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Sir Wearer of Hats

The Mysterious Mr “S.S. Day”

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Sir Wearer of Hats

Police Sergeant Helena Grey despised Monday mornings. Not, mind you, out of any particular sense of loss for the weekend or lack of anticipation for the week ahead, but rather because more people died over the weekend and often no one noticed until Monday morning. Today was no different. Three calls to the police and three cars dispatched to scenes of death. This was call four and it meant that she and a wet behind the ears constable had to report to the scene alone. Caboolture Station didn’t warrant it’s own on staff SOCO team, so calls had to be made to Brisbane each and every time a suspicious death was reported. That meant three quarters of an hour delay before the crime scene analysts arrived, leaving the Caboolture patrols to seal off the scenes and just take notes and keep the local stickybeaks and busybodies away. 
Today started out no different, but would end extremely differently.

They were south of The Caboolture River, into the strange grey area that some locals called “Caboolture” and others “Morayfield”. Helena was a Bribie girl, so had no dog in the fight, unlike her constable who grizzled “typical Morayfield bogans,” upon seeing the already gathering crowd of onlookers. She’d patrolled the area long enough to know that the locals called the area “the sacrificial Stone” because of an obscure piece of artwork that resembled nothing more than some ancient ritual murder site. Today a body lay spread eagled upon it, and she prayed to any listening god it wasn’t some serial killer or lunatic responsible. She scanned the crowd, the usual mix of joggers, pyjama-clad locals and reporters for the local rags. No one stood out as unusual. They started hammering in star pickets to to establish a secure perimeter. She noticed that the smell of wattle was particularly strong this morning, she couldn’t stand the smell of wattle.

Helena took a cursory look at the dead man. He had a still smouldering wound on his back, stereotypical jogger‘s gear and a look of terror on his face. She sighed and shook her head. The poor sod was wearing a two sizes too big for him outfit, clearly he’d be working on losing weight, and successfully. She and thr constable strode over to the crowd and said to him in passing, “Someone has to know something about what happened.” before the Constable could answer, an oddly demur cough emanated from the crowd. “Excuse me, Officer,” Helena looked around to see a tall, powerfully built man in a sharp suit waving at her. He would have passed for a lawyer or some other muckety-muck if it wasn’t for his wild shock of red hair and bushy beard. He had, she noticed, the sort of eyes that always seemed to be laughing. He then opened his mouth and proved himself to be utterly insane when he said, “It’s clear he was killed by some sort of projected energy weapon fired from the river.”

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Sir Wearer of Hats

And here is “Mr S.S. Day” in all his glory.7BC887C0-529F-49DD-8231-EE2D73722362.jpeg.c9de91ed8bb63c84d2bcb5c3c5711b7c.jpeg

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Piney
24 minutes ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

And here is “Mr S.S. Day” in all his glory.7BC887C0-529F-49DD-8231-EE2D73722362.jpeg.c9de91ed8bb63c84d2bcb5c3c5711b7c.jpeg

Mad Sweeney? 

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Sir Wearer of Hats
10 minutes ago, Piney said:

Mad Sweeney? 

Tormund Giantbane from GOT.

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Piney
1 hour ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

Tormund Giantbane from GOT.

Your story is exceptionally well constructed and makes you want to keep reading.

Not bad for a phys ed teacher. :yes:

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Sir Wearer of Hats
1 minute ago, Piney said:

Your story is exceptionally well constructed and makes you want to keep reading.

Not bad for a phys ed teacher. :yes:

My thanks, it’s my first real foray into totally original characters. 
This one’s pretty much plotted out and is a bit sci-fi, the rough sketch of the next one exists and a bit more “”Devil Rides Out” without the racism”.

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Desertrat56
4 hours ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

My thanks, it’s my first real foray into totally original characters. 
This one’s pretty much plotted out and is a bit sci-fi, the rough sketch of the next one exists and a bit more “”Devil Rides Out” without the racism”.

When will we get the next installment?  I would buy this book.  Please keep writing.

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Sir Wearer of Hats
4 hours ago, Desertrat56 said:

When will we get the next installment?  I would buy this book.  Please keep writing.

Soon, I like the serialised format. 

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Sir Wearer of Hats
Posted (edited)

Helena rolled her eyes. It was far too early in the day to deal with lunatics, but politeness prevailed over her instinct to tell him where to go and how to get here. “Thank you for your suggestion sir, no please. Leave the professionals to our work,” she said in such a way as it rhymed with “wrack off you nutter,”. He didn’t get the hint and ducked under the police tape. “You can see the burn on his back,” he pointed as he sailed past the ‘sacrificial stone’ and towards the trees lining the river. This part of the Caboolture River was lined by thick vegetation and the ground fell away quickly to the level of the tidal river. The madman was now walking backwards down the hill, his finger right under his nose and aimed directly at the victim. Helena had had enough, and was only a moment behind Constable Rhys Bauchman in reaching the man. “Hmm, yes. It had to be fired from about here,” he said. Bauchman was an impatient man and simple growled at the lunatic saying, “you know what? I’m too tired and too hungry for this crap. You’re nicked son.” He grabbed the man’s arm in an attempt to place him in handcuffs, but the man slipped out of his grip. “I’ve not broken any of your laws. I think what you’re doing is either illegal or immoral. Either way,” his eyes twinkled, “naughty.” 
“You’re the one seeing bloody aliens, son. It’s either a quite sober up at the Cab Nick or a trip to the hospital for a check up and a lock up. You choose.” 
The stranger let himself be handcuffed, but it didn’t stop him from talking, “who mentioned aliens? All I said was projected energy weapon.” Rhys growled at him and he shrugged, but allowed himself to be lead off, leaving Helena to looked up at the victim, and then turn to look down at the river. She took a deep breath and slowly exhaled as she took in the broken branches and scuffed soil leading directly back to the river. 
“Damn.”

Edited by Sir Wearer of Hats
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Sir Wearer of Hats

Things seemed to calm down after the intruder was handcuffed and secured in a patrol car, but something niggled at the back of Helena’s mind, and it wasn’t just the strong scent of wattle bothering her. He couldn’t be right, surely? And if he was right, how did he know? It would be easy to say he was responsible, but something didn’t ring true about that. Helena had met her fair share of murderers, and he didn’t seem to fit the bill. He reminded her of a teacher she had in high school, mad as the day was long, but someone who knew exactly what he was talking about. But still... the thoughts swirled. She was glad when SOCO finally deigned to grace her with their presence because that meant finding answers weren’t her problem anymore. She was even gladder when replacement officers arrived so she could return to the station and the inevitable pile of paperwork waiting for her in her role of desk sergeant. Which was ironic, as Helena viewed paperwork as the only necessary evil of policing under normal circumstances. Her gladness and enthusiasm for mundanity evaporated instantly upon seeing an empty patrol car and a pair of handcuffs lying in the gutter. Helena was furious. She was so furious that she never noticed that the strong scent of wattle had disappeared, nor had she wondered why there had been such a strong smell, given that there were no flowering wattle in the vicinity. 
 

No one ever goes to a police station willingly. It was one of the first things taught to trainee officers, drilled into them so that they never forget that what is to them a place of work is to everyone else a place where they only go when something has gone terrible wrong, one way or another. The fact that only victims and criminals (alleged criminals, another thing drilled into trainee officers) only ever entered also explained the bizarre dichotomies in police station architecture. Imposing front desks with thick glass designed to make people have to look up at the presiding officer on the one hand, and pastel colours and soft music on the other. It was why officers like Helena Grey, capable of both barking out orders and offering soothing platitudes in equally believable ways, rather than perpetually miserable and misanthropic officers like the recently graduated but born misanthrope Rhys Bauchman, were given the responsibility of being the duty officer. The duty officer had to deal with recalcitrant drunks, argumentative recipients of driving violations, violent offenders and weeping victims all within minutes of each other, sometimes all at once. In addition to being duty officer and dealing with the public and the “guests” in the watch house, Helena was desk sergeant and so had to manage the books and ensure all the paperwork was up to date. Under normal circumstances, Helena juggled all these responsibilities with skill and dignity. Not today. She misspelt five words on formal reports, lost an Apprehended Violence Order so had to weather the ire of Mrs Justice Beatrice McMahon, The Grand old Dragon of Caboolture Courthouse and finally burnt her lunch in the staff room microwave. so it was with great relief when she clocked off and drove, perhaps a bit too quickly and a little too distractedly, home. 
 

Helena lived far enough outside of Caboolture as to be away from anyone who might recognise her as a police officer, but still close enough to get home within 15 minutes. Her house wasn’t much to look at, and needed more than just a lick of paint, but it had two things going for it. Air conditioning that could turn a typical Queensland summer’s day into something that wouldn't be out of place in Antarctica and a large swimming pool. Helena’s father used to joke she was part fish and if she was still on Bribie, she’d be in the surf as soon as possible, so a large salt water pool was the next best thing. She clicked on the pump, evaporation having had taken it’s toll on the water level, as she slouched inside. As she stripped off her uniform and slipped into her togs, she tried very hard to also strip off the concerns of the day. To put aside the bollocking she and Rhys had received for losing a suspect. To get the reek of burnt flesh out of nose. To stop grinding her teeth at the memory of broken branches leading toward the river and the echo of a lunatic’s comment about aliens and laser guns. She padded out to the pool as something plopped in the water. She stopped and looked. It must have been a bird getting a mouthful of salty water. She slid into the water and began to float, just letting her body relax. 
It was at that moment that scaly reptilian hands burst from the water to seize her by the throat....

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