This is the 39th Instalment of the Series surrounding the Homicide Cases of Detective Joseph Lind and his partner Shelley Anne Shields.
An accident leaves Shields off work and her position is once again filled by the pert young Detective Two, Sasha Blayney. Her short-term partnership with her older partner bought to an abrupt end by the suicide death of the older man.
Nature or nurture?
Can a baby in the womb inherit a bad seed from both its birth father and mother?
When the baby is born and removed from his mother's care to be adopted out, can these bad seeds continue to grow regardless of the love and compassion shown to him by his adopted family?
Remaining aloof and separated from this loving family. Secretly dreaming of birth parents who have become rich and powerful within his mind. World famous. Looked up to....the dreams of a lonely little boy.
And when reality sinks in upon finding his birth mother, can the disappointment be too hard to bear or is there a sudden realisation that he has found his soul mother.....still a bad seed.
When is it a good time to inform a child of his adoptive state? How do you treat such information? How much do you tell and and do you inform of the reality that his parents are low-lifes and couldn't give a damn about the child that was taken from them? And what do you do when the adopted son shows little interest in wanting to accept this new family as his own?
Can such a person be manipulated into doing deeds beyond his comprehension as payback for sins done many years previously?
Something had woken him.
He didn't know what!
He moved his head slightly so that he could hear out of his one good ear. He was totally deaf in the other.
He heard something then...
He didn't know what, but it was a faint sound that should not have been there!
No! It was more of a presence then a sound...his skin tingled and the hair on his arms stood on end. He had trouble breathing as though he subconsciously thought that the act of breathing may alert who-ever...what-ever was out in the Kitchen. Or the Dining Room.
There it was again.
He rolled slightly, trying hard not to make a sound. Then he realised that being awake, he had stopped snoring. Who-ever was there would pick up on that, wouldn't they?
He threw back the blankets and silently stood.
The bare floor boards were freezing on his feet.
He assumed that he had stood silently. Without a sound. What with him being almost totally deaf, he could have made such a noise to wake the dead and he'd be none the wiser!
He actually let out a slight harrumph at that thought.
He groped for his Dressing Gown. It was cold. Thinking how on earth had some-one gotten into his home.
It was locked up tighter than Fort Knox!
He angrily tied the sash tight around his burgeoning waist as he turned and switched the bedroom light on, suddenly realising that if some-one was out there, then he had just forewarned that person that some-one was awake and aware of the situation.
Silly thought, he scolded himself.
There's no-one in the house. Stop being silly as the bloody dog wasn't barking.
He looked around him, momentarily wishing he had a cricket bat or a Golf Driver nearby. Perhaps an AK 47 on automatic, he joked to himself.
That made him giggle.
He swished away the thought with a shake of his head.
'This is serious....' He thought as he headed towards the bedroom door.
He moved slowly down the Hallway towards the Lounge Room.
Gingerly crept towards the door opening that led into the Lounge Room.
He tripped on something and as he fell head first towards the floor, he vaguely felt an ache, a searing pain on the back of his head. He indistinctly saw a boot... or something like that, out of the corner of his eye.
Then blackness though that wasn't a registered thing within his brain.
The next morning the old bloke was noticed by a neighbour, an over-the-fence friend as he peered over the dividing fence. Something had caught his eye as he had enjoyed his early morning cuppa in the chill of the first rays of the day, sitting erect on his back veranda. Not as extensive as his old neighbour's, but them's the breaks.
He was not into the 'Jones Race'.
He called the Police. He wasn't into rushing to help his neighbour and giving CPR. Giving the old bloke the 'kiss of life'! Not bloody likely! He couldn't rush in any case. Just hurrying to the phone to ring for the cops puffed him out!
The crumpled body of the old man was found lying at the base of the concrete steps that led from the filled-in back veranda to the yard below. A vertical distance of perhaps five feet in the old scale. About 150 centimetres... may be 180 centimetres. Perhaps twelve steps in total.
"He always goes out behind the Garage to have a piddle at night time." His eldest son advised between sobs. "He must have fallen... tripped.... he said that piddling in the back yard was good for the environment... saves on the water that you'd use if'n you went to the toilet and then had to flush."
The death of the dog forgotten. Assumed to be by natural causes.
The Police Report was written up ready for the Coronal Enquiry that would be held in the future with a verdict of Accidental Death, the logical conclusion.
There were those who may have suspicions, but there was no forensic evidence to back up that gut feeling.
Clem 'Lofty' Hills Series:
Murder Squad Series: