Rating: Green cortina
Word count: 1,000
Notes: With thanks to my beta jinxed100 This was written for femgenficathon
Prompt: I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own. -- Margaret Atwood (born November 18, 1939), Canadian author, poet, literary critic, operatic lyricist, feminist and environmental activist. She's a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honor for civilians, and one of the most frequently honored authors of fiction in recent years.
Phyllis Dobbs’ morning began in a way so many others had done. DS Ray Carling came in and shouted at one of the newer WPCs, who promptly burst into tears.
“Bloody women, always temperamental,” he complained.
“You didn’t need to shout,” Phyllis replied.
“She should cope with it.”
“What like you did, yesterday morning, when you came in with a hangover after you’d celebrated that United win the previous evening and the Guv shouted at you?”
“That was different.”
“Only difference was that in your case it was completely self-inflicted.”
Ray disappeared off, muttering something about Phyllis being biased.
Shortly afterwards the phone rang and Phyllis answered it.
“Wilcox here. An old lady’s been knocked down crossing the road near the lights in Church Street. The ambulance is on its way, but we need someone to inform the family. She looks in a pretty bad way, so they’ll want to get to the hospital as soon as possible.”
Phyllis took the details and looked around for someone to send. She spotted PC Dawkins and called him over. As she gave him his instructions she saw he was going pale. Then she remembered that he’d swapped his shift earlier in the week.
“Dawkins,” she asked, “why weren’t you in yesterday?”
“Had to go to me grandma’s funeral. The inspector said it was okay to work the extra hours the day before.”
Phyllis took pity on the young constable. “Okay, well, if you can find PC Morris for me I’ll get him to go and break the news to the family this time, but don’t expect this to happen again.”
Just before midday she saw Litton and his gang. The youngest member was sporting a very fetching black eye and what had clearly been a split lip.
“What happened to him?” she asked Litton.
Litton smirked. “You know that pretty little redhead in traffic in B division?”
“It appears that Charlie-boy here got her in the family way, but wasn’t too keen on the role of daddy. Her big brother got involved in the discussion. Wedding’s in a month’s time!”
Phyllis laughed. “Congratulations.” The recipient of her good wishes didn’t look too pleased.
That afternoon the phone rang again and once more Phyllis answered it.
“Have you had a tartan shopper handed in either yesterday or today?” a young lady asked.
“I can go and have a look,” said Phyllis. “Can you give me any more details?”
“It’s my grandfather’s. He went shopping yesterday and he’s come home without it. It should have his pension in it as well and maybe some shopping – he doesn’t remember if he bought anything. Oh, and there’s one other thing.”
“We think his false teeth may be in it too.”
“That’s okay. I’ll have a look and let you know.”
“Thank you very much.”
Phyllis set off for Lost and Found to see if they had the bag. She didn’t mind false teeth – they stayed still. She hadn’t been amused when someone had opened a bag the previous week and a ferret had climbed out. That had led to a lot of screaming and PC Baxter had been bitten. Not that she’d had any sympathy. What did he expect sticking his fingers right by the ferret’s mouth? If he’d done it to her cat she’d have bitten him too.
As Phyllis approached Lost and Found she could hear the sound of raised voices. She knocked on the door and walked in.
“Can’t you see we’re busy?” Gene Hunt glared at her. “What do you want?”
“When I last looked this was Lost and Found, not Rant and Rave. An old boy’s lost his bag and I’ve come to see if I can find it. And what’s eaten your canary anyway?”
“Tyler thinks, only thinks, mark you, that we may have arrested the wrong man. We have spent days doing everything ‘by the book’ and now he thinks we’ve made a mistake.”
Gene stormed out of Lost and Found, turned round and added, “You might as well do something useful this afternoon, Tyler. See if you can help Phyllis find her bag. What’s in it?”
“The old man’s false teeth.”
“With any luck they’ll bite him!”
Sam sat down and put his head in his hands.
“Give him ten minutes and he’ll be back,” Phyllis said. “He’s just frustrated, Boss, and taking it out on you.”
Sam sighed. “I did my best.”
“I know you did, Boss. The Guv knows that too.” She squeezed Sam’s shoulder. “Could you check that shelf and see if you can find anything that’s come in recently – with or without false teeth.”
They both started looking and a couple of minutes later Sam called out “What was the name of the owner?”
“Bennett; Fred Bennett.”
“There’s a wallet in here, belonging to an F Bennett. No sign of any false teeth though.”
“I’ll take it. He’s probably left his teeth somewhere in his house anyway.”
Phyllis opened the door to leave just as Gene was about to push it and he careered in.
“Right, Tyler, what are you doing wasting your time in here? We’ve got scumbags to catch.”
Phyllis winked at Sam as he left the room, following his DCI, who was acting as if there’d never been any difference between them.
Later, in the Railway Arms, Nelson handed Phyllis her port and lemon. “Do you wish you were young again?” he asked her, as they watched Annie giggling at Chris, who was blushing furiously at something she had just said.
“When I get up in the morning and my knees creak a bit I think it would be nice to be young. But then I remember how painful it all was: dealing with emotions, worrying about what others were thinking, facing new situations for the first time and not knowing how to cope with them, and I decide that I’m very happy to put up with the odd ache in return for the experience I’ve gained.”