Frank stared at the body. It was early in the morning. He and Judy always arrived early at the chip shop once a month to give it a deep clean. He had left Judy clearing up the breakfast dishes and he knew she would be arriving shortly. He blinked. Was it really a dead body? Maybe it was just someone who had fallen asleep on the pavement after a night in the pub. He bent down and tried to rouse the man, but there was no rousing him. In a panic Frank felt for a pulse. There wasn’t one. The man was dead as dead could be. Suddenly Frank realised who it was. It was Cedric, the local wanderer. He wandered everywhere. Sometimes he appeared at the chip shop and judy would take pity on him and give him a bag of chips. He always dressed very oddly and today was no exception. He had on a scruffy coat and jacket underneath which was a bright red bow tie. His trousers were worn as were the trainers that he had on his feet. On his head was a green wooly hat. Frank was so shocked that he almost did not know what to do. Then the vet arrived to start work for the day.
“What have we got here?”
“It’s Cedric,” said Frank “he’s dead.”
“Oh my God,” said the vet. “We’d better get the police.” Then he got out his mobile and dialled the number for the police. Frank kept on staring at the body.
“Poor sod,” he said. “He never harmed anybody.” It was obvious that he had been murdered for there were marks around his neck.
Gradually more people appeared and they were all staring at Cedric. Everybody knew Cedric. He was a bit of a celebrity in the town.
Soon a police car arrived with blue flashing lights and its siren going. This was followed by another vehicle. A man in a suit got out and declared,
“I’m a doctor. I have to certify him as dead.”
It didn’t take long.
“Yes, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “He’s dead.” “Looks like he was strangled.”
The next thing they knew was that more vehicles arrived and the area was cordoned off. Everyone stared in silence though there was an occasional exclamation. No one could believe that there had been a murder here, and especially that the victim was Cedric. The police told everyone to move on, and a uniformed officer took Frank into his shop to ask him some questions.
“What time did you find the body?”
“About eight o’clock,” replied Frank. “I’d arrived early as it’s our week for doing a deep clean of the shop.” “I thought he was just asleep after a night in the pub. I didn’t even realise it was Cedric at first. Who’d want to murder him, the poor bugger,” said Frank.
“That’s for us to find out,” replied the officer.