A short story for today’s A-Z Challenge, with a surprising murder suspect…hopefully, he’d find it funny!
DI Haywood (NH): Case number 23,945: murder of Laura Kemp. Interview with Mrs Brenda Kitson. Present are Detective Inspector Nicholas Haywood and Police Constable Ian Jones. Interview commenced at 11.05pm. Now, in your own words, Mrs Kitson, could you tell us what you witnessed earlier this evening at the London Studios?
Brenda Kitson (BK): Is this recording? Do I need to speak into it…oh, I see, just like that. Well, Inspector, I’d gone along to attend a recording of the Graham Norton Show. I’ve always been a big fan, he’s so funny isn’t he? He reminds me of that one in the 70s, let me think, what was his name, oh yes…Larry Grayson. He was a card, always with the rude jokes. And who could forget Mr Humphries? I’m free!
NH: Yes, thank you, Mrs Kitson. Could you just focus on what happened at the studios, please?
BK: Of course, Inspector. The show had finished and we – that’s me and Muriel Shaw – she’s my neighbour. We’ve been neighbours for over ten years now and we do ever such a lot together. We do wine tasting on a Monday, the pub quiz on a Tuesday…
NH: MRS KITSON! What happened after the recording? PLEASE.
BK: Yes, I’m getting there, Inspector. Is there any chance of a nice cup of tea? All this talking is making my mouth terribly dry. Just milk, no sugar please.
NH: PC Jones has left the interview room.
BK: We were the last ones coming out of the studio because Muriel had put her bag under her chair; she didn’t realise it wasn’t zipped up. So when she picked it up to leave, everything had gone everywhere. We were ages trying to find her miniature bottle of Baileys; little bugger had rolled right to the end of the row. Anyway, as we walked out of the studio, we heard a dreadful shrieking coming from along the corridor. Like a banshee it was. Obviously, we thought we’d better see if anyone needed our help.
NH: Very commendable.
BK: We both did our St John Ambulance First Aid certificate last year. They offered it for free at the local community centre. Totally free! Don’t know why everyone didn’t take them up on it. But there were only eight of us there. That Mrs Peters from the pub was there. I wasn’t surprised; she’s so clumsy, always walking into doors and banging her head on cupboards.
NH: Yes, I’m aware of Mrs Peters. PC Jones has re-entered the interview room. Here you are, Mrs Kitson.
BK: Ooh, lovely – and a Garibaldi too. Thank you. Nothing like a nice cuppa to make all right with the world, is there, Inspector? I remember my poor Howard used to like his…
NH: Back to this evening, if you could, Mrs Kitson.
BK: Right, where was I? So, we heard the screaming and ran up the corridor to where it was coming from. That’s when we saw the woman’s body lying on the floor in one of the dressing rooms. And the killer was kneeling over her; knife in hand, blood dripping from the blade. We yelled blue murder, as you can imagine, and he looked up at us. His evil eyes looked straight into my soul. Ooh, I feel all shaky just talking about it.
NH: It’s ok, Mrs Kitson. Take your time. Within reason, of course.
BK: We panicked a bit, to be honest. I went to run back to the studio and Muriel decided, in her wisdom, to run up the corridor, banging straight into me. And in the kerfuffle, I cracked my head on the wall and passed out. Thought I’d have to stay in hospital overnight but, oh no, the ambulance man said that wasn’t necessary, even with this bump the size of a French Fancy. I was lucky that the killer didn’t butcher me too but Muriel threw herself on me – my back’s still suffering from that, I can tell you – and said he just ran from the room, still holding the knife.
NH: Could you describe the man you saw, Mrs Kitson?
BK: Well, I don’t need to describe him, Inspector. I can tell you who it was.
NH: You know the name of the killer?
BK: Of course.
BK: It was Peter Kay.
NH: Peter Kay?
BK: Yes, Peter Kay. Off the telly.
NH: You’re telling me that the killer of Laura Kemp was Peter Kay? The comedian? Peter? Kay?
BK: I was as surprised as you, Inspector. But he was one of the guests on Graham Norton. And you never really know what people are truly like, do you? I thought you’d know that, being a policeman. Have you arrested him already?
NH: Mrs Kitson, is this the man you saw in the dressing room earlier this evening? The man you saw holding a knife above the dead body of Laura Kemp. For the benefit of the tape, I am holding up a picture of Michael Shaw.
BK: Ooh, he looks just like Peter Kay, doesn’t he? Oh.
NH: This is Michael Shaw, the ex-husband of Laura Kemp.
BK: Um, well, now I look at the photo, then, um, yes, that was the man I saw at the studios. Holding the knife. Over that poor woman.
NH: And Peter Kay?
BK: Had nothing to do with the killing. Oh dear, how embarrassing.
NH: Thank you, Mrs Kitson, you’re free to leave.