A Shred of Evidence

Dressed in waterproof overalls, Gethin and Bridge made their way through Farmer Owen’s field. A wide line of people followed behind, spread strategically across the field. It was a drizzly morning, the tall grass coated in a glistening layer of sheen. Fresh moisture hung heavy in the air and Gethin had to squint hard at the ground in front of him, in order to see through the misty veil cloaking the grassy carpet. They were roughly halfway across the expansive grassland and so far the field hadn’t revealed any hidden clues. Gethin’s spirits were low. Despite being adorned from head to toe in waterproofs, he had still somehow gotten wet. This in turn resulted in his clothes becoming damp, the sodden garments gluing to his chest and legs. He felt the cold in his bones. Even the thought of it made him shiver. He glanced at Bridge, wiping his dripping forehead to prevent any more raindrops from blinding him. Bridge was scanning the field floor intensely, his eyes narrowed and his expression serious.

Gethin wished he still had the energy to focus on the job in hand but he was becoming increasingly fed up and tired. Bridge was a fanatic, over the years building up a dedication and commitment to his work. Gethin on the other hand wasn’t used to the long hours. It wasn’t just the odd timetable that was the problem. It was the sheer boredom. After the initial excitement and adrenaline rush of discovering the body, Gethin had presumed that as the case developed it would only get more interesting. However, he was soon learning that homicide wasn’t as glamorous as he had first thought. His muscles ached, his nose was running and after an hour an half spent combing the field, they hadn’t found a shred of evidence.

‘Cheer up Gethin, we will find something soon.’ Bridge reassured, catching sight of his downtrodden expression.

‘How do you know that?’

‘I can feel it. The evidence seeks you out. You just have to be patient.’

Gethin gave Bridge the type of nod one gives an inmate in an asylum. Too preoccupied with the field around him, Bridge failed to notice Gethin’s expression, much to the young man’s relief. The two fell silent. Bridge concentrating on job in hand, Gethin distracted by an owl’s hoot somewhere in the line of trees at the far end of the field. The flanking sweepers, made up of Clandowey officers and several volunteers, wore the same outfit of see through overalls. As the staggered procession of bodies made their way through the field, they looked like ghostly apparitions floating eerily over the tall grass. Most of the faces were grey, devoid of any colour, the bitter spring morning draining them of both energy and vitality.

A shout made Gethin and Bridge turn. One of the volunteers was crouched down in the grass, inspecting something small. Bridge waded over eagerly and knelt down beside the volunteer. Gethin waited patiently, praying to all that was holy that they had finally found something. There was a moment’s silence, Gethin and the surrounding sweepers standing still, anxious for news on the discovery. Bridge shook his head and straightened up. Gethin knew the answer from where he stood. Nothing of any notable worth. Fed up, he spun round and stormed off, traipsing through the undergrowth in a huff. He could hear Bridge’s shouts from behind but pushed on, stamping down the slicked grass beneath him. The aim of the morning was to reach the end of the field and Gethin was going to do precisely that. In his haste to get as quickly as possible out of the field, Gethin slipped on a particularly wet patch of grass and crashed to the ground. He lay there for a minute, staring up at the misty sky, cheeks flecked with fresh mud. He could hear approaching footsteps, muffled slightly by the slight concussion to the back of his head. He blinked a few times, returning to the present and moaned loudly, rolling onto his side.

‘You alright Gethin?’ Bridge asked and crouched down, placing a hand gently on his shoulder.

‘Do I look alright?’ Gethin fired back surlily, massaging his sore spine.

With the aid of a volunteer, Bridge helped Gethin to his feet, catching him as his foot gave way on some mud.

‘Christ’s sake.’ Gethin muttered, wincing at the shooting pains in his back.

‘Come on let’s get you back to the car.’ The volunteer suggested.

‘Nonsense, the lad’s fine. Aren’t you Gethin?’ Bridge said, squeezing his shoulder hard.

Gethin shot him the daggers and allowed the volunteer to take him by the arm.

‘Wait.’ Gethin shouted and shrugged the volunteer away.

Clenching his jaw, he bent over and tugged on something poking out of the soil. It came without resistance, much to Gethin’s relief. Bridge and the volunteer huddled round Gethin, staring at the partially soil covered piece of material.

‘What is it?’ The volunteer piped up.

Gethin rubbed it with his thumb, wiping off some of the mud. The material felt smooth and silky. Part of a word was stitched into one corner.

…I think its a piece of tracksuit.’

‘Like a top or trousers?’ Bridge questioned.

‘Yeah, not sure which.’

‘Can I have a look?’

Gethin handed the piece of material to Bridge and exchanged raised eyebrows at the possible piece of evidence.

‘Looks like part of a logo here, maybe a brand name.’

Bridge reached into his pocket with his spare hand and fished out a small plastic baggie.

‘Get this back to the lab to run some tests.’ He informed one of the Clandowey officers, handing him the sealed baggie.

‘Wait.’ Gethin exclaimed, a sudden thought occurring to him.

Bridge and the Clandowey officer turned, eyeing him quizzically.

‘…nevermind.’ Gethin stuttered and shoved his hands in his pockets, trying his best to appear casual.

Bridge sensed Gethin had more to say but had decided to hold back for some reason. However, the rain was beginning to fall harder and he was eager to inspect the remainder of the field. So, he let the matter rest and returned his attention to the grass carpeted floor. Gethin twisted a loose thread in his trouser pocket nervously, a worrying thought plaguing his mind.

© [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales], [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


2 thoughts on “A Shred of Evidence

  1. You’ve really started to build this crime story it makes for good reading. Can’t find the word gluing so perhaps glued or stuck might be a better descriptive.

    • Thank you, i have been writing this at work whilst as a night porter which makes me laugh because i am most definitely fitting the stereotype. Yeah i can see what you mean about gluing. Will have a tinker.

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