‘Why don’t you put the gun down, Detective?’ Dag Moen said. ‘You can see I am not armed.’ He held his hands out, palms up to show he held nothing.

Sand looked round the room. There were plenty of sharp, dangerous tools surrounding them, but Moen appeared to be unarmed. He slowly bent down and placed his gun on the floor.

‘You’re soaked through. Take off those wet clothes.’

Sand had almost forgotten how wet he had become walking through the storm. Now he realised he was cold. ‘I’m okay, thanks.’

Anger flashed over Dag Moen’s face. ‘The jacket and sweater. Now.’

‘You think I’m wearing a wire?’

‘Prove me wrong.’

Sand paused for a moment, then stripped off his jacket and pulled his sweater off. He was left in his damp vest. ‘Satisfied? We’re alone. Why here?’ Sand asked.

‘The museum? This room? You don’t see it? I thought you were a smart man, Detective.’

‘Your father worked on whaling vessels out of Bergen.’

‘You never found the murder weapon, did you?’ Moen pointed to a large filleting knife hanging on the wall. ‘Something like that is what you’re looking for.’

Moen turned and walked through a tunnel into the adjoining room. Sand followed.

The walls of the room were covered with pictures of whales caught at sea. The whaling boats were factory ships. Once a whale has been hunted, caught and hauled onto the deck, workers start dismembering the carcass straightaway. The photographs in the room showed the process. Whales were shown in various states.

‘You never wondered why he killed them the way he did.’ Moen said. ‘Do you see it now?’

Sand walked past him, peering at one picture after another. The images flashed through his brain. He filtered them alongside the bodies of Bjarne Johansen and Rolf Karlstad. Bjarne the cat. Dahlia Solberg.

A gash is made from the whale’s stomach right along the underside of the body. The skin is folded back and the giant intestines removed. There were photographs of the huge organs lying around the bloody carcasses on the red-stained ship deck. The tail and head of the whale are then removed before the workers begin cutting out the valuable whale meat from the skin.

Slashed open, intestines pulled out, decapitated. The way Eckberg and Moen killed their victims.

‘Why? Did he want to make some point about whale conservation?’ Sand said. He found it hard to see the serial killer as an environmentalist.

Moen laughed. ‘Perhaps. Maybe he had sympathy for the beauty of an animal gutted and destroyed in such a way so he gave them some revenge.’

‘You don’t really believe that.’

‘No. I think he learned the perfect way to eviscerate a living mammal. And he loved his work.’

‘He was sick.’

‘What does that make me, Detective?’

‘You can’t work that out.’ Sand turned away from the photographs on the wall and faced Moen. ‘Why did you burn Dahlia Solberg?’

‘You haven’t had the final pathology report yet? Let me guess, they told you it was petroleum jelly.’ Sand nodded, Moen shook his head. ‘Think oleochemical instead of petrochemical. Similar properties but one is derived from animal fat, the other from petroleum.’

‘You covered her in whale oil?’

Dag Moen grinned. ‘Neat idea I thought.’

‘What do you hope to achieve by killing me?’

‘Revenge. Closure. Fun. Take your pick. Do I need to have a reason? Always trying to make sense out of the chaos. That is your curse, Detective. I tried to do that for years. Then I found out I could embrace the chaos, like my father had done.’

Sand had heard enough. His small backup gun was tucked into his trouser waistband. He pulled it out from under his vest and aimed it at Moen.

Thunder crashed outside as the storm reached it’s peak. The lights flickered out for a split second. A power surge. When they came back on Sand was pointing his gun at an empty space.

Detective Bakke saw a man burst out the side door of the museum. Through the dark storm he couldn’t make out who it was. They got into a car and sped off. Bakke started his car and drove closer to the museum. The side door crashed open again and a man wearing only a white vest sprinted out through the rain. Bakke recognised Sand and sounded the car horn.

Sand turned and ran to the car. ‘Did you see him leave?’

Bakke nodded. ‘Get in.’

Sand jumped into the passenger seat as Bakke gunned the engine and sped off after the fading taillights.

 A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

This is part twenty-two 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 story from the beginning, go here: A TO Z CHALLENGE 2017.

44 responses to “V IS FOR VEST”

  1. Fabulous! I couldn’t stop reading, although I’ve only read a few of the previous parts, it still held my interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I think the concluding parts will be exciting! All the previous posts are on my blog if you want to find out exactly how we ended up here. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, yes, of course. Whale oil. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought it helped make the J for Jelly tie in a bit better!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew Dag wouldn’t make it too easy, getting amped up for the last few letters 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A race to the finish in all respects now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The game is on! Nice touch with the whale oil.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is really going to be no reasons? Tell me it’s nto so.

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, he listed his reasons, mainly revenge, part madness, part anarchy against the world.


  6. Aarrgghh! You *are* going to make it go on till the very last letter, aren’t you?

    The whaling museum has the perfect qualities to get the imagination flowing. Great location for film/TV! And yes, nice touch with the whale oil.

    Bunny and the Bloke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Only a couple more days to go, got to keep you going to the end!


  7. The final cat and mouse chase! But why did he do it? Will have to wait it out I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a revenge story really, with a bit of a madman at the heart of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OH I knew he would get away, for you have 4 days yet! Of course they could have got him and just have 4 days of celebration! 🙂
    Interesting in the reason why the victims were killed like they were, and of course why didn’t the pathologist think of whale oil! I mean that is just so common! Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy, glad you see it all coming together. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice twist with the whale oil. Perhaps Dag is just as insane as his father, being the child of a sister and brother?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think that’s a safe bet, certainly where I was aiming with the story.


      1. Well, then, they’ll just have to catch him in the end, with a zebra! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  10. A great scene in the whaling museum with the storm raging outside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All final battles should take place in a storm (especially if umbrella and vest are words you need to fit in…)


  11. I like how you tied this into earlier scenes, explaining the Jelly. Can’t wait to find out what you do with x-ray! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s already written, but I won’t spoil it for you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Shirley Corder Avatar
    Shirley Corder

    Ooh the way he committed the murder was way too gross! This will be quite a suspenseful story once you’re finished. V is for the Virtue of Value as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have no fingernails left to bite!
    I may have to take up smoking…


  14. I’m really enjoying this series, shame it’s coming to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Hopefully the last few days will make up for it coming to an end with a bit finale!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is turning into a whale of a story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rather than worrying about how I would fit whale in for W, I chose to embrace the whale 🐋!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good choice! And great setting for a showdown in the museum!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Nearly there, and it gets more exciting by the episode! Great stuff Iain.
    Another day in Amble Bay!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, hope to reward you for sticking with it with an exciting finale!


  17. And he gets away again! He’s like the villanous flash! Ingenious plotting here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, a good bit of melodrama never hurt a villain!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nor a story…keeps the reader on the edge of the chair!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh he’s a quick one, that Dag! But surely he won’t get away with his spree! Sand will see to that! *fingerscrossed*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He better hurray up 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Convenient the lights going out just in time for Dag to make his big escape.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Dag gives Sand the slip, again!I think Sand should get out of his cold clothes, he needs his mind sharp and not cold 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  21. mandibelle16 Avatar

    Such grizzly murderes both father and son. Gives me goose bumps.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m glad Sand is okay! But I hope Moen doesn’t get away. Great description. I loved those details!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, hope your enjoying the last few parts of the story. Only a few more.to go to find out what happens 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh I’m enjoying it immensely!

        Liked by 1 person

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