This story is part of this series………
“You’re not like other cops Mr Loggains.”
“That’s because I don’t give a fuck Billy. I’m tired, my feet hurt and I haven’t had a decent shit in three days. So can you just help me out here? The lady who shot the bloke in the nice suit and the dark overcoat? What did she look like?”
“How tall was she?”
“You’re just going to keep saying ‘ordinary’ no matter what I ask you, aren’t you Billy?”
“I’m not trying to make trouble for you Mr Loggains. You been real nice to me.”
“You’re a citizen Billy, just like everyone else. You get the same level of respect or the same shit treatment that everyone gets. I don’t play favourites.”
“You’re a good bloke Mr Loggains, and that’s the truth.”
“No I’m not. I’m just as big an arsehole as everyone else, and if I don’t solve this case my arse is going to get kicked by my boss and I like arse, we’ve been together for a long time.”
“I’d help you if I could Mr Loggains.”
Do you want me to keep you in till tomorrow?
They serve a reasonable breakfast here.
The cafe down the road cooks it for us when we have ‘visitors’.
It’s safer in here Billy.
What do you say?
I can clear it with the custody sergeant?”
“Thanks anyway Mr Loggains, but I like being under the stars.”
“I’ll have one of the boys drive you back to the park.”
I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by pulling up in a police car but Detective Senior Sergeant Loggains was trying to be nice and I didn’t have the heart to say no.
I promised the lady I wouldn’t give her away and I’m true to my word. The money didn’t hurt but that’s not why I did it.
She had a beautiful smile.
I haven’t seen a smile like that for such a long time.
My mum had a smile like that.
It seemed to me that this lady had been backed into a corner.
Mothers can be dangerous if you back them into a corner.
Besides, she could have shot me too. I’m nobody and no one would have missed me.
But instead, she sat down next to me and told me her story.
She treated me like a real person.
She asked for my help.
What was I going to do, say no? No one asks my opinion, and no one asks for my help and very few people treat me with respect.
I said I would help her long before she gave me the money.
She didn’t even make a crack about me drinking it all away.
I have to admit though, I am going on a bender.
Nothing but expensive wine and Scotch whisky.
I’m going to have a few extra friends for a while, at least until the money runs out, but that’s okay with me.
We share what we have when we have it.
For a while everyone wanted to hear the story of the crazy lady in the park.
The film crew from the ABC were the best. They stole a blanket out of the Channel Nine van and gave it to me. It’s a bloody good blanket. Mind you it’s got ‘Property of the Channel Nine News Department’ printed on one side, but as long as I don’t turn it over no one notices. They slipped me a couple of dollars as well but it’s the blanket I remember.
Every time I told the story I changed something.
No one seemed to notice except for Mr Loggains.
I think he suspects that I know, but I also thinks he believes he can catch her some other way. “Murderers always make a mistake”, he tells me, but we both know that isn’t so. Even an honest police force only solves about two thirds of all murders. The rest just sit there waiting till a piece of evidence comes along or science comes up with something that will reopen the case.
Usually, they just run out of ideas and their bosses tell them to move on. I’m hoping this case will go that way.
The lady in the park seemed like someone who had not done this kind of thing before and I hope that doesn’t get her caught.
It’s a terrible thing to take a life, and I ought to know, but you would have to admit that she was very brave.
Very ordinary and very brave.
It took a total of four cups of coffee to create this story.