Monday, 22 November 2010

Mrs Meakins

I have always liked Agatha Christie, she has a unique way of writing, she loves to create conversation.  Now I would never say I am any good at copying her style but this is my attempt.  Not sure why I tried it, but it was fun thinking of it.  unfortunately it is a bit obvious, I am not at the criminal mastermind writing level yet.

Mrs Meakins lived alone, in the end house on Bridlington Terrace; she was a 58 year old widow, with a gammy leg. She enjoyed her weekly bingo game at the local, and going out with Doris on Fridays for lunch. Otherwise she lived a quiet life, she had no children, she had wanted kids but was unable to conceive, Burt her dead husband was infertile.

Now on Wednesday morning around half past ten, maybe it was nearer quarter to, she wasn’t sure, but around then she witnessed a murder.

Constable Evans was first on the scene; he had interviewed the whole street apart from number 83, as he knocked on the door, he saw a woman look through the blinds and gesture for him to go around the back. Constable Evans or Bill to his mates didn’t find this unusual, he followed the ladies suggestion and headed around the back. Mrs Meakins was waiting at the back door.

“Hello I am...”

“Shush!” Mrs Meakins had her finger to her mouth, she looked frightened.

“Are you ok madam?” whispered the constable.

Mrs Meakins gestured quickly for the officer to come inside. As he entered the house frantically Mrs Meakins looked around suspiciously and slammed the door shut. She breathed a sigh of relief, as she locked the back door and ushered the constable through to the living room.

“Are you alright madam?” the officer asked again.

“Are you hear about the incident?” Mrs Meakins whispered.

“If you are talking about the murder madam then yes I am.”

“Oh good that’s a relief,” she said thankfully. “Would you like a cup of tea, and a biscuit?”

“Cup of tea would be nice madam,” said the constable.

“Please call me Penelope, Penelope Meakins,” she said sounding more pleased.

Constable Evans sat down on the old fashioned velour chair and waited. As he sat there he heard a strange noise and a small Black Scottie dog rushed into the room and started barking uncontrollably at the officer. Mrs Meakins quickly entered the room at hearing the commotion.

“Cartland, behave leave the nice constable alone,” she said in a pathetic, I love you so much voice.

“It’s quite alright Mrs Meakins; we are used to every kind of animal when out on the beat.”

“Now come on my pretty little Carty baby. What has mummy got for you,” she said in a sacrin sweat googy woogy voice.

Finally after many moments in the kitchen, Mrs Meakins entered with a huge pot of tea and a plate of cakes and biscuits. The constable marvelled at the fact there was only two of them yet Mrs Meakins had brought out enough cakes for the whole street. There was fondant fancies, walnut cake, chocolate biscuits, hobnobs, fairy cakes, and some strange looking log thing, the constable didn’t like the look of.

“How do you like your tea Constable?”

“Eh a little milk, no sugar, thank you.”

Mrs Meakins poured the tea; the constable found it extremely unusual considering how flustered she had been only moments before.

“So Mrs Meakins, what can you tell me about this morning,” said the officer in his, I am a policeman voice. “Did you see the murder take place or who the culprit might be?”

“Well,” said Mrs Meakins, “I was out first thing, I had to go to the doctors, get my pills for my gammy leg. I was there at 8:30 sharp, Doctor Anderson saw me straight away, oh he’s such a nice doctor a lovely man, only young mind, must be just out of University.”

“Yes Mrs Meakins, when did you leave the doctors?”

“Well as I was saying, I was in there from 8:30, I must have been in there ten minutes, I left, and then I bumped into Agnes, she was in about her bunions, they were playing up. Oh what a time she’s had with them recently. She’s been to hospital six times and still no nearer to getting them removed.”

“Thank you Mrs Meakins but can we stick to the murder please,” Constable Evans was starting to think this was a wild goose chase, and that Mrs Meakins was just a lonely old woman wanting to talk to someone.

“Well as I was saying,” said Mrs Meakins again. “After talking to Agnes it must have been about nine O’clock, I left the surgery and headed to the shops, I wanted to get something nice for Cartland. He does love a nice bit of chicken on Wednesdays.”

“And after you left the shops, Mrs Meakins, did you come home?”

“Well as I was saying, I went to the shops must have been in there about thirty minutes, it wasn’t very busy for a Wednesday morning. I bought myself a nice cake and some brisket for tea. I then went to get the bus home.”

“And what time did you get home Mrs Meakins?”

“Umm well the bus journey took about forty five minutes I think, it was slow the traffic was terrible, plus the bus driver did not seem to know where he was going and he smelled really bad.”

“So you arrived home at approximately 10:15?” said the Constable trying to sound enthusiastic, and not too condescending.

“No, I got off the bus at around 10:15, then I had to walk home,” she said looking at her leg, “It’s not easy walking with a gammy leg. Plus I bumped onto Beryl Bullish, and we had a chat for a few minutes it must have been around 10:30. It had started to rain, but I managed to get inside before it came down really heavy.”

“This would be the time of the murder,” said the officer impatiently.

“Yes it was, I noticed a dark silhouetted figure across the street, I did not think anything of it at the time.”

“What was he wearing?”

“I could not tell in the rain, I think it was a long dark over coat, and a large hat, like a trilby. He was smoking a cigarette.”

“What happened next?” asked the Constable, thinking finally he was getting somewhere.

“Well as I said it was raining heavily, it was dark and hard to see outside properly. He must have been standing there a good ten minutes. I went to take my wet clothes off and say hello to Cartland, I put my slippers on and made a cup of tea. Then I heard a loud noise, and a scream, it came from down the street. I rushed to look out of the window and could see a dark figure, I presumed the man from across the street, standing over someone. He was bringing his arm down in a stabbing motion, at the figure on the floor.”

“Did you see what he looked like?” said the constable quickly, “Did he have any distinguishing features?”

“I’m sorry deary but I couldn’t tell he was quite a way away. I noticed he looked up as another woman screamed then he started to run.”

“Another woman, did you see who that was?”

“It could have been Beryl, or it might have been Mavis, but it could have been anyone in that rain,” she said disappointed.

“That’s Ok Mrs Meakins, is there anything else can tell us about the crime? Anything at all, however small.”

“No I am sorry, that is all I can remember.”

“Ok Mrs Meakins, you have been a great help, I am sure a detective will be around to ask you some more questions later, to follow up our enquiries, will you be contactable.”

“Oh yes.”

“May I ask, why were you so frightened earlier when I arrived?”

“Err no reason, didn’t recognise you thought it was a door to door salesman.”

As the constable sat there a little longer, he started to feel a little queasy, his head was killing him and he felt a bit faint.

“Do you mind if I use the bathroom please?” he asked.

“Oh you look a little peaky officer, it just up the stairs on the right.”

Constable Evans staggered out of the living room into the hallway, and started to climb the stairs, he felt nauseous, and his vision was becoming blurry. He grabbed the banister, and slowly climbed the stairs, forgetting which room Mrs Meakins had told him he staggered in to the spare room. With blurry vision, and swaying side to side, he noticed something terrible on the side table, but he could not focus on it properly.  He was unable to say for certain, but he was sure it looked like a bloody knife.

“Mrs Meakins,” he shouted, “Mrs Meakins,” his voice becoming fainter and fainter.

As he turned Mrs Meakins was standing behind him, with a large sinister smile on her face.

“Naughty naughty officer, you shouldn’t pry into a ladies bedroom,”

The officer swayed more and more, sweat pouring down his brow, “Mrs... Meak... ins...”

And then he collapsed to the floor, he could not move, he lay there a while, he could not think. Then he noticed another figure climbing the stairs, his vision was still blurred, but he knew it was not Mrs Meakins. The figure was tall, he was a man, he stood in front of the constable, all Evans could see were the black Brogue shoes he wore. The man lent down.

“Think you can pick on old women PIG?” he shouted.

Then the constable blacked out.

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