J IS FOR JELLY

A local officer met Sand outside the unique-looking igloo hotel.

‘It doesn’t really melt,’ he said, in response to Sand’s question. ‘It gets dismantled and broken down in sections that then melt over the summer.’

He led Sand through the corridors to the largest suite, where the body had been found. Entering the room under the police tape, Sand saw a screen that sectioned off the one half of the room. From behind it a man with grey hair and thick glasses peered out.

‘Detective Sand?’ the man asked. Sand nodded and offered a handshake. ‘Doctor Andreassen. Come and take a look.’

Sand stepped round the screen. He gagged as his stomach lurched. He had been expecting it. In some ways it consoled him that after years dealing with dead bodies they still could have an effect on him.

What was left of Dahlia Solberg was as he had expected it to be, except for somethign new. It was charred black, frozen in a picture of horror.

‘Killed by a large knife wound in the stomach and sliced open. Intestines pulled out.’ Andreassen said. ‘Interestingly, the body seems to have been coated in petroleum jelly.’

‘Jelly?’ Sand repeated.

‘You know, Vaseline. Flammable, that’s what he used to light the body. The human body is difficult to set on fire. Smeared her in jelly then lit the match.’

Sand looked round the room. No clues to be found here, he thought. ‘Any witnesses?’ he asked.

The local officer was still in the room. ‘She was staying in the staff accommodation with two others, her partner, Christian Karlsen, and another woman, Astrid Dahl. Neither heard or saw anything. They both claim they blacked out. Forensics are checking but it looks like their wine was spiked.’

A wasted journey, thought Sand, although it had confirmed what they already knew. He got back to his hotel for the night. There was no flight back until the next day. In the morning he would take another look around in case he had missed anything. He gave Gabi a call. She was still in the office.

‘Anything on Dag Moen?’ he asked, having filled her in on the gory details of Dahlia Solberg.

‘No record of travel to Alta from Oslo in the last two days. He’s been working as a delivery truck driver for the last 18 months for a small firm specialising in animal and pet consumables. Guess what? Sacked three weeks ago. According to the manager he’d always been an odd character but was punctual, never took a sick day, reliable. Then went off the rails. Stopped turning up for work and has now disappeared with one of their vehicles.’

‘Typical. Ever feel like we’re always one step behind him?’

‘One bit of good news. While he was staying with his mother, he also rented a small apartment in the city centre. According to the building caretaker he used it to meet a woman on sporadic evenings. She came for an hour or two at the most but never stayed overnight.’

‘He was having an affair? A secret lover?’

‘Something like that is our best guest. Jens and Karl are staking the place out in the hope Dag or his mystery woman show up.’

‘That’s something at least. Find anything in the Eckberg files?’ Sand asked. ‘Especially anyone with a name starting with E.’

‘Only one person,’ Gabi replied. ‘Your partner at the time Egil Lund.’

‘He’s been dead for five years,’ Sand said, remembering his old mentor. ‘And retired for fifteen.’

‘What about family?’

‘None that I know of, he was an only child, single, no children of his own.’

‘In Dag Moen’s mind then, who would he replace Egil Lund with? He hasn’t been exactly following a strict rule, just loose relations to some mad alphabet challenge in his head.’

Sand picked up on Gabi’s reasoning. ‘He would go for whoever had taken Egil’s place as my partner. If he wants to get to me, he will come for you.’

‘That’s what I was thinking.’

‘Don’t leave the office tonight. Give Pedersen a call and get protection assigned to you. I know an officer I would trust, Håkon Berg. Get him assigned to you as a bodyguard, and a squad car outside your home.’

‘I can handle myself,’ Gabi replied.

The foolhardy confidence of youth. Sand thought back to the charred remains lying in the ice room. ‘You haven’t seen what Dag Moen is capable of, Gabi.’


 A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

This is part nine of my A to Z Challenge 2017. 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:

3570513_R_Z001A_UC17690531

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

48 responses to “J IS FOR JELLY”

  1. See what you did with J. The wobbly type would be great to make in an ice room. Your version worked well and kept with the theme. Not convinced I’ll get through to Z with the gore level (I agree, I’m a woose) but great writing and looking forward to Kettle which you could have used to make the wobbly jelly. Anytime you want to post more letters on one day I’m sure we’ll all be supportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynne. I really struggled to fit Jelly in with the crime thriller story – it’s easier to use in a comedy! Promise that is as gory as it’s going to get, hope you stick with it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope he doesn’t get to Gabi! I’m with Lynne too. We will be totally supportive if you do post more letters on one day! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, that would be against the rules of the A to Z challenge though! 🙂 Glad you are liking it. One day is not too long to wait for the next chapter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh *sigh* guess we’ll have to wait. But hey, like you said one day is not too long! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was so keen to see how you would incorporate jelly into this and you nailed it! Such a great writer!

    J is for Judgement

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very kind, thank you. Jelly was definitely one of the toughest to fit in so far 🙂

      Like

  4. Looks like the stakes just got raised!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s coming for them… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eeeek.
    I’m amazed at how well you weave the words from kids’ jigsaw into a gory story! Keeps me coming back for more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – Jelly was a bit of a stretch! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The wait seems to get longer now……with the interest mounting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you will like tomorrow’s piece 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a unique way to use J 🙂
    I think Gabi better take Sands advice, or the next story may not be good for him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it – it took a bit of figuring out to get Jelly into a murder scene!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Damn, now I have to go back a read A to I but I’m hooked as I spent 10 years in Norway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you get the chance to catch up. you can let me know all my Norway-related mistakes! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  9. Uh, oh. I hope Gabi stays safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tune in tomorrow to find out…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh. Iain, I like how you used jelly in this! I’m so intrigued with your story line 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the reason for the jelly being used will be revealed in a later chapter, glad I’m keeping your interest 🙂

      Like

  11. Wow! Only you could weave jelly into such a story! I second or rather third Lynne’s suggestion of you writing and uploading more letters in advance. Have pity on your readers and don’t leave them waiting 😁 But I know we have to wait. Seriously, Queen of Patience *breathe in, breathe out*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t make the rules, I just abide by them 🙂 Glad your still liking it.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m really enjoying your posts. By the way, I bought Collected Sketches.

    Like

    1. Thank you Eva. That’s a bit different, lots of different short stories and flash fiction – I hope you enjoy reading it. It was my first attempt at self-publishing, hopefully I will do more in the future 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love to read short stories, and more recently my interest in flash fiction has really grown. I’ve written a number of short-shorts at around 1,000 words as well as articles of the same word count, but I have to try a 100-500 word flash fiction at some point.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hop my efforts can give you some hints with the flash fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Well done!
    I have to ask: are you plotting as you go or have you planned it?
    Waiting for “k.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Started plotting as I went, now I think I have it forward planned in my head to fit all the objects in, apart from one or tow tricky ones towards the end!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This has made me think that maybe we should do a photo prompt with a list of bizarre words, just to see what the results would be. You’ve done a great job with your words! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True, it’s been good fun trying to figure it all out. I shall miss doing it when April is finished!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. no no no not Gabi. not her!
    though loved the jelly…that was inspired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It needed some inspiration to fit jelly in 🙂 Tomorrow is all about Gabi, that’s all I’ll say just now…

      Liked by 1 person

  15. So this is going to get personal, uh?

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it always has been 🙂

      Like

  16. I was wondering how you were going to fit that in. I’m hooked 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A tricky one. The next couple are a bit easier. Next tricky ones – N is for Nest and O is for Octopus!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah Octopus is one you’re going to have to get creative for 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Listen to those wise words, Gabi. You don’t want to know what this badass dude is capable of. Not first hand, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These youngsters, never listen.

      Like

  18. Haha! That’s like a trick play on jelly, using the petroleum kind! Bravo! 😀

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

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, definitely the most tenuous link so far! I think I get away with it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I commend your thought process, Iain! Brilliant choice for J. By the way, I didn’t know the human body was difficult to set on fire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I haven’t done tests, but just from reading other fiction – we’re not particularly flammable!

      Liked by 1 person

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