You are here

ThornyDevils: extract

ThornyDevils by T.W. Lawless

In the congealing pool, Peter saw four bullet casings alongside the still open passenger door of the BMW. Four more on the other side. The driver’s door was also open. Two police officers were standing near the door looking down. One has taken off his cap and was running his hand through his hair, pale with shock. Peter could now clearly see what he was looking at. A male torso hung out of the driver’s door, the head resting limply in a puddle of gore on the garage floor. The back of his skull was missing.

Then Peter saw his suit jacket draped over a carpenter’s bench. He wanted to go and pick it up but an agitated male voice bore down on him from behind. The two coppers looked up in the direction of the voice. It was the wavy-haired detective senior sergeant.

‘Hey you,’ he barked. ‘You. The bloke in the singlet. You can’t go in there, you’ll be disturbing a crime scene. Don’t you touch anything.’ With a wave, he signalled one of the other Homicide Squad members to approach Peter.

As Peter backed away from the garage door, he was followed by a senior constable, who cornered him against a fence. A few minutes later, the detective senior sergeant crossed the yard towards him.

‘Who are you?’

Peter was still trying to shake the vision of trauma he had witnessed from his consciousness. He concentrated all his energies on the present. The detective was taller than Peter, broad-shouldered with a soft, jowly face, a porn moustache, and that hair. The thought that it might be permed pushed everything else away. The detective’s soft face didn’t match his rasping voice.

‘Peter Clancy. I’m the new crime journalist from The Truth and the owner of that coat.’ Peter was beginning to feel the brisk Melbourne winter air. He started to shiver. I need a shirt. I need a shirt. I want my coat back. My tits will freeze off. ‘I heard about the shooting on a scanner and my photographer and I got here just before your lot turned up.’

‘If it was up to me those things would be outlawed,’ he sneered at Peter. 

Buy Now