Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dead Rite chapter 146.01


Detective-inspector White took a long swig of his under-sugared tea. “There was something going on, I just couldn't tell what.”

“You're telling me, sir.” Peters took a cautionary sip of his coffee and found it perfect. “Was it weird the way that little girl kept following you around and holding your hand?”

“Something you're not telling me, Cam?” Beryl White settled herself on the chair opposite Peters and reached for the teapot. “Should I be worried?”

White sputtered through a mouthful of tea. “She was all of four years old. Best I can think of, she feels neglected by her bookworm daddy and latched onto the nearest father figure.” He leaned forward and lowered his voice as if Waterman was in the next room and liable to overhear. “And such stories. She seemed genuinely terrified by the monster under the bed.”

“All children think there are monsters under the bed, Cameron.” Beryl added milk to her tea but no sugar. “That's why the concept is a trope.”

“But she seemed terrified, love.” White shook his head. “She knew hs history, who his previous victims were, everything.”

“To be fair, sir, she also said he'd been walled up in the east wing for centuries, which rather gives credence to it being a story her father's told her.”

“i suppose so.” White reached for the sugar, saw the tightening of Beryl's expression and thought better of it. “I just wish I knew what was going on with them. What were they talking about when we left the room?”

“I wish I knew, sir. There was something hinky with that aunt.”

“Aye. She reminded me of someone.”

“Yes, sir. Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.”

“I wouldn't know.”

“Yes you do.” Beryl touched his arm lightly. “We sat and watched it last boxing day. He was the one you called pruneface.”

“Oh him.” White smiled with the recollection. “Right. I remember.”

“Yes, she had that air of quiet menace about her.”

“And for an old lady, she didn't smell of wee.”

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