Web Of Lies – Episode 2
In his late 50s, the chief of police had done good for himself and his family. He was a well respected man in the police force. Short, dark in complexion and a scar on his chin. When he was asked how he got the scar, he always said those are the pecks of being a police officer. The chief didn’t talk much but whenever he did, no one dared to cross his path. Everyone feared the small man and was given the respect he earned.
“Yes sir i will handle it. I will put my best men on the case,” the chief said on the phone.
Darren entered the office and found the chief on the phone with a serious face. Darren could feel the strange atmosphere in the office. The chief pointed Darren to a chair without even looking at him. Darren sat down and envied the office like he had always done. With an animal painting on the big wall on his left, a huge table piled with books, files and a monitor, a big window behind the chair that gave a beautiful view to the mall opposite the station, a mini upright freezer in the corner to the chief’s right and an air conditioner installed some inches before the ceiling, the chief was living a dream at work. Who would go home with an office like this? Darren asked himself and thought about his tiny dusty suffocating office downstairs that didn’t even have a door knob on the door.
“Good morning Darren,” the chief put down the receiver.
“Morning Mr Mambwe,” Darren said with respect in his voice.
“Let’s not waste time here, we have a possible homicide in Makeni. The victim is no other than Fiona Chibuye,” Mr Mabwe said sadly.
“The ministers daughter?” Darren asked astound.
“That’s unfortunate. But where do i fall in now?”
“I am assigning you to the case. I want you to do everything you can to find out what happened.”
Darrens eyes were wide open. It had been three years since he was assigned a murder case and the last time he dealt with a murder case, he couldn’t manage to solve it. He ended up being crowned worst cop of the year.
“But sir you know my history with murder cases,” he said worryingly.
“All the more reasons i am assigning you to the case. Don’t you feel you need some redemption? You’re getting old.” The chief stared at him.
“What i need is not to go out in the field but stay in the office,” Darren said confidently.
“I see. Let me make you a deal then. If you solve this case, i will put your request into consideration and probably give you a promotion,” The chief grinned.
“Really sir?” Darrens face brightened.
“Yes. Now run along, go to the scene and you should take your partner with you.”
“I promise i will do my best,” Darren left the chiefs office excitedly.
For the first time in years, Darren felt like a young man again. His breakthrough was finally in sight. Not only was his request going to be approved but also a promotion. This meant a raise and probably go on a vacation that he had always been dreaming about. Darren was delirious.
“My daughter, why?” Fiona’s mother cried. “You killed her,” she pointed at Clarisa.
Clarisa was curled up in the corner of the small house. She was in terror and in disbelief. She had even stopped tearing up and her eyes were sore. The parademics had arrived at the scene and confirmed that Fiona was dead. They wanted to lift the body when a husky voice stopped them.
“This is a crime scene, you don’t mess with the corpse like that,” Darren said hastily still outside as the door was wide open.
The parademics looked at each other seemingly lost and wondered who the man was. One of the young parademics told their coworkers to step back. Darren walked in the house to the body ensuring he didnt step on the blood and knelt before the corpse. He stared at it for a while looking around the small beautiful place. He looked back at Chilufya and gave him a sign to go upstairs. He asked for some gloves from the young parademic and checked the body. He checked the neck and noticed that it was red covered with bruises. He stood up and wondered where the blood had come from. He knelt once again but to roll the body on the other side. Since she died in lingerie, Darren was met with the gruesome black marks on the body. He couldn’t see them before because she was found laying face down. He felt a chilly feeling thinking about how someone could do that to a girl.
“This is homicide,” he said out loudly.
“She did it!” Fiona’s mother pointed at Clarisa.
Darren went to Fiona’s father and mother and took them to a small living room. They sat down and he waited for them to calm down. He noticed that Fiona’s father had worn a sweater which went upto to his kneck despite the hot weather. On the other hand, Fiona’s mother had worn a red dress that fitted her so tightly for her age and officiality. Brushing his attention to detail aside, He took a small notebook and looked at them for a while once again. He didn’t know how they were feeling because he had no experience in that kind of grief. One thing he knew was that they were hurting. He remembered when he was young and came home with a red eye and swollen mouth, his mother cried like he was dead. That woman, he wondered.
“I believe this is not your residence, right?” Darren looked at them.
They both nodded.
“What were you doing here?” He asked carefully not to push them.
“What sort of question is that?” Fiona’s mother asked angrily.
“Our daughter had not been answering her phone and we were worried. She’s a mess so we decided to come here and found the girl in that corner kneeling before our daughters body,” Fiona’s father said pointing at Clarisa.
“You’re supposed to be interrogating that girl,” Fiona’s mother interrupted angrily.
Darren looked at Clarisa and could tell she was shaken. Reason he didn’t want to interrogate her first was because of that, she wouldn’t have made sense. Hence starting with Fiona’s parents.
“Do you know the girl?” Darren asked them.
“This is our first time seeing her,” Fiona’s father responded.
“So what you are telling me is that You don’t know this girl you found in your daughters flat kneeling before the dead body?” Darren asked insensitively. Realizing that he had probably hurt the parents feelings, he rephrased his question putting an emphasis on the name Fiona.
“Yes detective, we don’t know her.”
Darren stood up and walked to Clarisa who couldn’t look at him in the eyes. He felt sorry for the girl but he had no choice but subject her to the questioning. Feelings of suspects didn’t matter in these kind of situations, he told himself nearing where Clarisa had sat.
“Darren!” Chilufya called from upstairs.
Darren left Clarisa and rushed upstairs. He found Chilufya standing looking rather suspiciously at the closet.
“What is it Chilufya?” Darren asked.
“See this?” he pointed at the closet.
“I only see clothes, what?”
“A man was also living here. There are men clothes in this closet.”
That interested Darren and knew that one who could know about the clothes was The girl downstairs. Darren looked around once more and everything seemed to be in it’s place in the room. He was about to leave the room when something prompted him to check under the bed. He knelt down and saw a phone. He stretched his arm and reached for it.
“Iphone 7 hmmm,” Chilufya nodded. “One other thing Darren, there’s no sign of force entry but i noticed something on the stair handles when coming up here.”
“I am listening,” Darren said while trying to unlock the iphone.
“It didn’t look right. It’s as if someone was trying to pull it off. Being that it’s made of wood, i even noticed a nail missing.”
“I saw that too. As a matter of fact, there is a tiny blood stain on the wood and it seems our dead girl was trying to run to the bedroom while the offender was pulling her.”
“So it was a pull-pull game. She was holding on to the stair handle while the perpetrator was pulling her downstairs,” Chilufya added. “Whoever did it sure is strong and our girl didn’t just die without putting up a fight.”
“Our suspect probably has some bruises or injuries on their face,” Darren said putting the iphone in a small plastic and headed downstairs. He went straight to Clarisa and stood before her.
“Whose phone is this?” He showed her the phone.
“That’s Fiona’s phone,” Clarisa answered shakingly.
“Where did you find your friend? Stairs or the bedroom?”
“Right below the first step sir,” Clarisa looked at Fiona’s body on the floor.
Darrens suspicions were now being put to the test. The dead girl was found right below the starter stair and her phone under the bed. Something was not right, Darren thought to himself. Darren called the other officers on the scene and instructed them to take Clarisa to the station for questioning. Darren went back to Fiona’s parents.
“This is definitely a murder, we will do our best to catch the offender. I am sorry for your loss,” Darren turned around.
“I hope you do your best because I don’t think you’re right for this job Darren Sampa Junior,” Fiona’s father said.
How he hated to be called by his full name. He froze for a while and felt his temper rise. The hot weather made it even worse. He clenched his fist and bit his lower lip that he almost dug his teeth into the fresh. He almost turned around when Chilufya came and signed to him to let it go.
“Thank you Minister, if anything we will get back to you,” Chilufya said patting Darrens shoulder.
The two detectives left the flat and went to the car. They drove in silence and Chilufya knew how upset Darren was.
“bas***d son of a gun,” Darren hit the cars compartment.
“Chill, you will ruin my car,” Chilufya said. “He’s the minister you know? Let’s just do our job. Whatever happened to your last murder case doesn’t have to determine the outcome of this case.”
Darren and Chilufya reached the station when Darrens phone rang. It was his mother.
“What again? I just talked to her this morning.”
He answered it.
“I am at your office with Ayana,” she hang up.
Chilufya laughed at him. They both entered the station and As always met Serena at the reception. They didn’t talk to her and she acted like she had not seen them.
“Have Jeremy go to the crime scene Chilufya,” Darren instructed Chilufya. “And give him the phone,” he passed the phone to him.
Darren rushed to his office and found his mother with Ayana. They had already made themselves comfortable in his small office. He sat down and looked at the both of them after greeting them.
“This is Ayana, isn’t she pretty?” His mother asked excitedly.
Darren looked at the shy Ayana and thought for a while. He then shifted his attention to his mother and sighed.
“I don’t like her mother,” he said.
(THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. NAMES, CHARACTERS, BUSINESSES, EVENTS AND INCIDENTS ARE EITHER THE PRODUCTS OF THE AUTHORS IMAGINATION OR USED IN A FICTITIOUS MANNER. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO ACTUAL PERSONS, LIVING OR DEAD, OR ACTUAL EVENTS IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.)
© Brian Ngoma
To be continued