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Nautical Ned, The Murdered Marinor

Tuppy
Tuppy

My lips tingled with salt as another gust of sea wind blew in from the ocean. Pulling my jacket closer, I asked Adrian how much longer this would take.
"Why don't you go back to the hotel while I finish this?" he offered gently, encircling the body, his camera clicking.

My friend Adrian was a p0lice photographer. We were staying in a little English seaside town, not my usual holiday of choice, due to a recent murder- that of old seaman Edmund Scurgebladder, known universally as Ned. As I walked back to The Mermaid's Necklace (a merely satisfactory hotel, but the best that was on offer) I considered the case. Ned had made many enemies whilst at sea, that was for sure, but their locations were mostly unknown (somewhere in the Pacific Ocean?). So far I had little to write in my newspaper article.

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Belami
Belami

I booked The Mermaid's Necklace because I liked the fanciful title, and wanted to get away from the city for a few days, where I'd been doing some sightseeing and visiting an old friend.

I was reading the paper and enjoying the fire in the lobby when Carl walked in. "That's odd," I thought. "He bears more than a passing resemblance to Margaret. Something in the features, and those strange gray-green eyes, like the color of the sea on a stormy day."

MirrorMirror
MirrorMirror

I got the call from Mums carer (Doris) telling me to come because Margaret was very distressed over the death of Ned. My boss knew about mum so I was able to take time off when necessary. I am ashamed to say that I had been so busy at work I had not talked or seen Mum in 2 weeks, just checked in with Doris.
As I drove the 2 hour journey to the seaside town I grew up in I thought about all the sacrifices Mum had made for me so that I could go to Uni. It wasn't easy being a single Mum back then, its different now - no one gives it a second thought. I thought of "Uncle Ned" who was a big part of my life, who was there for all the milestones in my life.
When I arrived at Mums she was sitting up in bed eating egg & toast soldiers quite calmly. Doris, her carer said "she calmed down after I told her you were on the way". I kissed Mum & said I'd be back when I had unpacked. I grabbed Doris & pulled her into my room. "What is going on? Have you called the Doctor? Has Mum had another scan? Has the frontal lobe tumour begun growing again?" Doris answered all my questions then said, "Ned's death really shook your mother up, I'll go make some tea for you both & you can have a nice chat".
Settled beside Mum she began to talk in a meek embarrassed voice - "I've never told you this before MM but you have a brother." My first thought was that Mum had a baby before me that she gave up for adoption, Mum interrupted this thought by saying "I had an affair with Ned, I knew it was wrong, I knew he was married & would not leave his wife, but I was so in love wit him I just couldn't help myself. Then I found out I was pregnant, Ned was so excited he wanted a whole brood of children."
She then reached under her pillow for a yellowed document and handed it to me. It was my birth certificate which I had never seen before. As far back as I can remember my ID has always been a passport. When I questioned Mum on this she always said "Darling I don't want you to be embarrassed because your fathers name is not on the certificate". My Mum always told me I was a result

MirrorMirror
MirrorMirror

of a one night stand & she never knew his name or saw him again.
I gasped as I read it father: Edmund Scurgebladder, then it dawned on me; my brother was Carl Trout Scurgebladder. He was 2 years younger than me but I remembered him from school being mercilessly teased about his name. I always stuck up for him or any underdog and because of that people thought we looked like cousins, actually come to think of it Mum and "Uncle Ned" had the same look about their eyes and how the held their heads.
Then she handed me a document from a lawyer in the next town - it was a will dated two weeks before his death naming both his son Carl Trout Scurgebladder & his daughter MirrorMirror Scurgebladder O'Ryan as co-beneficiaries. I looked up at Mum and she said "When I knew you were coming I called the lawyer and he said he would fax the current will to Carl's lawyers.

MirrorMirror
MirrorMirror

I woke up the next morning thinking of Carls mother & how this scandle would affect her.

Marco Roshinski
Marco Roshinski

Sos yesterday night, I'm sittin' down in the bar at the Mermaid, and who should be there but Doris. She was having a right nice chat with some other old broad whose name I never caught. To bad too, 'cause she'd definitely be one to miss, if you knew she was comin'. Anywho's, Doris and the other old hag started raising their voices. Well, Doris was all pissed off 'cause knew that before Ned's will named his two brats (illegitimate or not) as his heirs, all the money was supposed to take of ol' Magrat. I'll guess she'll go out on the streets huh? These young punks ain't got no conscience, mark my words. They'll be living high while they can, or more likely, disappearing into the dark cracks they crawled out of.

Desmond Molesworth
Desmond Molesworth

I thought I was doing pretty well so far, convincing Tuppy that I was a police photographer and that my name was Adrian. Ha! She didn't suspect a thing. She didn't know that really I was called Desmond, and I was selling the photos to my secret employer, known only as The Sorcerer. And I got good money for them too, although I never saw The Sorcerer in person, or knew why he wanted the photos.

I had just finished taking the pictures on the beach, when something caught my eye. It was glinting on the shoreline, so I hurried over and cleared the sand from it. The thing that glinted was shiny gold lettering on a battered old book. The letters read "The Adventures of 'The Reckless', A Brave Ship"; and on the first page, inscribed in brown, curly handwriting, was "For MM and CTS, with all my love". The rest of the pages were sodden, so I took it back to the hotel to dry.

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