Mummy's Favourite (DC Charlotte Stafford #1)@Sarah Flint Page 0,1

favourite. Mummy’s favourite.’

Chapter 1

It didn’t take long to remove her from the building. Every photo, every item of clothing, every single thing that would remind him of what she looked like, what she sounded like, what she smelled like.

He dropped to the floor and sprayed disinfectant across her favourite spots; the bedside table where she placed her phone, along with the glass of water and the book that she always read at night, when he was trying to sleep. She didn’t give a shit about him.

He pulled the sheets back and a waft of her cheap body spray hit his nostrils. How he hated that scent, Impulse, used by her each day, in preference to the expensive perfume he had given her for Christmas. His gift lay disregarded at the back of the dressing table gathering dust, like everything about their relationship. He yanked the sheets off the bed, balling them up and throwing them at the door. The mattress still held traces of her smell. He sprayed it with fabric freshener. He hated her smell.

The clothes and shoes took more space than he’d thought, bin bag after bin bag full of her life’s discarded rubbish. He lined the bags up, row upon row, a mountain of her excesses and all at his expense. She had treated him like a mug, just there to pay the bills and deal with her shit. Well now she was gone, and he was glad she wasn’t there anymore; glad she was out of his life; glad he would never have to listen to her whining or sarcastic digs.

He ran downstairs and put the bedding into the washing machine, switching it up to the highest temperature setting. If it was ruined it didn’t matter. He’d just buy some more. He didn’t care if everything about her was destroyed. He just wanted to cleanse the house of every single molecule of the bitch. Filling another bowl with boiling water and bleach he grabbed the mop and started to scrub at the wooden floors, cleaning and exterminating her filth. It didn’t matter that it was gone midnight. He would spend all night if necessary. And all the next day. And if she’d chosen to take her favourite little boy, so be it. She reaped what she sowed and she would have to deal with it.

He peered into the bedroom where his other child slept, unaware of the whole situation. His breathing was steady; the duvet pulled back allowing his shoulders and arms to move freely, unfettered by its smothering restraint. A leg stuck out from the side of the bed. A shaft of moonlight shone down on the boy’s face, making it appear almost angelic in the darkness of the night. His glance moved from his son’s face to a photo on the bedside cabinet next to him. She was in it and he couldn’t bear to see her mocking him.

He tiptoed across the room and snatched the photo up, turning it round to stare at her features in the light of the moon. How he hated her.

His son stirred, pulling his leg back under the duvet and turning on to his side away from him. He stared at the photo one last time before pushing it firmly under his arm.

‘That bitch ain’t never coming back,’ he whispered to his son. ‘I hope she rots in hell.’

Chapter 2

Charlie Stafford was late. She was always late. Things just happened in front of her. Today she’d helped the ticket collector catch a wayward youth who’d jumped the barriers to escape paying his fare. Last Wednesday it was the pedal cyclist knocked from his bike and on Thursday it had been the old lady crying because she’d lost her purse. Tomorrow it would be something else. However hard she tried to be on time, things just happened!

It had all started on 6th July 2007 when, at the age of twenty, in front of the Commissioner no less, she’d turned up late for her own passing-out parade, having stumbled across two recruits squaring up to each other in one of the site tower blocks. It had been the last ever ceremony to be held in front of the statue of Sir Robert Peel, founder of the Metropolitan police, at Hendon Training school before it closed its doors to new trainees. She hadn’t lived it down.

Nine years on and she was still always late. Nothing had changed!

She was either labelled a ‘shit magnet’ by some of her lazier colleagues or a