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(A short story of 4635 words)

Rock-a-bye-baby

Crime and Thrillers

by Sue Dean


A short story about the suspicious death of a new born baby.


Thursday 13 June 2013.

It was still dark, almost dawn and a faint, mewling cry floated across the empty street. A moment later the front door of a scruffy terraced house opened and a boy came out to stand on the pavement, his phone to his ear.

It was just after six a.m. when the call came through from the station. Detective Inspector Beckett, in his running gear at the door of his Churchgate Street flat, groaned. A resolution made yesterday to run each morning was going to be broken before it began. Those extra inches on his waistline wouldn’t ever get shifted.

‘I’m on my way. Just give me time to change. Where? At the West Suffolk Hospital. Ok, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.’

As he dumped the running shorts on his bed and put the unnaturally white new trainers in the wardrobe, he caught sight of himself in the full length mirror by the door. Middle age was catching up with him. Never a babe magnet even when he had more hair and fewer spare inches, it would be a struggle to get Sarah to even look at him. Ridiculous at his age to have a school-boy crush on a woman, someone he’d only so far passed a few words with at meetings, but she was smart, good looking and smiled at lot.

My Funny Valentine and Chet Baker on the trumpet accompanied him to the hospital. The sound was turned up too loud. Perhaps he was going a bit deaf. Yet another sign of increasing age. His thoughts strayed back to Sarah. Maybe she wouldn’t look at him twice but it didn’t stop him waiting around the courthouse if he knew she was the duty probation officer or trying to start a conversation with her at the Police and Probation Liaison meetings. He turned into the almost empty hospital car park. The call had said suspected murder. It was going to be a long day...
 

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