REVEREND RIDDELL MYSTERIES BY DONALD HARRY ROBERTS A KILLING IN TROUNCE ALLEY COPYRIGHT 2016 BY DONALD HARRY ROBERTS ALL RIGHTS RESERVED EPISODE 1 A gentle mist curled in from Vancouver Harbour enveloping the harbour front and rail yard. Building, it drifted mystically over Crab Park, across West Waterfront Rd. and finally enveloping the quiet by-ways, alley-ways and streets of Gastown. It created a magical aura about the street lamps and dispelled the late afternoon shadows. And night settled in like an old friend. Thadeus McCann. It was a name the owner had misplaced a decade ago and which he was only reminded of when the police rousted him from his drunken digs…where ever that might be on…. any given night, demanding he produce some sort of identification. It was not a good life but it was the only one he could navigate. Too many horrible memories were etched in his mind to maintain a sober existence. He stood beneath the steam clock at the intersection of Water and Cambie Street. The harbour mist swirled in, carried on a cool, autumn breeze. The last of the leaves fell gently to the red, cobblestone side walk. He watched as the white globes of the street-lamps flickered on, glowing like minature moons through a thin layer of cloud. At that moment a lone tourist accosted him leveling a camera to take a picture of the clock. Thadeus motioned to step aside but the tourist beckoned him to stay. He offered the photographer the best smile he could but it was ruined by yellowed teeth and sadness. Little did he know that the innocent snap shot would weigh heavily on the events of his near future. “Perfect.” Cheered the photographer as he stuffed a five dollar bill in his subjects hand. “Perfect for what?” Thadeus muttered but his words wisped away with the breeze and the mist. “But what does it matter.” He thought as he jammed the bill into his pocket. It was five bucks he didn’t have to beg for. The old bum,The Gastown Beggar, he was known to by the locals, moved slowly from his leaning perch shuffling south bound on Cambie St. At Horner he stopped, quickly glanced about and, finding he was alone he pulled a bottle of amber fortitude from the pocket of his gray, stained and worn trench coat. A mouthful to ward off the chill. A swig to dull the memories and a quick pull just for the hell of it. Half the contents swallowed he pushed the bottle back into the pocket and continued his shuffle to maw of shadows and darkness, Trounce Alley, tonights digs, hopefully undisturbed. For a moment some ancient memory seeped out of the past, before the horror took his mind. He was a young man again, just for a few seconds. A smile rwisted his weather wracked lips as he recalled reading how some comitty had dubbed the alley way, Blood Alley. It was misleading at the time destine to become a tourist trap, but had earned its name in the years since. Just inside the shadows Thadeus paused and leaned against the wall….his balance and navigational skills abandoning him as the amber fortitude coursed throught his veins. Too weakened to go on he slid down the wall his back scraping against the bricks. In such a stupor he sat there, his knees brushing his beard and his hands, wrapped in shredded, fingerless gloves rested on the ground to keep him from toppling over. As he sat there something blurred in the haze of his clouded eyes. First a young woman….he had seen her before. Seconds later a man, just a faint shadow…tall and stretched. “Come back. You have to understand.” A plaintive voice cried out. Then a scream with…”Noooo,” gurgling in the background. Then there was silence for a long minute. At last Thadeus heard some shuffling followed by the hump of heavy feet running, diminishing down the alley way and finally fading out. Thadeus woke, shivering, oblivious to any thing except finding somewhere to sleep. He struggled to his feet and went on a sweeping staggering shuffle deeper into the alley until at last he came upon a green dumpster with a sign that read, Cardboard and Paper Only. For the likes of him, it was high and dry and with a little shifting of the contents it could be warm. But Thadeus was not quite ready for bedding down. The grumble in his gut reminded him he had not eaten since early morning when he had snatched some douhgnuts from a coffee shop destine for the garbage. With any luck he could grab a morsel or two from the taco joint at the other end of the alley. It was always a good place for scraps. If the right cook was on he might even get something fresh from the table. But first. Thadeus lifted the lid of the dumpster just to make sure he wasn’t horning in on someone elses digs….causing a fight which easy to do on a cold autumn night. When he looked in he froze, starring in horror, his throat clenched in a restricted scream…a scream he had known before. A scream that sent him on this drunken journey a decade before. But that new horror filled cry never made it past his lips. Instead Thadeus wretched….and wretched…..and wretched until his throat burned and his gut ached. It went on for five, then ten minutes felling him to his knees and crawling away, trying to escape. His knees were soon scratched to blood so he struggled to his feet and stumble, turning about, heading straight back to the dumpster. Looking down he saw his torn trousers soaked in blood. He rubbed his knees with the shredded gloves on his hands, losing his balance. In desperationg he grabbed to lip of the dumpster . His fingers slipped and he crumbled to the ground. For a long time he slumped there in the shadows, wracked with horrifying memories mixed with this new terror. And he wept uncontrollably until his eyes burned dry. It was still dark when Thadeus came to consciouness. He maded his feet and stood there unsteadily until he found the nerve to examine the dumpster. “It’s real. He winced.

Donald_Harry_Roberts   Donald_Harry_Roberts wrote
on 1/26/2016 11:20:49 AM

Short Story
writing Donald_Harry_Roberts
reverend, mystery, real reverend, riddell, murder, vancouver, gastown
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Reverend Riddell strives to help his community in what ever way it takes...sometimes it means solving a murder mystery
A Word from the Writer
There is a fictional Reverend Riddell in which I fabricate fantastic mysteries for him to solve However! There is a real Reverend who accomplishes far more amazing feats that any fiction I could produce. check out the real reverends bio at
Published Date
2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM
Published In
This story will begin being published weekly on my website