It was building up to being another busy Friday afternoon shift. It was probably no busier than any other shift, but the extra tiredness that Detective Constable Maynard felt by this point made them feel that much longer. He had been sent to Young's general store in East Hull straight after attending a suspicious death over on the other side of the city.
It was most definitely the lull before the storm, he thought as he received the shout to get himself across the city as soon as possible.
He switched the car engine off and removed the keys from the ignition. Tossing aside the various pieces of paper that were littering the passenger seat, he located his mobile. Confirming that he had no new messages that demanded immediate action, he stepped out of the car into the biting wind.
Having being caught in traffic on Castle Street as he crossed the city centre, Maynard had missed most of the forensic operation and arrived in an irritated mood. The Scenes of Crime Officer, Terry Hurley, was in residence, while a young PC stood at the shop entrance, guarding the police tape that had been erected to fence off the crime scene.
Showing his identification, he entered the shop. It was poorly laid out with some shelves over-brimming with tins, while others stood practically empty. The shop floor was dirty from the accumulation of footprints and discarded till receipts.
'Any luck?' he asked, kneeling down to greet Hurley.
'Not a thing, so far.'
Maynard noted that Hurley was dousing the doorframe with ninhydrin powder. The police only used this substance at the end of their forensic investigations, as it tended to destroy the more fragile forms of evidence that they would hope to find.
'Ok. I'll leave you to it'.
Maynard eased himself up and said his farewells before moving towards the back of the store in search of the owner. The store was a throwback to the shops of his childhood.
Twenty years ago you could buy a whole range of groceries; tinned goods, fresh meat, refrigerated and frozen goods from these types of shops. It looked like the kind of place that time had forgotten, untouched by the retail revolution of large superstores and 24-hour convenience stores.
An old man appeared from the back of the store. Maynard produced his warrant card once again and introduced himself.
'Eddie Young. Owner of this last corner of resistance to the large supermarket.'
Detective Sergeant Coleman sat at his desk, surrounded by mounds of paper piled upon it. He was under strict orders from Detective Inspector McCormack not to move until he had made a significant impression on the paper mountain. Lucky bastard, he thought as heard Maynard being told to make his way to Young's store, off Holderness Road.
Holderness Road was one of the major arteries into the city centre, but the new shopping complexes that were scattered around the city gave it a decaying atmosphere. It wasn't the most exciting of shouts, but it had to be better than this. He took another mouthful of coffee, and resisting the urge to log on to the Internet to pass a few minutes, he returned to analysing the data on a recent spate of car crime in the Willerby area.
The pool of Intelligence Analysts was running on low at the present moment. Two analysts had recently left and suitable replacements had yet to be recruited.
That left one untrained junior member of staff in the office, while the rest were engaged in a major enquiry on the South Bank. As he expected to be called into court to give evidence in the next couple of days, he had been left to man the telephones and make some progress on the volume crime.
They'll be here soon.
There's nothing much to do other than wait, so I make another strong cup of coffee and light
up another cigarette. Even these seemingly arbitrary actions are cast into a new focus now.
This patch of time I'm occupying is a bridge - a bridge that spans the space between
the way my life used to be and the way it's going to be. I look around my living room
Fiction - In A Room By Joe Hakim
I wish there were bars so I could hold them, wrap my fingers around the cold steel and press my face in between them, but it's just a room, I'm in a dark room with no windows and no features, so I just sit and think and think and think.
I am a captive, a hostage in a foreign country. I'm apart from my family and friends and I don't know if I'll ever see them again.
Fiction - Off To See The Wild West Show Part 2: Prologue (June 1904: Hull, Yorkshire) By Frank Beill
From the outside the two-storey building looked even more forbidding now than the first time I saw it. Eighteen more years of Hull soot had turned bricks from red to dark brown. The dank smell of Grandmother's skirt returned to me. I caught my breath. So many emotions stirred inside me. Doors in my mind that I'd kept closed for so long were opening again but this time
Fiction - Buried In The Past By Joe Hakim
Arriving back in Hull, the first thing that hits me is just how much hasn't changed.
As I walk down Princes Ave, I look at all the café bars that have sprang up to replace
the odd little shops and businesses that used to line it, but it still feels the
same somehow. There's a kind of progress, I suppose - even if progress means it's
starting to resemble everywhere else in Britain -
Fiction - Red Carpet Blues By Steve Rudd
'One more word out of you, and it'll be your last - I promise.'
The ice-cold gun nudging Ellie's temple was motivation enough for her to keep her mouth shut, as she trembled with fear. She daren't even sob in case her captor construed that any form of noise was reason enough to blow her brains out without further ado.
So much for being a superstar in her own right,
Fiction - 'I Do' By Steve Rudd
Nobody told me marriage would be like this. I thought it would be bliss, day in and day out,
but problems soon surfaced, after our hastily arranged elopement in good old Gretna - that bizarre little settlement that straddles the border between England and Scotland as though it can't quite decide where it stands; where it belongs; which side of the metaphorical fence it is
Fiction - Two Sides : A Friday Night Out In Hull By Joe Hakim
I'm just finishing off at work, watching the clock and loading the pot-wash with plates and cups,
waiting for Sarah to start her shift so I can go home.
It's been a really busy day, so I'll be glad to see the back of the fuckin' place.
I've been working at Sparks cafè bar on Newland Ave for over a year, but it's only been in
the past couple of months it's got really busy.
Fiction - Complicity Part 6 By Nick Quantrill
Complicity is the new crime-fiction novella set in Hull featuring
Detective Sergeant Coleman and Detective Constable Maynard.
The thisisull.com serialisation is accompanied by the stunning black and
white photography of Roland Standaert, which illustrates the story and takes a unique look at the city.
Complicity and other stories are available for free.
Fiction - Gloomy Sunday By Joe Hakim
As we got closer I could see it framed against the horizon. From this distance it just looked like a huge black shape, like a giant lump of coal or something. "Jeezus, it's huge," I said. "Yeah, I'm guessing it's a male," Mike said. "Could be about fifty tonnes of whale washed up down there." Mike was a marine biologist.
He'd been given the task of studying
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 17 By Rich Mills
29th November 2040
The information is coming thick and fast.
The latest version of Arc-iSearch is a truly amazing piece of AI software.
It sweeps across the huge net archives, sniffing out the smallest of references,
eliminating the irrelevant with an intelligence that grows as it goes.
I set it on its way yesterday, now it has started to
Fiction - The M1 McDonalds Girl and the Most Suitable Bloke By Andy Bilton
So I'm heading home. Heading north. Eighty, on the M1, just south of Sheffield. Pissing it down. That horizontal stuff that totally obscures your view, your only safe option being to get in to the inside lane and follow the red cat's eyes. Not ideal weather conditions for a must-get-there-quicker sort of situation such as this.
I should slow down really but Helen's already been on the mobile
Fiction - The Guy Who Had All The Time In The World By Joe Hakim
Sometimes it gets to be a bit too fuckin' much, I decide, after another day spent wandering the streets aimlessly.
The sky is still bright purple - the colour of a fresh bruise - and the streets are still completely silent; not even the sound of birds chirping or distant traffic in the distance.
Aside from that, everything seems to be much the same, at least on the surface.
There's no visible
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Fourteen By Steve Rudd
Yogesh, my abandoned guide on all things Nepalese, had said that the small
yak-herding settlement of Langsisa was worth seeing if seeing meant believing,
being as it is so isolated and yet further east of Kyangjin.
Yogesh and I had discussed where I might like to trek on my trip before
we embarked from Kathmandu, and he'd proposed the Langtang trek as being
an ideal one
Fiction - The Burden - A Short Story By Joe Hakim
I step out into the sun and close my eyes, letting the light wash over my face.
It's cold, and the wind pinches my cheeks but I feel complete, for the first time ever.
Today the world is different. Today is the first day of a new beginning.
Everything feels real and vivid, and I bathe in it, taking it all in like a child
seeing a painting for the first time, judging the angles and
Fiction - Two Extracts from The Shintae - a Novel by Brian R Hill
Fiction - Zero and the Neighbours Part 1 - Demo version 0.1 By Joe Hakim
Frank was one of the regulars. From the first day I started dealing poker on the tables, Frank was there. To look at, he was your typical moody old man - old in the Father Christmas sense - white hair, a huge white beard and a round gut that hung out of his shirt and over his belt. You could imagine him sat in a grotto in the bottom of Princes Quay with some mewling