Sleuthing isn't something always left best to the professionals, as Jason finds out for himself. Jason Turns Detective by Violetta Antcliff. Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, other fine eBook vendors and Gypsy Shadow Publishing at:
When Jason is on the war path, sparks fly and it's time to head for cover.
Incensed at the inactivity of police when pets go missing, he decides to take things into his own hands. Spurred on by his success when he reunites one dog with its owner he hatches a plan to catch the real villains. However, the only way he can see of doing this is by stepping outside the law himself. Is it too big a risk? Or should he plough on regardless of consequences? Failure isn't a word in Jason's vocabulary although he finds himself trembling on the brink on more occasions than one. Left with no option, he calls on an old friend from the past; has he left it too late or could a sprinkle of magic be just what he's looking for?
Word Count: 16000
Pages to Print: 56 in PDF
EXCERPT: Chapter One
When Jason made his way downstairs, it was still only six thirty and the rest of the family were only just stirring. Alison, still in her pyjamas, poked her head round the bedroom door and in no uncertain terms told him to get a move on and see who it was leaning on the front door bell. Although it was still dark outside, Jason could just make out the shape of a woman through the glass panel in the door.
He fumbled. Drawing back the bolts and turning the key in the lock, with the safety chain still securely in place, he opened the door a crack and peered out. He was astonished to see old Mrs. Pilkington, one of their neighbours, standing there; usually she didn’t rise in the winter months before eight-thirty in the morning. She had a regular routine, or so she’d told his mother. Her first task of the day after washing and dressing, was to feed the dog; after that she sat down to her own breakfast—porridge in the winter, cornflakes spring and summer. Next came walkies and shopping. Her routine, apart from the extra thirty minutes in bed during the winter months, never varied, so Jason was more than surprised to see her standing on the doorstep at such an early hour.
“Anything the matter?” he asked. The fact the woman wasn’t wearing a coat and still had her slippers on hadn’t gone unnoticed by him. “You’d better come in,” he said, removing the safety chain and opening the door to its full extent. He stepped swiftly to one side, just in case she stepped on his toes. But no sooner had the woman placed her foot over the threshold than she slumped to the floor.
Jason was horrified. “Mum, Dad, come quickly,” he yelled. “I think Mrs. Pilkington’s just dropped dead.”
Within seconds the thudding of feet, both slippered and bare, could be heard pounding down the stairs.
All this noise set little Emily Louise bawling at the top of her lusty little lungs. And with his mother shouting, “Alison, look after the baby,” and his sister shouting back, “Why, what’s happening?” the Foster household was in rowdy turmoil.
Mr. Foster, first on the scene and still in his pyjamas, took charge of the situation. He lifted the frail old lady up in his arms, carried her through to the sitting room and laid her gently down on the settee.
“Is she dead?” Jason asked. He’d never seen a dead person before and wasn’t sure what to expect.
“No, she just fainted, that’s all,” his father replied. “She’ll be as right as rain once we get a hot drink inside her.”
Jason could see the colour creeping back in the woman’s cheeks as his dad spoke, and when her eyelids fluttered and she opened them, he sighed with relief.
Alison, Emily Louise in her arms, pushed Jason to one side so she could see for herself just what was going on. Her mum took the baby from her and whispered, “Go and make a cup of tea, there’s a good girl.”
“Why me?” Alison grumbled. “Why can’t Jason put the kettle on, he’s standing there doing nowt.”
“Your brother’s in shock,” her mother replied, laying a cooling hand on her son’s forehead to test his temperature.
Alison, seeing it was useless to argue further, shuffled off to the kitchen.
“Do you take sugar?” Knowing the woman was sometimes hard of hearing, when it suited her, Mrs. Foster raised her voice.
Alison didn’t wait to hear the answer. “Hot sweet tea is good for anybody suffering shock,” she muttered, and once the tea was made, she stirred two heaped spoons full into the mug before bringing it through from the kitchen and handing it to the old lady.
“You should have called me first, not Mum and Dad,” she hissed, sidling up to her brother. “What do you think I’ve been taking first aid exams for, if it wasn’t to be called on in an emergency?”
Jason shrugged his shoulders. He knew it was no use arguing with his sister when she was in one of her self-righteous moods.
The old lady, obviously feeling much better after sipping the reviving mug of tea, started getting to her feet, but Mrs. Foster wasn’t prepared to let her go so fast.
“Stay where you are. You’re in no fit state to go dashing off, “she said, gently pushing her back down again. “Anyway, you haven’t told us why you called yet. It must have been something important, you’re not usually up and about at this time of the day, are you?”
Mrs. Pilkington pulled a tissue from her cardigan sleeve and blew her nose. “It’s my little poodle,” she sniffed. “I think he’s been stolen. I let him out in the garden last thing last night to do his business and when I called him to come in, I found the front gate wide open when I always keep it bolted, and he’d gone, vanished into thin air.”
Mr. Foster, just returned from getting dressed, sat down next to the woman and put his arm round her shoulders.
“I suggest you go home and put your feet up. Soon as ever my lad’s got some clothes on, he’ll go looking for your dog I’m sure you’ve got nothing to worry about, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t sitting outside your house this very minute waiting for you to come home,” he comforted.
It was Saturday, and Jason had other plans for the day, but he knew he couldn’t say so; couldn’t refuse to go looking for the little dog.
“Give me five minutes to get dressed and . . .” he paused and sniffed the air; the smell of bacon wafting in from the kitchen reminded him he hadn’t had breakfast. “And after I’ve had something to eat, I’ll walk home with you. If Tandy isn’t back by then I’ll go looking for him, okay?”
Mrs. Pilkington, aware for the first time she’d come rushing out without first putting her teeth in, placed a hand over her mouth and nodded in agreement.