It was a ‘whodunnit’ of Hercule-Poirot-ean proportions, but viler and more violent than Ms Christie tended to write.
As a rapid response paramedic, Tom was used to seeing the gore and guts of a situation gone badly awry, and was even used to milling around with the ‘boys in blue’ (black, these days, with luminous yellow overlay, bulletproof vests, and Tazers) whilst the death was officialised and crime scene photographs taken before the body was removed to the mortuary.
But he wasn’t used to the sleepy silence of this village being shattered by the blaring presence of emergency vehicles, media trucks, and their itinerant hoards. He wasn’t used to the idea that the men and women he’d grown up with were all under suspicion, now packed into the village hall ready for interviews, storms of mutinous outrage whirling across their heads; thundering voices punctuating the conversation with old prejudices, whilst the bunting outside – forlorn standards of the village fete – hung limply in the sunset.
His spirit baulked at the thought that any of those good, middle-class people had anything to do with what had happened overnight, but he couldn’t deny that there was an undertone of steely secrecy in their demeanours, coupled with a guarded and surly refutation of any knowledge of the facts.
It was, however, a fact that there had been a murder most foul, leaving a young, brown body cloven in two across the steps of the war memorial – and someone knew something about it.
Many thanks to Ivy and her wonderful Six Sentence Stories prompt ‘Standard’
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