Good time girl

Sergeant Johnson took a deep breath before going into the interview room. He was an old school copper, call a spade a spade, and now, thanks to thirteen separate visits with the diversity officer, call his daughter’s girlfriend Alison.

But this was different. This was going too far. These…people. These things. In didn’t matter how many seminars they sent him on. You couldn’t call what was waiting for him in the interview room a man.

Sergeant Johnson entered the room and took a seat opposite the suspect and his solicitor. Both of them were dark skinned, and both were sporting smug, knowing smiles. Johnson shuffled through his papers, cleared his throat, and then began.

Mister Ishalla, shall we get right down to it? You’ve been arrested and charged with indecent exposure. We have a dozen witnesses. How about you make both our lives easier and cop to it.’

‘Can’t even do me the courtesy of looking at me?’

Johnson didn’t spare him a glance. He waved his stack of papers.

‘Six statements, all saying the same thing: a voice in the dark shouting – hey Mrs, get a load of this – and then a man matching your description jumped out and opened his raincoat. There was a doctor there, a priest. Six upstanding members of the community have made sworn statements that you’re a dirty old flasher.’

Johnson finally looked.

Ishalla steepled his fingers together. He smiled to reveal two rows of perfect brown teeth.

‘Death comes to us all, and perhaps you too will one day be fortunate to join the ranks of the undead.’

‘Maybe,’ Johnson said. ‘But I won’t become a sex pervert.’

‘That’s slander, that is.’ Ishalla stood. He lowered his trousers, and Johnson found himself looking at nothing. This man, this thing, this zombie was standing in front of him with nothing at all between his legs.

Ishalla’s solicitor smirked. ‘Would you like me to explain the definition of indecent exposure? I believe the word genitals is involved…’

The victim’s son was waiting at Johnson’s desk. He dredged desperately through his mind – not two hours ago he had left him an exuberant voicemail celebrating the caging of the beast that had flashed his senile wheelchair bound old mother. The man stood, smiled apologetically, and held out to Johnson a small package wrapped inside a carrier bag.

‘I’m sorry we didn’t get this to you earlier, but mother was holding on to it, hid it under her knee blanket.’

There was barely any weight to the package. Johnson tried not to look ungrateful. Old ladies were always into baking and giving the police little presents. It was playing havoc with his waistline.

The man said, ‘It brought a glint to mother’s eye, I must say. She doesn’t move much anymore, the dementia, you know? Mad as a stoat one moment, then the next she’s lucid and spouting off about something that happened thirty years ago.’

Johnson began to unwrap the package. This one had the feel of a sausage roll, and he was suddenly aware that lunch had been hours ago.

The man donned his hat. He leaned in to whisper.

‘She was a bit of a good time girl in the war, you know? I guess the old reflexes kicked in.’