Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – CeeCee attempts to charm the Charmer

CeeCee’s confidence is back for this final interview. As is the costume. The sophisticated look wasn’t for her. Detective Dunnitt, however, did compliment her on her report, but he also added that maybe she’d been a little too soft on Nessa. As a result, the old CeeCee takes centre stage once more, ready to perform as only she can, in this her swan song.

She’s out to impress, but whether Stefan Pereira will oblige is anyone’s guess. I’m not holding my breath. 

CeeCee lights the incense; she’s chosen Cedar wood this time. Like all wood-based incense, it is fire associative, generally seen as denoting strength or power. She’s making a statement as to who’s in control right from the start. 

Here comes Stefan. Let’s not forget, this man has already used a fake name to win over Fern. Quite effectively, too. I doubt he’ll think twice at adopting another personality. Can CeeCee find the real soul behind those piercing eyes?

He steps into the room and strides across the room to shake CeeCee’s hand.

Hmm, so it seems he’s going for the charming and polite gentleman approach. We can only hope CeeCee is not taken in. 

SP: Good afternoon, Madame CeeCee. (He scans the room and fixes his gaze upon CeeCee, looks her up and down, and smiles) You’ve done wonders with this room.

Could he be any more condescending?

CD: Hello, Stefan. Please, sit.

SP: (sniffs the air) That fragrance is heavenly. Reminds me of my mother.

Cedar wood? Really? 

CeeCee is stunned momentarily into silence. She didn’t see that coming.

CD:Talking of your mother, I understand you’ve chosen the crystal ball and wish to communicate with her?

He nods.

CD: How nice. How long since she passed? You must miss her.

SP: It’s been a while now, and … yes, I miss her a lot. I was her carer. It was just the two of us for years.

CD: What do you want to ask her?

SP: I need to know if she forgives me? I tried my best to care for her. She was not an easy person to live with.

OMG! Are those tears in his eyes?

SP: (blinks back the tears) I’m sorry, Mother.

CeeCee taps her heart, overcome by his apparent sincerity.

Oh no, this isn’t looking good for CeeCee; she’s falling under his spell.

CD: Why are you sorry? It wasn’t your fault, was it?

Stefan squirms, his right eyes twitches.

That’s more like it. He can’t hide from the truth.

SP: I’m sorry she had to die.

CD: (gasps) Had to die? What do you mean …?

SP: (sniffs) Let me finish, CeeCee.

Uh oh! Who’s in control now then?

SP: I’m sorry she had to die alone. I wasn’t there when she breathed her last. It broke my heart to learn I hadn’t been in time.

CD: (sighs, tilting her head to one side) I’m sure she knows that; if you were so close she would have appreciated you looking after her.

SP: I only ever wanted her approval. She wasn’t very forthcoming with such things. Did I fail her, as a son?

CD: Let me ask ..although I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.

CeeCee runs her fingers lightly over  the crystal ball. she hums softly … before snapping to attention.

CD: (blushing) oh, firstly …your mother’s name?

Oh dear, I think we’ve lost her.

SP: Elsa. I named my boat after her.

CD: Thank you (sighs again) Aww, how sweet. (She moans) Elsa, are you there? Elsa, your son is here.

SP: She’s not there is she? She hates me, doesn’t she?

CD: Now, now …it’ll be something or nothing. Don’t fret yourself. These sessions are not always easy. The spirit world is fraught with obstacles.

SP: Mother loved the spirit world …she was very fond of spirits (vodka, gin, aquavit, he mumbles so CeeCee cannot hear him)

CD: (smiles brightly) That’ll be why she’s not here then. She’ll have left you a sign herself. I bet you’ll find a memento soon, a déjà vu, a reminder of her and her feelings for you.

SP: Do you really think so? I hope I get out of here soon then. I have to make my peace with her.

CD: She’ll sense that, I know she will. Mothers know these things

SP: Thank you, Madame CeeCee, I feel much better. Of course, if I knew how the trial ended, if I knew I’d be free to visit her grave with flowers …I’d cope better.

CD: I can’t do that …well, I’m not supposed to. But, you strike me as such a nice man. I’m sure it won’t be an issue. Let me see …it’s blurry.

SP: Really?

He’s not convinced. Then again, nor am I.

CD: (stutters) I, I can see you in a small room. Bars on the door. But, wait …I see a white van. You’re a passenger, smiling, laughing.

SP: I am? Are you sure?

Even he doesn’t believe that.

CD: (indignant) I’m quite sure.

He leans across the table.

SP: Can I see?

CD: (wraps her arms around the ball) Oh no, no. Only those with the gift—

SP: (impatient) I think my time is up. Thank you. You’ve been most helpful.

He stands and approaches the door, where he pauses, turns and smiles. His gaze falls upon CeeCee once more, and his sad eyes seem to bewitch our psychic. She is lost for words.

SP: My mother would have loved this. It’s so sad she never made it. Goodbye, Madame CeeCee.

CD: (gulps) Um, yes, it is. Goodbye, then.

SP: Have a lovely day, and thanks again. I enjoyed talking to you.

Shutting the door behind him, he mutters ‘what a waste of time that was’.

CeeCee stares after him, both hands clasped over her heart. Moments pass. It’s embarrassing how long she sits there, transfixed. A knock on the door shatters her reverie.

EC: CeeCee, my men are waiting to bring in my couch. Are you going to be long?

It’s Dr Ed Case, the psychiatrist, who is the next member of the interview panel to take on the four characters.

CD: Just need to write up my notes, Ed.

That won’t take long, seeing as she never made any. I’m afraid CeeCee blew it, didn’t she? We can only hope Dr Ed is more effective. 

CeeCee’s Summary: What a lovely young man. Polite and charming. Very charming. Beautiful eyes. Rather elegant too. His mother would be so proud. Such a shame she wasn’t available. I can’t imagine him hurting a fly.

Please, CeeCee, tell me those are not the notes you’re going to give to Det. Dunnitt, are they? Please!

***

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Join me next time, when the characters are invited to share their innermost thoughts with Dr Ed.