Barry’s Fairy Story
“Are you actually kidding me?!” Sergeant Peacock erupted,
“Sorry boss” Constable Dodds, the taller of the two men, shifted uneasily as his superior continued,
“People died here Barry!” The Sergeant’s voice was full of anger and frustration, “A whole family up in flames under suspicious circumstances and now you tell me some Banksy-wannabe-gobshite has slipped in and done this under our noses. Where were you?”
“I heard a noise” Dodds replied meekly, gesturing over to the far end of the burned-out hallway,
“And what? You waved them through? Gave him a little pat on his head and said ‘On you go you cheeky scamp?’ Give me strength!”
“I heard a noise over there and went to investigate,” Dodds tried again, speaking slowly and deliberately in order to try to calm the Sergeant down, “When I got back this was on the wall, honestly Ray, I can’t have been gone more than five minutes.”
What was on the wall was the silhouette of a young girl in pig-tails reaching for the light switch in what appeared to be black spray paint. Under other circumstances it could be thought-provoking but the only thoughts it was provoking from the two officers who had been left to secure the crime scene were ones of panic and concern for their careers. Both men stood staring at the vandalism for a brief moment before the Sergeant interrupted the drumming of the rain on the roof of the charred house with a long intake of breath followed by a sigh,
“Right,” He paused, scratching his bearded chin while organising his thoughts, “Putting aside for the minute that the crime scene’s been ours less than twelve hours and the fire brigade’re never gonna let us hear the end of this. The Chief Constable is going to need an explanation.”
“I’ve told you what happened,” Dodds insisted, “There was a weird noise… Hang on!”
“It’s raining!” His companion declared triumphantly.
“Bloody hell Barry” The Sergeant was beginning to wonder what he’d done to deserve this.
“No, listen, it’s raining… But there aren’t any footprints leading to the painting! How do you explain that? Unless…”
“Barry, if I have to go to the Chief with one of your bloody fairy stories I swear to God you’ll finally be able to put the whole ghost thing to rest because I’ll make you into one!” The ferocity of that rant had even surprised Ray himself, but he had no patience for Barry’s occult nonsense at the best of times, never mind when he was going to have to explain how the scene of a brutal arson attack had been spectacularly violated on his watch.
“Right, I’m going to step out and see if I can see any signs of a break in from the outside. You stay here and try not to let the rest of the town in.”
“Right boss,” Barry said sheepishly, staring at the ground.
Sergeant Peacock opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it, there was no sense in kicking the man while he was down.
As the stocky frame of his Sergeant disappeared from view, Barry was almost certain that he heard a child’s laughter in the distance. He didn’t dare call out to his angry superior, so instead he gritted his teeth, tightened his grip on his torch and promised himself that he wouldn’t go any further into the house.