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When William woke, on the first cold winter's morning of the year, he
found tears of cold sweat trickling down his brow. He noticed that his
window had swung open during the night and as he arose to close it a
short sharp shot of icy air rushed into his face. He quickly reached
forward and slammed the window shut for he feared that another blast
like that could turn the drops of sweat into tiny icicles.
Will was about 27 years old and he had short brown hair that was full
of grease because he could not afford proper shampoo. He had a large
scar under his left eye, which he received after being attacked in the
street by a gang of youths who were after his mobile phone, he was
only 16 at the time. This may be why he became a crime fighter, a
searcher for justice for the victims of the world, to try and bring
righteousness to his country. His child hood dream was to become a
policeman however when they found out about his "activities" in
certain clubs they were not willing to let him become one of the boys
in blue. So I guess becoming a detective was the next logical step.
Soon after that he got dressed and entered the kitchen of the tiny
flat, which he shared with his partner. He made a cup of coffee and
sat at the chipboard table with his partner Peter.
They were private detectives but they had not had a case in months.
All they could afford was coffee and bread, the landlord was about a
hair's breath away from evicting them for not paying rent, times were
They sat in silence for a while and then Will said in a low gruelling
"Has the post come yet?"
"Yeah, only junk mail," replied Peter in an equally monotone voice.
This was a very good news, bad news situation. It was bad news because
it meant no one had written to hire them and good news because there
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They sat in silence for half an hour deep in thought and taking the
occasional sip of the cheap muddy coffee, they had every morning.
Will was thinking about his life as a youngster. He remembered when he
had just left school at the age of 18. He had a head full of ideas and
a pocket full of dreams, the world was his oyster. When he left home
for the last time, he received a substantial cheque from his parents
to give him a good start in life. He had several job offers from many
large companies as he had spectacular qualifications including ten
A-level passes. He however decided to turn them all down and follow
his dream to become a private detective. He bought a small office, in
a large block, with the money from his parents, and he rented a flat,
with his best friend, and soon to be partner, Peter.
They had a great life for the first two months even though Will's
parents were repeatedly calling to tell him to get a proper job. They
deeply disapproved of his chosen career path as they both came from
They solved their first case after seven weeks in the business. Things
were going great. They stayed this way for several years. The pair had
a small fortune sitting in several high interest bank accounts and had
moved to a much bigger flat in central London, overlooking the river.
They got a brand new office and had several highly respected clients.
Then one day a case went horribly pear shaped. A wealthy woman's
husband had been kidnapped. She went to them because she did not want
the police to know as they may leak it to the papers. She refused to
pay the ransom as she was very careful with money and was a bit of a
penny grasper despite her fabulous wealth. Anyway Will was sent to
leave a fake pay-off and retrieve her husband. However the kidnapper
realised the payment was counterfeit and shot the husband, leaving
their client devastated.
Following this she ran a huge smear campaign, which ruined their
For the past year Will and Peter had been trying to scrape by. The
money evaporated with all the bills for both the flat and the office.
They were then forced to sell up and move their business to Coventry
in the hope of new clients. There was no help from Will's parents
because they were so annoyed he had not listened to their advice, and
with Peter's parents dead, there was no way out unless they could get
Suddenly they awoke from their semi conscious trance of depression and
gloom. They decided it was time to head down to the office. They sat
sorting though some old papers for a few hours and Peter decided to go
and get some lunch. He asked what Will wanted and went down to the
After a few minutes there was a knock on the door. Will jumped with
surprise and with a slightly shaky voice said
"Errâ€¦ come in?"
He sounded puzzled as he thought it was Peter and he wondered why he
bothered to knock. The old frosted glass door creaked open and a young
blonde lady entered.
"Errâ€¦what can I do for you?" asked Will shocked that they may have a
client. She walked in and sat down and began to tell her story.
"I need your help." she exclaimed, "A group of loan sharks are after
my husband. He owes them a lot of money and they say if he does not
pay them back they are going to kill him!" She let out a few sobs of
"I don't know what to do! I don't know who to turn to!" She released a
few more sobs and dabbed her eyes with a tissue. She then looked up
and stared deep into Will's eyes and said, "Can you help me?"
"What do you want me to do?" he said, puzzled as to how he could help.
"Make my husband disappear!" she cried. "Change his name, change my
name, do what ever it takes!"
"I don't have the power to do that, I'm sorry." he said, "I'm very
sorry I just can't do that."
"Tell it to my husband when he's laying in a wooden box six feet
under" she said through tears of despair. With that she ran out of the
office nearly bowling Peter off his feet. He had just returned with
In despair that he could not help and that meant that he could not get
any money Will dropped his head onto the table and let out a huge sigh
Peter shut the door behind him as he entered and said simply "Who the
hell was that?"
Will explained to Peter everything that had happened during the
conversation with the young woman.
He sat in a stunned silence for a while and started trying to ask
questions but not being able to get the words out properly due to his
pure state of shock.
"When?" These were the only words he could splutter.
Will explained to Peter why he did not take the case.
"What?!" Peter roared with anger.
"We could have done something!"
"We need every penny we can get and now your turning away clients!" he
screamed, launching the tuna sandwiches at considerable speed towards
"I don't believe this, how stupid can you possibly be?!"
"Calm down Peter" Will shouted "Be realistic, what could we have done,
There was a short pause followed by Peter shouting "Anything other
than turning a money paying client away and losing all hope of earning
He sat in the chair opposite Will, slammed his fists on the table and
bowed his head in disbelief. He let out a huge sigh. He suddenly
bolted up to his feet as if he had sat on a red hot poker, and he
began the string of questions as before.
"How?" He paced the floor of the office and in a final breath of
disgust he said simply. "I need some fresh air!" Saying this he
stormed out of the office and slammed the door so hard the frosted
glass nearly fell out of its old wooden frame.