The Firehills Investigator
I had a strange dream last night. I am dying and lying by a river bank. I am not sure if I am shot or are simply fading away due to old age. The wind creeps through the trees as I silently watch the waters of the river trickle by me. Everything then goes black.
I have had these dreams for a while now and I am reluctant to give them any meaning. I think it’s this place. London is a great city but after a while the dark and dirty streets can crush you like the falling walls on a demolished house.
I get in my car and drive south leaving the city’s oppression behind me. It will do me good to leave this place for a while. I am on my way to the market town of Maidstone in Kent. This is my first lead in finding the band Firehills. Sarah Jones from Larmans solicitors had not given me much to go on but she did provide me with an address where Neil the lead singer of the band had once lived. I hoped maybe I could get some information about where he went to next.
I park the car in a street by the old prison. Its walls tower over me as grim reminder about the true resolution of crime. The loss of one’s liberty and freedom is a high price to pay but some think it’s a gamble worth taking. I try not to linger on this fact and walk off down a side street.
Finding the house proves difficult and after a few tries at knocking on the front door I soon realise that no one is home. A woman walks by and tells me that no one has lived there for a while. I quickly pull out a photo of Neil and show it to her.
“Have you ever seen this man,” I ask her.
“Sure! I know him. He used to live here but I haven’t seen him for more than a year,” was her quick reply.
“Do you know where he went? It’s important I find this man.”
The woman looks hard at me. She evaluates me for the condition of my character. She finally speaks up.
“I don’t know. But I do know where that garage is! He took me there once to get my car fixed.”
This filled me with encouragement. It is unusual to get a lead so early on in a missing person case. I get the woman to write down the address and then she rushes off up the street. It isn’t much but better than nothing at all!
I go and sit down at a near by coffee shop and again look through the photos Sarah had given me. The garage was the location for the Firehills first music video. Maybe the owner will know something about the band and where they are. I wanted to ask the woman more about Neil but I got the impression that more information would not have been forthcoming. This made me think that either she just didn’t know anything or was unwilling say anything. I dismissed this last conclusion as speculation which is always a dangerous assumption in my profession.
As I drove out of town I decided to stop at Maidstone Art College. Neil had studied here and it was the reason he had lived in Maidstone for so long. I thought this could be a possible lead. Maybe one of the lectures would remember him and knew where he was. As I got out of the car I quickly realised that this was a dead end. The Art College had shut down some years ago. I guess society just doesn’t have the money to develop self-expression any more.