Thursday, 8 June 2017

Excerpt from the Diary of Suspect A

[Media prompt] Terminally ill man arrested after plotting to kill 3 doctors.
Excerpt from the Diary of Suspect A

I left the house at 10:00 a.m. to meet Ethan Cohen at the Owl Barn. My car was being serviced, so I took the train instead. It was six stops and then a short walk from the station to the bookshop, and it took me about thirty minutes to get there.
I had never even heard of Ethan Cohen before he called me two days before, asking to meet me so we could talk about the murders. At first I demurred. I could add nothing to the accounts I had already read in the paper. But he was persistent, telling me the Bickerton Bugle was working on a new angle. In the end I said yes.

The Owl Barn was in an old neighbourhood, the only business in an upscale residential development. Some of the houses nearby had walls and wrought iron gates. Kurt Waller, the actor, lived in the next street. The whole area had been forest once, and there were still original trees, some of them hundreds of years old, in gardens and on the verges. With dappled sunlight shining on fallen leaves, the area looked like the set of a perfect neighbourhood for a family film.

Some of the streets in this part of town were narrow and one way, but Sumter Street, where the Owl Barn was, had bicycle lanes, which made it wider than average. When Mrs. McCoy leased the building, about ten years ago, there were rumblings it would hurt property prices. I wasn’t surprised to see the bookshop and café prosper, or the local support it now received. Rich people tend to be resistant to change.

I arrived early, and was seated in a comfortable recliner near the window with my coffee when Ethan entered. He was a short, slender man wearing a grey suit too large for him. The gap between his neck and buttoned up collar was loose enough for two fingers, which made his head seem larger than it was. There were at least ten other customers, but he spotted me immediately. I raised my hand in confirmation, and was about to stand when he yelled something I didn’t catch and collapsed onto the floor.

It was only later, after the police arrived, that I saw the blood on his coat. It had started to cake dry, a dark stain in the middle of his back.

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