A trip to the seaside

It wasn’t just that the sun had gone down. It was always grim.

Even without the corpse under the pier.

A washed out, unloved, abandoned seaside resort, left behind by a population and re-peopled by an almost feral breed who roamed the streets by day and mostly by night – leaving in their wake litter, fear and, on more than one occasion, a body.

Stepping from his car, Detective Inspector George Haven was keen not to step in the curry – if that’s what it was – that spattered the car park.  His eyes scanned the surroundings, seeing newspapers and chip paper blowing around in what light the remaining street lamps gave.

He sighed deeply, all thoughts he’d had of bringing his grandson here to play on the beach sliding away rapidly as he read the obscenities painted on the hoarding that lined the entrance to what had once been a shining light in the Sussex tourists’ guidebook.

‘Careful, Guv.’

Haven lifted his foot quickly and sidestepped the body of a fox which lay against the kerb.  He couldn’t have said for certain if it had been struck by a car or had met some other end, but there was a lot of blood.

Nodding his thanks to the young PC, Haven continued onto the beach, watching his step for broken glass and other waste as he made his way to where the body of the young girl dressed in black lay against one of the pier columns.

Keith B Walters

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