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Dec 17, 2020

Contemporary Mystery Suspense

DCI Corey Frapes's fingers tap the keyboard with forceful speed, words streaming onto the crime case report template filling the screen. His cup of coffee sits cold and curdled. 

DS Ingrid Smuthy's brow furrows, noting the DCI behind his closed door. She stands like a statue, peering through the glass door, her fingers folded, prepared to rap. 

"Ingrid, want some advice?"

She turns, facing Constable Eric Hum.

"Spill it."

"He doesn't like to be interrupted while writing — trust me — won't be pretty."

Ingrid glances towards the still closed door then walks from the main office, down the three flights to the main floor, tapping on an interview door before clicking 'occupied' and entering. 

She has chosen this particular room as it is, in her estimation, 'the least objectionable room to talk with a witness, one who had voluntarily come forward. The woman sits on one side of the small rectangular table, facing the door, her nose shoved in a novel — a mystery. Ingrid sees a clear view of her large oval green eyes, high cheekbones, full lips framed by a greying shaggy pixie when this woman raises her head. Ingrid places her, though well-preserved, at an age in that nebulous range of the mid-forties-to-late fifties. 

"Hi. I'm DS Ingrid Smuthy. I apologize for keeping you waiting. I understand you have some information relating to a current, the Tegan Lexor crime that is, investigation."

"Yes, I do. Let me introduce myself, I'm Catlyn Moore."

She extends her small hand across the table, gripping and shaking Ingrid's with surprising strength. 

"Catlyn, I'll be taking notes for you to review and sign."

"Any way I can help."

"You shared with our intake officer that you have information concerning the Lexar case. What is your connection to this matter?"

"I have come upon evidence that you may not know."

"Evidence?"

"Mmm."

"What specifically did you see or hear relating to this case?"

"Well, I know a friend of a friend who is a font of information that you may not have access to."

"This sounds like here-say."

"Mmm."

"Do you have anything concrete that is relevant to this case?"{

"I have proof, evidence that Jame Nicholson could not have committed this crime."

"Based on chit-chat from busy neighbours and acquaintances."

"Based on careful questioning, excellent listening skills, superb documentation of the details. I've got a running record and analysis to show you."

Catlyn bends over to pick up her crimson leather tote, slipping her hand inside then grasping a leather-bound notebook, she opens to a bookmarked page.

"Myrtle Beadow heard from Fred Vimes that…"

"Ms. Moore!" Ingrid's voice booms in the small space, "You do realize that there are significant, serious consequences for wasting police time."

"I would not be sitting here, now, if I did not fully understand and appreciate this reality. I would have thought you'd be more interested in continuing to look for the guilty party instead of laying the blame on Jame Nicholson."

Ingrid breathed loudly through her nose, exhaling with vehemence through her mouth. Pinkness tinged her cheeks. 

"Okay, so what, " Ingrid's eyes scan over her handwritten notes, "did Fred Vimes tell Myrtle Beadow?"

"Good for you, trust your gut, your DCI will be impressed."

"I DO not need you to tell me about my DCI."

Ingrid watches as Catlyn clicks a mechanical pencil, printing with precision a notation. Reading upside down, Ingrid notices that the date, the time, her direct quotation is followed by, 'impatient, fearful, I wonder why?'

"Ah, here is my note: 'Fred told Myrtle that he saw Jame Nicholson's car parked outside his office on the night he was purportedly committing the crime."

"Catlyn," Ingrid pursed lips spits out, " we do know this already. We are not totally without facts and investigative skills."

"But, did you know that Fred snuck into Jame's office, he always leaves his front door open when he's in the office. Fred sat on a portable seat, the one he uses when he paints, and took timed and dated photographs of Jame at his desk, on his phone, on his computer, until 19:00 hours. He also completed a lovely still life."

"Catlyn, I need you to wait here. Okay?"

"DS…"

"DS Smuthy…"

Catlyn smiles and nods, "DS Smuthy, I have people to see and places to be, so, NO, the does not work for me." She flips open the cover of her book, withdrawing an embossed card, handing it face-down onto the tabletop.

Ingrid slides the card towards her, flipping it over, reading:

Catlyn Moore

Author

Amateur Sleuth

Caitlyn_M_@gmail.com

"DS Smuthy, this has been an interesting experience. I presume I am FREE to GO."

Ingrid mutely nods, watching in silence as Catlyn, bag secure, walks with purpose from the room.

"Open or closed?:

"What?"

"I am asking do you want this door open or closed?"

"Closed, thank you."

Alone in the room, Ingrid cradles her head in her hands, listening to her hammering heart thumping more and more erratically. Sitting up straight, clipping her pen inside her logbook, Ingrid stands up, pushing the two chairs into the table, then walking to the door, plods up to the office, staring with dread at DCI Frape's still-closed door.

"Tempting fate,"

Constable Hum's words interrupt her reverie. 

Rap-Rap-Rap

Corey raises his head, his eyes hooded and reddened, his lips thinning. His hand waves an invitation to Ingrid.

"Yes?!"

"Sir, I need to speak with you about the information I just received about the Lexar case."

"Smuthy: that case is closed, I'm about to print off the case report. We've got the guilty party." He slaps his palms together.

"I DO think you need to hear what I have just learned."

"Okay, Impress me."

"May I sit down?"

Corey shrugs his shoulders. Ingrid sits on the rigid plastic chair, opening her logbook on her lap, reading from her notes, leaning Corey to look at the tidy part in her blonde hair. 

"You think this Catlyn Moore is credible?"

"Yes."

"Shit!"

"Well Sir, it's good we uncovered this evidence before we involved the Crown."

"Ingrid, I do adore your positivity."

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