Sand walked through the hotel reception. The night porter saw him heading for the door. Sand was wearing the light windcheater jacket, the only one he had brought with him to Bergen. The night porter hurried after him with an umbrella.

‘Please, Sir,’ he offered it to Sand just as Sand pulled open the glass door. ‘You shouldn’t go out like that with the storm coming in.’

Sand had been aware of the rain but hadn’t realised a storm was blowing in off the sea. He took the umbrella. ‘Thanks.’

He pulled his jacket up round his neck and opened the umbrella on the hotel steps before ducking out into the wild night. Immediately the umbrella was blown inside out by the strong wind. Sand fixed it and managed to walk ten paces before it did it again. He threw the umbrella into the gutter. The cold rain stung as the wind blew it straight into his face. Sand embraced the feeling. He wanted to be invigorated for what lay ahead. He felt alive with adrenaline.

Dag Moen had told him to meet him at an address only five blocks from the hotel.

‘Why that address?’ Sand had asked Moen on the ‘phone.

‘You’ll see,’ Moen replied. ‘Maybe you’ll find some answers there. Be sure to come alone. This is a personal matter between you and I.’

Moen had ended the call. Sand was too experienced to leave himself no back up at all. He called the number Bakke had given him and woke the Bergen police officer. Once he had explained the situation, Bakke agreed to head to the same address, but remain parked a street away, ready to come to Sand’s aid if he was needed.

After walking the streets for ten minutes, Sand’s windcheater was soaked through. He felt the rainwater seeping through his clothes, his jeans were heavy and sticking to his legs.

He found the address he was looking for. The sign read ‘Bergen Whaling and Fishing Museum.’ Although the sign was lit, the building was locked and closed. Sand circled round the rear and found a door swung open by the wind that was increasing by the minute. The rain poured down in sheets.

Sand drew his service handgun and stepped inside the door. It was a corridor. It was pitch black. Sand edged his way along. Unable to see anything he strained his ears to try and sense if anyone else was there. He passed a door. He tried to open it but it was locked shut. Further along another door opened. Something fell out the door and clattered to the floor.

‘Shit.’ The cleaner’s cupboard, thought Sand as he picked up the mop and shut the door over. After the loud noise the hush returned. Only the howling wind and rain outside could be heard.

Sand crept forward. He came to the end of the corridor. There was a large double door, a fire door with a bar across it. Sand pressed the bar down and swung it open. He stepped into a large hall. Some low level safety lighting illuminated pictures on the walls and models of fishing and whaling vessels. He had come into the museum.

‘You made it, Detective Sand.’ Dag Moen’s voice boomed out of a speaker, filling the hall. The main lights crashed on. Sand had to shield his eyes from the sudden brightness. ‘I’m so glad you did.’

‘I wish I could share your enthusiasm,’ Sand shouted into the hall, trying to locate where the voice was coming from.

‘Your publicity stunt almost ruined my fun. Fortunately, I knew I could find sanctuary in Bergen, just like my father used to do.’

‘Is this part of your plan?’ Keep him talking, Sand thought. He likes to tell people how smart he is.

‘The plan was just a way to get your attention. All I really wanted was a reason for you and I to be alone.’

‘Is that why Dahlia Solberg had to die?’

‘That was a bit of unfinished business for my father.’

‘How do you know what he would have wanted?’

‘The letters he sent to my mother were quite explicit. He dreamed of killing Dahlia for stealing Bjarne from him. More than that he wanted to see the detective who had arrested him suffer as he had.’

‘Is it really worth it over some jealous lover’s quarrel?’ Sand’s eyes had adjusted to the bright hall. He moved forward. The hall was split into different sections of exhibits. He moved passed the area of ships and boats. Next to that was a separate room that was filled with large metal harpoons, fishing guns, hooks, saws and blades. Norway still hunted and killed Minke whales, but the industry was in decline and demand falling, Sand knew that much.

Under a spotlight in the middle of the glinting metal stood Dag Moen.

‘You really think that’s why he killed Bjarne? Because he left him for a young woman?’

‘Bjarne wasn’t the first, was he?’

‘No, my father was an experienced killer by then.’

‘Rolf Karlstad?’ Sand said.

Moen smiled. ‘I’m impressed, Detective Sand, you have been doing your homework.’

‘There were others?’

‘It’s amazing how many deaths can occur in a busy port city with so much casual labour and a shrinking industry leaving so many young men unemployed and homeless.

‘How many?’ Sand asked.

‘From the letters, six, but who knows the true number. That’s close enough, Detective.’

Sand had got within ten paces of Moen. They stood facing each other surrounded by the vicious, glittering armoury of the whaling industry.

 A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

This is part twenty-one 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  have published 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:


To read the full story from the beginning go here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.

38 responses to “U IS FOR UMBRELLA”

  1. Simply outstanding writing, Kelly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very kind. Coming down the final stretch of the story, thanks for sticking with it!


  2. Oh boy! Is this the ultimate face off?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it has to last 5 more letters so I guess it’s going to be pretty ultimate! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. And I hear the suspenseful music in the background!
    Glad that he was smart enough to make sure there is back up there. He listened to me. 🙂 I had yelled at him to not go alone!
    5 more days! Oh so much can happen yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s learned his lesson from last time, although he has still managed to put himself in a dangerous place 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome write! I’m amazed at how well you make these letters seamless parts of the story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ve got them all figured out now, so don’t have to worry about that, just got to get to the end of the story by Sunday! Thanks for reading as always 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Looks like it is going to be a thrilling end. One on one confrontation can be nail biting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah, it’s going all the way this one! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I admire your writing skills Iian. With each post you have managed to keep up the readers interest and excitement alive. Kudos!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad you’re still enjoying it after so long! Almost at the finish line.


  7. One of the best chapters so far. I really like the exchange. Sounds natural, but moves the story forward too.
    I didnt’ expect Eckberg to be a serial killer. I too had thought he killed Bjarne out of jelousy.

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Hope you like the final few parts having enjoyed it up until now!


  8. He went alone! They never learn, if they are already meeting face to face I’m excited to see what comes over the last few letters 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has to be just the two of them for the final showdown, it would be wrong otherwise! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s one of those moments that if it were a TV show I’d be shouting at the TV, you know it has to happen but it’s like nervous frustration 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Really keeping our attention. So nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The showdown. Dag must have arranged the meeting there to give him an advantage over Sand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And to reveal something to him…


  11. First off, I love this story. I look forward to the new installment each day. Don’t tell the other A-t0-Z-ers, but yours is my favorite.

    But — windcheater. That’s a new one for me. I’m pretty sure you’re referring to a USA windbreaker. I’m going to have to remember that name though. I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting, maybe just a UK thing, I thought it was a universal name. Definitely what I meant though – I just googled it to be sure! Glad you are enjoying the story, hope you like the final installments as much.


  12. Nicely done. I am waiting for the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Shirley Corder Avatar
    Shirley Corder

    Gripping story. Near the end, you say? I don’t know how you can work a story in alphabetical order over a month. I’m impressed! U is for Understanding URLs as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Shirley. It’s definitely been a challenge! I hope you get the chance to check it out from the start.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. And the suspense builds! What type of vest? Surely not kevlar, that won’t help him in a whaling museum…life vest maybe? Is Moby Dick going to save Sand on Thursday? (But break something so he needs x-rays?) Then the final confrontation on a yacht, and Dag winds up in zebra stripes (prison uniform)! 😛 Well, that’s one scenario anyway…Another 24 hours before we get to read the next installment! Aaaaaarrrrrgh! (I definitely do not have the patience to read serial stories, but I love it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are close with a couple of those guesses. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course – expect a couple more this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Very exciting – and I’m impressed that you worked in both umbrella and whale today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, whale will run through the next couple of days to take care of W 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Yikes! I am so worried for Sand! Ten paces is way too close for comfort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s running out of letters to catch him, needs to take a risk or two now 🙂


  17. Nice confrontation. And I loved the imagery on this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. We call them windbreakers in the USA. I think I like windcheater better!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m worried for Sand but hopefully this will all turn out to his advantage!

    Liked by 1 person

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