Monday, 30 March 2015

Witch Takers (part 5)

"Freud!" I screamed, kicking the door of the First Nick open. Freud raced from his office and stared at me. "What do you want?"
"I've got evidence to prove that McNiven is innocent." I said. "And that Stonetoe is guilty."
"I'm sorry?"
I smashed the trophy into the counter and pointed at the blood stains. "Get Geoffrey. I'm sure he can prove the blood belongs to O'Rhian, and that skin fibres on the base belong to Stonetoe."
"Good work, Winters." Freud said, before spinning on the spot and racing towards the array of Cold Rooms. Geoffrey was still down there, staring violently at McNiven and was quick to help when we demanded a blood test. Within moments, seconds even, the ape of a man had declared that the blood did, in fact, belong to O'Rhian and that the DNA on the base wasn't McNiven's. It was potentially Stonetoe's, but first we'd have to prove it.  "Let's bring him in." Freud said.
We grabbed our cloaks and brought them tight around our shoulders, before racing into the cold of the ever increasing night. "Stonetoe isn't a fool." Freud announced, as we ran. "He'll have cast a surveillance spell or something along those lines. The second he sees the weapon has moved, the second he'll flee. I have the sense that this is a spontaneous murder, so I doubt he'll wish to kill again."
"How do we find him then?" I asked.
"How would you run away if you had to?"
I ran through the options in my mind. "The Phantom Subway."
Imagine the Tube that runs beneath London. A sleek, metal selection of carriages winding endlessly through a network of tunnels beneath a thriving metropolis. Now, add fire and broken metal along with the screaming of trapped souls and a surprisingly efficient ticket ordering system and you are pretty much presented with the Phantom Subway, a network of trains that travel beneath the various hidden kingdoms and can deliver any magician anywhere they like. It had been closed down in most of the kingdoms because of the traumatising effect it had on people who used it daily, but not in Mortlock. Oh no, because Mortlock was recognisably stern and upper lipped stiffly. "There's a port in Bruskin, he'll be using that." I said.
"Where is that port?" Freud asked, rhetorically.
As he spoke, I came to that same conclusion that he had moments before. "To the side of the church."
We raced across the bridge of the Canal and towards the church, where a path from the Stadium led straight to the side of the Church. Presumably, Stonetoe had followed it because he was stood directly in front of us with a spell caster.
"Oh for crying aloud, that's a grade twelve illegal weapon!" I exclaimed.
"You bet it." Announced Stonetoe and then pulled the trigger. Freud and I leapt into the graveyard. The spells hit the stones and tore large chunks from them, until they stopped suddenly giving Freud and I a chance to fire other spells in quick succession. Sudden explosions chased after us as the gun began working again, but Freud managed to throw a wind blast directly into Stonetoe's stomach, knocking him to the floor, winded.
We raced over and looked down. "Irwin Stonetoe," I said, "I'm placing you under arrest on suspicion of the murder of Buster O'Rhian. You have the right to remain silent, but anything you do say will be given as evidence in court."
He stared up at us with a look in his eyes asking, "What did I do to deserve this?"

We found out that O'Rhian had stumbled into the manager's office slightly drunk. Infuriated that the Barons had been doing so bad that season, he began to threaten their manager. As the old phrase went, never corner a Potholer. The manager had grabbed a trophy from the shelf and smashed it into O'Rhian's head, knocking him to the floor, dead. Stonetoe had taken O'Rhian and the trophy out to the bins, throwing the trophy into the bin and then pushing O'Rhian into the canal, letting him wash away. He wasn't counting on the body washing up so close to the town centre, but then again, if your body was surging with guilt fuelled adrenaline, would you be thinking straight?
For murder, not man slaughter I hasten to add, Irwin Stonetoe was put away for six years. The ironic thing, however, was that the Barons did much better in the following Duel Stick Season.

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