A secret is revealed in Part 4 of the Accused series by Daniel Norrish.
(For the “Accused” series)
“Jesus Christ, are you serious? You’re going after the murderer yourself?” the journalist says.
“Yes. The police are focussing on me and I’m innocent. If I’m charged, then I have to defend myself in court and this whole thing is just going to get worse. Someone needs to find the real killer,” Ben replies.
“It’ll make a damn good article, whatever happens.”
“Sure, whatever. I’m going to tell you something now that will prove I’m willing to work with you. BUT you need to give me whatever information you uncover as it pops up, I can’t waste time Google-ing this stuff.”
“Alright, alright, what do you want to tell me?”
“I was blackout drunk the night of the murder, I can’t remember where I was but I was seen in town.”
“Woah, that looks bad,” the journalist begins, “I could get in a lot of trouble if you’re lying to me. If you killed someone-“
“If I killed someone, then this partnership will be a lot more beneficial for you. You’ll have exclusive rights to the murderer.”
“Yeah, but helping you will be illegal.”
“I don’t have time to argue about this. Are you far away enough from this to fly under the radar until it’s over? How often in your career do you think you’ll get this chance? It’s your call, but you need to answer me now.”
There’s silence on the other end of the line for a moment then, “Alright, I’m in.”
“Good, I’ll call you as soon as I can with a new phone number to contact me on,” Ben finishes as he hangs up, still walking quickly down the street. He doesn’t waste any time, he dials another phone number immediately and presses the device to his ear once more.
As soon as the other person picks up, Ben says, “Don’t go back to the house, the cops are there and I told them I live alone. Meet me at the fishing spot, beside the bridge.”
He doesn’t wait for an answer; Ben just hangs up as he approaches the train station.
He moves quickly as he taps his transit card on the pad at the turnstiles before he realises that the police will be able to trace him like that.
“Damn,” He mutters to himself as he meanders through the sparse crowd. Ben’s sure the cops won’t find him there so soon, but he’ll have to be more careful later. The platform is long and the only security guard is all the way at the other side. In his little cocoon of peace, Ben thinks of Theresa.
He remembers the time he followed her from her house to this very station. It was hard to stay hidden on the quiet country road, but she never saw him. She never saw him here, or when he watched at her work, or when he watched her in the shower.
He thinks of all the time’s he could have spoken to her and all the times he was too afraid just to say ‘good morning’, or ‘good night’. He thinks of the way she smelt of coconut whenever she sunbathed in her backyard and a kind of fury builds in him.
Someone has taken his Theresa from this world.
It isn’t long before he’s reached the rendezvous and he only has to wait a moment before Kevin appears.
“What’s going on?” Kevin asks, his orange beard parting with his lips and sealing as he waits for an answer.
“Theresa, our neighbour, was murdered.”
“I know that bit, it’s been days, have they got a suspect?”
“Damn, that’s bad.”
“I mean it’s really bad. They won’t even think about it with your history, they’ll lock you up straight away.”
“I know. That’s why we’re going to find the psycho who did it,” Ben announced and a grin spread across Kevin’s face.
“Do you want me to talk to the cops for you?”
“No, are you kidding? You’re dead.”
“Well, are we going to kill the murderer when we find him? Because that’s probably the best solution.”
“No more violence,” Ben announces, pointing a stern finger at Kevin.
“We could bury him in Theresa’s garden, that’s kinda poetic.”
“No, no violence.”
“Well, you say that, but I think we both know this will get pretty savage. That temper of yours is deadly.”
“No, damn it lets just find whoever’s actually guilty so we can put this behind us.”
“Fine. What’s the plan then?” Kevin asks.
“You need to watch Theresa’s house and get in there as soon as there aren’t any cops watching it. Maybe we can find something that’ll point us in the right direction?”
“It’s not exactly Theresa’s house anymore, but alright. I like this, it’s like we’re in an episode of scooby-doo or something.”
“Stop kidding around, I’m going to prison is we fail.”
“Fine,” Kevin agrees, “What are you going to do?”
“I need to figure out what I did and where I was on Saturday night.”
“Yeah, you were pretty wasted.”
“Wait what? You saw me out?”
“Of course, I drove you to the TAB when you wanted to put a bet on.”
“Great, what time?”
“I drove you from our house to the TAB at about nine pm.”
“Fantastic, that’s a great start. Now give me your phone, I need to get rid of mine.”