Mr. Peter Howard was brutally shot down whilst out walking in Lake-View Forest, near his home in the centre of town. The shot was heard by a hunter who came upon the dying Howard within minutes. Unfortunately, it only took one bullet to kill the victim, who died on his way to the hospital.
Well, there was a great place to start searching for clues: the forest in which my husband died. It wasn’t far from where my house was (it decked the outskirts of both villages, rather like a barrier between the two). Grabbing a notepad and pen, an electric torch, and a camera (not to mention my bright red rain-coat because it was starting to spit outside), I gathered that I was all set for this investigation. Not being a proper detective, I didn’t know what I’d need… Or how much I’d find on my first trip.
This time I had chosen to drive the two miles; a car would be the best transport in- and out- and, as a bonus, it would carry all my equipment for me.
And, when I arrived, although the rain had stopped, the baby-blue sky was starting to frown a grey, clouded overcast.
Inside the forest (one decked with particularly nonchalant-green trees pointing their dirtied heads to the sky), it was an entirely new environment.
The trees blocked out the threatening sky but ‘translucated’ a beam of grey light down so I could see my route. The undergrowth beneath my feet was the usual: leaves an undecided colour of almost-Autumn, compost that was guaranteed to stick to your shoes; it all barely changed when I arrived at the scene of the murder.
I had found the spot quite easily, using my intuition, the descriptions of the surroundings and the rough distances jotted down in the newspaper article. And then, it wasn’t hard to notice that there had been a change in this spot; leaves had been pushed away from the floor, the imprint of heavy police footwear lingered in the soil and there was a slice of police-tape still stuck to a neighbouring tree. Disgusted, I detached it and flicked it to the ground, imagining how the scene of a major crime would have affected this little stretch of woodland. The air was still alive with electricity, a taste for excitement seemed to linger and the trees almost whispered of what they had seen to me. But they would keep their secrets; there really was no telling what they knew.
And so, my search began. Well, I would say search, but really it was just a term for my pacing around the site, flicking the flash-light to illuminate anything that remotely gave me a glimmer of interest, before turning away and storming back the way I’d came.
Nothing! There was nothing! How ridiculous!
I supposed that the police had fine-tooth-combed the area a little too well for an amateur sleuth like me.
And so, I plodded back in the direction of my chrome land-rover…or tried to. Let’s just say that I never really had had a great sense of direction.
There I found myself, in the middle of a mysterious, gloomy forest with not a head or tail of a clue to a) my husband’s death, or b) my whereabouts.