The Block: Part Twenty-Five

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This is the final part of a fiction serial, in 848 words.

“This will be our final session, Jeffrey, as I have now completed my assessment. You should know that I am not in the least intimidated by your remarks the last time we spoke. I could not do this job if I allowed myself to be worried about threats from those I assess”.

“I wasn’t threatening you, just stating how easy it is to get information, even in here”.

“Okay. Do you have anything you would like to add? This will probably be the last time we see each other”.

“I would be interested to hear what your conclusions are”.

“It is not usual to discuss those, but I think you know full well that I will not be recommending your move to a conventional prison. In fact, I will be strongly recommending that you remain here until such time any future assessment shows you are fit to be considered for parole. You have shown no remorse, no sympathy for your victims, and I cannot imagine that this aspect of your personality is likely to change anytime soon. Furthermore, you refuse to concede that you are mentally ill, and that in itself makes you very dangerous, as far as I am concerned. If and when any appeal hearing is granted, I am sure my detaled report will ensure that you are not successful”.

“Would you like me to say sorry, and confess to rape? Would that make you feel different?”

“I know you are just saying that, Jeffrey. It is not in your nature to feel sorrow or regret for what you did. You are even smiling as you speak. If you said sorry a hundred times, I would still not believe you”.

“Alright, doctor, you got me. No I’m not sorry. But I didn’t rape that woman, whatever you believe. Why are you so prepared to believe a bad thing about me, but not about her actions on that Sunday? Whatever you think of me, I told you the truth. I am not a rapist.”

“I would have to talk to her to change my opinon, and I can’t do that. Because you killed her”.

“Now you are sounding angry, doctor. Not like you to let anger creep into your voice”.

“I am not angry, and any change in my tone is caused by human emotion, something I suspect you do not understand”.

“You would be very surprised at what I understand, doctor”.

“I think that is enough discussion, Jeffrey. My full report will be submitted to the relevant authorities for their consideration. However, if I were you, I would not expect to ever be released. With that in mind, you might want to think about ways to deal with your life here, perhaps improve yourself in some way. There are classes, and you are allowed to study too”.

“Oh, I think I have done all the studying I am ever going to do. But thanks for letting me know”.

“Very well, I am closing the interview. I doubt we will ever meet again, Jeffrey”.

“Oh don’t say that, doctor. I live in hope that we will”.

Nine months had passed since Fiona Eccleston had presented her report. It had not been necessary to see Jeffrey North again, and she was as busy as ever with new referrals and admissions. But there was a holiday to look forward to. In three weeks, Poppy would be home from university, and the promised mother-daughter bonding trip to California was going ahead. As Poppy had asked, Fiona had arranged the rental of a classic American car. They would just drive north up the state, and see where they ended up.

Fiona was up early on that Friday morning, and the strong coffee had made her feel perky. Reversing her car out onto the street, she drove to the junction with the main road, and pressed the button to turn on the radio. The weather forecast was good, and when the next song came on she drummed her fingers on the steering wheel and sang along to the familiar words.

The police roadblock was unusual.There must have been an accident. As she got closer to the head of the queue, she saw officers opening the rear hatches of the cars in front, and looking in the back doors and windows. When it came to her turn, she wound down the window as the policeman walked over. “Can you please turn off the engine and open the boot, madam? Just a routine check, won’t delay you too long”. Reaching into her bag, she showed him her Rampton Hospital identity card. “I have to get to work, officer, please hurry”.

The policeman glanced at the card. “Rampton eh? It’s one of yours we’re looking for. That Londoner, the one who killed all the people in that block of flats. He managed to escape during the night somehow. Can’t have got far on foot though”.

Fiona reached into her bag for her mobile phone. Scrolling quickly, she pressed to dial her daughter’s number.

It didn’t ring at all, just beeped. The line was dead.

The End.

The Block: Part Twenty-Four

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This is the twenty-fourth part of a fiction serial, in 785 words.

“Today I would like to talk about the publicity your crime attracted, and the fact that you refused to cooperate with an insanity plea”.

“Well despite my confession, it seems the law was insistent on deciding whether or not I was insane. Not that it would have made any difference to my sentence”.

“That’s not accurate, Jeffrey. Detention in a secure hospital is very different to life imprisonment in a mainstream prison. I am sure that as a former policeman you are aware that you might have got a maximum sentence recommendation, had you not been considered to be mentally ill. You now have an indefinite detention order, which means that you have to convince doctors and other specialists that you are fit to be released at some stage in the future. That may never happen, as you know”.

“Or it may happen. Who knows? Things change. Society’s attitudes change. Or I might escape”.

“Have you thought about trying to escape then? I cannot recall the last time anyone escaped from this facility”.

“My thoughts are my business, and not open to discussion on that subject”.

“Since your arrest, the media has had a field day, reporting your crime. I have seen some of the headlines. ‘House of Hell’, ‘Murder block’, ‘Cop Goes Rogue, Kills Eleven’. There were many more like that. There is even talk of a television series, and a feature film. One book about you has already been published without your cooperation, and you receive around one hundred letters a week, mostly flattering. How do you feel about that?”

“I don’t feel anything about it at all”.

“Really? You are not basking in the attention, enjoying the notoriety?”

“Not at all. Nothing like that. I don’t even read the letters properly. Most have been redacted anyway, as you know. Besides, I am only flavour of the month, something else will come along, and I will be history by next year. I do resent them calling me a serial killer though. They are obviously too stupid to see the difference, or think that designation will sell more newspapers. I also hate being called a rapist, and I am considering legal action against any publication that has called me that. I am planning to appeal my additional sentence for the rape too, as that didn’t happen”.

“But the prosecution argued that Miss Hurst was terrified into having sex with you by the very fact that you had brutally murdered her partner in front of her, and you were armed with an assortment of weapons. I think they used the phrase ‘rape by intimidation’ in court. And with her no longer alive to substantiate your story, I very much doubt the appeal will ever be allowed. Don’t you see that?”

“Of course, but that won’t stop me trying. I have enough money to engage good lawyers to represent me”.

“On the subject of money, I see that you do have substantial savings from your inheritance. But any funds used from your bank account can be subject to scrutiny, to stop them being used for criminal purposes. You would have been told that, I’m sure”.

“My money is not from the proceeds of crime, so was unable to be sequestered by the court. I also own my flat outright, so the same applies to that. Did you know that local estate agents have been bombarded with requests from people trying to rent my flat? It seems many of them want to live in the home of the famous murderer, while I am locked up here”.

“Yes, I did read that your local council was considering demolishing the block, after buying all the flats under a compulsory purchase order. But three owners fought the decision in the courts, and they are leaving it standing. They are changing the name to Churchill House though, in some effort to erase the memory of what happened there”.

“I have heard that people are travelling from all over to take photos of themselves outside the block. It has become a tourist destination in that borough, the only one in fact”.

“And how does that make you feel, Jeffrey?”

“I have no feelings about it at all”.

“You pride yourself in finding out things like that, don’t you? You like to have information about things going on outside?

“It’s easier than you might imagine. For example, I know that you are Doctor Fiona Eccleston, it says so on your badge”.

“Hardly Sherlock Holmes then”.

“No, but I also know that your home address is number five Lilac Close, Gainsborough. That you are divorced and live alone, and that your daughter Poppy attends the University of Lincoln, studying Modern History”.

Personalised

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collage of portraits of cheerful woman

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Both her mom and her boyfriend had commented on the almost predictable nature of her messages, both in emails and on social media.

“It’s almost like I can’t see the real you,” David had said.

“All you ever do is use computer-chat abbreviations and those facey-things,” Mom said a couple of days later.

It really struck her deeply.  She wanted the world, and especially her loved ones to know who she really was, and what was on her heart.  It was then that Emma White came up with the idea of her own personal Emmajis.

 

Padre

 

Photo Challenge #315

 

 

 

The Coming Of Spring

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2B4F62DC-05AE-4354-8DB9-2706DFA3C654

Pinterest.

Nurse Hazel stepped away from the viewing window in the Entville nursery wing.

“Sister Willow, don’t you think there have been an unusually large number of deliveries recently?” she asked of the charge sister.

“I was thinking that too,” the sister responded.  “And they all look strikingly similar.”

“What do you think it means, Sister.”

“I think it means that Charlie Chestnut’s has been particularly busy this year.”

 

Padre

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #65

 

 

 

All Part of the Game

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Lake, Boat, Water, Sailing Boat, Sailing Vessel

Pixabay

Will Harvey was set on winning the competition.  There was a huge £100000 prize for whoever could break the record for circumnavigating the globe withershins, against all prevailing currents and without the aid of an engine. 

All had started well.  In fact, yesterday he was a full two days ahead of schedule when things seemed to turn to grief.  His vessel gave a sudden jolt, and then shimmied before listing heavily to port.  He noticed that his unwanted companions, the bilge rats, began to scurry upwards, and then to abandon ship.  Then, the craft jolted again, capsizing and throwing Will against the ceiling.

Well what would you do in his shoes?  He did the only thing he could do in the circumstances.  He held his breath and swam to position himself on the upturned keel.  He then retrieved a broken plank and began to feather and square the board in order to propel himself forward.

As he arrived in the harbour, there was quite the commotion.  The initial cheers at his arrival became muted, the screams could be heard as people looked aghast at his vessel.  Personally, Will couldn’t see what all the brouhaha was about.  He waved to the crowd, and headed of for a much needed cup of tea, unaware of the three metre long tentacle still attached to his boat.

Padre

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Withershins
Brouhaha
Competition
Yesterday
Ceiling
Shoes
Feather
Scurry
Tentacle
Grief
Tea
Engine

Chuck’s

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Pixabay

Danny had his mind set, he wasn’t going to settle for anything less than a pair of black, high top Chuck’s.  After all, we were taking about reputation here.  If Danny, I mean Dan, was going to be taken seriously, a pair of PF Flyers, even with the wedge, weren’t going to cut it.  And in no way was he going to be seen dead in another pair of those Zayre’s blue canvas things.  It was going to be All Star’s or nothing!

Well the big day came, and Dan made a bee-line for the Sears rather than the Zayre’s and his mom could barely keep up with him.  He went straight to the shoe department and grabbed a pair of the glorious Converses from the shelf, and then sat on the padded stool and stuck his foot in the measuring device.

Mom looked on dumbfounded as Dan asked the saleswoman, “Do you have these in 8 1/2 wides?”

As the woman went into the storeroom, his mother said, ” Danny Jackson, have you gone out of your mind?”

“No Ma’am, I just have my mind made up.””

“But honey did you see the price?  How about some PF Flyers instead?” she offered.

“I got straight A-s just like you and Dad said.  So I’ve kept my side of the bargain,” he said assuredly.

“I just don’t think we can afford it,” she said pleadingly.

“Then make it my birthday present as well,” he said.  “I have to have them, Mom.”

“Could you live with the low tops?” Mom asked gently, as the saleswoman returned.

“I suppose so,” Dan relented.

“I’m sorry, but could we get them in low tops?” Mom asked.

The woman again departed.

“Thank you,” Mom said.

“Okay, I guess,” Dan said.  “I can live with it.”

And live with it he did, even after his feet grew to 9 1/2.  It was a hard day for Dan when he finally had to give-in and chuck his well-worn Chuck’s.

 

Padre

 

Inspiration Call: Tell a Story About These Shoes

 

 

Secret Signs

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Photo courtesy of Morguefile

“Are you really sure we should be doing this?” Elizabeth asked.

“Liz, we have been cooped up for weeks, and then I had this dream in which I was driving with you and the kids.  I knew the truth then.”

“Truth? What truth?”

“That the government doesn’t really want us to stay at home.  They have even left clues for those of us who are smart enough to see them,” Roger explained.

“What kind of clues?  You are kind of scaring me.  I don’t feel comfortable with breaking the rules.”

“You want clues, well there’s one now.  A government sanctioned, government produced, government posted sign.”

Roger pulled the car onto the hard shoulder near the lake, and pointed at an orange sign.  “It’s the one I saw in my dream last night.  I means ‘Don’t Be Lemmings’.”

“Roger honey, we should go back home now, I think you left your foil hat on the kitchen table.”

 

Padre

 

Sunday Photo Fiction – May 10 2020