The Secret World of Pensioners part 1
Arthur awoke to the sound of knocking at his door, already he knew who it was and why they were here. Putting on his brown jacket and tweed cap he headed to the front door, opening it to see his good friend Nigel.
‘What have we got’ Arthur asked without hesitation.
‘Brick through the bus shelter window’ replied Nigel.
‘That’s the third one this week’ Arthur said as he slammed his front door behind him and marched down the garden path.
‘I’m making this our top priority case.’
On the outside Arthur Butterworth was your typical pensioner, 82 years old with more hair in his ears then on his head, clothes bought before the invention of colour and enough loose skin for a spare birthday suit. But don’t let this fool you, Arthur is the leader of the most sophisticated, well funded community watch scheme in the country and thanks to his military background it is run like a well oiled machine.
Arthur and Nigel walked with purpose down the street until they reached number 42. Arthur knocked on the door and was greeted by a little old lady wearing a pink cardigan and a long floral skirt.
‘Morning Dot’ Arthur said as he took off his cap and held it to his chest.
Dot greeted them both with a kiss on the cheek as she showed them in and closed the door behind her.
‘There has been another bus shelter incident, we need to search for patterns and pre-empt the next strike’ said Arthur in a tone that reminded everyone why he was in charge.
‘Ok let’s take a look’ said Dot as she led the men down the hall,
Dot opened the door to a room filled with computers. The walls were covered with LCD monitors. In the centre of the room was a large computer desk with multiple keyboards and mice. Dot walked into the room, sat down on the computer chair, span around a couple of times and then preceded to type with incredible speed.
A big player in the invention of the Internet, Dorothy Cox was the original silver surfer. There is little that happens online that she does not know about. When Arthur and his team need to know something Dot is the one they turn too. Widowed for many years Dot spends most of her time at home but thanks to frequent visits from Arthur and the rest of the team, she rarely feels lonely.
After a matter of minutes Dot spins back round on her chair and switches on the wall projector with a remote control.
‘This is a map of Stanworth with the last 10 bus shelter attacks circled.’
‘As you can see they are all along the SW2 route and branch out from the initial incident at Walder Street.’
Arthur stroked his chin while examining the map and then let loose his conclusion.
‘He’s growing in confidence, going further afield to get his dirty little thrill. We need to set up surveillance at the next two stops in either direction on the SW2 line as well as the area around Walder Street.’
‘We are going to need cameras, lots of cameras.’
‘I’m on it’ replied Nigel as he made his way for the front door.
Nigel Flint was the guy who could get you anything, a retired auction house owner from London. He had moved up to Stanworth 5 years ago to enjoy the quite life but that soon grew dull and Nigel began to crave a little excitement. When he signed up for the community watch scheme he had no idea just how much excitement he was letting himself in for.
It was just past mid day; Arthur was standing alone in the Sainsbury’s car park examining his watch. At that moment a maroon Jaguar pulls up in front of him, out steps Nigel from the passenger door and from the driver door Frank appears.
Nigel moves towards the boot of the car and opens it to reveal 10 state of the art miniature surveillance cameras.
‘I remember when these weighed more than you’re Jag’ Nigel joked, although as usual nobody laughed.
‘Well let’s get them set up’ Said Arthur as he hurried the two men back into the car.
With the slamming of doors and screeching of tires they were off.
Frank Taylor was the teams transportation officer, a former F1 driver and retired mechanic, there was nothing he didn’t know about driving and maintaining cars. When not helping Arthur he would spend his days tinkering on his beloved mint condition 1964 Jaguar E-Type. Even Arthur, his friend of 40 years was never allowed to sit in this particular car.
The sun was hovering on the horizon as Nigel finished placing the last of the Cameras. He took a walkie-talkie from his pocket and held it to his mouth.
‘All set Dot, how’s it looking your end.’
‘Take the lens cap off and I’ll let you know.’
‘It’s been a long day’ Responds Nigel while trying not to turn red, despite being alone.
‘Much better, now get over here, Arthur just put the kettle on.’
Arthur was carrying the tea tray into the living room as Nigel came through the front door.
‘Hobnob anyone?’ Asked Arthur politely.
Everyone shook their heads and the sound of nattering filled the room. The team was all there apart from Bob.
Bob, or The Chameleon as he is also known, is a very unusual chap even by the team’s standards. Suspected of previously working for one or more secretive government agencies, he is a very secretive man. Bob is average looking, which contrary to popular belief is a very rare thing indeed. The benefit of this is he is the guy no one notices. Taking every advantage of this genetic perk Bob has become a master of disguise and infiltration. Bob is rarely around unless the team needs his particular brand of skills, the rest of the time he could be anywhere or anyone.
Tonight anywhere was his living room sofa and anyone was just plain old Bob, as it was most nights. His days of fast cars, loose women and parachute dives onto foreign embassies were well and truly past him. Nowadays all Bob wanted was a bit of company and a Hobnob or two, but proud and stubborn asking was not something he found easy.
They had just finished tea and Arthur was taking the empty cups into the kitchen.
‘Right let’s see if we have any action’ Said Dot while rubbing her hands together.
She pressed a button under her armrest and the centre of the coffee table span round to reveal a computer monitor. On it was each of the surveillance camera feeds showing parts of the town, except one, which appeared to be a close-up of a dog cocking its leg.
Dot burst out laughing almost swallowing her dentures.
‘What’s so funny’ said Arthur making his way back from the kitchen.
Upon entering the room Arthur caught a glimpse of the monitor.
‘Oh grow up’ Arthur blurted out while trying to keep a straight face, the slight twinge in the corner of his mouth betraying him.
1 hour had passed. The boys had taken to playing cards while Dot kept one eye on the monitor and another on her knitting.
‘You know this could take days’ Said Nigel breaking the silence.
‘Or not’ said Dot as she waved them over.
They all looked at camera 2, showing the entrance to Walder Street. On it could be seen a tall youth with a black hoodie and a Tesco bag, which was stretched out as if holding something rather heavy and rectangular.