He appeared in her doorway, not more than 40 minutes after she hung up the phone, and his expression was a mixture of anger and concern.
The first question after they sat down was, “Are you alright?”
Perhaps not the best way to express concern for her wellbeing since, in the time between hanging up and her father appearing on her doorstep, her outward calm was in place, but inside she was a mess.
“No. This is nothing like what I expected would happen.”
There was no ‘did you do it’ with an expected denial or prevarication. She knew he knew and wasn’t going to skirt around the issue. It was in her best interests to tell him the truth so that he could work out how to approach the matter with the police.
So far, she had left the scene of a crime, apparently shot an unarmed man, and in the absence of anyone else being in the frame, also accountable for the theft of a phone, wallet, car keys, and his car.
That was her assessment, her fathers would be a long list of infractions.
“Were you injured?”
“Did he attack you?”
“In a manner of speaking. I startled him. He was on the phone to someone.”
“How did you shoot him?”
“He came at me suddenly. I had the gun pointed at him, he scared me, and that’s when I pulled the trigger. The gun was aimed at his upper check, so the fact the bullet hit him in the midriff area will attest to that.”
He said nothing, perhaps going through the actions in his mind. She saw him balance over to the weapon now sitting on the kitchen bench on a cloth.
“Only one shot?”
“And there’s a full magazine bar that one bullet?”
“Yes. I did not shoot him in the head. I would not shoot anyone in the head.” Tears were forming her eyes, now the magnitude of her situation was becoming clearer.
He took her hand in his. “I know you wouldn’t, but the police don’t know you like I do. They have a victim, and they will have a shooter and a gun. We are going to have to go to them, you realise that, and it’s not going to be easy.”
“I know. But it might be an idea to call a detective called Sykes. He knows all about Harry’s situation, and will definitely want to know about this Blines character because he has to be part of the group that kidnapped Harry.”
“You don’t know that. What if God’s name were you doing there?”
“Looking out for Harry’s sister, Corinne?”
“We found an address Harry had hidden away, just over the road from the scene, that Harry visited,. And soon after was taken. I wasn’t expecting anything, but when I heard Blines on the phone, I knew it had to be connected.”
He took a deep breath, and then asked, “Tell me, what were you going to do?”
“I hadn’t got that far. Most likely I would have called the police.”
“Well, given the track record of this Blines character, anything could have happened to you. You knew the rules about approaching suspects, especially people of his type. You know your mother is going to have a mental breakdown over this.”
“If you tell her.”
“It’s a bit late to keep it out of the news, don’t you think? Even I haven’t got that much clout to keep your name out of this. It’s a shooting, in a very dangerous part of the city, involving some very violent criminals. Do you have this detective’s phone number?”
“Then call him. Let’s try and get ahead of this.”
© Charles Heath 2016-2019
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