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Who is Tracy Shaw?

Who is Tracy Shaw?

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Who is Tracy Shaw?

Lunghezza:
295 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Aug 11, 2019
ISBN:
9780463242667
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Tracy Shaw is a 32 year old single woman who owns her own home, has a good job, looking to progress in a new direction when her next door neighbours have a domestic dispute. The police won’t let her leave her home for work until she’s been interviewed, setting a bowling ball on a destructive path through her life.

That morning Tracy’s every action impact the worst day of her life, at least she thinks it is, but each day that follows compounds her problems. She is mistaken for someone else, a criminal mastermind and is soon arrested and taken 450 miles away from everything she knows.

Tracy loses everything, friends, freedom and herself but her lawyers are doing everything to get her released.

Can she make everyone realise she is not the master criminal? Can she win her life back and what will that life look like?

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Aug 11, 2019
ISBN:
9780463242667
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Clair Gibson currently splits her time between Glasgow and Manchester and sees writing works of fiction as her true venture in life and is currently working on her next offering. She has nine books available - Another Chance at Love Fat Bottomed Girls Blackpool Here We Come Left Behind All for Her Yours, mine & the truth Stifado for two The price of friendship Broken return See her blog for details of those and new works in development


Anteprima del libro

Who is Tracy Shaw? - Clair Gibson

head.

1.

Bang!

What the heck was that that? I woke with a start, words slurred, heart pounding threatening to break free from my chest. A door slammed, and it sounded like a car, from the garage that lay underneath my bedroom. That guy had a habit of making so much noise it was impossible to ignore. I shouted at him to be quieter at regular intervals but he always answered with his middle finger.

Right then, a strange sense of foreboding grabbed the pit of my stomach and squeezed. A tingling in the centre of my soul screamed pull the covers up and burrow down in the warmth of my duck-filled quilt of security. But I didn’t, and that was my first mistake.

When I walked back into the bedroom after a coffee and two slices of gluten-free toast, my business suit hung on the edge of the wardrobe. I hated being dressed like everyone else. Very much an individual I was happier in jeans, trainers and a t-shirt, even in the office. They, whoever they are, tell you that clothes make the person, but they are wrong. The individual makes themselves. Clothes do not define anyone. They give others a wrong opinion most of the time! Today, I had an interview for a newer position in the company, I’d spent the last eight years working my way through, a suit was my only choice. If I turned up wearing my latest purchase, a red minion t-shirt, I’d be out without answering the first question. With a long slow sigh that rumbled from the bottom of my lungs I resigned myself to looking like the people I despised. The suits.

These people walked past me every morning with a despairing glance leaving me condemned to the pits of society because I don’t conform. That look might break a lesser person. The, I’m better than you and then some. Anyway, enough about them.

I found my new blouse, white, a perfect fit which was luck more than skill and dressed. I grabbed a pair of black shoes with a small heel that wouldn’t make me stand out too much. As I fastened the top button of the trousers, I realised I’d lost a few inches. Now that was a great surprise and a wry smile found its way to my lips. It was the only thing about a gluten-free existence that made me happy.

The TV played the mornings news, more fighting in Afghanistan, more economic woe which meant more price hikes and more cuts in government spending. By the end of that segment I’d lost all interest in anything else they had to tell me. It was the same every morning and left me jaded and annoyed with the state of the world we lived in. My gaze drifted from the TV, as I sank the last of my second cup of coffee, by both the dullness of the news and the flashing lights outside. What’s going on? I said shocked at the intrusion in what was almost a silent neighbourhood.

I crossed the floor to the window in seconds. From my viewpoint ten feet above the road I saw three police cars, one with its doors wide open, all empty. With my face closer to the window, nudging the net curtain, I witnessed an ambulance further up the small cul-de-sac again with its doors wide open.

Well I never...

Nothing ever happened in this street. It was as quiet a place as you were likely to find in town. Only the local graveyard was quieter. Retired couples and widowers occupied bungalows to the side and in front of my home. Across from me, houses with families that had grown children who had long flown the nest, almost none in the rows had school aged kids. I lived in a two-storey house, like the others in my row but with a difference.

Imagine your average upstairs downstairs home, now decapitate it at first floor level, then lower the two half’s side by side, but the first floor is a touch higher. If you looked at it from a side angle, it looked like a giant step. Another quirk was a bathroom downstairs and living room upstairs. That gave me the height to look over the road. Underneath my upper level were garages for the homeowners on both sides of the street. A strange design but it worked. I loved the fact I didn’t have far to climb each day, just five steps divided the two halves of the home.

Something might have happened at the shop, I mused. Although it’s early. I stepped back and glanced at the clock in the top right-hand corner of the TV screen still showing the news. Half six, can’t be, it’s not open yet. I leaned forward towards the window again.

The corner convenience store had been contentious in the last few years. It held a liquor licence and attracted under age teenagers who tried to get the locals to buy them alcohol. It wasn’t the shop owners’ fault. He tried to discourage them, even installing cameras, but it took a police presence every weekend to stop it.

At the other side of the road, a little further along were more bungalows for the retired and they were awake. Curtains twitched, and I broke into a wide grin. My neighbours were just as puzzled as I was, but whereas they had the time to stand there, I had to get going. I grabbed two yoghurts and fruit from the fridge and stored them secure in my back pack.

After fighting with the sleeve of my jacket, I flung the bag over my shoulder and unlocked the front door. By my reckoning I had about ten minutes to walk to the bus stop. If not, I had a fifteen-minute wait for the next, but getting on that later one threw my morning off. I opened the door and stepped onto the top step. A flash of florescent high vis yellow at the patio gate caught my eye.

Back inside please miss!

I turned towards the voice. What?

Back inside. A tall, police officer with slight greying hair peaking from his hat spoke as he walked through my gate and stood, just a foot away. Back inside until we’ve taken a statement.

For what? I asked. His authoritarian attitude mixed with a condescending tone annoyed me. I need to get to work!

Not this morning, he replied with sternness. We will get a detective to you as soon as we can but not for an hour, at least. Until then stay inside. He reached past me and pulled the door handle down, opening the door as his partner, a younger officer followed him into the garden.

With two of them blocking my way out I had no choice but to go back inside. I stepped over the threshold, turned back leaning out of the frame and said, I’m a hostage in my home!

Yes, for now. We will let you know when you can leave. As he spoke, another officer walked past unravelling police tape around the lamppost at the other side of the small path that divided the two rows of homes.

Angry at his attitude, I stepped back and slammed the front door shut. Now what do I do?

With another mug of coffee in my hand, my third of the morning, I climbed the handful of stairs to the living room and switched the TV back on. Half an hour later, the same recycled news played on screen adding to my annoyance at the trap I found myself in. Several times I rose from the couch and stood in the corner of the room. Because of the design of my home if I stood in a certain place, I saw over the top of the curtain covering the downstairs window. This allowed me to look onto the patio without being seen. It was a great little feature if I didn’t want to answer the door to cold callers. Outside stood black boots, trousers and a pair of legs leading up to that damn fluorescent jacket. Whatever this was about the police showed real determination to keep me here.

At the front, the ambulance left in a hurry with its blue lights flashing. Someone had to be inside which scared me a little. Must be a neighbour, but why the need for all this?

My mind ran through a list of the close ones and I’m ashamed to say even after years of living here it wasn’t many. Most kept to themselves.

My mobile beeped. I grabbed it and opened the message.

Where are you?

I spoke as I typed. Home. Stuck. Police won’t let me out of the house. Street teaming with blue lights. I pressed send and waited for some form of response from my mate, Sharon.

My phone beeped again. What did you do?

I half grunted and sniggered at the same time. Nowt! Dunno what’s going on and I saw nothing!

Again, she replied. Okay will tell boss you’re going to be late.

Thanks, I replied and laid my phone down on the table at the side of my empty mug. I pondered a refill for a few seconds and decided why not? There was no way of telling how long they’d keep me here.

In the kitchen, the kettle whistled, but I stood with my back against the work top, lost in wonderment at what was going on outside. The window was open a little, and I heard footsteps but nothing that told me anything more. Frustration was fast replacing wonderment. It crossed my mind, for a split second, to challenge the police again. I mean, how long could they keep me in my home when I had done nothing? I opened the door tempting fate. The police officer in my garden turned, lowered his brows into a stare I presumed to scare me and pointed. I relented and closed the door. There was no way to deal with these people.

Two hours after I’d tried to leave for work there was a knock at the door. I half expected the police to open it and walk in on their own without invitation. I opened the door to two men in suits. The exact people I despised. Can I help? I asked trying not to be too sarcastic.

Can we come in and take a statement about this morning’s events? one asked, leatherette folder under his arm. The five o’clock shadow across his face mirroring the dark circles under his eyes. My attitude shifted towards sorrow for them investigating something serious going on in the street.

Yeah, I replied stepping back to open the door wide and let them in. Both men entered flashing identity badges before tucking them back into their breast pockets. They loitered in the room that served no purpose in my home. The strange design of these homes left this area free for a multitude of uses. Just go upstairs, I said to the two of them showing with my hand. I had seen their badges but did not understand who they were as neither bothered with introductions. It crossed my mind I should offer them coffee but decided not to since I didn’t know what this was about.

Upstairs one sat on the couch and the other, much younger officer, stood against the wall by the radiator. I wished it was on and he might have burnt himself standing there. There routine obvious, a good cop bad cop with the added intimidation tactic of one standing. It was unnecessary if I was just an innocent witness to something but it made me nervous. To make the point I said, There are plenty of seats.

I prefer to stand, he replied.

My mind silently screamed I bet you do! I sat in the chair between the two officers and took the deliberate act of relaxing back. What do you want to know?

The first officer opened his folder, pulled a pen from his inside jacket pocket and as he did, I got the faintest whiff of Jean Paul Gaultier–Le male. I loved that smell, my all-time favourite aftershave for a man but it didn’t suit him. It was a young man’s scent, not an overweight middle-aged, tired policeman. I glanced up at the officer standing and wondered what his was. I smelled nothing which seemed strange. They were chalk and cheese. This guy, if I was on a night out might interest me. Young, nice smile, piercing eyes and a short dark hair cut, add in clean shaven and a slight hint of a North of Scotland accent.

We need to confirm some details.

My attention snapped back to the first officer.

Your full name? He sat with his head bowed, pen poised, waiting rather than making eye contact with me.

I wasn’t sure if this was a statement and he was about to tell me who I was, or if I had to answer him. When he said nothing else, I replied, Tracy Anne Shaw.

Date of Birth?

I tried not to let on that this irritated me but it was hard. Nineteenth of August Nineteen eight one.

His eyes flicked up for a second as he did some mental arithmetic and he wrote thirty-two down in the box next to my date of birth. Why they needed to do that was beyond me. Why ask for one to calculate the other? Seemed pointless.

How long have you lived here?

About five and a half years. It took a moment to work this out, but it was near enough the truth.

And what happened this morning?

I looked at the other officer who seemed more interested in looking around my living room than concentrating on this conversation. That riled me. This was my home, and I had done nothing wrong so why was he taking a mental note of everything I had on display. DVD’s, the books, even the vitamins on my shelf. He caught me watching him and flashed what he expected to be a winning smile before turning back to join in the conversation.

I got up, got ready for work, and your guys stopped me outside and have held me hostage in my home for, I glanced down at my watch. For coming up for three hours now.

We didn’t keep you hostage!

I snarled at the guy standing his statement riled me. Unable to leave. One of your men outside who only speaks with a point of his hand. No information at all why, or what’s going on and how long it will take. I call that overkill!

In the circumstance, show some patience.

The officer who sat on my couch spoke and I wanted to ram the words back down his throat. They just didn’t appear to understand what the heck I’d been through. I knew nothing about nothing. That’s a laugh, I said sarcastically before sitting back in the chair. When worked up I always spoke with my hands and body as much as my mind. His icy cold eyes told me to be careful. Mind telling me what all this is about?

How well do you know your neighbours? he asked and pointed at the wall on my right before lowering his gaze back to his notepad.

Not a lot, I replied. Married, two grown kids and a young girl. I think she’s about ten, maybe eleven. Apart from that I’m aware of his name and that’s about it.

You socialise with them? the guy standing asked, and I swung my gaze around to him.

No. I placed my hands on my lap, uneasy and unsure where this was going. I don’t socialise with any of them. I know the girl at the end a little better than the rest but only because we sometimes get the same bus to work.

Do you know if they’ve been having problems, arguments, that kind of thing?

I pondered for a few seconds as the standing officer turned to face me.

What I meant was, have you heard any arguments through the walls? You can tell they’re not thick.

He was right but still, his comments were a little cheeky. We didn’t all live in mansions with thick stone walls to act as soundproofing. Some of us lived in ex council houses constructed with wooden frames as was the way in the 1970s. Apart from some music played a little too late at Christmas or on a Saturday night if they have friends over, I have no complaints at all.

What about this morning? The officer with the notepad asked, without meeting my gaze.

This double act was annoying but chopping between the two of them was also hurting my neck. A bang. It woke me up but since the start of an engine followed, I assume it was from the annoying chap that has the garage under my bedroom!

Not next door?

No, I don’t think so. Then an engine noise wouldn’t have followed.

You’re sure?

I pondered for a moment. I didn’t see the car out there last night, but I heard the garage door when I went to bed, so yes I’m sure. The noise I heard was the garage and not next door.

The guy standing, glancing around my living room again, then leaned back to look through the glass to downstairs. His older partner thrust a document at me. Read this and sign please.

The two-page document took me far longer than I first thought to read. His handwriting wasn’t the best even though a lot was in capital letters. Eventually I reached the end of the second side and took the pen from him to sign the bottom. There you go. I handed it back. So, want to tell me what’s going on?

Domestic dispute. The guy with the notepad leaned forward to stand and for the first time I noticed that he was thinning on top. You can go about your day now. He tucked the folder under his arm and stuffed his hand into his trouser pocket. When you’re ready, the policeman outside will escort you to the end of the row. The two of them left, but not before both did their nosy, peering into each nook and cranny of my house, without searching.

I counted to one hundred after they left then picked up my rucksack and car keys. Red hot anger pulsed in my veins. Almost three hours I waited for a domestic dispute. It guaranteed an argument when I arrived in work, no way my manager understood, at all, plus time away for the interview in the afternoon. I had a right to attend, but she’d expect me to make the time up–all for what!

Outside I locked the front door and stuck my head over the wall. A few feet away the officer who had stood in my patio this morning saw me and strode along the path. Ready to go?

Yeah. Will I need an escort to get back in tonight?

Hard to say. He opened the gate but stood close to the wall stopping me from turning right and walking along the path in front of the house next door.

Can I not go that way? I asked since I’d parked the car in the bays in front of my living room window and the path at the edge of my neighbour’s home.

No. He pointed down the path in the opposite direction. I turned and saw a small crowd of people behind the blue and white striped police tape. One of them waved. It was the girl who I sometimes chatted with on the way to work, Sarah. She lived at the opposite end of the row, the end of five houses. I lived in the second. His hand touched the small of my back making sure I walked away and where he dictated. He lifted the tape and under I walked.

What the hell is going on? I whispered as Sarah grabbed hold of my arm. Buggers wouldn’t let me out.

Jimmy next door, he took a knife to his wife!

What? I looked at Sarah like she had two heads. My mind frozen, stunned by her words. Did you just say?

I did.

How do you know?

I saw him leaving when I put the bin out. He still had the knife in his hand trailing blood around his fence and down to the car.

No way, I exclaimed. Did they get?

Nope. He’s still out there!

Her annoying habit of finishing my sentences wore me down at the best of times but this morning it was already grating on my nerves.

She’s okay, I hope?

No one knows. They took her away in an ambulance hours ago, tubes everywhere. They ran so I guess it was bad.

Jesus, I said with a loud exhale. Not looking good then.

Are you going to work?

Yeah. I’m already hours late so need to take the car.

Forget that idea! Sarah said with her eyebrows raised to stress the point. She pointed to the end of the road. Blue and White police tape hung from trees, sectioning it off in entirety.

How the hell?

I’ve already tried to get mine out. Won’t let me anywhere near it or my house and I can’t go to work dressed in my joggers. Said hours yet, maybe not till tomorrow.

Great, I exclaimed throwing my hands into the air. I’m screwed!

2.

Half an hour later I stood on the platform of my local train station. With ten-mile road works at the edge of my town as they built the new bypass, using the bus was a no-no after the early morning. In discussions for years, twelve months ago work started. Now a procession through four different coned areas was a daily dance routine, and that was just to get through the first two stages. Planners said two years to develop and it should help ease congestion and speed up my daily commute–eventually.

Since my station wasn’t manned, I’d have to buy a ticket on the train or at my destination. The train inched into the station and the three people alongside me waited in silence, queuing at the nearest door. It opened, and we climbed on but not before I caught the driver with his head out of the window, a clear giveaway. This was a conductor less train. "Shit!

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