Schubert is famed for his Unfinished Symphony. It's a lovely
piece of music, scholars debate why this work remains
unfinished. The truth is Schubert composed close to one
thousand different pieces of work in his lifetime, he was
only thirty-one years of age when he died, this symphony
simply was set aside and forgotten. No doubt he had every
intention of finishing the work but just never got round to
I have a number
of works which I started, set aside and while I would like
one day to finish them it is more than likely they will go
the same way as Schubert's Unfinished Symphony.
In my younger
days I would read the works of Dennis Wheatley: The Devil
Rides Out, To The Devil A Daughter, The Haunting of Toby Jug
and more. I thought I would try my hand at the style which
had made Dennis Wheatley famous and rich. That's Mr Wheatley
below. I started to write The Fires of Hell but just gave up
wonder if Dennis Wheatley ever started a book and failed to
finish it. One day. perhaps, I may continue The Fires Of
Hell, who knows. If you click on the cover you can read what
I have written so far.
Tell me what you
think, you may inspire me to finish writing.
Fireball XL5 is
something I doubt I will ever finish.
This story is a bit different. When I write I write for
myself, I do not have a target audience. I have always
believed that the primary enjoyment in writing comes from
composing the story, developing a plot and bringing in
characters to make it all happen. It matters nothing if
anyone ever reads the story or not. If they do and if they
enjoy what has been written then that is a bonus.
This story does have a target audience, my grandson. He will
be seven years old in May 2017 but with a reading age about
two years in advance of that. In writing, therefore, I am
trying to use words and style that he will be able to read
on his own and without any help.
Adam has a wit which is as sharp as a razor so in writing I
am trying to play to this. In his picture he may look as if
not melt in his mouth but, trust me, he is not like that at
When I was just a little bit older than Adam there was on
childrens' TV a programme called Fireball XL5. I took the
theme tune from this and added it to one of the collections
on my YouTube channel.
First thing one Friday morning I popped up to my local
supermarket. Turning on the CD player the theme tune from
this song blasted out into the car. Walking round the
supermarket an idea for a story filled my mind. As soon as
the shopping was in the boot and I was back in the driver's
seat I played it again. The moment I got home I typed up the
Then I turned to Destiny and asked if I was meant to write
this tale or not. I was told to see if I could purchase the
website domain name
FireballXL5.com. If I could then write I had to do. NO that
was not available BUT FireballXLfive.com was. I waved my
Visa card at the laptop so now own the domain and am
committed to writing the tale. A tale inspired by the music.
On the way to school one morning I
played the Fireball XL5 theme on the car CD then gave the
initial introduction I had written to Adam so he could read
it. If he said it was a load of rubbish that would be the
end of it and I would have wasted the money buying a domain
name for it. Fingers crossed I looked into the mirror as we
Then I suggested he could draw pictured to illustrate the
story. "My mind is already full of ideas," he said.
But the really big thrill came, this is why I am so excited,
when I saw him run off to a group of his friends outside the
school and point to me. He told them about our story.
stopped there ! Adam has grown up, will I finish the story ?
Probably not but you can read what I did write by clicking
on the title cover above.
Now here's something I really do want to finish ! Yes I do
want to finish it, I even plan to finish it but as I type
this page I have lost my inspiration for the story, I am not
in the right mood.
Again click the book title and see what you think of the
story so far. Drop me a line and see if you can encourage me
to pick up the story again.
are three chapters in my book The Case Files of Dave
McDermott. Reading this book you could easily think I am not
the writer, the style is very different to my normal way of
telling a story and developing a plot. This is my first and
so far only attempt at writing crime fiction. I have to say
it has given me great pleasure.
I have two more cases waiting for Dave
McDermott to investigate: Robin Hood and The Lottery Of
Evil. Right now I am working on The Lottery Of Evil. The
text is below, have a read and I would very much value your
THE LOTTERY OF EVIL:
were six of them. Their total ages added up to one hundred
and sixty-eight. An average of twenty-eight years.
He put his hand into the bag and pulled out a number, the
first number in the lottery of evil.
“Number two. The Duke. Fetch Him.”
Detective Inspector Dave McDermott stroked the side of his
temple as he thought. He ran his tongue across his upper
teeth to help him put the words he wanted to say into the
right order. He then gave a faint grin or was it a frown ?
“Is this a major incident ?”
“It could be. It is a murder so it could be classed as a
major incident. I hope it is just a murder.”
“Then why - ?”
The Chief Superintendent held up a hand to stop his junior
colleague. He respected McDermott, he had unique skills as a
detective which were needed here. “Inspector Bishton having
suddenly resigned I think this case would be better handled
by your team.
“With respect Sir, this is a gang killing, one less dealer
on the streets. I don’t see how that make this a major
Mr Y unlocked the cage, pointed a gun and indicated for The
Duke to crawl out then stand up. The others looked on.
With The Duke’s prison cage now empty Mr X passed it by then
stood slowly in front of the other five, one by one in turn
glaring at the occupant. “We are going,” he said, “to remove
the tape across your mouths so we can speak with you. You
will need to eat and to drink but The Duke here will
demonstrate to you what will happen if you abuse the
privilege or refuse to obey immediately each and every order
Mr Y or I, Mr X, give to you.”
The Duke felt the muzzle of the gun touch his naked buttock.
The pain was only exceeded in magnitude by the deafening
sound of the explosion echoing round the room. The tape
across his mouth prevented The Duke from screaming in pain.
He felt the two other shots, he heard them but there was no
pain. His mind momentarily began to race and then it was
“Three wounds, Inspector,” the pathologist said. “This is
probably the first or it could be the second. Entry into the
flesh of the buttock, I would have expected the bullet to
have lodged in the pelvis, strange that, I’ll know more when
I open him up and find the bullet from the third shot. Turn
him over.” He nodded to the t wo male attendants.
“See, here’s the exit wound.” He pointed to the groin. “I am
surprised the pelvis did not halt the bullet’s progress. As
you can see it missed his manhood which would not have been
a lot of use to him following the third and fatal shot.”
Dave McDermott’s professionalism did not appreciate the
attempt at humour.
“The second shot, if I am right in their order, was to the
left bicep entering from the rear and exiting straight away.
He would have fallen forward and to his right from that
first shot to the buttock. Judging from the exit wound I
think his arm was held up when that shot was fired.”
“Was he naked during the attack ?”
“Most certainly, there are no signs of fabric fibres in any
of the wounds.”
Dave nodded. As he viewed the naked body it was obvious
beyond doubt this murder was drug related. Not that he
needed the needle marks as evidence.
“He was turned over for the fatal shot. I am thinking the
fatal shot did not kill him instantly, again I will know
more and can give you my full report once I have opened him
up. I very much doubt death was instantaneous, he would have
been unconscious but I bet it took more than an hour for him
One less addict. An estimated two hundred and seventy
thousand addicts in England and two and a half thousand drug
related deaths during the previous year. But this was
murder. Why kill and addict, a customer ? Many reasons, Dave
would need to uncover the motive if he was going to find the
killer. Unofficially there was no political will to solve
drug related crimes, that was no doubt a frustration to
Inspector Bishton and his team. Perhaps the powers that be
had given Inspector Dave McDermott this case to change the
apathy pf those politicians. But the one and only exhibit
found at the scene made it clear the victim was more than an
Pete wanted to scream but dared not. He wanted to avert his
eyes but feared if he did so the same fate would, indeed
would, befall him. What was going to be his fate ? What
would be his end ?
“He does not have a criminal record,” Dave said to the team,
“but he is known to us – so they tell me anyway.”
He pointed to the post-mortem image on the board. “Graham
Jones, age thirty-six, suspected of being a drug runner but
intelligence has not recorded any indication as to who he
was delivering drugs for. A user.”
Dave considered fact that ex-Inspector Bishton had more in
his head and memory than was recorded on the computer.
“There will be DNA on the one item found with him but I am
“Do not fear,” Mr X sneered, “the next winner in our lotters
will not face quite that drama. We will wait twenty-four
hours before deciding who that lucky winner will be.”
“They may be able to tell us the make of the printer used
but that is not going to be a lot of help. DNA ?Don’t get
your hopes up. The note has been laminated. If they can lift
the laminate there may be something but I doubt it. Lucky
number one in the lottery of evil. May you be consumed in
the fires of hell.”
“A drug related murder ? A gang killing ? He was a user and
he was a runner.”
Dave nodded. “But this is just a runner, such a brutal
killing does not make a lot of sense although by instinct is
telling me this is a revenge killing.”
“He was not killed where he was found.” The team
“Apparently not. Cleverly dumped in a car park adjacent to
the canal as it runs north of the town centre. No cctv
anywhere close but then the 999 call to tell us he was
This was a drug gang killing, one gang moving to take over
the operation of another. Put the gang out of business by
taking out the runner to scare off the others. But what
about the notice ? Lucky number one in the lottery of
evil. May you be consumed in the fires of hell.”
“Who did this Graham Jones, the Duke, work for ? Who else
does the dealer have working for him ? If there is a lottery
and The Duke was number one who will be number two, three,
four, more ? Dave knew that most dealers ran their operation
with several runners across the day. He needed to speak with
“No idea where he is.”
“But Sir I need to speak with him.”
“He said he was taking a year abroad. I am not sure how much
money he inherited, a few million I believe, so the police
service and a pension are no longer of any interest to him.
I get the feeling he did not enjoy his job.”
“Well I wish he had left us the content of his mind before
Dave cast his mind back to his first case, he was a mere
detective constable then. The first victim of serial killer
Timothy Ford. There was a similar brutality. Ford had a
motive, a justifiable motive if such existed, could there be
a similar motivation ? No, the killing of The Duke was more
One by one they were moved from their cages at gun point.
Use the toilet, take a shower, those who needed a fix were
given it, a glass of milk and a slice of bread before being
locked up again.
“You ! You are not going back,” X said to Skinny Pete. “You
are lucky winner number two in our lottery of evil. Prepare
to receive our prize”
Seventeen year old Skinny Pete went white with fear.
“Do not worry, you are not going to die. This will hurt but
you are not going to die.”
Y approached him then with a total lack of skill in the art
of tattooing. He carved I am a drug dealer down the
length of each arm, on his forehead and across his chest.
I am not a drug dealer, Pete was screaming inside his head.
I do not use drugs, I do not sell them, I am only the guy
who delivers them. I am innocent and now I am going to die
just like the other one.
“The medics have looked you over,” Dave explained. “Your
bottom is a bit of a mess but it’s nothing that did not once
upon a time happen to every schoolboy in England.”
“I am a schoolboy,” Pete explained. “I was only doing what I
was doing to get money for university. Now look at me ! My
arse is on fire and I have tattoos all over my body.”
“Tattoos can be removed, it will hurt a bit but it can be
“Can’t hurt as much as my arse is hurting right now.”
Dave smiled trying to reassure the lad. “So which university
are you going to ?”
“Aston in Birmingham, if I get my grades.” He then added,
“And if I go not get sent to gaol.”
“That is not going to happen. You are not here under arrest
but as a witness. We need to get you some proper clothes to
wear, tell your family you are safe and then put you into
“I want you to get the two who did this to me then I want
you to get the dealer who set me up for it all. I am only an
errand boy you know. There’s another four errand boys
“Sergeant. get Peter some clothes, time to get hi out of
this plastic suit then we’ll send out for a takeaway. What
do you fancy ?”
“Fish and chips.”
The call came in before the food arrived. That call
announced the third victim in the lottery of evil.
Victim number three, how many more would there be ? Pete had
suggested a total of six so three sown and three to go. Dave
McDermott had worked at learning how to delegate and stop
trying to do everything alone but he could not stop holding
all case information inside his own thinking.
“Sir, we have three separate cases, I believe there will be
three more if we can not get to the bottom of everything. I
am asking you to second the officers in ex-Inspector
Bishton’s team to my team. I would like to assign a sergeant
and a constable to each of the three cases we have while I
will oversee the entire major incident with my own bagman,”
“So you admit this is a major incident ?”
“Three victims, you and your bagman, that’s eight people.
What are you going to do when victim number four comes in ?”
“We need to solve everything before that happens.”
The Chief Superintendent doubted the case could be solved in
such a time frame but if there was an officer within his
command in whom he had the utmost faith it was Detective
Inspector David McDermott.
So it was that Detective Inspector Dave McDermott becae head
of the combined drug and major incident team with Sergeant
Ripley as his bagman assistant. Sergeant Toll was put in
charge of victim one, The Duke. Sergeant Mather, Skinny Pete
and Sergeant Richards the new victim number three.
Dave laughed as Sergeant Susan Ripley explained. “Susan
Ripley became ripple, became raspberry ripple, became
Raspberry so Sergeant raspberry reporting for duty Sir.”
“I am sure you will make a great bagman, I mean bag lady,”
Dave giggled. “So let’s take a look at what we have.”