The chestnut-coloured mare trotted across the field towards them. Sand and Gabi watched the powerful animal until it reached the fence and the rider dismounted. A stable hand met her and led the horse away. Brit Moen walked across the cobbled yard, removing her hat and gloves.

Sand tried to match the sophisticated woman in front of him with the distraught, tear-stained woman he had last seen sitting in her kitchen, vomiting into her sink, after discovering her dear cat, Bjarne, decapitated and gutted in her back garden. The toned and confident brunette that now greeted him was like another person completely.

When Captain Pedersen had seen the note Gabi and Sand had found at Frogner Park, he had taken Sand’s theory seriously.

‘So, if this is linked to the Eckberg case, and Eckberg is dead, who is doing it?’ Pedersen asked them when they got back to the office.

Sand shrugged. ‘No idea. And why now?’

‘An aggrieved relative, maybe? Do you have any leads?’

‘Not much. The old man who delivered the flowers with the note is a homeless man who says a woman paid him to do it. He’s given us a description but he knows nothing else.’

‘So we have A for Anders, we know he’s out to get you. B is Bjarne the original victim that Eckberg killed and the cat found dead yesterday. C is Camilla,’ Gabi paused her summary and looked at Sand as she mentioned his wife.

‘I don’t see how she fits into it,’ Sand said, betraying no emotion. ‘She died of cancer, she couldn’t have been murdered.’

‘Maybe the killer sees it as justice. A sign that God or fate or the devil is on his side.’ Pedersen hypothesised. ‘Okay, until we have anything more all we have is a dead cat and flowers stolen from a grave. Any idea who or what the letter D target is going to be?’

‘Not really. The case was so long ago, I need to go over the original files and see if anything jumps out. There must be some connection between the cat that was killed and Eckberg, other than the name. I’d like to talk to the owner again.’ Sand said.

‘Okay,’ Pedersen agreed and dismissed them.

When Gabi and Sand called at the address of Brit Moen they learned from a cleaning lady that she had gone to the nearby stables to ride her horse. ‘A real animal lover,’ Sand muttered as they got back in the car.

Now the rejuvenated Ms. Moen stood in front of them. ‘I was wondering when you would come back,’ she said.

‘You were expecting us?’ Gabi asked.

‘I must apologise for the state you last saw me in.’ Brit Moen replied, ignoring Gabi’s question and addressing Sand. ‘I was in shock. Poor Bjarne, you understand.’

‘Of course. Have you had any more thoughts as to who might have wished you or Bjarne harm?’ Sand asked.

‘You mean you haven’t pieced it together yet, Detective Sand? Have I changed so much in twenty years? I knew you didn’t recognise me yesterday.’

Sand felt a chill down his spine. He tried to picture the woman in front of him as a younger person. There was a hint of something familiar. It couldn’t be that though.

‘Brigette?’ he asked, scarcely believing it.

‘I changed my surname and shortened my given name of course. After Jules became notorious I wanted to disappear from public view.’

‘Wait, who are you?’ Gabi interrupted.

‘Jules Eckberg’s younger sister,’ Sand explained, not taking his gaze off of the woman.

‘You should be afraid, Sand. I can’t control him anymore.’ Moen said.

‘Control who?’ Sand asked. Gabi could sense the anger rising in her partner.

‘My son.’

‘Your son killed your cat?’

Moen nodded. ‘He didn’t appreciate my commemoration to Bjarne.’

‘Why would that upset him?’ Gabi asked, puzzled.

It was Sand that answered. ‘Because Jules Eckberg is his father, isn’t he?’

For the first time a flicker of genuine emotion crossed Brit Moen’s face. ‘You have finally caught up, Detective.’

‘But you said Eckberg was your brother?’ Gabi said. As she said it, realisation dawned.

Sand picked up the explanation. ‘We knew your brother abused you. He got you pregnant?’

Moen looked away. ‘Yes. I had the child. He was born with difficulties. Not physically, but mentally. He suffered from severe Asperger’s growing up. I thought we were past the worst of it. Somehow he found out who his father really was. I never told him the truth. He was born just before Jules killed Bjarne Johansen. Something snapped in him. He became obsessed. You saw what he did to the cat.’

‘You delivered the note and instructions for him to the homeless man?’ Sand asked.

‘You have to understand I was scared. Scared of my own son. He has become just as I remember Jules. Memories I have tried to bury for years I now see alive before me in him.’

‘What is he planning to do?’

‘After he told me to deliver the note he disappeared. I have no idea where he has gone. I just know he is coming for you Sand, and anyone else he holds responsible for taking his father from him.’

‘Why didn’t you tell us this yesterday?’ Sand asked.

‘Whatever he is, whatever he does, he’s my son. I won’t stand in your way, but nor will I help you catch him. So far he has done no harm to anyone.’

Sand believed her. ‘Detective Henriksen will have to take you in for more questioning before we decide if we should charge you with anything.’

Gabi took Moen by the arm and began leading her towards the car. Sand stopped her as she passed him.

‘I am sorry for what happened to you,’ he said to her.

Moen gave him a resigned look. ‘I loved my son. He was the only good thing to come from Jules’ life.’

Sand watched Gabi put Brit Moen in the back of the car. ‘You take her to the station. I need time to think. Question her, but go easy.’ Gabi nodded and got into the car.

Sand walked over to the paddock fence. Four racing horses were grazing. Thoroughbreds, sleek and powerful. Full of pent up energy waiting to be released. When Sand had been investigating the Eckberg case that was how he had felt. Now he was an old gelding ready to be put out to pasture. He wasn’t sure he was ready to face evil again, and evil was coming for him.

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

This is part eight of my A to Z Challenge 2017. Apologies for the extended length of this entry, tomorrow’s will be shorter! More information on the challenge, and other stories and blogs taking part in it, can be found HERE.

Throughout April I  hope to publish a section a day, relating to a letter of the alphabet, which in the end will make up a continuous story, all based round the objects found in this children’s jigsaw:


Other entries in the challenge, and a version of the final complete, joined up story can be found here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.

58 responses to “H IS FOR HORSE”

    1. Glad you liked it 🙂 A bit long for a daily challenge – I will make the next one shorter!


      1. I feel like a post ends where it’s supposed to end – whether long or short.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you – good advice!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ooh, it’s getting exciting!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you think so, looking forward to sharing the story this week 🙂


  2. Oh, I didn’t see *that* coming.
    Niiiiiccceee :o)
    Also loved the extra bit from from Sunday fiction.

    Bunny and the Bloke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Debs. Glad you enjoyed it and the Sunday bonus 🙂


  3. You can make the chapters as long as you like Iain! Great stuff.

    Amble Bay’s Village Hall!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith. I appreciate everyone has lots of A to Z blogs to keep up with though. Hopefully this will be as long as mine get. Looking forward to visiting the Village Hall 🙂


  4. Oh my……So many twists and turns…..Getting intense 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And only at ‘H’ – a few more to come before we reach ‘Z’ I’m sure 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I think Sand underestimates himself. I rather think there is a volcano brooding inside him and I do expect it will explode sooner or later.

    Didn’t expect that twist about Eckberg. That’s quite intersting 🙂

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir


    1. Thank you. I think Sand has one last fight left in him for sure 😉


  6. Whoa! There’s a twist I did not see coming. Eckberg’s son, huh? Is he really the culprit though? And where is he? Living in an igloo, perhaps?
    Only time will tell 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Handily setting the story in Norway helps with fitting the igloo in! Glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I feel sorry for her! What twists this is turning out to have. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy, glad you liked the twist. I feel sorry for her too, was difficult to get that in with all the other stuff, but hers is a sad story.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. Lots of people wrote about horses in the challenge, including me, mine is non-fiction though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kim. Horse was a difficult one to fit in to my story theme. Glad you liked it.


  9. Yikes, interesting twist! Looking forward to tomorrow’s post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, that was FUN! Yeah a bit long but that’s ok when it’s awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sticking with it. Tomorrow back to a more manageable length 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, you can swing for the fences once a week… more than that and I’m quitting 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, didn’t see that coming! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully still a few more twists to come 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So good! I can’t wait for the next chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, my. Jules was quite a piece of work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re going to write a baddie, might as well go all the way!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Whoa! Didn’t see that coming! Curiouser and curiouser… 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The secret is revealed slowly and steadily. I like that style.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I hope you will keep reading to find out more!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m not convinced her son did it. She could still be the suspect out for revenge against Sand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suspicious mind. More tomorrow 🙂


  17. Good stuff. I’m hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoy it for the next few days, I’m enjoying the challenge of writing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can see that you are. Must be your commitment — oh wait. Were there commitment papers involved? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh what a naughty brother. Wonder with everything how she has $$ to keep the horses?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been 20 years, I assume she’s managed to rebuild her life in that time… Or it was the only way I could get a horse into the story today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow, that was a lot to unpack in just one installment! Looks like the week’s started off with quite a bang!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a lot to get in, thanks for sticking with it all. Next one will be shorter!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I had the sudden thought that you are doing an A to Z of murders within the A to Z challenge. 🙂
    This was good. You certainly keep the surprises coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sascha – it felt like the murders should make a small reference to the ABC nature of the challenge. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Well, that was a twist! Did NOT see it coming. The son, yes I thought that was a possibility. But that Jules’ sister is also the son’s mother? Grisly, but it makes his behavior even more plausible. The good thing about missing a day is now I get to jump ahead immediately instead of having to wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow! Now that is one heck of a twist, and we’re not even halfway through!

    My “theme” – A Thirty-Word Story, revealing one word of the story each day of the challenge.
    #AtoZChallenge The Letter I

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Still a long way to go 🙂


  23. Great twist. I still say the cat lady did it.. About to read my last instalment for today. What time will Jelly arrive or is the time a bit wobbly? Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Whoa! Major twist but that’s one clue unraveled. Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed the twist 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A little long but then I can understand you want to complete this by Z. This is getting intriguing, very intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, the rest from the week are shorter, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Wait. Is Dahlia really the ‘D’? Or was it for Christian the ‘C’? Now I am confused!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. WHEW! I need Dramamine when I read your stories Iain. This thing whips around like a thrilling roller caster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you are enjoying, hopefully it will keep you thrilled until the end 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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