Dark justice, p.1
DARK JUSTICE, page 1part #1 of Erin Dark Series Series
(The Erin Dark Series:1)
By Taylor Leon
Copyright © Taylor Leon 2016
All Rights Reserved
All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the author.
About the author
Taylor Leon has been writing novels for many years and is now publishing them, starting with The Erin Dark Series and Dark Justice.
Find out more about the author and any future books at:
AJ- childhood sweetheart, best friend and soulmate...this one’s for you.
THE FATHER’S SINS
HE OPENED HIS eyes and saw the face of death looking down at him.
Where am I?
I feel so sleepy.
I feel so sick.
My arms, my legs, I can’t feel them.
As if reading his mind, the masked face nodded and said, ‘I know. You can’t move and you can’t speak, everything’s numb.’ The voice was muffled, like he was underwater, hearing it filter down from the surface. He tried to answer, but the words wouldn’t come.
Calm down. This is just a nightmare. It’s not real.
The face disappeared and he was left looking up at the dark ceiling. He heard water dripping slowly in the background, smelled damp and urine right up close.
He remembered leaving the gym on Wednesday night (what day was it now?), walking alone down the side of the building towards the car park, fumbling for his car keys and texting Amy on the mobile at the same time. Oblivious to anything around him, until he heard someone calling softly from behind, a white moon face smiling in the glow seeping out from the sports centre. ‘Do you have the time? Idiot I am, I left my watch at home.’
Looking at his wrist, Scott sensed someone else rushing him from behind and cried out, more in shock than pain, when he felt a needle stabbing into the back of his neck. His hands flexed open and he heard his mobile rattle across the ground. The world around him teetered and spun, before sharply sliding right to left, his assailant’s dark shirt and blue jeans blurring past on his way down. Then a brief glimpse of the constellations in the clear night sky, before the white moon face hovered over him. ‘Got him,’ it said before everything faded out.
Now the mask re-appeared, and Scott could see yellow teeth through the slit, and smell the rancid breath. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a pale hand reach around and push the barrel of a small handgun hard against his nose.
‘I know it would have been more humane to do this while you slept, but we waited for you to wake up so we could explain why this is happening.’
Oh dear God, what is this?
‘We want you to know this isn’t about you.’
He’s going to kill me. I’m going to die.
You’ve got the wrong person.
I’ve never hurt anyone. I’m nothing. I’m nobody.
‘You’re just paying the price for your father’s sins.’
My father? Dad...what’s he done? Oh Jesus, what’s he done?
God, let me wake up.
FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, LET ME WAKE UP!
‘Now Scott listen to me. Your father’s right here watching this. I know you can’t see him, but he can see you.’
Straining his eyes, he saw the finger squeezing the trigger, soooo slowly.
‘I’m afraid this will be messy, so please do try your best and smile for Daddy.’
No please don’t-
THE GUILTY ONES
‘AND HAVE YOU reached a verdict?’
I looked across from the public gallery at the foreman of the jury. A small wiry man with a thick head of hair and a couple of days’ stubble who said, ‘We have.’
There was an expectant hush.
The defendant, Kelly Crowther, was standing with his back to me, but I knew even then with his future hanging in the balance he would have that same arrogant smirk plastered across his bearded face, just as he’d had right the way through the trial.
The Judge peered icily over his glasses at the foreman as though he already knew what was coming. ‘And what is your verdict to the charge of rape?’
The foreman’s forehead was shiny with sweat. It had been a rough, emotional few days. He took a deep swallow, nervously scrunching up a piece of notepaper into a small ball.
‘Not guilty,’ he said, avoiding eye contact, whilst ironically looking as guilty as hell.
As his words echoed around the courtroom, pandemonium broke out. There were screams in the public gallery from somewhere on my right where extended members of the victim’s family were sitting. One guy in his thirties, the victim’s cousin, jumped to his feet jabbing his finger at the Judge.
‘You must be joking!’ he yelled. ‘You’re a disgrace. A bloody disgrace!’
A couple of Uniforms quickly came down the aisle, motioning for him to sit down. He carried on shouting, and then one by one other members of the extended family also rose, pointing accusingly at the Uniforms, and then at the Judge and jury.
The cousin pushed his way to the front.
‘You bastard!’ he yelled at the defendant.
Two officers grabbed his arms and started hauling him back.
The Judge called for order, but no-one was listening to him.
Crowther, after hugging his barrister, turned and looked over triumphantly in my direction, his smile fading slightly when he saw the seat next to me was empty.
I got up and left, pushing past the Uniforms that were now dragging the victim’s cousin outside. It seemed absurd that he could end up spending the night in a cell, but that is unfortunately how the system works.
I found the occupier of the empty seat, DI Lloyd Tanner, outside the courtroom arguing with one of the prosecution team. I hurried across and touched his arm.
‘I’m sorry Lloyd,’ I said, and meant it.
Lloyd Tanner, an old friend of my Dad’s, had also been my partner for the last six months. The loss of his wife to cancer eighteen months ago had taken its toll on him, and now in his late fifties, he’d made a decision to take early retirement. We had history, so the least I could do was support him, on this, his final day in court.
The prosecutor, Tom Dallas, turned to me as though I was refereeing their conversation. ‘You know, I did tell him there was a risk we wouldn’t get a conviction today.’
‘But Crowther is guilty,’ Lloyd insisted.
‘You know that, and I know that,’ Dallas said. ‘But we didn’t have enough evidence. Too much of what we showed the jury was circumstantial.’ He placed a supportive hand on Lloyd’s shoulder. ‘I really am sorry it turned out like this, but don’t let it get you down. It might have been your final case, but it is just a case.’
‘Is that my leaving speech?’ Lloyd muttered sarcastically.
‘Well, I hope to hear the real thing at your drinks,’ Dallas smiled, and lightly knocked Lloyd’s upper arm.
As he swept away, he nodded in my direction. ‘Detective.’
The corridor was starting to fill up as everyone else left the courtroom.
‘Come on,’ I said. ‘Let’s get out of here.’ I knew Lloyd was despondent. He had been desperate to put Kelly Crowther behind bars.
Just as Lloyd stepped forward to follow me, a young flame-haired woman appeared out of nowhere and slapped him across the face with a loud crack that brought everyone in the corridor to a standstill.
Laura Brannigan, the real victim in all this.
Her parents appeared behind her. Beaten and humiliated, they looked older and frailer than at any point during the trial.
Laura stared hard at Lloyd, her lips trembling and for a moment I thought she was going to say something more. Maybe she wanted to, but instead she pushed past us and ran down the corridor towards the toilets. Her mother pulled away from her husband and went after her.
‘You have any kids Mr Tanner?’ Laura’s father asked, viewing us through wet eyes.
‘Yes,’ Lloyd almost whispered.
‘Then maybe you can imagine how we feel at this moment. How we have felt for the last twelve months.’
‘I can’t possibly…’ Lloyd swallowed hard, then looking over the father’s shoulder, his eyes narrowed. Kelly Crowther was coming out of the courtroom, all smiles and handshakes as he started making his way down the corridor between his barrister and willowy blonde girlfriend.
Thankfully, Laura’s father didn’t turn around. Instead, with his head bowed low, he shuffled away in the opposite direction to find his wife and daughter.
I think Lloyd would have left things there. I don’t think he was after a confrontation. But Crowther saw him and excused himself from his girlfriend and barrister who half-heartedly tried to draw him back.
Instinctively, I moved closer to Lloyd’s side.
‘I said you were overrated Tanner, didn’t I?’ Crowther sneered.
‘I didn’t get you,’ Lloyd replied. ‘But it is just a matter of time before someone does.’
Crowther just grinned back. ‘The point is, it won’t be you, will it?’ Then, leaning in so no-one else could hear except for us, he said. ‘And I’ll have to be more careful in the future.’
‘Just watch your back Crowther,’ Lloyd hissed.
‘Oh I never look back, Tanner, only forward. Talking of which,’ and he swivelled around to face me. ‘You’re much more my type. Maybe we should meet up some time and see what happens.’ He winked lecherously.
My natural instinct was to reach forward and rip his head off. But I held back. Didn’t say a word.
He nodded thoughtfully, then re-joined his barrister and girlfriend in their procession out of the courthouse, giving us one final grin back over his shoulder.
‘There’s no justice when scum like that is free to roam the streets,’ Lloyd said, clenching his fists in frustration.
I wanted to reply, and not for the first time tell him about the real me. I could tell he was genuinely hurting and I felt for him. He’d tried so hard to put Crowther away, put others out of danger, and he’d failed.
But I couldn’t tell him.
That was my blessing.
That was my curse.
A NORTH LONDON SUBURB, 7 o’clock on a warm summer’s evening. People come through here to get out of the city, and the town itself is filled with some popular upmarket bars and restaurants.
But up here, on this particular part of the heath, there is a different clientele. Joggers, gay cottagers, every day weirdoes.
I stood at the top with a small pair of binoculars and looked down, watching him take his evening run in his navy tracksuit.
He stopped, hands on hips, and drew breath. A young girl in a vest and shorts was sitting up on the ground a few yards ahead of him, nursing her legs. He approached her and after several minutes they appeared to be in deep conversation. Then he dropped down next to her and a moment later gently ran a hand across her bare thigh.
I did a 360 degree turn with the binoculars.
There was no one else around. Lucky.
I folded the binoculars away, pushed them into the pocket of my long mac, and pulled out a small compact mirror. As I opened it I instinctively whispered the four-word spell. A pair of eyes looked back at me.
‘Get ready to go,’ I said and snapped the compact shut, pushing it back into my coat.
I sat on a wooden bench nearby and waited. I didn’t need to see the next bit. It could get messy.
It was only ten minutes before Frankie came jogging up the hill, her legs having made a remarkable recovery. She looked younger than ever in that white vest and Lycra shorts which showed off her lithe figure. We are both twenty-eight, but whereas I look my age, she looks ten years younger. Her hair, although blonde compared to my chestnut, was tied up in the same ponytail.
She looked over at me and nodded. She didn’t need to say anything, her satisfied smile said it all.
Bella and Moira followed up behind, their prisoner beaten and bloody, propped up between them.
Moira, the forty something housewife by day, with a successful lawyer husband and two teenage kids who have no idea what she really does. All those evenings after she makes them supper, when she tells them she’s meeting friends for coffee or going to the book group, she is with us. God knows what excuse she’d given them today. Not that it mattered, just as long as she was here.
Then there was the beautiful Bella, with smooth ebony skin and a figure to die for. Do I sound jealous? Well, maybe I am, a little. I mean, I’ve been told I’m attractive, but in my opinion, she’s in a different league. Two things are in my favour though. One, she is years older than me (although like Frankie she doesn’t look her age). Secondly, she has a partner called Sandy, a surprisingly rather dumpy, red-haired girl.
Sorry guys, but she just wouldn’t be interested.
Both Moira and Bella look harmless. So do the rest of us. Frankie, Jessie and myself. The only one who looks a little scary is Victoria, but that could just be me. And that’s the key to what we do and how we do it. They don’t see us coming, and by the time they realise what we are- BAM! It’s too late.
As Kelly Crowther was just about to find out.
Bella and Moira released his arms and he slowly straightened up. He looked punch drunk as though he’d just gone a couple of rounds with a prize fighter. Rubbing his head and straining his eyes, he frowned, trying to place me.
‘Don’t I know you?’ he said.
I smiled as his eyes widened in recognition. ‘You’re Lloyd Tanner’s policewoman friend.’
He cast a savage look at Moira and Bella. ‘Jumping me from behind like that. What do you want?’
Now he recognised me as a “policewoman” he seemed to grow in confidence. He has rights don’t you know?
‘You said you wanted to meet with me,’ I said, getting up from the bench and walking towards them. ‘Well here I am.’
‘Did Tanner put you up to this? My God, he really is desperate. And who are these three, your dyke bitches?’
‘Actually only one of us is a dyke,’ I said, and Bella smiled.
‘I’m going to do you and that idiot Tanner for harassment,’ he said. ‘And as for these three, I’m going to do them for assault. You’re finished.’
He turned and started to walk away, wiping more blood from his nose. He glanced back. ‘Caught me from behind. Come near me again and I’ll beat the shit out of you.’
I nodded at them both and then watched as Crowther broke into a slow jog running straight into Moira, bouncing back off her, more in surprise than anything else.
‘Where did you come from?’ he said. He turned and started running in a different direction. Again, he ran straight into her.
It was almost amusing. Like others before him, Kelly Crowther was confused. He turned around to try again, but Bella had caught up and was there waiting for him. As soon as he turned this time, she caught him with a right hook that sent him sprawling backwards. If she wanted to she could have hit him a lot harder. After all, this is a girl who can punch her way through brick walls. But we were a long way from done with him yet.
He lay dazed on the ground, gradually sitting up and rubbing his jaw.
Now for arguably the most important part.
‘Look at me Kelly,’ I said.
He looked up at me, and his face reflected pure hate. I ignored that. Hate was only to be expected under the circumstances. Besides, where we were sending him there’d be plenty of hate, he might as well get in the swing of things.
‘Did you rape Laura Brannigan, Cynthia Stone and Jessica Wright?’
He smirked as I gave the roll call. The idiot had no idea what we were about. I looked over at Frankie who nodded.
‘He did it,’ she said.
‘This is bullshit,’ he snarled. ‘The press is going to have a field day with you.’
‘Frankie here can get inside your head. She knows what you’re thinking, and we find you guilty, by your own confession.’
Of course, we knew he was guilty already otherwise we couldn’t have taken things this far. Frankie had been in court and had “read” him when the prosecution point-blank asked him if he had raped Laura. He’d said he hadn’t, but Frankie “heard” what Laura and the other girls before her knew. Victoria insisted we did things properly, so I was obliged to ask him one more time to his face with Frankie reading him.
‘Can I go now?’ he sneered, getting to his feet. ‘I have a lawyer I need to talk to.’
‘Kelly Crowther, you can go now. To hell,’ I said.
He smiled. ‘You can’t do anything to me. You’re a police officer.’
‘That is one of my many skills. Ladies?’
We stretched our arms out, completing the circle around him and uttered the incantation in an undertone and in time. A bright ray of light joined us together, completing the circle and forming a barrier around our sacrifice.
He tried to march between us, but hit the invisible wall and bounced back. There was no way to pass through. He shouted out, but no-one except for us could hear or see what was happening inside the circle. Anyone watching would just see four women facing each other with their arms raised, seemingly in prayer.
by Taylor Leon have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes