Thought Grime #2

“Park here, will you.” The chief detective ordered, flicking ash out the window.
“Sir.” Hugh nodded his acknowledgement and parked up neatly.
The man that answered the door to them had puffy eyes hidden behind his glasses, peering out from behind his door, “Hello, what do you want?” He said in a shaky voice.
The chief detective held up his badge, his foot already on the man’s doorstep, “care to let us in?” It wasn’t a question it was an order. The man stepped aside and opened the door further for the two men to come in
“Care to tell me your names?” He asked, hobbling to his armchair.
“This here is Hugh.” The detective pointed towards Hugh.
“And you are?”
The detective loosened the buttons on his coat, “people call me Grim.” He tried a friendly smile, but his scarred face and piercing eyes gave off a sinister air whatever he did with himself.
“That’s a nice name.” The old man said, not convincingly.
“It’s pretty grim.” Grim grinned, showing white teeth with just a little yellowing.
“Are you here about the…” the man dared utter the word.
“The?” Grim asked, determined the man should ask for himself.
The man’s eyes shifted behind his puffed up skin and bit his bottom lip nervously, “you know,” he looked embarrassed, “the marijuana.”
Hugh looked towards Grim, and Grim returned a glance, both their lips quivering into faint smiles, “no, but now that you mention it,” Hugh smiled at the man, “where is this marijuana you speak of?”
The man slumped down in his seat, and shook his head in a fast shaky motion, “no! No! No!” He slammed his walking stick on the carpet, “please,” he began to plead, “don’t take it from me.” He looked up at Hugh, who was still stood, “please, it’s all I have to take the damn pain away.” He held out his hand before Hugh and spread his arthritic fingers out, “see,” his hand tremored, “so much pain.” He cried.
Hugh smiled sympathetically at the man, “don’t worry, I was only asking in case you had enough for us to have some.” Hugh winked.
The old man startled into silence for a moment started a throaty laugh, “don’t trick an old man like that!” He wiped his mouth and continued laughing.
“So you haven’t heard?” Grim asked, sceptically.
“Heard what?” The old man asked, appearing genuine.
“We’re here because there was a gruesome murder last night.”
The old man slumped back in his chair, closed his eyes tight behind his glasses, his shaking hand on his lips, “murder?” He asked, his tremor had since worsened. “Murder?” He repeated in disbelief, “round here?”
“Right in this neighbourhood,” Grim confirmed.
“What, right here?” The old man pointed outside his window, “so close to my house?”
“I’m afraid so,” Grim crossed one leg over the other, “I’d be right in assuming you didn’t hear anything last night?”
“You’d be right; I go to bed at nine sharp!”
“And so it’s safe to assume you didn’t witness anything?” Hugh asked, running his finger across a dusty shelf and inspecting his finger.
“Yes, you’d be right to assume that! What happened? Who was killed?”
“We’re still figuring out the first question,” Grim answered.
“It was a Frederick Archer.” Hugh finished.
The old man was visibly shaken by the name, tears pooling at his puffy eyes, “not Frederick.” He slouched forwards in his chair and sobbed loudly. “Not Frederick.” He wailed.
Grim and Hugh shared a glance, “you knew Frederick then?” Grim asked.
“He brought me my shopping, he..” the old man gulped, took off his glasses and wiped at his face, “he did everything for me.” He looked out the window, something about looking outside only set him off more, “no,” he shook his head, “it can’t be!” He turned to look at both detectives pleadingly, “it can’t be!”
“We’re sorry for your loss,” Hugh said softly.

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