Find enclosed part six of ‘The Pen is Mightier than the Nerd’.
Most of this bit is sorting out a mistake I made in my earlier tweets, where I accidentally called ‘Stacey’ by her mother’s name. I will now spend a thousand words digging myself out of this hole, but luckily it did come out as quite a nice sub-plot, where Mervyn mistakes Stacey for Mary, assumes Mary has been having an affair, and pegs her as a suspect for the murder of her husband.
As for the Mary/Mara thing, well, hurray for the internet.
Mervyn signs off, telling his followers that his phone is low on battery. I’m sure that excuse covers a multitude of sins, but I’m better it’s never been used as a reason to think up another chunk of thriller before.
This is the second time in three days I’ve woken up in this bloody flat.
I’m peeking over the sofa. They seem to have gone. My guess is that they’ve retired to one of the downstairs bedrooms.
Well I’ve learned precisely nothing during this expedition, apart from the fact that Klingons like to be noisy.
That saved me, because they probably didn’t hear me snore when I finally nodded off.
Time to get out of here quickly and quietly, with the minimum of fuss.
Well I managed to get out of there.
They hadn’t locked the back door, thank God. That was the good news.
The bad news was, I was in the garden, and I felt for my wallet…
I was going to go back, but the thought of tiptoeing through their discarded underwear made me queasy.
Apparently the man’s affection for ‘Star Trek’ extended to his choice of underwear.
‘Phaser set to stun’ indeed. Most amusing.
I could hear voices, so I launched myself over the wall…
Right by the dustbin I’d crushed last night.
At last! A discovery related to the case!
The contents of the bin had been vomited all over the back street…
And lying there in among the old banana skins and tin cans, was a phone, a watch, and a roll of twenty pound notes.
The stuff that was supposedly ‘stolen’ by this burglar.
So that wasn’t the reason why Alistair was killed. It wasn’t a burglary gone wrong. I stuffed the evidence in my pockets and left.
I’m ashamed to say I used a bit of the money to get home, as my missing wallet contained my oyster card.
But it’s all in good cause. I’m sure Alistair would understand.
Off for a nap now. Alistair’s floor was very cold and drafty. Need a proper sleep without Klingon noises.
So I’m sitting here thinking: if the burglary wasn’t a real burglary…why attack Alistair? Was he the real target?
I think the answer might lie back at the shop.
So far my list of suspects stretches to precisely…One. Mary Guffin. Point one: She sounded like she didn’t care when Alistair was killed.
Point two: she was obviously in London when she was supposed to be in Coventry – or was it Stoke?
Point three: she has a Klingon boyfriend.
So I’m waiting outside ‘Buy the Gods!!’ cult shop in the mall, watching from an internet cafe.
I’m screwing up my nerve to go in and confront her, and demand to know why she doesn’t care about Alistair’s death.
This is not going to be pretty, and every cringing English instinct in my body is screaming at me to go back home, have a cup of tea and watch ‘Eggheads’.
Okay. Off I go. Wish me luck.
Well that didn’t go quite as planned.
I walk in there, and of course the customers notice me and try and get free autographs off me.
One smelly guy wants a free photo, and I get imbedded in his acrid armpit while his girlfriend lines up the shot.
Reeling from semi-suffocation, I see Mary Guffin at the till.
Only it’s not Mary. It’s Stacey. She’s had her blonde hair dyed jet black since last week. She looks very similar to her mum now.
The conversation goes like this: Me: Hello, is Mary in today?
Stacey: she’s not back ’til this afternoon. Can I take a message?
Oh. I mentally scrub point (2) from my list. I don’t know what to say next, so some words just tumble out of my mouth.
Me: it’s just she was putting something aside for me…A Perspex brick with an autograph in it? Signed by ‘Gertie’?
She suddenly gets angry. She gives me a black look, ably assisted by inch-thick layers of black eye-liner.
Stacey: so it’s YOU who keeps ringing up about that bloody thing, is it? For the last time it ain’t for sale. Jesus, you guys don’t take no for an answer, do you?
Her raised voice alerts a man with muscles crammed into a black t shirt. It’s the Klingon fetishist from the flat.
He comes forward protectively, interposing himself between me and Stacey. He’s the aggressively chivalrous type…
The type of man who steers his girlfriend along pavements by the small of her back.
Man: problem darling? Stacey: no, he was just leaving – weren’t you mate?
I nod, dumbly, and stumble to the door. The man follows me for the three feet it takes to leave the tiny shop, and glares at me until I disappear back into the Internet cafe. Stupidly, I wave. Why did I do that?
And he comes after me.
I scamper out of the mall. He runs for a couple of metres, and then he walks back triumphantly to his girl, like he’s just killed a mastodon, rather than just chase a middle aged fat guy past ‘Specsavers’.
I’m back in the cafe now, and I’m confused. If it was Stacey and her Neanderthal in the flat, why did he call her ‘Mary’?
Or now I think about it, was it ‘Mara’?
A couple of minutes googling, and I find ‘Mara’ was a female Klingon who got captain Kirk a bit hot and bothered in the 60s.
I shouldn’t feel silly – I shouldn’t have to know this rubbish – but I do.
So Mary doesn’t have a bit on the side and she didn’t return home early. My only suspect is dwindling into the distance.
But she DID show no regret at her husband’s death. At least according to Stacey. I still have that. Time to regroup, I think.
A cup of tea to help me think. I wonder if ‘Eggheads’ is still on?
Okay I can watch ‘Newsround’ but I’m not watching ‘The ‘Weakest Link’. I’m going for a walk.
No I’m not.
There’s a knock at the door.
Looking out the window.
It’s Mary Guffin! At MY door!
Phone out of juice. Will talk to you later. If I can.