Read here DALSTON NOIR #1 Trouble on Kingsland Road
Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly took out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram anyway.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He made a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which was confirmed when he saw what looked like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must have been the heart, he figured.
The stern police-woman’s superior was leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decided it was high time to disappear in the crowd.
The purple-haired lady was nowhere to be seen and Egon was almost about to give up on her when he spotted the little bent figure disappearing around the corner into Tottenham Road, passing by the Job Center. Egon wondered whether she’ll go inside but she carried on.
Last thing he heard, they now made the poor unemployed, or job-seekers as they were officially called, come into the Job Centre every day. The £60 per week was indeed hard-earned. And not only that, they made them take courses On How To Search Jobs Online, basically forcing them to apply for jobs. What had the world come to? Why couldn’t they just leave the work-shy alone? Most unemployed were able to work and able to find it if they really wanted. The fact that they didn’t was because they didn’t want one. Something Egon in his heart of hearts could emphasise with. Only why hadn’t the Job Centre figured it out yet?
But he was meandering, there was a case which needed his immediate attention. The old lady was walking quite fast for someone he reckoned was at least 80 years old. She kept on looking over her shoulder and Egon made sure he mingled with the unemployed crowd when he saw her entering a block of flats facing the school nearby.
Egon noticed several flats in the building and couldn’t make out which was hers. He was about to turn away when the door opened and plum-flamed hair appeared over an astonishingly young-looking face, ‘Are you following me?’ Instantly Egon was reduced to a blushing 5-year-old. ‘Yes… no…’, then summoning his courage, ‘I saw you at the accident and hoped maybe you might shine some light on his death?’ ‘It was a She’, she breathed conspiratorially and looked as if she’d already said too much. ‘Did you know Her?’ The lady hesitated, her little eyes darting anxiously about, then motioned Egon inside.
He followed her up a flight of stairs into a cozy and somewhat chintzy place. Not being asked to sit down, Egon leaned nonchalantly against the kitchen door frame.
‘What is it you want to know? ‘She turned around and suddenly didn’t look as benevolent as before.
‘I saw the crime scene and some things struck me as odd.’
’Why do you care about the death of a dog?, adding more vehemently, ‘What was she to you?’
Egon doesn’t really have an answer and starts thinking this might have been a really silly idea and yes, why does he care? To buy himself some time he pushes his glasses further up his nose. He doesn’t really need them as he’s only minimally short-sighted but on days like today he wears them for extra weightiness.
His gaze wanders over the crocheted cushions and freezes on the framed picture of a beautiful dog with shiny chestnut hair looking at him, coyly and intrepid at the same time. How come they had these human expressions? Wider emotional range than most actors…
Egon’s thoughts are interrupted by the sudden scent of eucalyptus and lavender enveloping him as the old lady moves close to him, ‘Gilda. That was her name. She disappeared one day and even though I went to the Missing Dogs Bureau and they investigated, there wasn’t a trace of her.’
Feeling somewhat nauseous Egon steps aside, his personal space had been invaded and he struggled to think clearly. It would be very difficult to find a dog in a city, especially if the dog in question didn’t want to be found. And why had she disappeared in the first place?
As if guessing his thoughts, the face of the lady hardened. A muted ringtone came from inside her bag but she ignored it and kept staring at him blankly.
Egon knew it was time to go but he also knew from the crime novels he had read that detectives never leave without bait and he quickly wrote his number on the back of a Sainsbury’s receipt he found in his pocket. ‘In case you think of something’, he mumbled on his way out.
Walking home afterwards, he felt more mystified than before. What exactly had been Gilda’s relationship with the old lady? And how come she had been there at the moment Gilda was found? Very suspicious, he thought. She must know more than she lets on. Egon’s head was buzzing with questions which only brought up more questions and he decided it would be a good idea to have a cup of tea.