4. His Worshipful Mayor of Brumpton

4. His Worshipful Mayor of Brumpton

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

The mayor wakes belatedly to find he is not alone in bed



4. His Worshipful Mayor of Brumpton

The Mayor of Brumpton, a suave and somewhat sophisticated wannabe national political leader trapped in a small town’s mayoral office, probably for eternity or as long as eternity might be, got the shock of his life when he slowly emerged from a deep and meaningless alcoholic slumber on exactly the same day as the headmistress of Cotevale First School discovered a deceased body next to her in her bed a mile or two away. And on relative close examination his worship councillor Colin Crimpton also discovered that the cold lump next to him was as dead as a very dead dodo, and it wa s far from pleasant discovery when he draped one arm over frozen flesh in order to shake the man awake.

It was well gone noon, which was a disgrace in itself for someone holding his elevated status thinking of rising from his bed, but that was his affair. What wasn’t was the lump next to him because as far as he was concerned he had gone to his bed alone, though for a while his mind was a bit blurred on the subject. What he was absolutely certain of was the simple fact that he would never invite a male person into his bed. They had a spare room should anyone of that persuasion need to stay the night.

The lump should have been his lady wife, Elaine, the woman he loved above everything on this planet with the exception, possibly, of a very fine malt whisky, but she was in someone else’s bed, he wasn’t sure whose but he knew she must be treating someone to the plush excellence of her well trained bosom. It was, he knew, his fault for marrying someone twenty years his junior, but he did love her despite her faults, so he put up with her frequent indiscretions.

So last night he had undressed and cast his mayoral suit off where he could see it when he awoke, somewhat the worse for wear and no doubt with a sore head, in the morning. It still lay on the floor in a corner where he had tossed it before he climbed into bed after opening the window and thus guaranteeing fresh air, most certainly on his own and wishing he wasn’t, before passing into an alcohol-induced sleep.

And upon awakening he knew there was a weight next to him. He could feel it almost seeming to lean against him. Someone had joined him in his bed.

He was almost sure he had come to bed on his own and, indeed, it was rare that anyone other than his wife to join him between the sheets. But now, the night having passed, it was there, and whoever it might be, he or hopefully she, was cold as ice.

And upon inspection he (it was a he) was just about as dead as a man could be. With a hole in him, a hole out of which his life had seeped during the night, making his bed sticky.

This took some thinking about before he sought the assistance of an authority that he was fully aware was as leaky as a sieve when it came to juicy gossip. He spent a good ten minutes sitting on the very edge of his bed and as far away from the lump as he could get, and analysed what he could recall of the previous night’s bedtime. And the more he thought about it the more he was convinced that he must have been on his own. He’d even had a last nightcap (supermarket grade whisky, a gift last Christmas from Elaine, his angel of a well-breasted wife) and sipped it slowly whilst thinking of as little as possible.

Then he had come to his bed and, yes, he could remember that it was empty when he climbed into it because he had patted the place where Elaine, if she stuck to her wedding vows, should be but rarely was.

Then sleep had dragged him into the strange worlds that sleep does drag people into, and started him snoring.

And now instead of Elaine there was a lump of cold meat.

Upon examination he discovered that his unwelcome guest was absolutely naked, not that he had any perverse reason foe making that examination. It was no more than a general interest. He had spent at least part of the night lying next to a large, cold and very dead man with a hole in him.

It was well into the afternoon when he finally worked out who he should discuss his predicament with. He needed to go to the very top or the afore-mentioned leaks from the local police station might well cause him painful embarrassment

The Chief Constable was no doubt on a golf course if he wasn’t in his office in the big county city, but he’d have to get hold of him by hook or by crook or he’d be lumbered with a lump for companionship for another night, and that would never do.

Fortunately Sir Wilfred Saunders was in his office, earning his keep by reading and then re-reading a pile of papers, none of which made a great deal of sense to him, and he was thankfrul when the phone rang.

Oh, it’s you Mr Mayor,” he grunted, “What is it? You’ve just caught me on my way out…” which was a substantial lie, but he wasn’t so keen on what he saw as petty officials.

There’s a dead man in my bed,” explained Councillor Crimpton.

Really?” barked Sir Wilfred, “you were too much for him, were you?”

The mayor was having none of it. He had played various scenarios through in his mind when he had hesitated to make the call, and he was most certainly not going to tolerate, even from the Chief Constable, any suggestion that the lump was there in any possible way by invitation.

This is no laughing matter, Wilfred,” he boomed, “I don’t know how he got here and he’s been shot!”

What? Shot dead?”


Oh dear. Oh what a mess. I’ll tell you what, I’ll get our best Brumpton man onto it pronto. Don’t touch anything. Leave everything as you found it.”

The last thing I’m likely to do is touch him. He’s naked!”

Oh dear. Doesn’t sound so good, does it? Who shot him, do you know?”

Of course I don’t Wilfred! I woke up, a bit on the late side but I had a function last night, and there he was. Where Elaine usually is, but she was away for the night.”

Well, Angus, don’t touch anything and I’ll get our man there.”

I’m not likely to touch anything! As I just said the devil’s naked, for goodness’ sake!”

Of course! Right, I’ll be seeing to it. Take care.”

And the Chief Constable, Sir Wilfred Saunders, happy to have more than unintelligible crime notes to read, dialled the number for Brumpton Police Station.

He discovered that the Superintendent Basil Feazey was out of his office and wasn’t expected back just yet, so he asked the constable he was speaking to to find him a senior detective.

That’ll be DI Bidcott,” replied the constable.”

Tell him an important official has woken up to find a body in his bed,” boomed the Chief Constable.

Yes sir, would that be a dead body or a live one?” the young officer asked.

Dead, you numbskull. Shot dead! Now get Bidcott before I come there myself and get him!” shouted Sir Wilfred Saunders, and the volume of that request was enough to make the constable scurry off, working as he went on a very juicy version of what he had just heard.

© Peter Rogerson, 21.05.23

© 2023 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 21, 2023
Last Updated on May 21, 2023
Tags: Mayor, Chief Constable, Superintendent, rumour


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 79 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..