Tell A Tale in 500 Words

All the Time in the World By Sally Davies

It was the use of the axe that always seemed excessive to me. The victims were a middle aged couple: David and Michelle Fuller. Each had been shot in the head, twice. They were not getting back up. This wasn’t a disposal job either; we found them at the crime scene right where they fell. The profilers told us what was already spelled out on the walls and carpet - this was a deeply personal crime.

My mind gingerly treads round those images. Anyone who has worked on murder cases has a Pandora’s Box locked inside their head, containing all of humanities darkest potential. At our more vulnerable and less guarded moments, there will be one case that slips the trap and wreaks havoc through our systems. Maybe if we had put someone away for those murders it might be a different one for me; but we didn’t, so it’s David and Michelle.

Finally, five years into my retirement, I get to see this cold case heat up again. The TV is tuned in to a twenty-four hour news channel. I watch the orphaned Fuller kid arrive at court; he’s now a middle-aged man himself. He runs the gauntlet of news cameras, before taking his place inside with his defence team.

I always had my doubts about him. Sure the arms he kept crossed over his chest were scrawny, but when he wrapped his hands around his coffee cup, they were large and strong. Never before or since, have I met someone so helpfully, unhelpful. He still wears that same confused and rueful smile. It hangs like an ill fitted jacket now his youthful vulnerability is gone.

His ex-alibi, Nancy Fuller nee Howden, arrives separately. She’s wearing her most respectable dress. Any changes time has wrought on her are no surprise to me, I’ve seen her a number of times over the last year. The first time was quite by accident in my local store. It got me thinking that maybe, despite my doctor’s diagnosis, I still had time. So I got to work on my last casefile.

All the officers knew Fuller Jr was a ladies’ man; it drove us mad to see such blind loyalty from his girlfriend. Of course he was no fool and married her following a suitable mourning period for his parents. Still, I was confident that he would be up to his old tricks, and it was almost disappointingly easy to amass the necessary evidence. I laid it out to Nancy after following her to the garden centre, handing over the phone bills and photos. I knew she would not be able to resist looking after she had stormed off; leaving me with a stinging cheek. I’ll admit I put a couple of the old casefile photos in there too. Not ethical or professional, but I’m prepared to answer for it shortly. I’m just thankful I’ve had the time; and I’m hopeful the judge gives Fuller all the time in the world.


see more submissions for the Tell A Tale in 500 Words click here