Not a lot of time this week so straight in to the next episode of The Switch, a story featuring Jasmine Frame, transsexual detective and prequel to Painted Ladies.
The Switch: Part 15
Jasmine stared at Parry as he slowly pushed himself up off the floor.
‘You didn’t kill him?’
Parry stood up and glared at Jasmine. She prepared herself for another attack.
‘I said he was dead already.’
‘I think you had better tell me what you saw.’
Parry drew in breath as if to object but then let it out in deep sigh and shrugged.
‘OK. I need a beer. Fancy one?’
‘Uh. Yes, please.’
Parry went into the kitchen and returned a few moments later with a couple of cans. He chucked one to Jasmine, she caught it, then he slumped on the sofa.
‘Come and join me,’ he said. Jasmine weighed up the risks. Parry seemed calmer now but as Daniel had told her, he had a quick temper. She decided to accept his offer and sat at the far end of the sofa. She pulled the ring on the can and took a sip. It was cold, fizzy, and tasteless but probably could be called, beer.
‘Whatever Jenny might think, this is the first time I’ve had a skirt on this sofa. Just my luck it’s got a cock under it, that’s if you haven’t had it off yet.’
Jasmine ignored Parry’s rambling. This was not the time to start a discussion on trans privacy.
‘What happened Saturday night?’ She said, after what she considered a suitable pause.
‘You said you’re a police officer. Are you investigating Daniel?’
‘I’m off duty, not officially on the case. I’m trying to prove that Daniel had nothing to do with McLeery’s death, but Dan is the official chief suspect.’
‘It couldn’t be Dan. He was here all evening, and all night.’
‘You don’t actually know that as you left him alone here.’
‘Yeah, well, it doesn’t matter if he nipped out after me. I told you. McLeery was already dead.’
‘So tell me what happened.’
Parry took a long swig from his can, belched, and sighed.
‘I could have killed him. I might have done if I’d got to him. He’s been a little shit since he was a kid, and he just got worse.’
‘Did you know he had his eyes on Dan?’
‘No. It hadn’t occurred to me. I’d seen McLeery with a bunch of girls dressed like whores. I didn’t connect Emma with them. She was my little girl. Of course, she dressed like a boy, cut her hair, called herself Daniel. To me she couldn’t be less sexy. Why should a girl-fancier like McLeery look at Emma, and think she was an easy lay?’
‘Dan told you about him.’
‘Yeah and it made my wild. I decided to have it out with him. I waited till Emma was asleep then left. I went to that blockhouse on the edge of the Common first. Emma had said that’s where he tried to take her.’
‘That’s right. That’s where I first met Dan.’
‘There’s was no one there, so I blundered around in the dark, just following paths. I got to the pond. That’s where I found him. He was lying face down with his head smashed in. There was a length of steel pole by his side.’
‘He wasn’t in the water?’
‘No, that was me.’
Jasmine was unbelieving.
‘You pushed his body into the water?’
‘Yeah and the pole.’
‘Why? You’ve made yourself an accessory.’
Parry shook his head.
‘I don’t know. I panicked. Probably I’d had more of these than I should.’ He waved his can. ‘I thought perhaps that Emma had done it before coming out to me.’
‘But that was hours before. The body would have been found.’
‘I realise that now. I wasn’t thinking straight. And I was still angry at him. Even though he was dead I wanted to punish him for what he planned to do to my girl.’
‘OK, so you didn’t kill him but disposed of the body.’
‘Yeah, I suppose so.’
‘So, who killed him?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Did you see anyone else on the Common?’
‘No,’ he paused, ‘yes, there was someone. I was staggering along the path and there was someone else on one of the other paths that crossed it.’
‘Someone? Who? What did they look like?’
‘I don’t know who it was. It was dark but it was a girl, white skin, dark hair, legs up to her armpits, barely wearing a skirt. I didn’t see her face, she was going away from me.’
‘McLeery’s number 1 girl.’
‘Really. Don’t know her.’
‘I met her earlier. She was upset about Kyle being dead and what he intended for Dan. They were friends when they were younger.’
‘There was a Tammy. Came to parties Emma had.’
‘That’ll be her. She denied killing Kyle, denied seeing him after Saturday morning.’
Jasmine leapt up. ‘So it seems. I need to see her again.’ She bent to put the beer can on the floor. ‘The police will need to speak to you, Mr Parry. You’re going to be in a bit of trouble for not reporting the death.’
‘Yeah, well I guessed that.’
‘The sooner you tell them the better it will be for you and the sooner that Dan is off the hook.’
Parry grunted an agreement. ‘Where are you going to look for this Tamsin?’
‘I only know one place. The same place you looked. That’s where I met her earlier.’ Jasmine didn’t wait for anymore conversation but hurried from the flat and back to the car. She raced back to Kintbridge, right foot to the floor, the small Fiesta engine whining like a swarm of angry wasps.
She turned off the main road onto the road that climbed up to the Common and joined the perimeter road. The car almost rolled as she took the turning on to the Common and braked outside the old security station.
Jasmine jumped from the car with the engine still running and ran to the door. She gave it a shove and it swung open. There was light inside.
‘Tamsin?’ Jasmine stepped in. Tamsin was there but she wasn’t alone. So were Kyle’s mates, one holding the girl’s arms behind her back, the other groping her naked breasts.