Monday, 26 January 2015

Are You Sitting Comfortably (part 5)

The Elizabeth Tower. A beautiful piece of modern architecture which has stood ever watchful over the streets of London since it's completion in 1858. Most people knew it as Big Ben, but not Alfie Fredrickson. He knew it as his single goal in life- to report from outside it's ancient halls. And there was only one way he could ensure he was the only reporter to grace it's beauty.
To eliminate the rest.
Channel 4 was the first stop. They had a patronising oaf of a reporter called Wilf Studwick, who took pleasure in his weekly political report from outside Big Ben. Alfie had pictures of the lumbering oaf plastered all over his wall, screen shots from the telly, and a red pen hung by a twine string, ready for use. He had studied Wilf's usual behaviour and actions but had a very simple idea of what to do. He knew he wouldn't be able to present from Big Ben if he was arrested for murder, so he had to be careful. Stabbing him in the back would be too obvious, as would shooting him from a long distance. And, anyway, if any killer, he was a flamboyant killer.
That night, he switched on the television and tuned into Channel 4. The normal anchors looked at him sincerely and said, "We're sorry to report the unfortunate loss of our political reporter, Wilf Studwick. Wilf was a valued member of the news team, and it's certainly a terrible day to say that he was murdered. Here's Beth Strouder with a report."
It cut to a teary eyed Beth Strouder, stood outside the Studwick Household. "Thanks. I've just been talking to the police inspector and he has confirmed that the death was accidental. It's a terrible fate that our star reporter was killed by his umbrella snapping shut and the sharp edges severing his head. The umbrella company is being looked into for manslaughter charges."
Alfie switched off the television and smiled to himself, standing up. He walked past a table with a set of pliers and several sheets of curled sharpened metal placed on it. He arrived at the pictures of Wilf Studwick on his wall and then grabbed his red pen, drawing a large line through it. "One down." He muttered.
The next target was ITV's political correspondent Chantelle Woodcock. Her picture was just above Wilf Studwick's. Now the umbrella trick had been used, he needed to find a completely new way to deal with her. But he had a few ideas. Savage Beheading was old news now. Perhaps poison would be an interesting plan? But not administered in the usual way. Oh no. That would be far too obvious.
The following night, he switched on the television and tuned into ITV 1. Once more, the normal anchors looked at him with eyes slung with misery. "After yesterday's tragic loss of Wilf Studwick, we are heartbroken to inform you that our very own reporter Chantelle Woodcock was pronounced dead earlier today. Here's Peter Mathewson with the full story, Peter-"
"Thank you." Peter Mathewson said, turning up on screen. "Yes, I'm sorry to be the one to deliver this new. Our very own Chantelle Woodcock was discovered earlier today in her London residence. Police coroners have confirmed that the death was suspicious. Pathologist's have come to the conclusion that Miss Woodcock was killed by poison vented out from a rigged bulb bought by the day previous. Upon being switched on, the bulb burst and allowing poison gas to kill her."
Alfie switched the television off and tightened his fists. How could he be so obvious? He climbed up and went across to the picture of Chantelle Woodcock, crossing it out with a red line. He'd already put  his new plan into action. He grinned at the picture of the BBC Political Correspondent.
Alfie watched the television with expectant anticipation the next night. This was it, the last kill. The general election was next week and only one television network would be providing coverage, the BBC. And if their key reporter was dead, then there would be only one person who could do the job. Alfie Fredrickson, deputy political reporter. If he was the only one left, he'd be the only one who could do the job. He'd be the only one who could present in front of Big Ben. He felt like laughing an evil laugh.
He switched on the television and watched. Just one familiar anchor this time but the same apologetic tone. "We are sorry to inform you that Alex Fraser, our political corespondent, was found dead in his home this morning. The latest victim of the Political Journalist Murderer or an unfortunately timed accidental death? Here's Cathy McCarthy with the full story."
Alfie personally knew Cathy McCarthy and he really hated her, so he decided not to watch her report, knowing full well that Alex had died from a poison injected into the eggs she had used to make a birthday cake for her daughter. He'd simply broken into her house whilst she was at and then dipped the top of each egg into a cup of vinegar, softening the shell so he could inject the poison in. Genius.
Once Cathy had finished her report, he continued to watch the anchor standing in front of a powerpoint screen. "With the recent deaths of the three news correspondents, police have provided an area inside the Houses of Parliament from which the new correspondents will able to present from during the upcoming elections to protect them from this terrible murderer."
Alfie switched off the television and gripped his knuckles, tight in anger. He'd tried to make sure he was the only journalist outside Big Ben, but he'd ended up ensuring he wouldn't be outside Big Ben at all! He stormed straight to the phone, ticking Alex Fraiser's face in the process, and called his producer. "Hi." He said through gritted teeth. "I was just wondering, about how news correspondents are being asked to present inside the safe room, well would it be possible for me to present from outside?"
"No." The producer said. "I'm sorry Alfie, but it's just not safe."
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, Steve! Please, you've got to let me."
"I'm sorry Alfie, but we're not taking the chance. It's either this way or you're fired. We're not dicing with people's lives."
Alfie hung up in anger, slamming the phone into the cradle. He went to his workbench and picked up a homemade explosive, weighing it up. If he couldn't have Big Ben, no-one could.

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