Don Stoll

Sick

Joe Halladay figured he’d had enough of Ellen Flay, but this morning was the topper.

“Better not get sick on my shoes,” he said. “One thing you did it on the floor back at the station, but won’t be a darky with a mop here.”

“Fat ass keep you getting out of the way in time?” Flay said.

Halladay couldn’t believe a woman had been put in charge of catching the Leopard of Leeds. Him with thirteen years on the Leeds City Police and her on loan from York and North East Yorkshire, waltzing in to give orders like the Queen to him and other blokes. And didn’t know enough to stay in bed with her flu, make everyone at the station sick starting with Joe Halladay.

“We pretend we’re a team, Joe?” she said. “For Mr. Smythe’s benefit?”

Halladay knocked on Tommy Smythe’s door.

Flay tried the handle. The door opened.

“Wasting time,” Halladay said. “Bloke killed four women going to leave his door unlocked?”

Flay entered the flat.

“Need me to go over all the rubbish that connects Smythe to Jill Melvin?” she said. “Got your head up that fat ass so I need to pull it out for you?”

“Means you reaching up my ass I’m all right with it,” he grinned.

He followed her until she went left to the sitting room. He went right to the kitchen. That was teamwork: she could sit for a minute, Fat Ass would probably look in the fridge.

She barely had her own ass on the sofa when she hears Halladay.

“Might owe you an apology, Ellen.”

She heaved herself up. She followed the voice.

There’s Halladay, gloves on, great whacking brassiere stretched out between his hands dripping into the sink.

“Label says 42D,” he snickered. “If Smythe’s the Leopard then he’s a hardy lad, able to pack our Jill up into a tree.”

With the blood-stained bra still stretched out he made it see-saw. He raised the right cup and then the left.

“Which one you think he ate first, Ellen?” he said. “Bloody knickers in the sink too.”

“Need the loo,” Flay said.

She received a shock upon raising the lid. She slammed it down.

“Bog’s stopped up.”

“Might be evidence,” Halladay laughed. “Remains of Jill Melvin.”

She went into the hall. Door at the end opened. Pulled out her warrant card. Flashed it as she headed toward the middle-aged chap coming out, him speechless.

“Thank you to use your loo, sir” she said brushing past him. “Police business.”

Not shutting the door—too much of a hurry—she retched into the clean empty bog.

“You really police?” she heard someone say, middle-aged chap no doubt.

She retched again. A real chunder this time, felt like her whole insides coming up.

She heard him saying “Late for work, but you’ll lock up, Officer?”

Flay needed a few minutes.

She left, locking the door, and went back to Tommy Smythe’s flat. Halladay had closed the door but not locked it.

Halladay not in the kitchen, not in the sitting room. She found the bedroom. There’s Halladay with tape over his mouth, eyes huge, and next thing she sees must be Tommy Smythe, eyes getting huge when he sees Flay.

She sees Halladay’s hands behind his back and then sizes up Smythe: the Leopard for sure. Powerful build, and why else tie up a copper?

“You police too?” he says, puts a knife to Halladay’s throat.

Flay’d drawn her service weapon without thinking. She pointed it at the floor.

“Don’t want more trouble Tommy, killing a copper,” she said.

“Think this’ll make it worse on me?” he laughed. “Let me by.”

Flay stepped to her left. Smythe came forward keeping Halladay in front. On reflex, Flay raised her gun and put a bullet through his eye.

Fucking hell, that was lucky, she thought as he hit the floor.

Next she ripped the tape off of Halladay’s mouth.

“Could of missed and hit me, you cow!”  he screamed.

Flay didn’t tell him he was an ungrateful twat. She was too busy thinking how tired she was of feeling sick every morning.

Time to get rid of the sodding baby, she thought.

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