North Ireland in the late seventies
Because the night belongs to the IRA!
Monday morning, briefing with the boss.
“First of all, I would like to introduce you to Maureen Blendon, our new colleague from the Birmingham Police School. And we are all very happy that you are part of our team. ”
A young woman gets up. Slightly chubby, but a pretty face and fair hair, the lightest blond Lynn has ever seen. A full pony that covers the eyebrows and an extremely thick ponytail flowing over the shoulders shines in front of the peaked cap as a contrast to the dark police uniform.
(The hairstyle regulations are now no longer taken so seriously by police-women.)
“For the time being, I want her to become Mary’s partner and take on the day shift with her.” There is no female police officer in Derry at night.
Because the night belongs to the IRA!
“And another colleague, Hugh O’Grant, who has been on duty in Glasgow so far and has been transferred to Derry for family reasons.”
A tall, slender man, in his late 20s, gets up.
“Lynn, you will take care of him until further notice.
So now for everyday business. ” Applause again.
Lynn is now watching Hugh closely during the session.
Extremely attractive, and those ice-blue eyes, she thinks.
But something in his behavior and look makes her wonder.
Tasks are distributed.
4 weeks later, the chief comes to the office with a paper:
“Lynn and Hugh, you drive into Basic Road, there was another case of
” Colabortio “.”
“Collaboration!” Chief O’Conner will never learn that.
On the way Hugh asks: “What does the boss mean by Colabortio?”
“He means collaboration.” “What’s that?” “Working with the enemy,” Lynn explains. Hugh’s questioning look sticks to her.
“The IRA punishes people who work with the police, army or even just Protestants. That goes up to murder. ”
“Do we have a murder case now?”
Gosh, didn’t they prepare him for his assignment here?
“No, no, otherwise we would probably be traveling with several colleagues.
Women, especially those suspected of having a relationship with British soldiers, are punished differently. ”“ How? ”
“To brand them, they cut their hair off,” she explains gruffly. “It’s really not that bad, they are growing again,” he dismisses as irrelevant. “And they also save the money for a hairdresser,” he says afterwards and grins.
Lynn comes up the bile.
She steers the car into Basic Road and parks in front of a gray apartment block. “Here it is. Second floor. At Leary. ”
The front door is open, the apartment door is locked. Lynn rings several times. Nothing moves. “I’m Constable Lynn Carter from 3rd district!
Misses Leary, please open the door! ”Lynn calls loudly.
A low voice: “Your ID please.” Lynn slides her ID through the crack in the door. A key turns and the door opens a crack. “I am Lynn Carter and this is my colleague O’Grant.”
The door opens and they are allowed to enter.
Opposite them is a woman, in her early forties, with a white towel wrapped around her head. “Take a seat,” she says quietly and points to the sofa.
“I’d like to offer you tea, but I can’t enter my kitchen.” Tears run down her cheeks. “It is not necessary at all.” Lynn answers sensitively and carefully asks the first questions:
Two masked men and a woman tried to get into their apartment on the pretext.
No, you can’t say what they looked like.
I had a relationship with a British soldier, they said.
You are the IRA’s Feme court and I would now get my sentence. I work at the checkout in a supermarket and there are a lot of soldiers coming to shop.
You joke and laugh, that’s all.
“That sounds like a miserable denunciation.” Notices Lynn.
“What do you mean?” “That someone from your neighbors or colleagues blacked out at the IRA.” Nobody does that. “” Oh, unfortunately, and more and more often. They make themselves popular with the IRA through defamation. The innocent have to pay for it. If you know someone who could do something like that, please call me. ”She hands her her card. “They are as guilty as the perpetrators.” Lynn knows enough.
“I would like to have known what actually happened?” Asks Hugh.
Lynn just shakes her head because everything is clear to her.
The woman looks at him:
“My hair! They cut off my long hair! ”
“Show us that.” That was not a question, but rather an order.
Reluctantly, she pulls the towel off her head.
Shaved completely bald! No more millimeters of hair, just a sleepy white scalp. She sobs.
Hugh stares openly at her and just keeps asking:
“And where?” Her eyes go to the kitchen door. Hugh enters the kitchen.
In the middle of the kitchen table is a pile of brown curls.
Lynn watches through the open door as he takes out a thick strand, holds it up and pulls it apart. “About 15 cm long.” He notes.
“You were talking about long hair earlier. How long? and where are they? ”
She sobs again and shows at half the height of her upper arm:
“They took it with them.”
“We have to take this as evidence.” He brushes the pile of her curls from the table into a bag lying around and comes back into the living room.
“Misses Leary,” he asks, “what was their hair cut off with? With scissors? ”
” No, “she wails,” they had an electric machine like the one used by the barber. The men pressed my head on the table and the woman just started cutting my hair. “” Please tell me a little more about that. The more details we know, the more chances we have to find the perpetrators. ”
“Hugh! It’s not a bank robbery! ”Protested Lynn.
He doesn’t hear me at all, thinks Lynn, because his look demands an answer.
“I had to show them where there was an outlet and then they connected this big machine there. It looked really scary.
I had to put my face on the table and they held me by my hair. Then we want to shear the sheep, one of the men said with a laugh. And they put the terrible device on my neck. And when they were finished they laughed.
“That’s enough now!” Interrupts Lynn.
“Misses Leary please call me if you can think of anything else.”
In the car downstairs, she hugs her new colleague like he can have so little pity for the woman. The questions would have really tormented her. Hugh and Lynn are unlikely to become friends.
(Now it could be enough for an entire story if it weren’t for Maureen with the gorgeous blond hair)