A.J. Walker


A Slice of Time

Mid Week Flash #205 - 23.06.21

A Slice of Time

William was a CID Officer with over ten years experience and his gut was having kittens about the case of Mrs Flannery from the high street baker’s. When she’d been found in the shop on Monday morning there were no real clues that forensic could find. Somehow even with all the fine flour dust in the bakery at the back of the shop, which had settled like a dusting of snow, provided no telling footprints from an intruder, just some faint scuff marks from Flannery’s own slippers. It looked like she had skated around the shop rather than walked. It reminded Williams of his daughter when she’d gone through a phase of not lifting her feet to walk. How he’d shouted at her about that. He recalled her smiling at his frustration.

He had to bring himself back around to the present. All the photos from the crime scene showed the trail of the skating baker, the tell tale missing bread knife from the rack and the wound in her body. Just why had anyone murdered the old woman. She was loved in the town and hadn’t any enemies as far as the police had discovered so far. But everyone had secrets, he’d learnt that a long time ago.

The only other evidence was the broken clock on the floor near the door. The traditional round clock had evidently broken during whatever struggle had occurred and left the time indelible for them as evidence. Of course even a clock is right twice a day. So was it 12:40am or pm? The ovens had been on when he’d arrived at the scene and the place had been roasting. It had plaved havoc with the coroner’s assessment on the time of death. In the end they had to bracket it by when she was last seen: on Saturday evening to when she found on Monday. That left three possible 12:40s. As the bakery was closed to sales on Sunday it was deemed there was no reason for her to be there as 12:40 in the morning on Sunday, but Monday morning was still a possibility. So there were evidently two times when she could have been killed. Lunchtime Sunday or the early hours of Monday.

Williams had questioned Rob Pessell, a guy from a few roads away as it was always good to have one suspect for the files. Rob had been an argument on the Friday with Mrs Flannery, viewed by a few local regulars at the bakers, about how the loaf he’d had last time had been too thinly sliced. This was the closest thing to a motive the police could find. According to the investigation he had an alibi for the lunchtime window as he’d been on a Zoom call with mates, which had been verified and even recorded by one girl, and he’d then been round staying overnight at his parents thirty miles away in the evening.

No motive. No footprints or fingerprints. No murder weapon. It was going to be tough. It wasn’t long before the case was put in the ‘never likely to be solved’ filing cabinet (which was soon to be expanded to two filing cabinets) and forgotten about. Had he noticed the faded patch of paint where a clock had been in Rob’s back room it may have been different. They could equally have realised that the clock had no obvious site for itself in the bakery. This forensic genius had watched a couple of episodes of
The Bill and CSI and pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. The murder had actually een on Sunday afternoon on the way to his mum’s.

In the weeks that followed the woman who took over the bakery thankfully sliced the loaf a little thicker than the previous occupant. Rob reasoned he had used his loaf to get away with murder and he wondered about going after George Clooney next, as he was of the opinion that the Toastie loaf was the only one suitable for sandwiches these days and the standard ‘thick sliced’ was like the thin sliced from years gone by.

It was crazy; as he didn’t even like sandwiches. But hell, he was crazy too.

WC: 702