A363 Advanced Creative Writing – Activity 2.6 ‘A Conversation Between a Man and his Murderer’

The activity asked us to create two characters who have differing views but have been brought together. I got a little bit carried away with mine…

A Conversation Between a Man and his Murderer

He’d been in this basement for three, no four days. Perhaps it was five weeks. He’d stopped trying to work it out. His eyes had long grown use to the darkness, squinting he could make out the solid steel of a furness standing imposingly in the corner. Several rusting bicycles, crates and a workbench he had briefly seen when the basement door had been opened, allowing dull yellow light in to brush the dark corners, the deep rust of old, drying blood staining the dusty concrete. He’d screamed, cried out for mercy, pulling frantically on the metal post he was handcuffed to but the post was solid, sunk deep into the foundations. The realisation he was going to die crept slowly over him until he was filled with hopelessness. He was going to die.

The door opened, there was a click and he shut his eyes tight against the sudden light. Blinking hard he tried to re-orientate his vision as he listened to the methodical tread on the stairs of his captor.

“Please, please don’t…I won’t tell anyone, I’ll just go and…and please, I have a family.” He sobbed.

“A family you never see.” His captor remarked casually. There was nothing remarkable about her. Average. The type of woman he would have never looked at twice.

“Please. I’ll do anything you want.”

“What makes you think I want anything from you?”

Suddenly angry. “Then why am I here? Why are you doing this?”

His captor suddenly knelt down, grabbing his face. Gloved fingers pressing painfully into his jaw bone hard enough to leave bruises. “How many have you taken from their families?”

“I…I don’t understand.”

With a snarl she let go of his face, stood and strode over to one of the crates and reached inside. He flinched as something was thrown onto his lap. A crushed pink and white bicycle helmet. He screamed when he saw the piece of scalp caught in the plastic, a patch of dark brown hair.

A torn cycling jersey, blood stained and ragged was thrown at him next. A tiny pink shoe was next. He stared at them unable to comprehend what he was seeing.

“I don’t understand.” He sobbed.

“You understand, you just don’t want to accept what you’ve done.” Snatching up the helmet, she forced it into his face. “Dr Catherine Smith, thirty seven. Anaesthesiologist. Coming home after a long shift. Married. No children, two dogs.”

He tried to pull away. “That wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with that.”

“You were so close to her you clipped her handlebars, knocking her into the path of the lorry. You didn’t even stop. Just carried on driving, looking for customers like a desperate prostitute.” Throwing aside the helmet she grabbed the blood stained jersey from his lap thrusting it under his nose. “Daniel Peters, twenty two. Studying engineering at UCL. You lied to the police, you told them that Daniel came out of nowhere. How unfortunate his GoPro was inexplicably broken.”

He started to whimper.

“And this.” The shoe. He closed his eyes refusing to look. She reached forward, prising his eyes open forcing him to look. “Suzie French, just turned five years old. The bike was a birthday present.”

He began to sob, his voice thick with tears. Snot bubbling from his nose.”It was an accident.”

“Is that why you ran? She’ll be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. If she survives.”

“What are you going to me?”

“You really need to see this, ma’am.” The constable lifted the tape for the inspector, both of them ducked under and stepped quickly into the white tent hiding the body from the growing crowd of sightseers.

The inspector whistled. “A human bicycle.”

“Just like the others.” A detective confirmed. “We’re thinking the killer…rode them here.”

“Why here?”

“There’s a ‘ghost bicycle’ memorial on the corner, same for the other crime scenes. I think that’s the connection, these places mean something to the killer.”

“Is the victim another taxi driver?”

The detective held out a badge. “His LTDA number. I’ve got someone checking the database.”

“Good.” The inspector knelt down to get a closer look. She smiled softly to herself before reaching out to give the bell in his mouth a ring.

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