Chapter Two:- Another day...

 Chief inspector Pullman was having a bad day. It was bad enough that the police service was so stretched that they had chief inspector’s out on the streets for ordinary cases without him having to deal with abuse as well. His morning had started badly, he had arrested a locally known youth for spraying the windshield of his cruiser only to have him kick him in the shin and run of down the road. The kid started shouting about police brutality and conspiracy and every old woman with a grudge against the police was out on the street shouting how they knew him since he was a whiper and he wouldn’t do anything wrong. He took several hits from walking sticks and handbags as he perused the kid. Finally he got him back to the station only to have the kids hulking, brain dead thug of a father already there who seemed unable to understand that his child would do anything wrong or that his formal complaint against his sons arrest would have very little effect when the inspectors were shown the cruisers onboard CTV.

He had spent the rest of the morning filling out the ridiculous amount of paperwork for the arrest earlier. He got back on the streets after lunch, his mood low. The radio suddenly went hectic, squawking in his ear. Two suspected murders in an area well known for the above. Constables started replying, ignoring standard procedure in their excitement of something out of the ordinary. Deciding they needed reprimanding he spoke up.

“This is chief inspector Pullman. I’m in the vicinity and will be arriving within the minute. Constables control yourself, maintain radio silence while you speak one at a time you can’t expect a control room to deal with five voices merged into one. Control get me forensics at the scene and direct six constables to the scene. Secure the crime scene and keep the public away. Understood?”

Not waiting for an answer he left the car and walked over to the three constables arriving at the same time. Two were erecting a tent to hide the bodies from view while the other cordoned of the area with tape.

The one putting up the fence straightened and addressed him.

“Fell from the roof sir. T’was me who found um sir.” He glowed with pride. “I ent gone up yet, didn’t want anyone too see the bodies.”

Pullman nodded once and made for the stairs, as a precautionary measure, to protect from the criminal who may still be up there and protection from anyone with a grudge for the police which in this area was just about everyone, he removed his taser from his belt and clipped his baton and pepper spray from their holders for easy use.

After viewing the state of the fire escape stairs he turned for the door of the buildings entrance and made his way up the main stairs, the lift was broken. He grumbled the whole way up as he felt blood pulsing through his temples, wondering if his day could get any worse. He emerged, sweat dripping down the small of his back and his forehead onto the rooftop. He spotted the boy instantly. He looked quite young, early teens he would have guessed, he looked slim but well muscled. He was wearing the sodden remains of a school uniform. He was the sort of boy that would be a hit with the girls. His hair marked him out as a little different. It was very dark and long, almost shoulder length and swept across his forehead and eyes. When it was swept across it wouldn’t look like the ’emo’ kids Pullman knew from the local park instead it would clump into defined strands made of lots of individual hairs and would fan out around his face. Pullman felt himself go cold. The boy was hopelessly, unnaturally still.

He walked slowly over, shaking his head. He stooped down in front of the boy and, ignoring procedure for once, lay his hand on his head. His eyes opened in shock as he felt heat, lots of it. The boy looked so pale but he was burning up! Pullman remembered the icy storm surge last night and comprehension came to him with a rush of excitement. Hypothermia..

“Get me an ambulance here now!” he barked into his radio. He switched to the close radio channel and spoke to the constables downstairs with the other bodies “There’s a kid up here, there’s got to be more than three of you down their know, use the stairs in the building and get me a first aid kit, blankets, anything to warm him up. He took of his overcoat and laid it over the boy. Remembering his long out of date first aid course Pullman started rubbing the arms and legs of the boy, rubbing the warmth back into him. A red faced constable appeared at the top of the stairs, he half stumbled over to them dropping to his knees. Pullman knelt as well and opened the emergency first aid bag the constable had brought up. He pulled the thermo blanket over the boy tucking it in around. He pulled out several heat packs, snapped them and stuck them to the hands and feet of the boy. Then he and the constable continued to rub the boys arms and legs, gradually colour started returning to his face, just about. Two paramedics with a stretcher emerged onto the roof. They rushed over and quickly had the boy on the stretcher, an emergency warmed up intervenes drip hanging from his wrist.

It took almost ten minutes to manoeuvre the stretcher down the stairs, eventually Pullman lost patience and turned the boy almost directly up. Things became quick amazingly fast when he got angry.

The boy was whisked away to the local hospital and Pullman cordoned of the rooftop for forensics. The two bodies downstairs were of women, both fit looking and Pullman found it difficult to believe the boy had pushed them both over. Suicide and bad luck? Self-defence? Framed? Muttering to himself Pullman returned to the station and asked his immediate superior if he could head the case. He was quickly placed in charge but until they discovered the boys identity there was little to do. He spent the rest of the day setting up interview rooms and later reading abilities for all the residents of the block of flats, none of them recognized the women or the photo of the boy the hospital had sent at his request. Pullman got a phone call just as he was about to leave for the day, a nurse at the hospital had ID the boy from psychiatric visits she had made to his home to care for his mother who had severe depression as well as broken heart syndrome. Pullman researched the syndrome and discovered it was an actual illness, a severe shock or environmental change could cause a weakening of the heart muscles. It ranged in consequences but most were fatal or potentially fatal. Severely weakened hearts replicated heart attacks where as partially weakened could cause low blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, heightened depression and epilepsy. The boy was called Mark. Mark Edwards.

Pullman didn’t recognise the boys address and so phoned his mother, a bemused woman picked up the phone. She refused to confirm she was the boys mother and when he informed her her son was in hospital she blew it of, like she didn’t care. She asked why he had phoned and he repeated. Her only reply was a ’So?’ He quickly ended the call with a few muttered words, pity and pain for the boy filled up in his throat, chocking him. He took two deep breaths and replaced his icy persona, wouldn’t do for one of the constables to see him like this. He marched from the room, informing his deputy on the case, who was still on for an hour, of the boys mothers illness and resulting attitude. Social services would be in contact and they would in turn contact the boys mothers lawyers who would deal with it from there.

Chief inspector Pullman clocked off for the night and headed home to his wife and two kids, torn inside with pity for the boy and guilt it was taking so long for anyone to come for him. His father dead, his mother as good as. Social services blocked at every turn. The boy was blocked and trapped. Cases like that were all ways the hardest for Pullman.

His wife seemed to sense his distraction that night, but she waited until both their little girls were bathed and in bed before bringing it up. They sat in front of the roaring log fire in two squishy armchairs rapped in blankets. His eyes were begging to drop with the heat and contentment when his wife asked him the question.

“How was your day Phil?” She asked tentatively.

Phil sighed, swirling his glass of port in the light of the fire. “Not too bad I suppose. Arrested a brain dead thug on the street this morning and got put in charge of a double murder this afternoon. Two women, identical twins I should say, found at the base of the building. I went up to the roof and found a boy lying there, we’re not sure of his involvement in it yet. He was suffering from hypothermia so we got his warmed up and they say he’ll wake up sometime tomorrow or the day after, hard to tell. A nurse recognised him, called Mark Edwards. I phoned his mum before I left. She’s got a load of stuff wrong with her, didn’t see the problem with her son being in hospital. Social services should have had him years ago, but his mothers VERY wealthy and before she lost it she instructed her lawyers she wished to raze the boy. So he’s stuck there. It was so sad.”

She nodded, understanding as always. “Honey, you can’t help everyone. Just doing your job helps everyone, help as a whole not the individuals if you can manage. You’ll help more and suffer much less for it don’t you think?”

He nodded, sighing to himself. It still felt like he was failing in his obligation to the boy. He sat sipping his port before they retired to bed in their safe little, cosy cottage with their two beautiful daughters in the rooms either side of them. As he lay in bed Phil couldn’t help wondering where the boy, Mark Edwards would be sleeping in a few years time after he was sixteen.

The End

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