17. The Bullet Necklace
25/5/G19 17:34 “But that…that’s just awful!” The look of disbelief that had covered David’s aged face for the past hour or so continued to grow more pained as he dealt with what he was being told. “A terrible shame, indeed,” Garamonde calmly agreed. “It seems that Relham got involved with a bad crowd, and now he’s dead.” “Just awful,” David continued, almost as though he hadn’t heard Garamonde at all. “And you say you don’t know who did it?” “Yes, all lines of my investigation seem to have run cold. The only person who had contact with him recently other than Jewel was you; why was he coming to visit you so often? What was he after? Did he say anything suspicious at all?” The old man slowly leaned back into his padded arm chair, rolled his eyes towards the ceiling and methodically scratched his chin as he took in the barrage of questions. “Hmm…well, when he first came to my shop he was very interested in all of my antiques. ‘Fascinating stuff!’ he kept saying, he must have spent a good three hours looking at everything and taking notes! After that first visit he just kept coming back to take more notes, he was always on the look out for gifts for his wife Phoebe too. Oh my, his poor wife! Does she know yet?” “Phoebe! Who the hell is Phoebe?! He told me his wife was called Sandra!” Jewel raged, somehow hurt that he was cheating with her on another wife. “Phoebe Saffron!” Garamonde exclaimed. “So he was working for the
Source after all!” Jewel and David both shot bemused looks at him. “Sorry, I should explain. Phoebe Saffron is the head of the Source, one of the big drug rings in Glaze. Terrible woman, always on the lookout for a way to double cross or to take someone out of the game. It’s largely her fault that Glaze is covered with drug addicts and wasters. I’ve been investigating her for years now, I knew Relham must have been connected to her somehow.” “Oh, so she was his boss, not his wife? That’s sort of better I suppose…” Jewel muttered. “Regardless of their relationship, I have to find out what she had him doing out here. The Source trades almost exclusively in Lidz, they have no business being up in Haldersvelt; this is the territory of other gangs. She must have been plotting something. Did he send her anything?” “A few gifts, nothing noteworthy really, some of the less valuable items I have for sale if anything. A few old teddy bears, a toy car, a fancy toilet brush.” “Do you know the address that he sent the items to?” “Yes, yes, he asked me to send the things to Phoebe myself. Well, I didn’t send things directly to her as such. He said he’d like them to be delivered to a family friend, a Mr Silias. Think he said something about him having access to some ancient covering for presents, something that would make it look nice or make the package invulnerable or something like that. Sounded like a load of pointless old cosh to me but who am I to complain!” Silias Jones, Phoebe's sentry on the outskirts of Lidz. He must’ve been
sending the gifts to him in order to be forwarded on to Phoebe, that’d make sure nobody would intercept them. Smart son of a bitch. “When was the last time he sent something?” “He came in yesterday morning as it happens, he was in a rush though, just grabbed another bear and quickly asked me to send it on. I tried to tell him I had nicer bears but he said it was fine. Haven’t sent it yet actually, I must get round to that!” Urgency suddenly jumped into Garamonde’s voice. “You still have it?! Where is it, can I take a look?” “Oh! Of course, anything that might help catch that poor man’s killer. I really can’t believe he would be involved in all this drugs nonsense though, he seemed such a nice chap…” He might well have seemed a nice chap David, but people aren’t always what they seem at first glance. David wondered off into one of his back rooms and, after some rustling sounds and a few groans, he returned with a small package, wrapped in dirty cloth. Garamonde hurriedly ripped away the string that held the package together, revealing a small, blue bear, faded and blackened from years of neglect. David was right; he could have found a nicer bear. After looking at the bear for a few minutes, Garamonde’s face sank. “It’s just a bear. Why the hell would she be interested in this?” He said, dismissively tossing the old thing to Jewel.
“Well I think it’s lovely!” she exclaimed, gently stroking its ragged head. “It’s a shame this ear is falling off though, do you have a sewing kit David? I’ll be able to fix the hole I think, and then he’ll be good as new! Sort of…” “Wait, what hole?” Garamonde said, interest returning to his voice. Before getting an answer, he had grabbed the bear back from her and started to stick his little finger into a small split where the stitching had come away at its left ear. Before long he had made the hole large enough to fit his ring finger and thumb into (to a chorus of protests from Jewel, who seemed desperate to save the poor bear) and after another moment he had pulled a small, folded note from inside. “Well I never!” said David, genuinely shocked. “How in the world did he slip that in there?” “You’d be amazed at where drug dealers can hide things when they need to,” Garamonde replied as he slowly unfolded the note. “What does it say?” asked Jewel as she jostled to get a look. Garamonde didn’t reply at first, taking his time to take in the contents of the handwritten note. After a couple of minutes, he finally turned back to Jewel and David. “It only has one line – ‘Part 6 - the girl has a bullet necklace, unfired.’” “What the hell does that mean?” “I’m…I’m not sure. It must have some meaning though, probably in relation to earlier notes that he sent. Bullet necklace…”
“An unfired bullet necklace, I’ve never seen one of those…” said Jewel, stroking her neck longingly. “No,” said David, “unfired bullets are simply far too rare, the Adina confiscated them years ago. I can’t imagine anyone keeping one as a piece of jewellery!” Garamonde carefully read the letter to himself again. “The sooner we get to Silias and find out what he knows the better, the notes that he has already received could be the key to all of this!” The girl has a bullet necklace…
This frozen world lies in ruin, betrayed by all who grace her. Glaze awaits, to be ours once moreâ€Ś
Written by Tom Davies and Alec Davis, 2011. ÂŠ The River Versus: The World At Large.
Delve into the seedy underworld of Glaze in TRV: The World At Large. Taking place in parallel with the comic, Clare travels to the city of L...