Friday, March 13, 2015
First Word: Pamela Yorston: Emerge
Clutching his camera, world famous detective Dick Bright, pressed himself further back into the plastic bags between the rubbish bins. Holding his breath, he sucked in every inch of excess flesh, praying he’d pass unnoticed. The rotting stench enveloped him.
But the woman did not look up as she emerged from the green-shuttered house opposite. Manipulating her phone with one hand, she rummaged in her bag with her the other. Then, snapping her phone shut, she gave her full attention to her bag and presently dug out a set of keys.
A car? Dick Bright hadn’t considered that possibility. He had Jones waiting at the bus stop, and Szymanski and Petersen on either end of the high street, in case she decided to walk.
But it was a white Citroen. She beeped the lock, pulled the door open and introduced herself with one smooth sweeping movement - last in - the tail of her cobalt Pashmina and a crimson high-heeled pump.
The engine came to life. Too late to call Jones. He’d have to follow. Carefully maneuvering his wheel-chair out from behind the bins, he rolled slowly forward. The car pulled out ahead of him and set off in the direction of the business district. As it reached the first intersection, Dick heaved hard on the chair wheels, using the full strength that his arms had accumulated in three years of wheel-chair pushing. Forty yards on, the road started its steep descent into town. Dick pulled harder and felt himself hurtling past the intersection, faster, faster, catching her up. Only fifty yards separated them now.
Abruptly, as they reached a bend, she slowed and pulled into the curb. Dick slammed on his brakes, but they were not built for heavy duty. He careened on, past the corner, past the car, down, down the hill towards the village. Then suddenly, from out of nowhere, Jones materialized in front of him on a bicycle.
“Back there!” yelled Dick. “On the right!” He felt his wheel-chair swerve and totter.
“Not her!” Jones voice floated back to him. “She got the train! Come back man!”
But there was no stopping the chair. Wildly, he scanned the road ahead for a soft spot to crash. The station wall, or the back of the furniture removal lorry?
Why didn’t he just listen to his wife and retire to Brighton?