This is the second part of a fiction serial, in 1104 words.
Please read Part One first.
With just six weeks to go until his fiftieth birthday, Alex had no time to waste. Lucy was preparing a celebration of some kind, and couldn’t resist hinting about how exciting her surprise would be. But he had no thoughts about that either way, as he was lost in the preparations for the murder he would finally commit.
Much thought had gone into the victim. He didn’t want it to be someone too frail or vulnerable. And definitely not a small child. Child murders always attracted far too much attention, and rampant speculation. Once the media became too heavily involved, the Police had no alternative but to work harder to find the killer. He had considered someone random, perhaps one of the few vagrants in the town, or someone just visiting on business. But it was important not to commit the crime in public. This country had more CCTV than anywhere else in the world. Even some local houses had security cameras, and all the road systems locally, as well as any public transport, were comprehensively monitored.
Alex could not use his car, that was for sure. It was bound to be picked up by a camera somewhere. Even walking to the deed was out of the question, as he would sure to be spotted, disguised or not. Life in the twenty-first century made things increasingly difficult for murderers, he concluded. And there was the justification. He would like it to be someone who deserved to be killed, at least in his opinion. So, it must be close by, not covered by cameras, and the victim must be deserving of the crime. It came to him easily, after considering those options. Someone that would be relatively easy to kill, and who would not leave a useful life behind.
His next door neighbours were a nice enough couple. Don and Jean Sinclair were originally from Scotland, but had moved there nineteen years ago, when Don travelled south for work. Alex and Lucy welcomed them when they moved in, they exchanged cards at Christmas, and chatted occasionally over the garden fence. But the Sinclairs were a fair bit younger, so the two couples had little in common. And Jean had been pregnant at the time, leaving Lucy little to discuss with her, other than to reveal she was unable to have any children. The baby was born, and it was a boy. They called him Allan, with two Ls. The following year, Don bought a motor-home, and parked the huge monstrosity outside the house. Alex thought it was an eyesore, and lowered the tone of the area. But he was pleasant when Don proudly showed it to him, and wished him happy holidays in his new vehicle.
Allan gave little trouble at first. The occasional football found on the lawn, thrown back over the fence, or some noisy excited squealing during hot days when the paddling pool came out. But there was something unpleasant about the boy as he grew older. Sly, with his mouth smiling, but his eyes not. His hair was too long, and he mumbled instead of speaking clearly. Don and Jean didn’t see that of course. They doted on the boy, and gave him everything. Including a very loud music system for his fifteenth birthday that he played until late at night, his parents seemingly oblivious to the thumping bass that travelled across into Alex’s peaceful home. But he didn’t complain, and made no mention of it when he saw them on the driveway. That wasn’t the sort of thing he did.
Last year, Allan had left school. He was supposed to be going to college, but never attended the first week. Lucy saw Jean at the supermarket, and she said that Allan was undecided about what he wanted to do, and his final exam results had not been as good as they had hoped. So the boy did nothing. He just lazed around the house all day, supported by his stupid parents, playing loud music, and hardly ever going outside. He had a meaningless and totally pointless existence, as far as Alex was concerned. And that made him the perfect choice as the victim. He would remove this leech from society, and do his parents a favour in the process.
Alex knew enough about Police procedure to know how investigations worked. Their mantra was always the same. Method, Motive, and Opportunity. Those three things trapped so many killers, it was small wonder that detectives relied on them so heavily. He tried to see it from their point of view. Method could be sorted out. It would not be distinctive or unusual, oh no. Run-of-the mill would suit him fine. Motive was the best of the three, as he would have none. There could be no motive for a distinguished local man in his late forties wanting to kill the teenage son of a friendly neighbour. He had never complained about the boy, or the noise. In fact, the opposite was true. Alex and Lucy had always been polite and friendly; they were ideal neighbours, Jean had said so more than once. Opportunity was a stumbling block though. Living next door, he would of course have the ideal opportunity. No travel to the scene of crime, and a quick escape possible too. But without motive, why would he ever be a suspect?
Alex would only need one thing. He didn’t need a weapon, as a house would provide no end of what the Police called Adapted Weapons. No need to take anything from his own house that might incriminate him, or buy in something that could be traced. But he would need something to cover him completely. A protective over-garment that went over his head and covered his feet, something like those scenes of crime specialists wear when investigating murders just like the one he would carry out. They sold them in hardware shops, used by people when painting, or working in dusty conditions. But he couldn’t just walk in and buy one, as that would leave him vulnerable to being caught on CCTV. And there was no chance of buying one online either, as the transaction could be traced. He gave it some thought, and decided that he would have to steal one, preferably somewhere he wouldn’t be recognised. So he set about researching that, not easy when he couldn’t use his computer. He had to sit and think hard instead.
Of course. The Town Hall. They had stocks of such things, for their various cleaning operatives.
And he had complete access to the whole building.
To be continued…