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Synopsis – lost property can kill.

Loud, Latin music rocked Skelly as he parked at Wrest Point, the epicentre of glamour and fun. That was a quake on the Richter scale of 3, no 4. The rich opposite don’t get much sleep, Skelly mused. He parked carefully since he was driving Brian’s beloved Cadillac on loan.  His own humble taxi needed repairs. 

A brunette, pretty in a long floral dress, sauntered out. Like a butterfly, she settled on the car and then slowly lit a cigarette. Skelly got out. They exchanged a few words and laughed. It was the Irish charm at work. 

Someone called to her but she shook her head and turned away. “Frederick Street, The Y please” she said to Skelly. That was a good long fare across town. The Y was in the old colonial quarter; mansions perched high on mount Wellington with breathtaking views of the harbour, English gardens and Anglican churches.

When they arrived, she had dozed. As she paid sleepily, a little roll leapt out of her purse onto the floor and hid deep under the seats. It had no intention of being found.

Next day, Brian tended his car. He found the white roll and thought it was trash, a tampon maybe. No, it was a powder. He kept it out of curiosity. In the evening, Skelly returned to his beat at Wrest Point. His own taxi purred now. A young man got in; Glennorcy please. That was another good fare. Skelly didn’t notice the car behind following. 

The address was unfinished; the wide street began with houses on either side but vanished down a hill. There was an oval on one side. The young man and then another began asking about something their sister had lost, the roll.

Questions became threats; words became punches. Unsatisfactory answers begat more anger and violence. Skelly was beaten senseless. They searched the car and his pockets. “It’s not here. Let’s go” said one. “I’ll finish it!” screamed the other as he stabbed Skelly again and again. 

The Mercury broke the story, page 3 muted. It didn’t mention the fingerprints, but then rich kids are not often on file. The tyre tracks did not help either. Brian figured it out. That roll was a death sentence, be it heroin or cocaine. Best leave it in the Cadillac to be collected. Outside the garage with a For Sale sign stood the car, bold and beautiful. Blind Freddy and his dog could find it.  

The killers will be back. Should he tell Bert his boss or Mary his girl? No, they would blab. And Mary’s price for an alibi was steep: marriage in the Catholic church. Kisses were cheaper. Should he go to the police? No, they would… Nothing came to mind. He was scared and confused. 

Brian sighed, scribbled a note to Bert and took the night train. Next morning, the Cadillac was gone, stolen. Will the joyriders live long enough to enjoy it?


A man is a man, wrote Berthold Brecht. That covers it all for Peter Wright, now writer. 


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