Wednesday February 20, 2008

Title: Peculiar
Series: Tanjong Ole (Previous chapters can be found here)
Rating: G
Author’s note: Been a long time coming for this one, eh? A bit longer than usual but should make up for missing time. Many, many thanks to Eizwan for his ingenious way of re-arranging some of the lines.


“Naked protesters, death by durian,” the Superintendent seated across Inspector Jamal listed out. “Some would think you’re making some of these cases up.”

Inspector Jamal struggled to find the words to defend his turf but he was always so hopeless when it came to the inspections. It was one of the reasons, his friends from the Academy days pointed out, that he would always struggle for promotions.

“It’s just the town,” Inspector Jamal defended lamely as he poured tea for his superior officer. “It’s a little peculiar but I’d like to highlight to you, sir, our modern techniques in managing our staff…”

“Only non-performing police officers would blame the town rather than their own supervision, Inspector Jamal,” the Superintendent interrupted sharply.

“But sir…” Inspector Jamal began and was interrupted again, this time by his leather-jacket-wearing Sergeant who strode into his office with a restrained man in his wake. The man, a usually very calm Mr. Tan, struggled against the police officer. He was shouting at the top of his lungs. Followed behind the two of them was a very meek Doctor Chan.

“I’m going to get you!”Mr. Tan shouted. “I’m going to sue you! This is completely unacceptable!”

Doctor Chan looked on forlornly.

“Hey Guv, I’m going to take these two in. Get them to start talking. Calm them down,” said Sergeant Izwan.

Inspector Jamal nodded and the three of them walked out of the room, presumably into an interrogation room.

“Assault case,” he said lamely.

“Oh?” The superintendent was clearly disinterested, but he continued. “I’m surprised at you, Jamal. I didn’t think you could be that unreasonable in allowing a victim to be so close in proximity to her attacker. The woman was very frightened.”

Inspector Jamal winced. The Superintendent had that effect on him. But as the Superintendent drank his tea, Inspector Jamal felt a sudden, rare spark of rebellion from within.

“But he wasn’t the one doing the assault. The young woman did,” said Inspector Jamal, keeping his voice level. “She’s a doctor. She thought someone was about to get her in her clinic and she gave him one. Uppercut right up the chin.”

The choking noise emanating from the Superintendent was music to his ears.

Inspector Jamal shrugged. “Thought it was her crazy ex.”

The Superintendent continued to cough into his tea. The Inspector struggled to keep a smile from surfacing. But Inspector Jamal was a professional and he would not gloat.

“This town, sir, it’s just a little peculiar,” Inspector Jamal continued. “More tea, sir?”


Posted 2/20/2008 at 11:48 AM


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