Person, Human, Beach, Dull, Atmosphere, Alone, Grey

“Can you describe the suspect?” the officer asked.

“He was about six feet tall, and had a grey hoodie and a ball cap.”

“Any other distinguishing features?”

“Bald,” the victim said.

“But I thought you said he had a hoodie and cap,” the investigator challenged.

“The cap, it said “BALD” on it.



Tale Weaver – #315 – Mystery – The Bald Man

The Runner (Part 1)

Keyboard, Typing, Computer, Computing

Bella De Bryn was a competent investigator. She was good at finding people, and finding people she. It was her job. Most of her cases involved tracing beneficiaries cited in wills, or tracking the whereabouts of absentee fathers with support payments in arrears, but sometimes she got a really interesting case. This didn’t look like it was going to be one of those cases.

Bella’s firm was contracted by the sister of a young woman who the police believed to have been a “runner,” as she had left her flat and and most of her possessions behind. “Most of her possessions” is an accurate description if by it you mean that her second hand furniture and mismatched dishes are key possessions. Several day’s change of clothing, toiletries, and her passport were however nowhere to be found. More importantly in the police’s analysis of the situation was the abusive on again off again boyfriend, and a couple of maxed out credit cards she also left behind.

When the file fell on Bela’s desk, she was far from impressed. This would be boring, a bit tedious, and worse of all not a big commission.

De Bryn was a Rhodesian by birth, who came to the UK via South Africa. She was five-foot-three inches tall, matronly, and wore her glasses librarian-style on a chain around her neck. She was not what you might imagine a “private eye” to look like. Here looks and friendly manner however opened doors for her though as she didn’t pose a threat in the minds of her quarries or their associates. Most importantly, however, Bella had bills, and this job wasn’t going to have a great return compared to the time it would take. Always the professional, however, Bella opened the file and began to read.



Page Eleven

An old book
Michal Zacharzewski at Freeimages

It is an old book, much like any other found in the musty aisles of junk shops or the basement stacks of libraries.  This volume however is different.  For all of its similarities to other copies of the old classic, this one has the unique power to change the world.

The first hint of its importance could be found in the faded inscription inside the front cover.  There in what now seems brown ink is a simple signature – John Preste.   

It is on page eleven, however, that its power rests.  For there, is a folded manuscript of what is known as the Letter of Prester John.  On this ancient sheet there are several corrections to the traditional text.  Corrections expunging it of the obvious falsehoods of a Medieval Italian forger.  It is on that single sheet that directions to the location of an ancient repository of deep knowledge can be found.  

The question is – who will read page eleven?


March 26th



January MorgueFIle d11aad1a4ea61dc8f06495aa4a0b6a72

“It’s a family secret, and an obligation,” David’s father had said.  No more details were forthcoming.

With those words weighing upon his mind, he took the old key his father had given him and approached the disused basement door of his ancestral home.  It had fallen upon David, the eldest son of the eldest son to carry out the bi-decadal descent into the cellar.

There was no electricity in the tomb-like space beneath, so he lit the kerosene lamp at the top of the stairs.  He slowly made his way downwards, with no inkling of what to expect.

As he reached the bottom he could see a table ahead of him at the far end of the cobweb strewn enclosure.

He slowly approached the desk to find a leather-bound journal and two wine racks of fifty bottles each.

In the book it said, Take the fifty bottles on the left, upstairs.  Move the ones on the right to the left rack.  Sell the forty year old vintage at auction, and then fill the right hand rack with bottles from the approved French wineries on the next page.  Herein will be the secret of our wealth.  Thomas Crabtree, 26 March 1840


(197 words)





Destination Destiny

The battle had been ferocious.  It had started out well enough, and Hannon and his comrades were advancing on both the centre and the right.  Then suddenly the Rathians let loose with catapults, and barrels of melted tar crashed down upon the advancing men.  Some were killed outright, but before anyone could truly react, a rain of flaming arrows showered down from the battlements.  Hannon could vaguely remember men running about in flame and the total disarray of his once great legion.

He awoke to darkness.   In the distance a few dying flames could be observed, but near him all was silent.  He arose and began staggering through the dark towards the direction the army had come.  Home was all that was on his mind.  He stumbled upon the fallen a few times, but then found the ground to be flatter, and easier to travel than he had remembered.

As morning broke, he found himself on a wide smooth path which led through green grass and majestic oaks.  How odd, he thought.  Where is the desert they crossed to reach the besieged city?

Ahead of him he could make out a mist or fog covering the pathway.   He could just make out the image of a helmeted man wearing the red cape of his legion entering the fog.

Stepping up his pace, Hannon entered the mist.




Thursday photo prompt: Destination #writephoto

Reposting by not authorised.


Do You Remember That Night?

Image result for airport bar heathrow terminal five

image: Fortnum and Mason

Gerald Taylor was waiting to catch his connection.  With three hours to wait he made his way to one of the bars in Heathrow’s Terminal Five.

As he nursed his drink, he caught a glimpse of a man four seats away which was wearing the lapel pin of his own now defunct regiment.

As he stared at it, the man noticed his gaze, and then gave a sudden smile of recognition.  He stood up and approached Taylor.

“Gerry Taylor?” the man asked.  “It’s Tim Jones, from Weapons Platoon.”

“Wow, Corporal Jones.  What is it?  Thirty years?”  Taylor asked reflectively.

“Must be thirty-two,” Jones replied.  “Don’t you remember, we were all split up after Murphy went missing?”

“Ah right.  That was a really confusing time.  Did they ever work out what happened to him?”  Taylor asked.

“Everybody thought he deserted,” Jones said.  “But there was something just not right about that.”

“I heard he ran off with that Drinkie Girl.  But I saw her again a few days later.” Taylor said.

“It also don’t explain why they broke up the platoon,” Jones said, still nodding at Taylor’s discovery.

“That was weird,” Taylor agreed.  “Do you think it had to do anything with those lights Wilson said he saw?”

“I don’t know.  The Lieutenant said it has a helo or something, but I didn’t hear anything that sounded like one that night.”

Taylor nodded, “Nor me.  But I didn’t see the lights either.”

“Yeah, but Wilson was on watch, so would have been more alert. All I know is that Murphy, and the radio, was missing from the LP when Greene and I went to see why he missed a check in,” Jones said

“I never knew exactly who had gone up there,” Taylor said.

“Yeah, it was me.  But, the place was abandoned.  Murphy, his rifle, the radio, all gone.

“Do you think he just took off into the jungle?” Taylor asked.

“Why would he?” Jones asked.  “He had the girl from the bar to go back to, and he was so short he could jump off a dime.”

“Doesn’t make sense,” Taylor mused.

“Unless it really was a UFO, like Wilson said,” Jones suggested.

“Jones my friend, I think you need to slow down on the Duty-Free.”

Taylor never let on that he had actually seen the same dancing green lights that night, and never would.




Tale Weaver #226 – Reunion







The Search

Bedroom, Bed, Pillows, Headboard, House

image: Pixabay

“Ma’am what makes you think this isn’t just a missing person’s case?” Larue asked dispassionately.

“Because my daughter would never go away without telling me,” Mrs Carmichael said weeping.

“Yes, Ma’am,” the detective said unconvinced.

Mr Carmichael returned from the kitchen with four mugs of coffee, and set in down in front of the officers.

“ . . . And you say you last saw her on Thursday evening?” Larue questioned looking at his pad.

“Well we didn’t actually see her,” Mr Carmichael said. “We heard her coming in about eleven and I assumed she had just gone to bed.”

“Okay, so when was she actually seen?” the detective asked, a little impatiently.

“At seven,” Mrs Carmichael said, “She had on her new jacket, I bought her, and the Gucci bag.”

“But you are sure it was her who came back in?  Did she say something?” Larue asked.

“No, but who else could it have been?” Mrs Carmichael challenged.

“No way to tell, Ma’am.  Could have been anyone who had access to her keys.”

Mrs Carmichael’s eyes filled with terror.  “A stranger?  In our house?”

“Just a possibility, Ma’am.”  He paused, and then said, “Is there anything missing that seems unusual?”

“No just her, her phone, and her Gucci bag,” Helen’s mother replied.

“Can we have a look?” Larue asked.

“It’s the first door on the left,” Mr Carmichael responded.

Larue and his sergeant stood up and walked to the room.  The bed was freshly made, and all of the clothes seemed to be hanging in a colour co-ordinated arrangement.

Larue noted that the room was devoid of dust, and everything was in absolute order.  I wish my twenty-three year old had a room as clean as this, he thought.

“And this is how she left it?” the detective asked.

“Why heavens no,” Mrs Carmichael said defensively. “With people coming round to see it?  What might you think of her if you saw it in that state?  No, I cleaned it before you arrived.”

So much for evidence, Larue reflected. “That might make finding clues a little more difficult,” he said.

“I told you not to spoil her,” Mr Carmichael said accusingly to his wife.

“Okay, Phillips dust for some fingerprints just the same,” Larue ordered.

“Is there anything else we can do to help?” Mr Carmichael asked.

“No, I think you’ve done quite enough,” the detective said gruffly.

Tale Weaver – #223 – Search – May 16th

The Haunted Wordsmith Prompt

Prompt A (genre challenge): hard-boiled mystery

Prompt B (sentence starter): “I told you not to spoil.”

Visitor in the Night: Part Eight


Image result for vauxhall corsa parked

Hardwick had a very uncomfortable phone call from the Chief Superintendent.  The reputation of the entire Norfolk Constabulary was on the line he was told.  He was pondering this, and reading some papers on Warby’s desk when the sergeant returned.

“Sir, we’ve had a call and Young’s Corsa has been found abandoned on a side street over in Horning.  It’s been there for some time, but everyone on the street thought it belonged to someone on a holiday let.”

*      *     *

Young had stood astonished at the sight of the naked young man.  There was something threatening about him, despite him being exposed to the elements.

“I will be having that,” the pale figure said giving a nod to the gold chain.

There was something about the man’s piercing gaze that made Harvey almost involuntarily hand the locket over to him.  The man undid the clasp and fastened the chain around his neck. “Where are your horses?” he said giving an inquisitive look towards Young’s Vauxhall.

“Horses?” Young questioned.

“For your coach,” the naked man replied.

“It’s a car.  Are you daft?”

Harvey Young suddenly felt sweaty all over, and the man’s gaze made him feel as if his head was going to explode.

“Sorry, you’re not daft, please stop whatever you are doing,” Young pleaded.

The pain subsided.

“I will be needing some clothes, and if this contraption of yours doesn’t need horses, then you need to take me to the place I’ll be showing you,” the pale figure said.

Harvey opened the passenger side door and the man climbed in.  Harvey then got in and started the engine.  “Where to, mate, I mean, Sir?”

“Clothes,” was the only reply.

Young headed towards Yarmouth and drove into the Asda car park.   It was nearing 10 PM when he stopped and said, “We can get clothes here,” and waited for further instructions.

“I will be watching you, and let there be no doubt that I will know everything you do.  Is that understood?” the man said coldly.

“Yes,” Harvey croaked remembering the pain from earlier.

“Grand,” said the man.

Harvey got out of the car and approached the cashpoint, looking back a couple of times as he did.  Even at the distance he could feel those piercing eyes upon him.

He withdrew the maximum £200 pounds that he was allowed, though he didn’t quite understand why he took out so much, then went into the superstore and bought a black polo top, a pair of black jogging bottoms, and a pair of trainers.   He seemed instinctively to know what sizes to buy, and then he returned with his purchases to the car.

The young man dressed and then said, “Wroxham.”

It was in the wee hours that the pale figure had Young park in a layby.  “Now we walk,” the man said.

It did not take too long before the shadowy outline of an abandoned boathouse came into view.  It was in need of repair, and vines had begun to encroach in places.

“Do you see this place?” the dark-eyed figure asked.

“Yes,” Harvey replied.

“You need to return to me here by tomorrow night.”

Though escape was all that was on Young’s mind, he nevertheless said, “Tomorrow, then.”

Harvey returned to his car and fell into a sleep haunted by the ever present image of the man’s eyes.


Visitor in the Night: Part 1

Visitor in the Night: Part 2

Visitor in the Night: Part 3

Visitor in the Night: Part 4

Visitor in the Night: Part 5

Visitor in the Night: Part 6


Visitor in the Night: Part Seven

Image result for digger

image: Wood Park

“The victim from the boathouse is Harvey Young, aged 43, from Weeting on the other side of the county.  He was digger operator for Anglian Water and was last known to be working near the ‘go slow’ stretch of the A47 near near Burlingham,” Sergeant Warby reported.

“When was he last seen?”  Hardwick asked.

“He seems to have been missing for about four months, Sir.  He was supposed to meet some friends at the Saxon Pub in Weeting but never showed.  His ex-wife lives in the Abbey Estate in Thetford and thought he had just bunked off to keep from paying maintenance, so nobody has really followed up on it till now,” Warby said.

“And we are sure it’s him?”  The D. I. asked.

“Yes Sir, the dentals are back.  He does seem to have died the night of the fire though, no earlier.”

“Well that’s a relief.  I would hate to hear what the press would have made of it if you and Harper had missed a body.  Anyway . . .” he trailed off.   “Oh, has his family been informed?”

“Yes Sir, the Thetford lads did it this morning.”

*     *    *

Harvey had been excavating some old pipe alongside the A 47 when he uncovered a rusty iron box with a heavy pad lock on it and an equally rusted chain wrapped around it with a smaller corroded brass lock holding it closed.  He hopped out of his cab and tossed the mud encrusted under his seat.

At the end of his shift he waited for the other members of his crew to head off and then used some of the tools from the site shed the smash open the locks.  Inside there wat seemed to be some kind of ash or dust, but there was also a gold chain with a circular locket on it.  The face of the locket bore a harp motif, and the rear had the simple inscription 1712.  Young attempted to open the piece of jewelry, but the hinge seemed frozen.  By then the sun had begun to set.  He stuck the chain into his trouser pocket and prepared to close and rebury the box.  Suddenly a gust of wind came out of nowhere blew the dust away in a swirl.

Young didn’t think much of it at the time and quickly buried the box.  As he was unlocking his car door he felt a pinch in his right trouser pocket.  He reached in and removed the chain and as he did the locket popped open.

As it was rapidly getting darker he held the locket up to the interior light of his car, the door now being ajar.  He looked down at the object trying to make out the features of the hand-painted miniature within the casing.  Just then he felt a presence behind him.  He turned and was confronted by the sight of a tall pale young man with striking black eyes and hair.  The naked apparition, reached out his right hand and said with a clear Irish brogue, “I think that would be mine.”


Visitor in the Night: Part 1

Visitor in the Night: Part 2

Visitor in the Night: Part 3

Visitor in the Night: Part 4

Visitor in the Night: Part 5

Visitor in the Night: Part 6


Visitor in the Night: Part Six


Detective Inspector Hardwick woke with a start.  He was lathered in sweat.  “What a nightmare” he thought.  The dream was vivid enough, a young woman was minding her own business, window shopping in the Castle Mall, sipping her Starbucks when a hooded figure emerges behind her.  The man reaches up to pull down the hood, and . . . “The full moon, the damned full moon,” Hardwick said aloud.  It was the one thing that seemed to link all of the cases, even the historical ones.  In two weeks there was going to be the full moon.  How could he let go of that?

*     *      *

Zoe Mayhill was enjoying a “Friday Sickie” off from work.  She took the bus to Norwich and was making the most of the day.  She had had a great lunch at Wagamama and then made her way to the mall.  She traded in a scarf her ex-boyfriend had given her for a beautiful one at New U.  She grabbed a latte from Starbucks, and just enjoyed the “me time.”  As she passed Quiz, she saw the perfect blouse in the window.  It would really complement her, and she just had to have it for tonight.

Zoe got home changed and did her make-up.  She had on the wonderful off the shoulder blouse she had gotten in Norwich earlier.  She knew she looked spectacular and really looked forward to the evening ahead.  About nine, her mate Amber collected her and they made their way to Gorleston and joined the queue outside the Ocean Room.  She loved the “Friday Night Rooms” and just knew that this one was going to be particularly special.

About eleven a tall fair guy danced up to her.  He was drop dead gorgeous.  He had a fair complexion which really accentuated his black curls, and piercing dark eyes.  She found it hard to take her eyes off of him.

“Hi, I’m Patrick,” he said with a sweet Irish lilt.

“Zoe,” she said loudly to be heard over the music.

“Do you mind, if I say you’re gorgeous,” he complemented.

Normally such a line would put her off, but somehow it made her feel excited and alive.

As they danced he placed one hand upon her hip.  It was like electricity shot through her, it was exhilarating.  He then stroked her cheek and pushed her hair from her face with the back of his hand.  His hand was cold, but she didn’t flinch or want him to move it away.  All she wanted was for him to touch her again.

The couple chatted about nothing in particular, and danced until nearly closing time.

“I wish this could go on forever,” he said.  “It has been grand, but alas I need to work in the morning.”

They went to the exit and stepped outside. He gave her a long hug, kissed her on the cheek and whispered into her ear, “Perhaps I will be seeing ya.”

“Wait,” she said and fished a pen from her bag and wrote her number on the back of his hand. “Call me.”

“I will be doing that,” he said in a melodic Irish tone, then he disappeared into the night.


Photo Challenge #261

Visitor in the Night: Part 1

Visitor in the Night: Part 2

Visitor in the Night: Part 3

Visitor in the Night: Part 4

Visitor in the Night: Part 5