|It was a shit school- but burnt well|
I was rummaging through some old documents the other day when I found this newspaper clipping betwixt the pages of an old book, entitled: 'The Art of the Incendiary'. The news article concerned the tragic conflagration which engulfed my Alma Mater the day after I graduated.
The police came knocking on my door a few days later with all sorts of questions. And of course I had an alibi. On the morn of the fire I was in the company of fellow ex Tipton school pupil, Sally Ault. As I distinctly recall we were involved in extra curricula activities in my unkempt bedroom. Sally's testimony, bless her heart, was unshakable and remarkably consistent.
The evidence against me was circumstantial at best. And just because I'd had my shoulder length blond locks sheared on the afternoon of the incident proved nothing. The Inspector was unrelenting in his questioning and hung in there like a ferret clinging to a rabbit's neck. Confess, confess! Tis true the suspicious youth seen hanging about at the time matched my description exactly, as several witnesses were willing to attest, but I'm a great believer in doppelgangers and parallel universes and such. Wisely the witnesses had an epiphany and recanted. On second thoughts the youth's hair looked more mousy brown than golden hued. This ruled me out in a thrice. No way it could be me as I had just washed my golden locks which bedazzled in the sun and bathed the scene in an ethereal glow as if a cleansing H bomb had gone off in Tipton High Street. Here is a gratuitous tip: never use cheap shampoo or conditioner- false economy and I should know. Have I digressed? Anyway, without witnesses or a confession the poor Inspector was bereft of a conviction. No court in the land would have convicted on the evidence to hand and rightly so. It is better for ten guilty men to go free than one innocent man to be unjustly convicted. Isn't our justice system wonderful? The arsonistically (not a real word) inclined miscreant was never caught and probably lurks unrepentant within our very midst waiting for an opportunity to assuage a hunger which never abates.
Is there a statute of limitation on this sort of thing? I suspect after 44 years it would be very difficult to identify the perpetrator and gain a conviction. Best to let it go then, eh Inspector?
|Sally on the day of our graduation- I wonder what she is doing now?|