The following story was taken from the notes of Detective Miles Edgar. These were recorded on June the 15th 1988. Names have been changed to protect the family.
Removing the mug I noticed the ring it had left on my notepad. It reminded me of a Chinese dragon, full circle with the head eating the tail. I placed the coffee back down on the side table, ripped off the top sheet, twisted my pen and scribbled in the corner. After several rubs it began to give ink.
Surprisingly they had let the victim home, but with a full time nurse, the doctor presently onsite and family about to help, maybe it was the best place to recuperate. The family had money. It showed. The hall, located a mile from Upper Sling was the old manor. In years gone by the Lord had conducted court and employed the locals. Now the house was occupied by new money, bought for its country location by the niece of a distillery family.
Sat upright in a worn burgundy armchair was David. The right side of his face had been smashed; it had the appearance of having been continuously hit against a stone floor. A bandage was wrapped around his neck, covering where the knife had split the skin. Scratch marks were dug into the soft parts of David’s wrist. In short, he looked a mess.
Radio three lightly fluttering in the background. The curtains were pulled back to allow a beam to highlight the dust particles that floated within it. Standing over David, I crouched down to his level. I nodded at the Doctor; he was reading a novel which had fallen into his hand. It helped to kill time. He stepped forward and gave the nurse a note. She folded it up and placed it on the bedside table.
Even though I had every right to be here, I felt I needed permission to ask questions. This case was usually, but it had been registered and therefore needed closing.
“Is it alright if I begin?” I ignored the victim and asked the doctor direct. On realising my mistake I blushed and turned back to David and apologised. He gave a weak smile and nodded.
“Okay David, tell me what happened?” In the circumstance it felt like the right thing to say.
David rocked, gulped down air and stuttered over the start. His face was pale, eyes wide and honest. “Marty has given me hell since I was nine. He turned up a few days after my father had died. Every day at school he bullied me, getting me in all sorts of trouble. If I refused, and I did at the beginning, then he would pinch or poke at me. If I still stood firm, he would push me aside and carry out the task. He just did it worse than I would.”
“Tommy Seaton got his front teeth kicked out for not letting me sleep over at his house. If Marty had let me alone, then I would have shouted at him and got my own way.” David sat back in the chair, felt for his drink, wetted his lips and spat blood back into the water, a fine string of red dropped and then defused.
He stuttered again, and then got into his stride. “I remember this one guy, he came to sell an alarm system. After a short while he became pushy. Marty got him, tied him to a chair, pegged his mouth open and drilled his front teeth. The bit whizzed in slowly, digging in at the enamel. Heated metal and root combined, smoke drifted out with clenched screaming. And Marty screeching back at him. It was sick. After two hours of dentistry and six holes, the victim passed out. We drove him out to the woods and left him out there.” David’s colour vanished.
“And it’s been the same ever since. Marty gets annoyed easy. He is always looking for the fight and if I stand in his way then he gets angry and I take the fall out. Last night was the worst.”
I stopped taking notes and listened, what had turned a sadistic bully into a killer last night? He may have failed in finishing David off, but that was luck.
“Last night he wanted me to beat my mother, she had told me that I could not have the car for the night and Marty wanted to go out. On the side the drill was out and charged ready. Before I would have taken the keys and gone, but yesterday I was tired; I wanted sleep, so I said no. At first he was, ‘Don’t be a pussy, get the keys and let’s get to a bar and give it some life.’
“For the first time in a long while, I stood firm, even after he ground my face into the wall.” I turned in the direction David pointed. Blood marks had been washed away, leaving a dark stain on the wallpaper. “After, he said, ‘if I would not get the keys, he would,’ and man, he could drive like a wild thing.”
The sun rose behind the curtain and the beam hit me in the face, blinking I stretched my legs, walked to the window and peered down over the lawn. David’s mother was walking and talking on her mobile, cigarette blowing smoke over her worried features. She was older that her fifty years.
What to ask? I recalled that there may be a wittiness. “David, was anyone else aware of Marty’s nature to you, last night or before?
“Yes, Charles was very aware; he’s been around always, as long as I can remember. And there is Harvey, he knows about last night but has come and gone over the years.”
Twisting away from the window I searched out the Doctor, he stared straight back. The conversation had him captivated. Unwrapping a mint that he found in his white coat pocket, he slipped it into his mouth and fiddled with the paper. “Can we locate Charles?”
“Hmm, yes we can.” He replied, moving the mint to the side of his mouth. “I think that should be simple, in fact I think that’s him coming now.”
The eyes narrowed, he appeared alarmed and not at all comfortable to being questioned. Charles bent as far forward as possible, elbows on his knees. “It’s not my fault, Marty’s nasty.” He coughed on every third word and twitched his left eye and random intervals. “I told the teachers about him yonks ago, but they never took it seriously.” He stretched his neck to the left. “I was going to stop Marty last night, but then, he would have smashed me. I shouldn’t be telling you now, if he finds out, then Jesus, he’ll poke my eyes out. He said he would.” Charles bit his lip, his brain telling him to stop talking.
“Anyway, last night, Marty and David were arguing, about the car I think. I was watching. David kept saying ‘no, I want to stay in.’ Next thing it goes berserk, he’s smashing his head into the wall. At the third ramming, David fell to the floor. Marty’s pulling his hair out and swearing at him, telling him he’s weak and needs to toughen up.” Charles’ eyes went to full circles as he retold the night’s events.
“So he’s on the floor, blood streaming over his face, hair in patches all thrown over the floor, and Marty’s got a knife. Six inches long, silver and about an inch think. David is on his knees now and digging his nails into the wrist that’s holding the blade. But no good, the blade came up and sliced him.” Charles’ cough caught up with him and we waited a few minutes for calmness to settle.
“I guess after he slit David’s throat Marty took flight, he’s not been back. But he won’t be far. Make sure he does not know I’ve told you this.” I reassured him that at this stage it was an investigation and until Marty was charged then he would not know about any statements we have.
I had one last requested before Charles left. “Could you find Harvey for me?” Charles knew where Harvey was, but informed me that he would not meet me in the room, he didn’t like the atmosphere. We settled on the balcony outside David’s room.
“He needed to stick up for himself. He was always letting that bully push him around. Serves him right. I tell you this; no way would I let Marty do that to me. He has tried, but I told him to stuff right off.” Harvey was colder, his face showed no emotion. Confidence surrounded his words.
“Did you see the action last night?” I asked. A simple question. I felt that Harvey would talk for England if he was given the chance.
Harvey spat over the balcony, looked to the horizon and started. “No, not last night. If I had been presence then I would have stopped Marty. But maybe it might do David some good, make his character stronger. He’s a bit soft, too eager to please, takes the easy way out all the time.” Harvey lent back on the balcony railings.
“I have told David to stand up to Marty, not let himself be push around. When I first came, David would do anything that Marty told him. But over the years, with the help of me stepping in, the balance has got a lot better.” Harvey paced, never turning his head in my direction. I was to him, a small minded individual who could not possibly understand the good Harvey had done for David.
His character assassination carried on. “Not a bright young man, not at all. Always copying my work at school. And the stutter, no wonder Marty gets annoyed with him. David needs to think and do it quickly. Not st st st stutter his way into silence. Well I’ve tried and, frankly I give up on the boy.” He went back to peering over the balcony and mumbled to the world outside.
This was getting me nowhere, all Harvey was doing was informing me that David was a push over and that Marty was nasty. I need to get to the man himself.
Thanking Harvey for all his points that were sure to be of use. He bowed and left. .A few minutes later I regained my composure and followed into the room
“We really need Marty” I said to those present over my shoulder.
“I’m not hiding” came a deep voice. Stood with one arm folded across his chest, eyebrows down, lips firm, was Marty. His left arm swung the door forward and back silently. Moving with purpose from the door he stopped on the far side of the bed. Cocking his head to one side he slipped a smile.
“I did him a favour. I can’t believe you are all sticking up for him. Harvey’s all hard when I’m not around, but I’ve got his card marked.” Marty spat on the floor and whipped it with his foot.
“Glad you could make it.” I said, keeping control and not letting my emotions take over. “Tell me about it?”
“Okay.” He started slowly, not sure what my game was, but his confidence was high and he wanted to tell me about the position he held. “That kid has always been weak, his Dad was right; he needed some fire in his belly.” Marty’s nose twitched. “For all this time I’ve been hardening him up. If a kid said something at school I’d get him to fight. If he refused I would take them on instead, give them a right good kicking. On nights out, first guy to look in our direction gets it. Last week I stuffed a glass in some blokes face. Blood everywhere, lovely.” A glee spread over his face.
“God, he’s annoying, always, ‘Marty we should not tie that boy to the bench and stub cigarettes out on his legs.’ Why not I ask you? The pleasure of control over a weak person is delicious.” Marty’s eyes rolled up into his head. “But whatever I showed David, he never really understood the power.”
I flinched at the idea, never taking my eyes of Marty, expecting the unexpected at any given moment. “You sort power over David?”
“Sort, no, I have power over David. I’m the best friend he ever had, the things I, we could do together. Its love I have for him. Okay he’s a stumbling wreck, a complete freak of a boy. But he’s my freak!” The shout knocked me back a step, losing my balance over the table, the mug sent coffee over the rug and my notepad spinning under the bed.
Quickly to take control I asked another question. “And last night?”
A twitch of the nose again, “I wanted out, god we had been in for days, and that bitch said we could not have the car. We are in our twenties; we don’t need some stupid woman telling us what we can or cannot do.” His checks reddened as the anger rose up in him. I tensed, ready to protect myself if needed. Marty seemed to check himself. He weighed up the situation and perhaps decided that I was not such a pushover.
“I told David to get the keys, he told me to go to hell. I was taken back. David saying no like that. How things change. I mean, it’s what I wanted from him but also there was no way I could accept that type of behaviour.” Marty smiled, a wicked one, I shivered, there was no warmth to it. “First I gave him a slap. Before when he’s become difficult, that does the trick. But no, he kept to it. Well bugger that, I was so frustrated with him. I told him to get the keys or else. Guess what? He said no again.”
Marty’s hands went out in defence. “What could I do, I had to teach him a lesson. It felt great, his face rubbing the brickwork. I wanted to kick his ribs in, stamp on his head, I wanted him dead and then there it was, a sliver blade. It had fallen from David’s pocket. I reckon he was going to stab me.” He laughed at the bizarre thought of it.
“I grabbed his neck, forced it backwards and sliced away. The blood sprayed everywhere. I never realised it could hit such distance. And that’s it; I went back to my place and waited. I knew it was only a matter of time before you came. There was no point in running, so I came back when I realised you were here.” He lifted his arm to welcome me.
Where to go next, Marty had admitted it, Charles had witnessed the whole affair and Harvey was an excellent character witness. “Doctor could I see you on the balcony?”
Reluctantly he agreed to leave the room in the control of the nurse.
Outside, the fresh air cleared my head. “What do we do, we can’t leave him with these people, and it’s only a matter of time before David is attacked again.”
Taking his biro out of his mouth the Doctor blew out. “David is unusual, his personalities control his every thought, on good days he is just simple easy going David. When his farther died, a very nasty brute of a man, then he invented Marty to fill the gap. Marty has been bullying him the same as his father had done up to his death.”
“As for Charles, he began to compensate for all the beatings David had as a child, ‘It was not his fault,’ nothing is.” The doctor removed his glasses and nibbled the arm. “Harvey came in later, I assume to give David some balance.”
So, who attempted to kill David?
The findings in my report indicated that David tried to kill himself after an internal argument with one of his numerous personalities. Each one so defined that they were, at time, as real as David himself. I had no one to charge except David himself, and that would never hold up in court. I closed my pad and lent my hand on David’s shoulder, tapped him twice and left the room.
His future, eventually Marty will loose the plot completely and finish David off. Full time care or not, he would find away. David’s life was a time bomb waiting to go off and time was ticking.
David (Charles, Marty, Harvey) was detained in a secure unit but unfortunately found dead after slitting his own wrist on March the 16th 1989.