THE UNUSUAL SUSPECT

THE UNUSUAL SUSPECT – By Dean O. Arutoghor 

I look up from cashing up for the day when I hear the ding-dong of the wireless shop door bell. It’s a white man in a smart suit.

He smiles at me. I smile and nod before going back to counting the notes and coins.

It’s been a good day today. Probably the best day of the year so far. My bank manager (and the wife) will definitely be happy at today’s takings.

The bell dings again. When I look up this time, I am immediately alarmed.

It’s some black guy with his hood up and head down. A black guy in a hood? In rural Blakeney, Norfolk?

Hmmm. Maybe I should cash up properly after I have locked up.

I make to shut the till when the white man steps up to the counter.

He asks for a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream, just behind the counter. I partly turn around, fetch him a bottle and place it in a carrier bag, all the while, my eyes following the black guy around the shop.

As the white man leaves, the black guy hurriedly follows him.

Just outside the door, the black guy suddenly grabs for the white man’s jacket.

The white man puts up a good fight, giving me enough time to grab my baseball bat from under the counter.

Storried The Unusual Suspect

The black guy doesn’t see me rushing towards him. He is too busy trying to wrest the white’s man’s wallet from his grasp. I catch the glint from what looks like a pen knife in his hand as I pull back my bat as far as I can and aim for his head.

My swing is off target and slams into his right shoulder instead. The force, however, unbalances him and he crashes into the newspaper stand. The white man puts his hands up in shock but when he sees that I am only interested in the mugger, he mutters ‘thank you’ and runs to his car.

I stand over the dazed black guy as he flails about, trying to get back to his feet.

I hear the white man screech off in his car.

I shout down at the black man as I stand over him with my bat raised over my head. ‘Don’t you dare move,’ I warn menacingly. ‘Somebody call the police.’

‘You idiot. I am the police,’ he muffles as he rubs the back of his head.

My solicitor briefs me the next day. I am facing a charge of common assault for whacking the undercover policeman who had been tracking the white man in a suit, a Michael Gray, a known conman who had a track record of stealing from small shops just as they were cashing up. The glint from the penknife I could have sworn I saw was actually from the policeman’s handcuffs, I am told.

Michael Gray is still at large…with my £1,093 takings.

When I get bail that afternoon, my mother picks me up from outside the police station. She can’t bring herself to look at me. I lower my head in shame as I get into the car. As if I didn’t feel bad enough for what I did to a fellow black man.

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THE UNUSUAL SUSPECT

By Dean O. Arutoghor 

I look up from cashing up for the day when I hear the ding-dong of the wireless shop door bell. It’s a white man in a smart suit.

He smiles at me. I smile and nod before going back to counting the notes and coins.

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