Dr Webster returns…

Once again, thoughts, feedback and what not are much appreciated.

A Single Ticket to Infinity
By
Michael Storm
Chapter Three
The Man with Two Shadows
Sara looked at Dr Webster in a mix of bemusement and admiration, he was very determined to see that this affair go through toward justice but equally why bother with so little to go on? What would the train ticket prove, even with its unusual destination? She rationalised it to herself, he wouldn’t give up on a patient if there was a chance and this mystery was his patient.
“I’m going to the local police with what we got,” Dr Webster explained, “it probably won’t got anywhere but it’s worth a try.”
“No body, no disturbance in the snow, I don‘t think even with the ticket you have much to go on,” Sara summarised.
“Probably not,” agreed Dr Webster, “but at the very least it may cause something to happen along the way,” he added with a smile.
“I guess so,” she conceded and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, “keep me informed of any developments.”

A thought occurred to him and he advised her to use the camera on her phone to photo the ticket just in case, with that Dr Webster bid Sara adieu and departed upon his journey. Sara yawned, the events of the past twelve hours finally caught up with her and she decided to grab a hour or two of shut eye and headed upstairs.

Bessington police station was very much your typical semi-rural station in appearance, although the previous nights snow fall gave it something of a Christmas card look. The rust heap of a car which belonged to Dr Webster screeched its way across the frozen car park and came to rest in a convenient spot, a few moments later Dr Webster had made his way into the station, spoken to the desk sergeant and was awaiting to be interviewed by some of the constabulary. While he waited he cancelled his appointments for the day, one again rescheduled his meeting with Liz and Sarah and mused upon the events passed. He knew he hadn’t been dreaming, he had Sara to back him up on the body front; he had a name of the deceased ’Marston Plummer’ and the impossible train-ticket to present to the police. If he could, he’d involve Sara as little as possible in the proceedings, it was doubtful her testimony would benefit much other then to confirm the presence of the body at the time. The questions about the situation were building up in his head: Where had the body gone? How had the platform been reset to appear undisturbed? Most importantly of all, by whom and why?
He was disturbed from his postulations by the call of one of the policeman bringing him to the interview room. He sat himself on the hard wooden chair prepared himself for the questions. He recognised the two constables as the two from the night before, one of them began the interview tape.
“Interview begins at 10:23 officers present Police Constable Price and myself, Police Constable Murray. Interviewee will now confirm his name.”
“Doctor Benjamin Webster.”
“This is in relation to a reported incident last night, the 23rd of January,” began Price.
“I believe I have some evidence to help establish my claims from last night.”
“Oh?” Quizzed Murray.
Dr Webster produced the train ticket and presented it to the officers, who examined it thoroughly describing the details they saw out loud. After a long pause, Price addressed Dr Webster directly, “my dear doctor, while this is no doubt an unusual specimen there is nothing here to support the claim it was present at the platform.”
“I shall conceded that, but what of Marston Plummer?”
“We are currently conducting a safety check upon that name, it may take sometime,” stated Murray.
“True,” answered Dr Webster, “but there can’t be that many Marston Plummers about, can there?”
“Probably not, I agree.”
The interview continued on for a short time, restating the details of the night and events in the morning before being terminated. Dr Webster left none better off then he was before, be no worse either leaving the two policemen to puzzle over the ticket themselves. Murray decided to get the ticket finger printed while Price went on to chase up the name Marston Plummer, unknown to them Chief Inspector Dean had been watching them on the security monitor. Dean scratched his chin thoughtfully, he scribbled down the name Plummer on a piece of paper and circled it with a red pen and next to it wrote a single word and heavily underlined it. The word was: BOGUS
Sara awoke from her fitful slumber by the sound of a repetitive rhythm against her window pane, it was fairly fast and seemed to be proceeding across the course of her window. She emerged from her bed, checking her dressing gown was covering all and peaked through the curtain, how silly of her, it was the window cleaner. The events on the platform must of affected her more then she thought, she was getting jumpy. Dismissing her silliness she proceeded to the bathroom, disrobed and slipped into the shower. She could hear the rhythmic tapping of the window cleaner on the bathroom window and was thankful for the blind being down, she didn’t want to make a habit of flashing strangers. As she rubbed the shampoo through her hair a thought occurred to her, the window cleaner had been quick getting to that window. Once showered, she rubbed her coconut oil moisturiser on her skin and picked up her robe, it was then she realised, but it was too late…
****
It was just gone twelve thirty when Dr Webster made it to the office on Berkeley Square, he rapped on the familiar door and waited for the answer. Moments later, the door was opened and the full suited figure of Arthur Fransure filled the frame.
“Ah Dr Webster,” he exclaimed, “what a pleasant surprise!”
“Good afternoon Arthur,” smiled Dr Webster, “may I come in, I have a little tale to tell.”
****
“Well my dear boy, it’s a fascinating story,” mused Arthur serving up a pot of Darjeeling and a plate of scones, jam and clotted cream, “but I fail to see what it has to do with security.”
“Yes I know, call it instinct if you like but something seems a bit odd.”
“That an intelligent good looking teenage waitress had a bounce on you?” quipped Arthur lightening the mood. “Yes that does seem a bit odd.”
“That too,” laughed Dr Webster before returning to a more sombre manner, “the whole set up seems, well like a set up.”
Arthur poured two cups of tea and got Dr Webster to recant the story once again, making the good doctor feel like a stuck record.
“It seems to me that you need to find some proof,” he concluded lavishing a large blob of clotted cream on his scone, “I don’t doubt you for the moment my boy.”
“Is there anything you can do your side?” Asked Dr Webster.
“Maybe, but as I say it doesn’t have anything to do with security, so as such my hands are tied.”
With that Dr Webster finished off his tea and bid Arthur adieu, informing him that he had a patient to tend too. Once he was away from Arthur’s office he pulled out his phone and logged onto the national railway website and looked up the train times for the station.
***
The Golden Egg’s trade had barely improved upon the night before, the lunchtime trade had been thin but not completely absent, a few farmers had come in as their work was unable to be completed and a few hikers had turned up, determined to have a walk in the winter wonderland which surrounded the pub. Terry, the landlord, finished polishing the wine glasses and was awaiting for a table of two to finish their lunch, for some reason he’d had to force himself to keep busy today. Normally it came as natural as breathing, but today he found himself being drawn to gazing endlessly at the railway station. Sara wasn’t the type to suffer from phantasmagoria, even though she was young and impressionable; that doctor too, he wouldn’t of made it through medical school if he allowed his eyes to play tricks on him. The door creaked open and to Terry’s surprise, the very doctor walked in, looking rather chilly.
“Good afternoon Terry,” he chirruped.
“Hey this is a turn up,” beamed Terry cheerful as ever in appearance, “didn’t think I would see you again so soon.”
“Well I couldn’t resist having another pint of that fine porter you serve,” replied Dr Webster warming himself by the fire.
“Out of luck then I’m afraid,” answered the landlord, “it went this lunch time.”
“Ah that’s a pity,” said Dr Webster.
“Well try a splash of this,” suggested Terry pulling a small sample from a pull into a tumbler. Dr Webster took up the tumbler and sampled the dark liquid within… A hint of chocolate, orange and… ooh was that spiced rum? No… not spiced rum, but certainly something…
“I’ll have a pint of that,” he announced and paid for his pint. After he’d consumed two thirds of the pint he explained, one of the reasons why he was there.
“Don’t be daft doc,” replied the smiling landlord once he had explained, “I put her up out of the goodness of my heart, its certainly not for you to reimburse it.”
“That’s as maybe, but I thought I would make the offer,” rebutted Dr. Webster. He finished his pint and ordered another and sat near the fireplace, looking out the window watching the station. He observed that someone in the kitchen was studying the station too, he masked his interest by pretending to play with his phone. A minute or two later Terry had left the bar and the cook had emerged from the kitchen. She was a fierce battle axe of a woman with a stern vulture like expression with multiple self-drawn tattoos upon her arms. Dr Webster caught her attention and made a casual inquiry about Train times.
“Once an hour each way usually,” the cook stated, her eyes narrowing on him as she explained, “we get the occasional freight for the farmers but that’s about it.”
“It must be quite useful to have a train in the early hours,” he joked, “especially if you’ve gone to a club in town.”
“Early hours, you must be ’aving a giraffe,” she grunted, “the trains don’t stop here after eleven.”
“Ah my mistake,” Dr Webster smiled, “I must have misread my timetable.”
“What do you wanna know all this for anyway?”
“Oh I’m just making inquiries for a friend, a Mr. Marston Plummer.”
“Funny name, silver spoon in his mouth no doubt,” the cook said dismissively, “can’t abide them toffs. You don’t look like the type who mingles with them.”
“Well its more through business then social routes.”
“I see, anyway I gotta get back to the kitchen. Them spuds won’t peel themselves.” With that the cook disappeared back into the kitchen and Dr Webster returned to his perch at the window. He could see the layout of the station better now, the station was slightly higher in the distance then he expected meaning… he sprang to his feet and quickly popped out through the door. Once outside, he traced his way where his room had been the night before. There was no mistaking its location as the window was sandwich squarely in the middle of the gabled roof, with the second tower beside it, odd structure for a pub he thought. This location and the elevation meant that the station could not be obscured by the row of trees, but the field behind would be. A field which no-one would notice if the snow was partially absent. Dr Webster smiled, so that’s how the platform was resurface so quickly. Pleased with himself, he returned to the warmth of the fireside and treated himself to another pint of the chocolate tasting stout.
“Terry, is Sara working tonight?” He asked casually.
“No mate, she phoned in sick a bit ago,” answered Terry, “ Poor thing caught cold pretty bad. All that running around in the middle of the night I expect.”
“Yes… That would be it,” said Dr Webster guiltily, she shouldn’t have followed him and should of insisted she go back. Dr Webster finished his pint and bid the Landlord farewell, he had twenty minutes before the next train home, time to have a proper look around the station.
   If Dr Webster had checked his surroundings as he left The Golden Egg, he would of noticed from the kitchen window, the vulture like cook watching him walk toward the station, unblinking, her hands mechanically peeling the potatoes. From the door way Terry caught a glimpse of her gazing out and the ubiquitous smile upon his face softened a little, for reasons he couldn’t explain he knew that an ill wind was blowing his way.
***
The railway station looked a little more welcoming in the harsh light of day, with the now disused ticket office having be built in a mock Tudor styling in an attempt to add some class to the building. The two waiting shelters were little more then a roof over some uncomfortable metal seating, but at least they were stone as opposed to the awful Perspex monstrosities of some places. The snow was now becoming slush thanks to the mix of grit, footfall and general thaw leaving parts of the platform exposed. Dr Webster looked from platform back towards The Golden Egg and tried to locate the window to his room, once he had done so he paced up and down the platform in what he perceived to be the sightline of the window, all the time checking the concrete for tell-tale signs of the shooting. After much examination he decided to lay that idea to rest and examine the ticket machine. There were no initial signs of it being tampered with, out of curiosity he bought a single ticket to the next station and examined it. The serial number and the print all tallied with the impossible ticket from what he could remember, he wondered if he could get another look at the ticket if he went to the police station. He probably wouldn’t be able to as it was assigned to being evidence, so he’d have to check the facsimile on Sara’s phone. As he waited for the train he glanced back at the pub and for a moment caught a glimpse of movement in the gabled room, probably one of the staff tidying up he mused. He checked his watch, ten minutes till the train, with that in mind he made a quick look at the field behind the station. It didn’t look like there was any snow removed so evidently his theory was wrong, he thought back to the view of the room there was something not quite right about he viewed it, it seemed a bit off centre to where the platform was.
Dr Webster was disturbed from his thoughts by the sound of the train pulling into the station, he returned to the platform and quickly hoped aboard, sat himself in a good seat and stared out the window at the pub. As the train pulled away he failed to notice a duffel coated man watching him from the table a few rows down, his hands gently rapping out a rhythm on the arm of his chair.
As the train ploughed on its journey, Dr Webster felt the consequence of the stouts and nipped to the train toilet. As he left, the duffel coated man rose from his seat and planted a small envelope on the doctor’s seat, he then turned back to his seat and pretended to of nodded off. A moment later Dr Webster returned to his seat, picked up the envelope and opened it shaking the contents to the chair. A small note had fallen out, he picked up and read it:
YOU’RE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s