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666 Great Junction Street

Part 21

'Calm down, erůsir?' proffered Sgt Sturgeon upon swiftly analyzing the distressed figure before him.

'For heaven's sake, man. I am a miss,' protested a flustered Jakey Rolling.

'O, alas and alack,' quipped constable Iain Wankine as he continued ushering his charges through the theatre of chaos that was currently the Leith police station.

Sgt Sturgeon's stress levels were threatening to overload his faculties. And the one thing the facilities could not facilitate at that moment was a faculty overload. However, the sergeant managed to control his conflicting mental bombardments long enough to carry on questioning the tatty vision of carrier bag chic before him.

'A murder, you say?'

'Yes. A murder, I say. In Memory Lane.'

The sergeant racked, stretched and retracted his brain. 'Where is that, exactly?'

'You fools, you fools!' exclaimed Jakey to everyone and no-one in particular. 'Don't you see? Can't you hear? The voices in the afterlife are screaming out.'

'Ah, the afterlife. I see,' said the sergeant. 'Now, who is this I see behind you,' he continued, noticing Jessie Kelso shuffling in behind Jakey.

'My, it's guy crowded in here,' said Jessie. 'It reminds me of that chap who had the fruit barrow at Yardheads, just off the Kirkgate. He used to sell lovely honey wine pears at only a tanner a pound. "Come on now stand back," he'd say, "and let the bananas see the people."'

Sergeant Sturgeon glazed over as he plucked the Kalashnikov from the banana tree beside his desk and liberally sprayed its contents all over the gathered ensemble before him.

'Do you hear me?' shrieked Jakey as she tugged the sergeant's sleeve, jerking him out of his reverie.

But the sergeant was only half listening. Not even that. Probably about an eigth. His enthusiasm for policing, and reality in general, was fading by the second. How he yearned for the youthful excitement which had propelled him into the force all those years ago.

'I remember your father,' said Jessie Kelso, attempting to attract Sturgeon's attention. 'Didn't he dress up as a railway porter during the war and arrest a German spy?'

'That's right,' said the sergeant, perking up again at the mention of his father's most famous exploit before becoming Chief Constable of the Edinburgh City Police. He readied himself, however, for the inevitable recall of the next most famous incident in his father's career.

'He brought Roy Rogers and Trigger to Edinburgh as well, didn't he?' continued Jessie.

The sergeant half nodded, his head hung down as Jessie babbled on.

'And was he not involved in the adoption of two Leith bairns by Roy and his wife Dale Evans?'

The sarge snapped to. 'Right, that's it. Come on, let's be having your particulars,' he announced brusquely, brandishing his notepad.

'What action are you going to take about this murder, officer?' asked Jakey impatiently.

'Well, seeing as the incident took place entirely within the confines of your scrambled brain cells, it could take a while before we muster the requisite squad of ghostbusters to work on the case.'

'Are you suggesting the afterlife is somehow a figment of my imagination?' asked Jakey.

'Yes. Yes, I am.'


Next week: Who you gonna call?



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