#writephoto: Sweeping up

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.


The beach swarmed with police on their telephones, forensics in their white overalls with their tape, marking out and measuring. The tide would be turning soon. They had to be quick.

Moll pulled up the hood of her anorak. It was brisk down by the sea in the mornings, got at her rheumatism. She squinted at the bustling coppers, lingered a little longer over the heap with a sheet spread over it, and snorted.

He’d had it coming. Everybody round there knew that. The coppers would be looking for a murderer, wouldn’t care if Eddie Carson had deserved it, and worse. If she’d been Jim Hurley and Carson had done that to her daughter, Moll would have ripped his liver out with her teeth.

She went back indoors to put the kettle on. While she waited for it to boil, she watched the coppers follow the line of footprints down to the sea. Would they think of a suicide? Or would that be too simple? Murderers did commit suicide afterwards though, didn’t they? Sometimes, surely. She put a couple of teabags in the pot. The coppers were on their phones again.

Moll picked up a broom and swept the front step. The water would be but a minute or two before it boiled; she’d best be quick herself. The wind was fierce, she decided, as she opened the gate and hurried down the path to the cove. She’d maybe get a bit of washing dried if only the rain would keep off.

The sand in the cove was damp but the tide wouldn’t cover it for a few hours yet, not round this side of the point. Methodically, she swept away the footprints leading from the sea—her own, old lady’s boots, leaving their deep-heeled prints where the others had been. She stopped to inspect the rocks for mussels then turned for home. The water would be boiled, and Jim Hurley would be more than ready for a cup of tea after his dip in the sea this morning.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

22 thoughts on “#writephoto: Sweeping up”

  1. I’m sure some piping hot tea would do Jim Hurley good after his late night swim in the cold oce… oops, don’t want to let that slip out, do we? Very well done.

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