Pumpkin Palavers

It’s the month of Halloween and with a week to go  I’m sure you’re all up to your elbows, carving out pumpkins for lanterns and then onto the hob with the cauldron for pumpkin soup. It’s the epitomy of the autumn season.

Blake’s had his fair share of pumpkin palavers too and if you haven’t already met Blake yet, then all this week you can pick up the novelette ‘One For The Rook’ absolutely free, on Kindle.

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Here’s a little taster from Blake’s second mystery:

… ‘I was halfway down the little path between my plot and Mrs Devine’s before I saw the catastrophe that awaited me. The smell of the soil, fresh with dew from the night before, was interrupted with the sweet smell of pumpkins. It was this smell that alerted me to the problem. You see pumpkins don’t smell of anything until you open them up.

My efforts had been focused on three pumpkins in particular and the biggest of the three now seemed to have an addition. Peter Kürbis, owner of plot number six, directly opposite mine, was lying face down in my prize pumpkin.

Kürbis was a man in his late forties and, when not on his allotment, he could often be found in the local hostelries. I had very little knowledge of Mr Kürbis and no idea of his profession, if indeed he had one, and I had rarely spoken to him despite the proximity of our allotments. What I did know about the man, I had learnt from Delilah who occasionally frequented The Badger’s Holt, a pub on the High Street in the village. His visits to the allotments were mainly at weekends and he gave the impression of a loud and confident man, brash and cocky. He grew easy crops such as potatoes, radishes, lettuce and runner beans.

Kürbis was wearing jeans and a t-shirt; not unreasonable attire for a night out. His shoes were smart enough but the soles were worn, suggesting he often walked home. A good indication then that he may have been taking a short cut through the allotments, onto Poets Avenue.

Given the facts at my disposal, at first I thought he was drunk. It was after all Saturday morning. Maybe Friday night drinking had got the better of him and he’d fallen and somehow smashed my pumpkin, knocking himself out in the process. Hundredweight pumpkins are not something you should argue with; especially not with your head.

To say I was a little agitated by this occurrence would not quite cover my emotions at that moment in time. Five long months of careful nurturing: potting, repotting, mulching and watering had been obliterated.

I moved forward to wake him from his slumber amongst the aforementioned vegetable and berate him for his carelessness. But, as I approached, I realised that he had not, as I initially thought, hit the pumpkin; the pumpkin had hit him! It had split in half in what must have been a forcible blow. The flesh of the vegetable encompassed Peter’s head in an array of orange mush, spattered with blood spots, which I assumed were the victim’s.

My heart beat a little faster and my hand trembled as I crouched by his prone figure. At that angle I could see a straw coloured fluid, tinged with pink had congealed in his ears, and my stomach tightened. My daughter is a nurse and frequently regales me with gruesome tales during our weekly phone conversations. It is her I have to thank for the fact that I knew that this indicated a serious head injury.

Many thoughts went through my mind. Guilt that I had thought him drunk, annoyance that he had destroyed my prize pumpkin and finally unease as I realised I had no idea what to do next. Reaching a tentative hand around the side of his neck, I felt for his carotid artery, but his cold, marbled skin told me all I needed to know. He was dead; very dead.’

To read on click here to download your copy.


Free promotion runs via Amazon Kindle from midnight (PST)  Oct 24th 2016 –  midnight (PST) Oct 28th 2016.
Copyright © D S Nelson 2016 – All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, organisation, place, event or thing living or dead, is purely coincidental and completely unintentional.

 

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