Alibi

The two detectives watched him on the video monitor in the observation room. It’d been over two hours since anyone had stepped foot into the interview room, but that smile of his never wavered. It was a smug grin that DC Stevenson wanted to wipe off with his fists.

‘What do you think?’ DS Melrose asked, breaking the bubble of silence encapsulating them.

‘I think…no, I know he did it.’

‘He’s pretty adamant he didn’t.’

Stevenson shot the sergeant a look, ‘aren’t they all?’

Melrose shrugged in a way that said he was only playing devil’s advocate. Stevenson knew he was only asking the same questions the suits in the CPS would be asking.

‘What’s the evidence?’

The constable sighed. That was the whole problem. What he had was contradictory at best. Blurred CCTV and a pair sketchy eyewitnesses placed the guy at the scene, but better CCTV footage and a receipt placed him over fifty miles away. That’s what he reported to Melrose.

The sergeant raised an eyebrow.

The pair glanced back at the monitor. Their chief suspect sat staring at the camera, head cocked slightly to allow cuffed hands to preen his immaculate hair. He’d already spent the last hour picking imaginary threads from his white, unblemished shirt. Stevenson fought the urge to kick the door in and break every one of his fingers.

Melrose sniffed.

‘Someone’s obviously lying to us,’ he said.

‘The witnesses both said they saw the suspect force Hayley into a black BMW, exact model unknown but the description matches that of his car,’ Stevenson stabbed a finger at the screen indicating the man waiting patiently in the other room. ‘This was corroborated by the CCTV footage taken from nearby cameras.’

‘We’ve got him bang to rights then.’

Stevenson continued, ‘the suspect attains that he was in Manchester at the time buying jewellery for his girlfriend. CCTV footage from the store and a receipt found on him corroborates this also.’

‘How is that even possible? No one can be in two places at once.’

‘I know, sir, but unless I can come up with something soon, I’ll have to let him go.’ He didn’t add the words ‘over my dead body’ but he wanted to. ‘We’re still hopeful the forensics teams will find something at his flat, Hayley’s missing finger would be nice.’

***

They’d detained him in that cramped cell for just over twenty-four hours (plus ‘processing’ time), but had found nothing. He’d known they wouldn’t. They never did.

Of course, the police had placed him under observation, but it hadn’t taken much to lose the two officers assigned to him. The whole affair had kept him from them for longer than he was comfortable with, but he was back now, reunited at last.

He cursed when he noticed the first signs of decay. If it hadn’t been for the two junkies, he’d have been back hours earlier.

No matter, he thought and marked the jar with a single word: Hayley.

 

U is for Ubiquity

Ubiquity is the ability to be everywhere at once, omnipresent. In magic, it refers to an object that simultaneously occurs in two or more places at the same time.

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