Hidden in this short crime story are anagrams of the names of some products available from the Spill Control Centre – but they’re well concealed, and involve more than one word in the story. Here are your clues: look for ‘absorbent granules’, ‘spill kits’, ‘drain covers’ and ‘drum storage’.
Now read on…
It was raining hard. I was following a guy for a dame. The guy had gone into a church. He would. He was a vicar.
I figured I could catch more rain with my coat collar while I waited outside, or I could shelter someplace. I sheltered in a barber’s shop and hoped my guy didn’t come out before I was done.
The barber talked; couldn’t help himself. I didn’t want to hear what his mother-in-law had said or where he’d been on holiday. I especially didn’t want to hear who he thought stole his revolver, left over from the war.
What kind of a barber’s shop was this? He’d be offering me kill tips next. I wasn’t that kind of gumshoe. I had a licence I wanted to keep.
He was flashing his mirror around the back of my neck when my guy hit the pavement. I dragged on my hat and coat. The hat felt too big. It always did after a haircut.
She thought the Vicar was stealing the collection. Was getting really het up about it because she couldn’t prove it either way. Sure, she’d seen him with his hands in the plate, but he was the Vicar; his hands had every right to be there. She just thought some of the money wasn’t getting into the church accounts.
The Vicar’s coat pockets were bulging. Heavy with money he was taking someplace else to count? Maybe. I’d like to see.
My work always throws up the unexpected. I didn’t expect to see the dame who’d hired me. She walked around the corner with a wild look in her eye and a wartime revolver in her hand.
I wished I’d paid more attention to the barber talking about his gun. I wished she wouldn’t pull the trigger.
Recoil can come as a surprise if you’re not expecting it. She wasn’t, and nor was the Vicar. It knocked her backwards, and the slug did the same for him. She could get up again. The Vicar couldn’t. She’d given him a short back and insides with a barber’s stolen gun, and his blood spilled across the pavement around the coins.
Was he really stealing the money? We’d never know, because he couldn’t tell us now.
As murders got a lot of attention from the police, should I stay and tell them about the Vicar’s end, or should I make myself scarce? I made myself scarce; I had a licence I wanted to keep…
Answers to be revealed soon…