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A Sleepwalker's Nightmare

Chapter Three


___Jeff had began to pace up and down outside the club as he tried to keep out the cold. He was too tired and miserable to think properly, and the throbbing pain in his head was gradually getting worse. There were times when he wished that Marty had just gone to Heaven... or wherever it was that he was supposed to have gone... rather than come back as a ghost, just to annoy him.
___Something glinted in the light from one of the streetlamps, making him stop in his tracks. All self-pity forgotten, he bent to pick the object up.
___"What's that you've got there, Jeff?" Marty asked, appearing beside him.
___"It's a clue, Marty," he replied in a sarcastic tone. "It's a ladies' badge, all bright and shiny..."
___"Actually, it's a broach," his partner replied. "Ladies call them broaches, so there."
___"It's got a pin in the back; it's a badge."
___Hopkirk pouted at him. "But it's called a broach."
___"Marty, it's so EASY to wind you up!" Jeff smirked at him and examined the broach carefully. "Was the killer wearing this?"
___"You saw her, too!" Marty shouted at him. "Can't you remember?"
___"I've got a headache, remember?" Randall closed his eyes as he tried to picture the woman he'd seen in his dream. "Anyway, it's hard to remember stuff you saw in a dream, real or not. You've got the advantage - you saw her when you were awake!"
___"Well, seeing as I don't sleep or dream any more, that's not exactly difficult, is it?"
___"Marty, can you please stop being so argumentative and annoying and just help me, here? Honestly! It's like working with an overgrown kid!"
___Marty fell silent and began pacing beside his partner. He then went back to his side to whisper in his ear. "Hey, Jeff..."
___"What is it Marty?"
___He took a deep breath and yelled. "GET ON WITH THE CASE!"
___Randall cupped a hand to his ringing ear and winced. "What are you trying to do?!"
___He grinned at him. "I was trying to get your attention. Did it work?"
___Jeff moaned and held his head. "That's it. I'm going home. I'm cold, I feel terrible, and you're not helping in the slightest - as usual!"
___"Oh shut up! Go back home to bed, then, if that's all you can think about! MORTALS!"
___"What's wrong with being mortal, Marty?"
___"They're weak, whining little..."
___"Stop it, Marty!"
___"Little plonkers. All they do is moan and whine and get themselves in trouble... And they never say 'please' or 'thankyou'... or... or..."
___"Give it a rest, Marty! Why are you being like this?"
___"Because you're a stupid mortal that's just scuppered our latest case before it's even begun, that's why!" Marty shouted at him, as he disappeared.

___Meanwhile, the escaped murderer was sipping a cocktail in a luxurious apartment.
___"I did just as you said," she assured her host with a little smirk.
___"And nobody saw you?" He demanded, pouring himself a brandy before he came to sit in the armchair beside her.
___"No! I was far too subtle for that, darling. Nobody even noticed me."
___He nodded his satisfaction. "That's my girl."
___"I told you before; I'm not a faint-heart," she said, casually reapplying some lipstick and eyeshadow to her already rather overdone face.
___"All our problems are behind us, now," he remarked. "How much was it you said he left you?"
___She smiled and moved to his side, sitting on the arm of his chair. "More than you could possibly dream of."
___"Poor guy must've really loved you..."
___"He was crazy about me, darling. Just as I am about you!"
___The two laughed and drank, confident that the police would never find any way of linking them to the victim.


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