(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
“So let me get this straight,” said the more senior of the two policemen, as they sat sipping tea and eating my chocolate hobnobs—retribution for expecting my secretary to act as a secretary—“you had an altercation with a student in one of your classes and she says you threw her out and her friends have done that to your car?”
“I haven’t thrown her out but seeing as she can’t cope with the reality of evolution I did ask her if she was doing the right course for her?”
“What’s this Intelligent Design I see mentioned from time to time?” he asked.
I sighed, “It basically goes back to the American problem with fundamentalists and the Scopes Monkey trial...” I had to give them chapter and verse about how the US Supreme court had banned the teaching of creationism so the creationists rebranded it Intelligent Design and that there were loads of books out there presenting opinions as fact driven by the Discovery Institute, who still won’t accept evolution or natural selection, even though there is incontrovertible evidence that evolution happens and that Darwin got it broadly right.
They both sat there nodding as I delivered my tutorial, eating all my bloody biscuits—I’ll murder that Diane, though I gave no hint of that to the long arms of the law sitting in my office.
“Was any of the vandalism photographed on CCTV, I notice you have some cameras about the place?”
“It might well be,” I called Diane and asked her to check with the main office to see if we had cameras in the staff car park as the police were wanting to know. She glared at me and went off to call the office. A few minutes later, as the last of my biccies disappeared, she returned to say a copy was on its way.
“So how long you been doin’ this job then?” asked the younger of the plod.
“I’ve been teaching here about ten years, the last three as a professor.”
“Didn’t someone here do a film on harvest mice?” he continued.
“It was dormice,” corrected his colleague, “good programme that, lovely legs—on the dormice, I mean,” he said blushing.
“We did one on dormice and harvest mice and we’re working on one about pine martens, but I’ve been too busy for any filming recently.”
“It was you?” gasped the leg admirer.
“Yes, I know it was a couple of years ago but I hope I haven’t aged that much.”
“Uh no, course not, just didn’t recognise you.”
“Why should you?”
“’ere, who’s this titled woman who works here they call the pension killer?”
“Pension killer?” I asked playing for time while I tried to think of a diversion.
“Here ya go, your ladyship,” announced Diane handing me the DVD.
“Ladyship?” queried cop number two.
“Yeah, she’s a real live arisotcat—I mean aristocrat—aren’t you, Lady Cameron?”
Murder most definitely, wonder if they still have the piranhas in lab five?
“It was you they were on about?” gasped the elder plod.
“I have no idea, but over the years I have had the occasional contact with the Hampshire Constabulary.”
“You solved that murder with Toby wossisname.”
“Oh she’s the greatest blue blooded crime fighter since Lord Peter Wimsey.” So departed my soon to be ex-secretary and murder victim. She would be departed, dearly or otherwise.
“You are a lady of surprises,” cop number one declared.
“I—um, try not to be too predictable.”
“You had problems with the mafiofski, too, didn’t you?”
“If you mean Russian gangsters who were targeting my father in law’s bank and tried to kill several of our family, yes.”
“Regular heroine, by some accounts.”
“Others in your profession considered I was reckless, but they were threatening to kill my children.”
“Cor,” was his colleague’s response.
“Expert with a bow an’ arrer.”
“Sorry but I’m not sure what relevance this has to my car being vandalised by religious nutcases.”
“Just background info, Lady Cameron—surprised you’re driving a VW, I’da thought you’d at least have a Jag or something.”
“I have several children to take to school, my Jaguar isn’t big enough, the Porsche is even smaller and the Ferrari—well, Italian cars don’t like rain, do they?”
“Nah, my Fiat panda hated it, wouldn’t bloody start in the wet.” Was cop two’s reply to my fictional stable of super cars.
“Well, we’d better be going, your ladyship, if you have the name and address of the young woman with who you had the altercation...”
“Diane has it,” I opened the door for them and asked her to provided contact details for the student concerned.
“But of course, gentlemen...” she smiled sweetly at them.
I went back to my office and called up a car valeting service, they could be here in an hour. I did warn them my car had been attacked with eggs and flour. “No problem, my dear, though you do appreciate the longer it takes them, the more we have to charge?”
“Yes, but what is the basic charge?”
“Fifty pounds, which includes a quick clean inside as well.”
“Just do the outside, okay?”
“As you wish, my dear.”
My day was not necessarily improving, all I needed was someone remembering I used to be a boy and it will just about finish me off.
“Why did you give those two morons all my hobnobs?” I demanded of my secretary when she removed the cups and plate.
“Evidence,” she retorted.
“They were on that plate.”
“Could have been anything on the plate, even rich tea.” She quickly swept off any crumbs into my litter bin.
I glowered at her.
“How d’you know they were yours, anyhow?”
“Because I had some in the tea room.”
“In the photocopier room, you mean?”
“You know perfectly well what I mean.”
“Nah, never seen no ’obnobs in there,” she said sounding like a poor imitation of Eliza Doolittle.
“Right,” I stood up and marched past her, out through her office to the little kitchen and opened the tin I keep my hobnobs in and—it was still three quarters full of biscuits.
“They weren’t my hobnobs?”
“No one said they were.”
“Right, I apologise for the mistake.” I said taking a biscuit and walking back to my office. Damn, I’ll have to let her live now.
The main office phoned over to say the car washers had turned up and I strolled over about quarter of an hour later. They were making good progress. “How’d this ’appen?” asked the older of the two car valets.
“Apparently I incurred the wrath of god.”
“Crikey, you musta pissed him off good an’ proper for him to rain eggs and flour on you.”
“I don’t think it was him exactly, rather some of his acolytes.”
“Ain’t they flowers?”
“No, that’s aconite—monk’s hood.”
“Know a lot about flowers do ya?”
“Not really, but as a biologist I suppose I’ve learned a bit over the years.”
“’Ave t’ get some of them, sounds int’restin’ monksood.”
“Have you any children?”
“I’d definitely advise against monk’s hood, it’s deadly poisonous even to the touch.”
“What, you ain’t gotta eat it?”
“No it can be absorbed by the skin.”
“Gonna get some of that for my ma in law,” said his helper and they both fell about laughing.
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