break the silence

The much-anticipated second chapter of Michael Anthony’s High Tide of Intrigue.  The question remains, who do you call when the police are involved in the crime and corruption? Who do you call when one of those officers needs help? This week, Corporal Maureen makes her first step in investigating crooked cops.

When Maureen got home that night she began quickly packing her things. Every now and again she looked out into the road to see if Francis was coming. For they were bound to quarrel again, maybe with violence this time. She could not help that; she just had to tell him she was leaving. And after she told him that, the best thing to do would be to fly. She had already arranged to go to her friend Lily, at Belmont, as a refuge, but very soon she would have to find somewhere of her own. She would have liked to cram everything she possessed into the suitcase, but this would be impossible. Yet she did not want to leave anything important behind because she knew how difficult it would be for her to return.

Her mind went to Grenada… to her sister Clarice… and to Ettress, Clarice’s dreamy husband. Had it not been for this sudden development she would have been with them next week, briefly.  Now though, she would have to contact Clarice right away.

She ceased packing for the moment. Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask Clarice to send her son, Learmond to stay with her once she, Maureen, found her own place? She had always wanted Learmond to come to Trinidad for schooling. The only reason she did not ask before was because of Clarice’s very intense attachment to Learmond, her only son.

Clarice resumed packing and thinking.

Maureen packs her bags

When she had left her home in Grenada, Learmond was only six. At Whitsuntide, she had taken him to see police sports at Victoria Park in St Georges. At that point she had had no intention of leaving Grenada and in a way she hated destiny for steering the “Most Outstanding Athlete” of that meeting into her path. Remembering that first encounter she could hear her own voice say: “What’s the name again?”

And the reply was: “Francis Adams. From Trinidad. You enjoyed the sports?”

“Very much. It was good.”

These were the only words spoken at that point, but over the next few days they had both been consumed by what Francis called then: “The Fire of Love.”

She sat up. She was angry with herself for even thinking of that time. She got up, wincing from a stab of pain from a bruise on her left knee, and she came out and looked through the window. After a few moments she came back inside. It was beginning to be dusky so she switched on the light in order to continue packing. As she stooped down to put clothes in the suitcase she heard the car turn into the yard. Her heart thumped.

Francis came in without saying anything. He went into the kitchen and when he saw that no dinner had been prepared his heavy-duty police boots began stamping on the floor-boards all over the house. Maureen heard but she kept an angry silence. After a while Francis walked into the bedroom. He stopped abruptly as he came upon Maureen packing.

“What you doing?”

“I thought you knew when somebody was packing?”

“You right in your head? What you packing for? Where you going?”

“You know why you met me here? I wanted to fix up and clear out quite a little time now. But I was waiting, because I wouldn’t go without telling you.”

“You wouldn’t go where?”

“You don’t bother about that. After this morning I’d be really crazy to stay with you in this house.”

He came and stood up in front of her and bellowed, “You think you going some place?”

“Well you’ll have to kill me. You’ll have to kill me right here.”

She was speaking softly but her voice was thick with emotion, and her eyes were drowned with tears. She repeated, “You’ll have to kill me. The only way you could stop me is over me dead body.”

“Shut up!”

“You try and make —” In a flash, she had to pick herself up from the floor.

Maureen spat blood on the floor

She went to the window and spat. Her mouth was full of blood looking down she noticed splattered the concrete red. The private houses across the road had lights and she looked to see if the neighbor’s just beside her had lights also. She tried to see if anyone was looking from behind the curtains. That was how the neighbors spied on them — from behind the curtains. When there was a commotion they never came, which in a way was good for her pride, but Francis could kill her right there and nobody would know because nobody ever came. By now she and Francis must have a big reputation in Ana Street as the police couple who were always fighting.

nosy neighbors

The blow that Francis had hit her was paining her mouth so badly that tears were running down her cheeks. She did not know in what part of the house he was now. She went into the sitting room and put on the light. He was not there. She went to the desk and took the keys for his drawers. Glancing towards the door to see when he was coming she pulled open the middle drawer and when she saw that his service revolver was there she shut the drawer back, locked it and put the key in her purse. Then she went to the bathroom to wash the blood from her mouth. Before she could get door shut, Francis stormed in and kicked it open.

She cried “Why in God’s name you can’t leave me in peace?”

“I’ll make mince-meat out of you if you leave this house!”

“Make mince-meat out of me? Yuh going mad? You under the influence of drugs or what?”

“Who talking about drugs?”

“Me. I talking about marijuana. What I found in your pocket this morning. First thing tomorrow I’m making a report in the charge-room that you threatened to kill me. And about the marijuana. First thing tomorrow!”

“There’ll be no blasted tomorrow for you!”

“Oh, you threatening again? You threatening again to kill me?”

“You better unpack that bloody suit-case!”

She spun round heatedly. But he did not stop to listen to what she had to say. He stomped through to the bedroom and the next moment she heard an awful racket which had to be the contents of the suitcase crashing all over the room. She rushed out and saw that all her precious heirlooms and jewelry, her toiletry and ornaments, all her lovely dresses, her specially-pressed clothes and fabrics were strewn about the floor. She almost collapsed.

“I ain’t finished with you yet!” he cried.

“And I ain’t finished with you yet, so help me God.” She was sobbing.

“You ain’t making one step out of this house.”

She walked toward him. “You don’t intend for me to leave here. And all the time you only threatening me and brutalizing me. Even if I’m on the street and I talk to somebody when you come home you only punching me up. You wouldn’t let me go and I can’t live in peace here. When you in a good mood you only talking about love, love, love. You know anything about love? Look, the biggest mistake I ever make in me whole life was to get married to you. You is nothing but a hooligan.”

Francis attacks Maureen

As she said the word “hooligan” he crashed his right fist on her face and the force of it sent her reeling to the floor. She screamed.

After a short while there was a knock on the front door.

Francis went to open it.

It was one of the neighbours. The man said, “Detective Adams, something happen? We heard a sharp noise. Something like a scream.”

Francis put on a puzzled look. He said, “A sharp noise? I don’t know anything about any noise. It’s not here, neighbor.”

Will Maureen be able to escape? Will anyone help Maureen? Will Francis be brought to justice? Stay tuned to find out!