that found Mr Johnson?” he asked
“Yes. He’s coping brilliantly.” My aunt said, her voice trembling. I decided it was the right time to pose my question:




“Who killed Uncle James?”
My aunt’s eyes widened.

“Oh, Jamie,” my Aunt gasped
“nobody killed your uncle, it was a tragic accident. Isn’t that right Detective?”



“Uh…” said the detective uneasily. At that, Aunt Elizabeth burst into tears.




I decided it was time to leave.

?


DI Richards


I arrived at the house. Another murder, another family to deal with. James Johnson; fifty six years old, died from a blow to his head. I knocked on the door. A woman in her fifties answered it and attempted to smile. She spoke before I had the chance.




“You must be Detective Richards.”




“Yes.” I said quickly “You’ve already had officers in, I take it?”





“Yes, they told us not to touch him.” Her voice wavered at the last two words.




“Good. Who found the body?”




“It was my nephew. He’s a slightly unusual boy.” What was that supposed to mean?





“Okay, I need to see the crime scene.”




“Yes, James…the body is in the sitting room.”
The woman led me through the house. It was big with plush carpets and old paintings. I tried to keep the distaste from my face. We reached a large room filled with two chairs, an antique looking coffee table and yet more oil paintings. No TV. The corpse was sitting in an armchair to my left and it would have looked peaceful were it not for its open, staring eyes and the ugly gash on the back of its head.





“At what time was he found?”




“About nine thirty this morning, I think.”
I checked my watch 12:04. At that moment a boy entered and stood just inside the door “Jamie honey, what are doing here?” the woman said anxiously.“Why did this happen to him?” she demanded, turning to the detective,




“We don’t know" I insist,




“But you’re the police, you must be able to tell me something” What did she want me to say?





“I’m sorry, I have to wait for the forensics before I can tell you anything.” I said calmly. She didn’t reply so I continued with my original question:




"When did you last see your husband Mrs Johnson?”




“I told you, I saw him just minutes before poor Jamie found him.”





I didn’t remember her telling me anything so I just asked another question.




“this is the boy that found Mr Johnson?”




Yes. He’s coping brilliantly.” Why was she telling me about the kid?





“Who killed Uncle James?” This was the kid. I had to stop myself from smiling, he’d asked the only important question




“Oh, Jamie” The woman sounded distraught “Nobody killed your uncle, it was a tragic accident. Isn’t that right Detective?” An accident? Wishful thinking much?





“Uh…” I said. What could I have told her? I couldn’t lie.
The boy left. I told the woman that the forensics would be round soon and then followed his example, promising to be back with some answers just as soon as I had them. Just another day.



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