10 comments

Crime Funny Thriller

“You mean we are trapped here?”

“I’m sorry inspector. I have tried. I just haven’t been able to get through to the mainland. I can’t get a signal.”

“Aye, sergeant, I feared as much. So that means we are trapped in this lighthouse, miles from the mainland in the middle of Storm Florence with six scout leaders, one of whom is almost certainly a murderer.”

“Almost certainly, inspector?”

“Aye, I think we can rule out suicide as the dead lighthouse-keeper was shot through the back and then had his head chopped off with a ceremonial sword before being ritually disembowelled with a harpoon.”

“I see what you mean, inspector, at least that rules out poisoning so we don’t have to wait for a post-mortem and the toxicology report?”

“True. I can feel in my bones that this is murder.”

“Inspector, have you tried using your mobile?”

“Unfortunately my mobile has run out of power and I forgot to bring the charger. I was just trying to finish my cup of coffee and a slice of Dundee cake when we got the call.”

“The bad news is that the storm is getting worse, inspector.”

“Even worse? Are you sure?”

“However, when I checked the weather forecast this morning back at the office, inspector, it said that Storm Florence would be over by 7am tomorrow.”

“Just under 12 hours to try to figure out who the murderer is. As my old granny used to say, the proof of the haggis is in the eating. And the fact that we can’t get a signal means that we can’t contact HQ and get any details of any of the suspects. We don’t even know if any of them have a criminal record. This calls for some old-fashioned policing.”

“You mean beating up the suspects till they tell us what happened?”

“No I mean interviewing the suspects, examining all the clues and reaching a solution. As Sherlock Holmes used to say, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. And if that doesn’t work then we beat up the suspects.”

I turned the TV to mute for the advert break. These were always endless, getting on my nerves and disrupting the narrative of the programme. And this was my favourite programme – “The Lighthouse Murders”. I never missed an episode. Every week there was a different murder in the lighthouse and Inspector McMorse and his trusty sidekick Sergeant Thick had to work out who the killer was. It was fantastic. Setting a TV detective show in a lighthouse was such a genius idea. Some people said it was unrealistic but that is total nonsense. It may not have been as popular as Midsummer Murders but it was just as realistic.

To be honest I am a bit of a detective show fan. I particularly like those shows where a talented amateur helps the police to work out who the murderer is. But I also like the shows where the police themselves have to do all the work. I like shows where you can guess who the murderer is but you don’t actually know till you get to the final scene and then you find out.

When the programme was over I would go back to playing my favourite board game – yes, you’ve guessed it - Cluedo. It was supposed to be played with a group of 3 or 4 people but I had worked out a way of playing it by myself. I was pretty pleased. For me a good game of Cluedo was like a good detective story and a good detective story was like a good crossword and a good crossword was like a….

Oh, the ads were coming to an end so I turned the sound back up. At that moment my mobile rang. I turned the sound down again.

“Oh mum, why are you ringing at this time? You know I’m watching The Lighthouse Murders.”

“I don’t know why you watch that rubbish.”

“It’s not rubbish.”

“It is a complete load of rubbish.”

“Where were you between 1pm and 6pm this evening?” asked Inspector McMorse. I had ended the phone call from mum and turned the TV sound up. He was interviewing one of the scout leaders, Malcolm.

“Here in the lighthouse. Well, at 1pm we were all enjoying a sandwich lunch. It was Ok but I’m 75% vegetarian so I would have preferred a better range of choices for the vegetarian options. There was cheese, cheese and tomato, cheese and onion, cheese and Marmite….”

“Don’t mess me about, laddy. I’m not interested in what kind of sandwiches you had. I’m interested in your relationship to the dead man.”

“We didn’t have a relationship. I didn’t know the man. I only met him at 10am this morning. We arrived all together. You see we are here for a recce of this place to see how safe it is and whether it is a suitable venue for a party of young scouts to visit.”

“What conclusion have you come to?”

“It seems absolutely fine. Well, apart from a rather brutal murder but I suppose it is unlikely that lightning would strike twice.”

At that point there was a loud crash of thunder and lightning.

And at that very moment the programme stopped. The screen went blank. No sound. No picture. Nothing.

I banged the side of the TV set. Nothing. It was so annoying that the TV reception had gone at such a vital moment in the programme. I knew I would have to take a look at the satellite dish outside but a storm was starting to build up. I decided it would be better to wait till it had died down in a few hours. Anyway, I had work to do. 450 steps to climb. Then a full maintenance check on the light to make sure it was working properly. I wanted to make sure that no ships would run aground tonight while Storm Frederico raged all around my lighthouse. Heigh-ho!

March 06, 2024 13:07

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

10 comments

Kailani B.
18:20 Mar 14, 2024

Haha! I love it! Such a creative idea and the twists are perfect. Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Paul Simpkin
08:05 Mar 20, 2024

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
James Moore
07:25 Mar 11, 2024

Interesting take on this prompt, enjoyable read. Good job.

Reply

Paul Simpkin
06:52 Mar 12, 2024

Thanks very much for your feedback.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
23:45 Mar 10, 2024

This was an entertaining and unexpected read. Are you Scottish?

Reply

Paul Simpkin
06:52 Mar 12, 2024

Thanks. No I’m not Scottish. I was born in Manchester.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tom Skye
16:24 Mar 10, 2024

This was a funny read. Great work

Reply

Paul Simpkin
06:52 Mar 12, 2024

Great. Thank you.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Alexis Araneta
16:02 Mar 10, 2024

Paul, such a creative take with a gripping opener. Lovely !

Reply

Paul Simpkin
06:53 Mar 12, 2024

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.