google-site-verification: googlec7224cac6d883d54.html Nora by Charles J Harwood: Nora by Charles Jay Harwood Chapter 9.3

Nora by Charles Jay Harwood Chapter 9.3

Nancy squeezed past a dresser adorned with photos displaying Sheila’s revelries with sun-bleached ‘sisters’. In the kitchen, Disney crockery crammed the sink. A clown-faced clock draped with last year’s Christmas tinsel proclaimed it was ten-past-eight. Her mother’s love of Christmas and the tacky bordered upon the fanatical.
Nancy unlocked the passage door to be greeted with the usual rubbish sacks. She stuffed her bloodied clothes into a plastic bag and placed it at the bottom of the bin.
With practiced efficiency, Nancy separated out the card and glass from plastic. As always, there was more glass than others – tequila, Southern comfort, sangria and Diamond whites. A dozen empty brown ale tins informed Nancy that her mother’s boyfriend, Neil had been round last night. Nancy closed the lid of the bin along with her fate. Her clutchbag stuffed with her clothes would remain upon her bed; Nancy would go out and get Sheila’s prescription and then pop into the off license afterwards. Never had her future looked so cut and dried.
The limo had singled her out. It had been waiting for her its entire life. Vince is now dead and she has Leon’s blood on her dress.
The kitchen on her return pushed against her senses. Mickey Mouse and Minnie beamed with enforced jollity from the mug tree; clown clock with big red nose tocked inside her head and the caramel woodchip tormented her with its vomity texture. A clammy shudder tore through her. All she wanted to do was lie down. Lie down as quickly as possible.
Nancy staggered through the living room, ducking as she went. She squeezed her eyes shut against the pounding in her head. Her urgency permitted no time to plump up her cushions. She simply settled her cheek against the cotton and let her breaths resonate against her skull.
The landline pulsed into life. Nancy froze, her eye winking open. No one but the formal called the landline. It couldn’t be anything else but what she should have been expecting all along.
Nancy slowly sat up trembling. She wiped her eyes on the heels of her hand and picked up the receiver.
The earpiece emitted a soft hiss from another space. The absence of a timely greeting spurred another round of beating in her head.
‘Miss Hutchens?’ a male voice husked, soft yet formal.
Nancy clutched the receiver tightly.
‘Miss Nancy Hutchens?’
Nancy emitted a tight whisper. ‘Yes.’
‘This is Constable Warren from the Warwickshire Police.’
Nancy could not have spoken if she’d wanted to.
Constable Warren, sensing Nancy’s inner tumult continued. ‘We are making routine enquiries regarding an incident last night. You were present at the Nexus Nightclub at this time, is that correct?’
‘H…how did you get my number?’
Warren didn’t mince words. ‘We are trying to locate a subject who was seen emerging from the nightclub last night with Vincent Jonas. We have collated account holders who have purchased tickets to the event and your details have come up.’
Nancy took a moment to process this information. ‘I see.’
‘You may or may not be aware that Mr. Jonas was involved in a near fatal car accident last night. His assistant Leon Fairchild was killed instantly.’
Near fatal.
‘Miss Hutchens?’
Nancy’s voice box took another moment to unlock. ‘I…I had no idea.’
Constable Warren paused at this affirmation. ‘Please understand, Miss Hutchens that we have put a restraint upon the press from publishing the pictures of Mr. Jonas leaving the nightclub until we can establish the identity of the subject concerned. We need witness statements and the publicity could hinder the investigation.’
On the surface this seemed to work in Nancy’s favour but a multitude of possible outcomes instilled caution within.
‘As you can imagine,’ Warren continued, ‘sensitive information regarding a public figure will often leak, and this includes pictures.’
‘W…what are you trying to say?’
‘Miss Hutchens, we know someone else was in the car with Mr. Jonas at the time of the accident.’
Nancy checked an impulsive rash of words.
‘When the pictures come out, someone will make a positive ID upon the subject seen leaving the nightclub with Mr. Jonas. Hindering a police investigation is very unwise, Miss Hutchens. If the person is you, it would be in your best interests to say so now.’
Nancy blinked slowly. There was no use in denying it. Cora and Bex would be included in witness statements and they would name her instantly. ‘I understand,’ Nancy conceded. ‘Then…then yes, it was me who was seen leaving the nightclub with him.’
The constable waited.
‘But… he dropped me off soon after we left. It wasn’t me in the car with him at the time of the accident.’
‘It wasn’t you?’
Nancy cloaked her tone in nonchalance. ‘You’ve made a mistake.’
Nancy detected his tongue clock. ‘Miss Hutchens, I think you should still come down and make a statement.’