Chapter 5-

Anyway, I had just been thinking about how to start searching for the killer, if I was ever going to.

It had puzzled me, all the way on my walk to the local newsagent’s (the weather was still smiling down on us) and I still had not answered it when I finally reached my destination.

I pushed open the door, hearing the little ‘ding’ of the silver bell as usual, but feeling as though every eye had suddenly swiveled round to rest upon my tired face.

“Oh, Mrs. Howard,” I heard one customer say, before the newsagents, Mr. Clark, bustled forward from out behind the till and clasped my hands.

“We’re sorry for your loss,” he muttered, also giving me a quick pat on the back.

After thanking him, I kept my gaze steadily away from anybody else and found myself frowning at the generic magazines.

How did he know?

It was not like I had told anyone yet.

Steven wouldn’t have…?

But he hadn’t.

Picking up the daily paper, I saw that the front page had a glorified picture of my late husband, alive, and a picture of a crime-scene surrounded by police officers. They seemed to swarm the place like flies would to dead meat.

The headline ‘DOUBLE MURDER’ stood out like it had been embossed out from the black-and-white paper. Hastily, I scanned the article below; it was all media drivel: how the police knew nothing yet, but were doing their best, and how there was a possibly serial killer, possibly on the loose- all just stuff to reel the readers in.

One thing that caught my eye was a name: Minerva. Reading the associated paragraph more closely, I discovered that it was the name of an IT company which the second murder victim (a single woman in her late 30s, Russian, with a dark complexion and hair, and a slight sight impairment) was CEO of.

‘My life is far from safe…’

Was I truly looking down at the woman who had sent me the letter? If that was so, then I was never going to have meeting with the mysterious woman.

And in her last moments she had sent me a letter inviting me to investigate…

Certainly it was a request I could not turn down.

The newspaper reported that there were deep suspicions that my husband’s death and that of this woman, Metya, were linked. It said nothing more, it not explain how the police would know such a thing, but that there were the typical clues.

Clues that they had not told the widow, then?

It’s probably just police rules.

As I left the shop, I received more condolences, and started to get used to the fact that I was, now, a widow. It was my status, and I was free to remarry. (Not that there was anyone in mind at that point. I was just glad to be able to move forward, not backward, with my life).

But why don’t I feel free in my soul?

You’ve still got a mystery to solve, muttered an annoying, but truthful, voice in the back of my mind.

Because, now I wasn’t just trying to find out who shot my husband, I was trying to find out who shot my new friend too.

The End

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