The village I lived in as a kid had some good-looking girls amongst the trolls and inbreds, but there was one beautiful girl who kept the rest in the shade. She was such a looker that instead of whistling and shouting sexist comments, workmen would stand, slack-jawed and applaud as she walked by.
Let’s say her name was…mmmm…let’s say “Clair de Lune”
She lived in a huge Victorian house inherited from her father after he had become completely barmy and gone to stay in Margate. There were more than forty rooms in the house and Clair lived there with twenty-three black and white rescue cats and a live in French servant called Eleanor.
Every door inside the house had a cat flap that could be set to open in either direction, or both, and every cat flap was linked to a central computer. Each morning when she went to the University to teach modern languages Clair would set the cat flaps in a different sequence. Each evening when she returned, she would find all twenty-three cats sat together in a different room from the day before. As she walked in they would look up expectantly and she would stroke and feed them.
Later she would watch that day’s cctv recording of the interior of the house and laugh at the cats’ antics as they travelled from room to room, eventually all ending up in a furry heap through the final, one-way cat flap.
One day the police came for her, something to do with a fraud from which she and her father had removed millions of pounds from the vaults of a Neo-Nazi party. The case proved so complex and labyrinthine that in the end all charges were dropped and the cult had to pay the costs.
The police picked her up from the big house one evening, just after she had dressed to go out. She looked so good that if she had asked they would have beaten each other to death with their truncheons. But she didn’t ask that, she asked them to stop at a nearby restaurant where she was due to attend a dinner party, so that they could let her guests know she would be delayed.
When PC Crass entered the restaurant twenty-three handsome young men, all wearing black dinner suits and white dress shirts looked up expectantly. They all lived within twenty miles and had got there by following a series of clues. Some of them had been travelling for days.