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An Unsolvable Murder

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posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 12:24 PM
Two detectives were standing in Adrienne's kitchen looking closely at her body, which her friend Davy had found slumped across the floor.

Davy was sitting weeping quietly on a small stool, his legs drawn up in front of him. Just a little while earlier he'd come rushing up her garden path to tell her all about his gig at a very trendy local club the night before.

He was a starring performer in a punk drag act whose repertoire included Sid Vicious and Shirley Bassey. Davy's piece de resistance was Debby Harry in her days as Blondie.

The detectives looked up from their perusal of the body and stared rather pointedly at him. 'We're going to want to know about your whereabouts for the last few days, Sunshine' said one of them rather nastily. Neither of the detectives approved of young men like Davy and, although they didn't know it yet, they were in for quite a ride following up on his movements.

After he'd been carted off to the station a very worried Davy sat in front of a small team of officers and recounted his recent behaviour for their edification.

There were more than a few raised eyebrows as he ventured that he'd spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights at a notorious, and very seedy, club in Town. He looked as if he might cry when asked what he had been doing there. 'Well' he mumbled 'there'll be plenty of people who will remember me'.

He dreaded the policemen finding out what he would be remembered for. 'Bugger you, Adrienne' he thought 'why couldn't you have got yourself murdered last week when I was at home making frocks for the band?'

The detectives questioned him at great length and mentally decided that they wouldn't want to draw the short straw when someone was elected to go and verify Davy's story.

'What about Thursday night' one of them asked wearily.

Well, this was the evening that Davy had been rushing round to tell Adrienne all about. His band had been performing at a rather more select venue than usual and all had been going well. Until Davy had put his stiletto heel through one of the footlights and earned them a lifelong ban.

He couldn't help but notice the glances exchanged between the members of the force. 'I didn't do it deliberately' he said lamely.

The room started to clear and Davy was left with a couple of minor members of the team. They asked him who else Adrienne knew and who might have had access to her ground floor apartment.

Davy gave the matter some thought. Adrienne's place was a bit of a meeting place for their friends and acquaintances. She had a couple of snakes which she'd kept in a huge tank and everyone liked to play with them. The snakes enjoyed their warmth and would often curl up in their clothes or wind themselves around their arms. Many extremely arty photographs had been taken of various gothic hippies or gothic punks with the snakes decorating their already highly imaginative attire.

By the time the police had finished with him and let him go Davy didn't think he had another fact about Adrienne's life left unturned in his head.

He tried not to think of her as she'd looked when he found her. He tried not to think that, as the finder of the body, he must be the prime suspect – he'd seen enough cop shows on TV to have gathered that. Knowing that he hadn't dunnit he started to wonder who had.

Adrienne hadn't annoyed anyone as far as he was aware. She was always friendly and enjoyed having visitors. Thinking about it, Davy couldn't remember anyone having cross words at her place. All anyone did was sit around listening to music, talking and playing with the snakes.

He wondered what would happen to them and hoped that they would be taken to a shelter. He cursed himself for not offering to take them in himself, but he'd had rather more to worry about when he had been interrogated.

He remembered when it had been time to leave Adrienne's apartment to go to the police station. He'd put his hands out expecting to be cuffed. 'Sorry to disappoint you, we won't be using those' said the snarkier of the two detectives. The other gave him a clumsy wink 'We'll give you a cup of tea at the station. You look as if you need one' he said.

'Oh, god' Davy had thought 'They're already playing good cop bad cop'.

His two band mates were pleased to see him when he got home. They'd been planning a big night out and were worried about him. It was getting late and he'd need more time than this to get ready.

Davy, never one to miss an opportunity for drama, regaled them with the whole gory story with himself in the starring role. How he'd found Adrienne, how horribly he'd been treated by the brutish police officers and how he was now so distraught that he felt like joining her.

Dougie and Tris were suitably impressed with the story and Davy cruelly told them that he had named them as suspects, neglecting to mention that he'd had to name everybody that he was aware of Adrienne knowing.

They both went into complete fits, expecting to be hauled off at any moment and probably water-boarded until they confessed.

Davy felt better now, seeing the effect that he'd had, and made himself some dinner before going to bed. Once there he started to cry. He and Adrienne had really loved each other and, now that he had some time to himself and was temporarily free from the pressure of the police investigation, he allowed himself to think of how much he'd miss her and how sad it was that her life had been cut short in the way it had been.

Judging from what he'd seen and heard at the crime scene he guessed that she'd been strangled. He went to sleep wondering who would kill her in that particular way. Not being able to come up with a real motive for her murder he guessed that she must have had an argument with someone and that they'd just lost their temper and grabbed her throat. But who? Who did they know who had that sort of temper?

The detectives were thinking pretty much along the same lines and prepared themselves for lengthy interviews with Adrienne's weird and wonderful assortment of friends.

All of them could have been labelled 'highly strung', even the girls. Most of them were artistic and none of them were too keen to let anyone know what they had been up to in the days leading to Adrienne's death.

The police team spent many hours at local clubs and galleries checking on their stories and, outlandish as they'd been, all proved to be true.

They'd been frustrated by the lack of evidence in Adrienne's home. There'd been no sign of a struggle, no forced entry, no footprints. Just a dead woman on the floor of the kitchen. A woman who, as far as they could ascertain, had no enemies.

Eventually, they got round to Davy again and questioned him at greater length in the police station. They could see that he was trying to co-operate and a few of them started to soften in their attitude towards him.

At one point during this interview Davy found himself left alone with two female officers. Just to break an uncomfortable silence he asked one of them where she had bought her shoes. From there he'd chatted about the perils of bleaching one's hair and complained bitterly about the bleach burns he'd once suffered.

Having broken the ice in this way, and feeling more relaxed now that the more intimidating members of the team were out of the room, Davy asked tentatively what had become of Adrienne's snakes.

posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 12:26 PM
The two women looked through some notes and informed Davy that the snake had been taken to a rescue centre. 'Snake?' asked Davy 'But there were two'.

Learning that one of Adrienne's snakes was missing sent the team off in another direction. It was unlikely that she'd been murdered over a snake, but who knew? And why only one? If they were valuable, why not take them both?

The tank had been securely shut when they'd found it and the snake inside had shown no signs of being distressed.

Davy didn't believe that Adrienne had been murdered because of the snakes. They weren't valuable at all, just a pair of three foot long garter snakes who had been purchased quite cheaply at a local pet shop.

Adrienne used to worry about them not getting enough sunlight and often she and her friends would take them to the local park. The snakes would wrap themselves around their arms as usual and happily bask in the sunshine. As far as Davy knew everyone loved the snakes but no-one was particularly envious of them. Anyway, they'd be easy to steal without Adrienne even noticing. All a person would have to do was stuff one down their shirt and walk out of the house.

The detectives spent more weary hours questioning Adrienne's friends about the snakes. Sure enough, they all claimed to have loved them and offered assurances that Adrienne had looked after them very well.

One even recounted a story of a time when Adrienne had run out of food for them. Everyone had been at a gig and, on the way out, she'd suddenly remembered that there was nothing in the house that they would eat. She was worried because they'd not eaten for a few days and if they were hungry when she came home they'd try to catch her eye and let her know that they wanted something.

They used to stretch themselves up the sides of the tank to get attention and she didn't want to fob them off with just a quick cuddle if they needed food.

At that time of night there'd been no shops open and she'd been at a loss as to how to find them anything. Until she walked past a street vendor selling burgers. Well, it seemed a good idea at the time and she'd asked if she might please have an uncooked burger to take home.

The vendor, confronted with an extremely strange (even by goth standards) young woman asking for a raw burger, gave her a filthy look as he handed it to her. She was slightly affronted by his attitude, but chuckled a bit when she realised what he might have been thinking.

'Yes, street vendor. I really am so depraved that I'd eat this burger raw and of course I'd hoped to offend your finer sensibilities when I asked for it' she'd said to her laughing friends when they were out of earshot.

Time dragged on and the detectives were no nearer to solving the riddle of her murder. New crimes were reported and they busied themselves with those. Adrienne's case got quietly put on the back burner since all her friends' alibis had checked out, as far as they could be, and no-one had really presented themselves as a prime suspect after Davy had managed to put himself in the clear.

Privately, the team acknowledged that Adrienne's murderer had got away with it. The odd marks on her neck had given no clue as to his or her identity and the lack of any forensic evidence had been astounding.

No-one knew who Adrienne's murderer could have been, including the culprit himself.

On the day of her death Adrienne had been pottering about in her kitchen. Her snake, Sasha, had been squirming around in the tank a bit more than usual so Adrienne had taken him out, leaving his companion tucked up alone.

She hadn't been able to quieten Sasha as she tried to make coffee so she'd hung him around her neck. He'd stayed there, very still, with his head and tail just dangling over her chest as she thought about making a sandwich.

All had been going well until Adrienne had decided that perhaps she'd rather eat without the accompaniment of the snake. She'd had a rather disturbing vision of him poking his head into her mouth just as she was about to take a bite out of her food.

She'd put her hands up to grab his head and tail, intending to lift him over her head, but Sasha was warm and comfortable and didn't want to be moved. He'd wrapped his tail through one of Adrienne's thick silver bangles.

She'd laughed a bit and told him not to be so naughty as she tried to get hold of his head, but he'd put that through the bangle on her other wrist.

Adrienne found herself with her wrists held tightly against her neck as the snake wound himself further through her bracelets. Sasha obviously had no intention of letting go and she started trying to talk him into releasing her.

She tried telepathy, too, but there was no budging the snake. He wrapped himself a little tighter through the bangles causing Adrienne to gag a bit. The thoughts she was sending out to him were getting more and more frantic. 'Please, Sasha. Darling, just let mummy go'.

She couldn't really believe that she wouldn't survive this. What was happening didn't seem possible but, she realised, even if Sasha didn't choke her he might stay curled up like this for days. She could die slowly of hunger or thirst.

She started to remember a story one of her friends had told her. This particular friend had got into a fight with her boyfriend and he'd put his hands around her neck. They'd both been really scared when she'd felt pressure on something in her throat that felt as if it was going to 'give' and her boyfriend had promised never to attack her like that again.

Now here was Adrienne, wondering if that little 'thing' in her own throat was about to 'give'.

Sadly for her, it did.

Before Davy found her Sasha had slipped away. He'd hidden under the refrigerator, keeping warm curled up by the motor.

The back door to the apartment was left open long enough during the investigation for him to slip out when no-one was looking and he'd taken up residence in the small garden.

He enjoyed life much more now, hunting for himself and basking when he felt like it. He didn't miss Adrienne or any of her friends as he settled into his new life as a free snake.

posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 01:37 PM
a reply to: berenike

Nice story, and well-written.

Your pacing is comfortable and makes it a pleasant read. My only semi-critical comment is that I suspected it was a snake from the moment the snakes were mentioned early on in the story, but I still enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

Thanks for posting! Cheers.

posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 04:03 PM
a reply to: InTheFlesh1980

That's disappointing but with no other suspects to throw the reader off the scent, I can see how I missed the chance to deflect suspicion. I mentioned strangulation a bit early, too.

Thank you for taking the time to comment

posted on Mar, 9 2015 @ 08:33 PM
a reply to: berenike

Dang it! Another story slipped past My Radar! And a Good One Too! I enjoyed this! (Must get new batteries for My Radar!)

posted on Mar, 19 2015 @ 06:08 PM
a reply to: SyxPak

Thank you.

Sorry not to reply sooner - I had internet problems.

I believe batteries can be bought in packs of six

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