Chips By D.I. Jolly

A Jamie Tylor Story

I looked down at the expanding red mess on the floor and fought hard not to vomit. It had been less than half an hour since the call came in of a possible domestic disturbance, but by the time I arrived all that was left was some broken glass one hell of a mess and a thoroughly ruined woodchipper.

Under normal circumstances this would be an easy case to solve, you work out who got chippered and arrest their spouse. The problem was the house I was standing in didn’t belong to a normal person. It belonged to Peter Pan, the boy who grew up to be a total scum bag.

As a semi-immortal child Pan had been the leader of the Lost Boys, then as so many men do, he met a girl, fell in love and decided to grow up. Publicly he looked like a saint. Married his childhood sweetheart, opened orphanages, campaigned for the fair and equal treatment of fairies, and owned some very legitimate businesses throughout the city. But apparently, he missed the freedom and the power of running a gang. Then there was Wendy his beloved wife, who would never believe the rumours. Regardless of evidence she always stood up for him. When kids were being found with kilos of fairy dust and LB branded into the hands, she stood up for him. When Tinkerbell turned up in the hospital with two broken wings, she stood up for him, and even when his own shadow got arrested for possession, Wendy swore down that Pan was at home, in bed, next to her.

But that was then, now she was nowhere to be seen and he was slowly seeping into the carpets. I knew what I had to do, call the chief of police Frank Oslo.

“We’ve got a problem.”

“What sort of problem?”

“Peter Pan is dead.”

“Good.”

“Frank.”

“Don’t Frank me, every legit cop on and off the force hated that guy. So what’s the problem.”

“Someone put him in a woodchipper and evenly distributed him around the room.”

“That sounds disgusting, I’m on my way.”

By the time Frank arrived, I had managed to locate Wendy. Her along with Tinkerbell and Shadow were all conveniently beaten and tied up in one of the houses many bathrooms. When Frank saw them, I knew exactly what he was thinking, because it was that same thing I was. The three prime suspects all at the scene but incapacitated. Coincidence… Abso-fucking-lutly.

Being right doesn’t always win you prizes or friends and being a cop does even less. So, Frank took it upon himself to lead the now widowed Wendy out in handcuffs, the press all snapping photos and yelling questions. I came in close behind with Tinkerbell and Shadow. What followed was a series of interviews where three people in three different rooms gave three versions of the same story. Of all of them, my heart cracked a little for Tinkerbell. If the rumours were true, she loved Peter Pan since he first arrived in Neverland. She helped raise him and unlike Wendy, knew all the terrible stuff he’s done, and stuck with him anyway. When she got out of the hospital after being assaulted she even went back to work for him. My gut told me Shadow did the actual murdering, he was the most like Pan after all, but not as intense, not as selfish. Wendy just cried, reciting the words I suspected they had all practised many times. I had to wonder though, what had happened to finally make her see the light, see the truth about the man she had married. I couldn’t believe she’d known from the start, she just, wasn’t the sort of person who could carry that kind of stuff.

Many hours and many cups of coffee later I sat in a room face to face with Frank and waited to see what he thought, and I waited and I waited and eventually after the fourth or fifth time he’d read through the reports he looked me dead in the eyes and said the one thing I would never have imagined him to say.

“Story checks out, let them go.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“I don’t think I did, it sounded like you said let them go.”

“I did.”

“Why? We know one, if not all of them, did it. Their story isn’t that good, they have the best motive, they were there and it was Peter Fucking Pan.”

Frank’s eyes narrowed dangerously.

“Exactly, it was Peter Fucking Pan, the scumbag who opened orphanages to find children to use as drug dealers. The man who branded those same children, who beat his wife, abused his friends and who anyone with even an ounce of sense would have shot on sight given the chance. Well, that’s what this is, that chance. So let, them, go!”

I stared at him hard for a while, not daring to speak but making my opinion known. On one hand, I understood, I myself had thought about murdering Pan many times, in fact, every time he walked out of court a free man. But on the other I hadn’t done it because it was against the law, and if we just execute people how are we better than him. But then my mind went back to Wendy, the woman who’d stood up for him in spite of everything. I wondered what he’d done to fully push her over the edge, and thought maybe if I knew what that was, I wouldn’t be able to hold myself back either. So I got up and gave the order. The station officially apologised for its actions and the open investigation to find Peter Pan’s murderer was launched, then put in a drawer and forgotten.

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